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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/45/35
9 November 1990

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Forty-fifth session


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


CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
4
I.INTRODUCTION
1 - 7
5
II.MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE
8 - 10
7
III.ORGANIZATION OF WORK
11 - 16
8
A.Election of officers
11 - 13
8
B. Participation in the work of the Committee
14 - 15
8
C.Re-establishment of the Working Group
16
8
IV.ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE
17 - 78
9
A.Action taken in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 44/41 A
17 - 51
9




* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It will be issued subsequently in final form as Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/45/35).

90-30188 1909-10e (E) /...
CONTENTS (continued)

Paragraphs
Page
1.Review of the situation relating to the question
of Palestine and efforts to implement the
recommendations of the Committee
17 - 29
9
2.Reactions to developments affecting the
inalienable rights of the Palestinian people
30 - 46
12
3.Action taken by the Committee to promote the
convening of the International Peace Conference
on the Middle East in accordance with General
Assembly resolution 44/42
47 - 49
16
4.Attendance at international conferences and
meetings
50
17
5. Action taken by United Nations bodies, the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and
intergovernmental organizations
51
17
B.Action taken by the Committee in accordance with
General Assembly resolutions 44/41 A and B
52 - 78
18
1.Regional seminars
52 - 62
18
2.Co-operation with non-governmental organizations
63 - 74
20
3.Information activities
75 - 77
22
4. International Day of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People
78
23
V.ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 44/41 C
79 - 92
24
VI.RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
93 - 102
27

Annexes
I. Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly at
its thirty-first session
32
II.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-third United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Kuala Lumpur,
18 to 22 December 1989
35
III.Declaration adopted by the Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO
Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Kuala Lumpur,
18 to 21 December 1989
42



CONTENTS (continued)



Page
IV.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-fourth United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Buenos Aires,
5 to 9 February 1990
46
V. Declaration adopted by the First United Nations Latin American and
Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine,
Buenos Aires, 5 to 8 February 1990
52
VI.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-fifth United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Freetown,
2 to 6 April 1990
57
VII.Declaration adopted by the Third United Nations African Regional NGO
Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Freetown, 2 to 5 April 1990
64
VIII.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-sixth United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Stockholm,
7 to 11 May 1990
68
IX. Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-seventh United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New York,
25 and 26 June 1990
75
X.Declaration adopted by the Seventh United Nations North American
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, New York,
27 to 29 June 1990
79
XI.Declaration adopted by the Fourth United Nations European Regional NGO
Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 27 to 28 August 1990
84
XII.Declaration adopted by the Seventh United Nations International NGO
Meeting on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 29 to 31 August 1990
90


LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


25 October 1990

Sir,

I have the honour to enclose herewith the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for submission to the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution 44/41 A of 6 December 1989.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.


(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Chairman of the Committee on
the Exercise of the Inalienable
Rights of the Palestinian People
His Excellency
Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar
Secretary-General of the United Nations
I. INTRODUCTION


1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was established by the General Assembly in its resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, in which the Assembly requested the Committee to consider and recommend to it a programme designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights as recognized by the Assembly in resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974. During the reporting period, the Committee was composed of the following 23 Member States: Afghanistan, Cuba, Cyprus, German Democratic Republic, 1/ Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Yugoslavia.

2. The recommendations made by the Committee in its first report to the Assembly 2/ were first endorsed by the Assembly in resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976 as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine. Those recommendations were reaffirmed by the Committee in its subsequent reports 3/ and were endorsed by the Assembly with overwhelming support on each occasion. The Assembly also continued to renew and, as necessary, expand the mandate of the Committee.

3. Despite the repeated and urgent appeals of the Committee, the Security Council has not yet been able to act on or implement the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee is of the view that positive consideration and action by the Security Council on these recommendations would contribute to promoting a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.

4. The Committee has also reiterated its appeals to the Security Council to take action urgently to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with the principles reaffirmed by the General Assembly in its resolution 44/42 of
6 December 1989. The Committee remains convinced that the Conference would provide the most comprehensive, practical and universally accepted framework for peace and it has repeatedly stressed the urgent need for an intensification of efforts by all concerned in order to convene the Conference without further delay.

5. During the year under review, the Committee was increasingly concerned at the dangerous stalemate that has developed, notwithstanding the efforts to promote peace, and at the further deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Committee strongly deplored Israel's continued reliance on military force to suppress the Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, now in its third year and its rejection of the Palestinian peace initiative as proclaimed at the plenary meeting of the General Assembly at Geneva in December 1988 by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Committee considered that the steps proposed by Israel were inadequate since they did not recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people and did not include interim measures of protection. The Committee also associated itself with the international protests over the likelihood of increased settlement by new Jewish immigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, which would further violate the rights of Palestinians and jeopardize international efforts to progress towards peace. The Committee repeatedly condemned the mounting casualties and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people, particularly women and children, and warned that failure to break through the current impasse would exacerbate the situation and lead to an intensification of tension and violence with unforeseeable consequences for peace and security in the region. The Committee reaffirmed that Israel's continued occupation of the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories and its denial of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including those to self-determination without external interference, to national independence and sovereignty, and to return to its homes and property, constitute the principal obstacle to the achievement of a just peace.

6. The Committee deeply regrets the decision of the Government of the United States of America to suspend its dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people. The Committee felt that such a dialogue was a positive step that contributed to redressing the imbalance between the parties and could lead to the removal of obstacles to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Committee expressed the firm hope that ways would soon be found of resuming the dialogue and of expanding its scope to include the consideration of substantive issues in a constructive way, which could serve the great purpose of achieving peace in the Middle East. Alarmed at the deepening impasse in the peace efforts and the increase in dangerous incidents of violence against unarmed civilians, the Committee continued to intensify its efforts to promote a meaningful and constructive dialogue among responsible political leaders and to stimulate action towards ensuring international protection of the Palestinians living under occupation and achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

7. The Committee's efforts acquired an even greater urgency in light of the growing crisis in the Gulf region since August 1990 and the serious risks of armed confrontation, which would have dire repercussions for the Palestinian cause and for peace and security throughout the Middle East region and beyond. The Committee is firmly of the view that the Security Council should show the same resoluteness in dealing with the question of Palestine as it did in the case of the crisis in the Gulf. It must be recognized that a prompt and just solution of the question of Palestine is of fundamental importance to the achievement of lasting peace and security in the entire Middle East.

II. MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE


8. The Committee's mandate for the year 1990 is contained in paragraphs 3 to 5 of General Assembly resolution 44/41 A of 6 December 1989, in which the Assembly:

(a) Requested the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine as well as the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights 4/ and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

(b) Authorized the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations, including representation at conferences and meetings and the sending of delegations, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of seminars and of symposia and meetings for non-governmental organizations as it may consider necessary, and to report thereon to the Assembly at its forty-fifth session and thereafter;

(c) Also requested the Committee to continue to extend its co-operation to non-governmental organizations in their contribution towards heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations, and to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.

9. In its resolution 44/41 B of the same date, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General, inter alia, to provide the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continued to discharge the tasks detailed in earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance.

10. In its resolution 44/41 C of the same date, the General Assembly requested the Department of Public Information, in full co-operation and co-ordination with the Committee, to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America.
III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK


A. Election of officers


11. At its 168th meeting, on 9 January 1990, the Committee re-elected the following officers:

Chairman: Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal)
Vice-Chairmen:Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba)
Mr. Noor Ahmad Noor (Afghanistan)
Rapporteur:Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta)


12. At its 169th meeting, on 2 March 1990, the Committee elected Mr. Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada (Cuba) as Vice-Chairman in place of Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba), who had departed from New York.

13. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted its programme of work for 1990 in implementation of its mandate.

B. Participation in the work of the Committee


14. As in previous years, the Committee reconfirmed that all States Members of the United Nations and Permanent Observers to the United Nations desiring to participate in the work of the Committee as observers were welcome to do so. Accordingly, in a letter dated 7 March 1990, the Chairman of the Committee so informed the Secretary-General, who subsequently transmitted the letter, on 21 March 1990, to the States Members of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies and to intergovernmental organizations. The Committee also decided to invite Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer, to attend all its meetings and to make observations and proposals for the consideration of the Committee.

15. During 1990, the Committee again welcomed as observers all the States and organizations that had participated in its work in the preceding year. 5/

C. Re-establishment of the Working Group


16. At its 168th meeting, the Committee re-established its Working Group to assist in the preparation and expedition of the work of the Committee on the understanding that any Committee member or observer could participate in its proceedings. 6/ The Working Group was constituted as before under the chairmanship of Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta). Mr. Dinesh Kumar Jain (India) was re-elected Vice-Chairman of the Working Group.

IV. ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE


A. Action taken in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 44/41 A

1. Review of the situation relating to the question of Palestine
and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee


17. In accordance with its mandate, the Committee continued to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations as repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly.

18. In response to urgent developments affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Chairman of the Committee, on a number of occasions, brought such developments to the attention of the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, urging the adoption of appropriate measures in accordance with United Nations resolutions (see paras. 30-32 below).

19. The Committee, with the assistance of the Division for Palestinian Rights, continued to monitor the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory on an ongoing basis through the media, the reports of United Nations organs and agencies, and information collected by Governments, non-governmental organizations, individual experts and persons from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory who participated in meetings held under the auspices of the Committee and other sources.

20. The Committee noted that the intifadah, the uprising of the Palestinian people for the termination of the Israeli occupation and for the achievement of its national rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, had entered its third year despite continued violent repression and great economic hardships. Moreover, the intifadah had led to a process of irreversible psychological and political transformation that had affected not only the Palestinian people but also the Israeli political system itself. New autonomous Palestinian civil institutions were being created, which fortified the determination of the people to become independent. The process of economic disengagement from Israel had been strengthened. International groups and foreign Governments had increased their financial commitment to the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel was being forced to recognize that the intifadah represents a confrontation with a genuine national movement. This had led to a growing debate and a political crisis within Israel and increasing criticism of the intransigent stance towards peace adopted by successive Israeli Governments.

21. The Committee noted with deep concern that in its efforts to suppress the intifadah, Israel had continued to resort to the use of often excessive and indiscriminate force, including shooting at demonstrators, intensive use of tear-gas and severely beating detainees. Fear was expressed that the Israeli Government was condoning and even encouraging extrajudicial executions of Palestinians as a means of controlling the intifadah through permissive guidelines on the use of firearms and the inadequate investigation of abuses.

22. As at 31 August 1990, according to the DataBase Project on Palestinian Human Rights, the total number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the

intifadah through direct responsibility of the Israeli forces, armed settlers, civilians and collaborators, was 856 identified cases. Of those, 704 had died from gunfire, 63 from beatings and other actions, and 89 in tear-gas related incidents. Another 104 Palestinians had died under suspicious circumstances. In addition, it was estimated that 99,150 Palestinians had been injured. The Committee noted with indignation that Israeli forces had indiscriminately used firearms against Palestinians in the precinct of Al Haram Al Shareef, in Jerusalem, on 8 October 1990, which resulted in the death of over 20 Palestinians and the wounding of over 125 others, as well as the ensuing intensified repression of Palestinians throughout the occupied territory, which caused additional casualties.

23. An alarming and rapid deterioration of the situation of children was noted. The casualty toll among children was extremely high: 217 children under 16, or about 25 per cent of the total number of victims, were killed in the intifadah. All children were being subjected to a range of punishing collective measures, and families were reported to be experiencing grave difficulties in fulfilling primary functions of child protection and care.

24. The Committee noted that Israeli occupation authorities continued to resort to a variety of harsh measures and collective punishment in their efforts to suppress the intifadah and considered it a serious violation of the relevant principles and provisions of international law. Those measures included deportations, large-scale arrests, detentions, raids on homes and villages, prolonged curfews, confiscation of property and destruction of trees and crops. It was reported that over 13,000 Palestinians remained in prisons or detention centres at the end of 1989, and there were numerous allegations of torture and systematic ill-treatment of political detainees. The DataBase Project reported that, since the beginning of the intifadah, and until
31 August 1990, a total of 10,200 Palestinians had been in administrative detention without charges or trial for varying periods. The West Bank and Gaza had experienced a total of 7,755 days of curfews, affecting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. A total of 1,557 houses and other structures had been demolished or sealed during the intifadah, about one fifth of them for "security" reasons. The Committee was particularly concerned at the lawless and violent actions of Israeli settlers, in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 7/ including attacks on individuals, raids on Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, vandalism, confiscation of property, the desecration of Muslim religious sites, and activities against Christian religious property.

25. The Committee noted with great concern the reports by the Director-General and the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) indicating that the entire Palestinian educational system was in a state of paralysis owing to the prolonged closure of educational institutions since the beginning of the intifadah. While noting the formal steps taken for the gradual reopening of primary and secondary schools as a positive gesture in response to international concerns, the Committee deplored that the Israeli occupation authorities persisted in seriously disrupting the normal functioning of the schools as a form of collective punishment. Interference by soldiers, including raids, shootings and arrests of students, arbitrary closures, closures due to curfews imposed on the areas and other actions such as surrounding schools with barbed-wire fencing, continued to be reported. The United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had stated, in this regard, that the Israeli interventions were preventing the Agency from providing an appropriate education service to Palestine refugee children and from making the most effective use of public funds donated for the purpose. The Committee also noted with concern that all Palestinian universities and institutions of higher education had been closed since the beginning of the intifadah. Some community colleges were allowed to reopen in the spring, and Bethlehem University in the fall of 1990. The Committee strongly deplored that 25,000 Palestinian students had thereby been denied their right to education for three years, that thousands of high school graduates had been barred from continuing their education, and that severe restrictions continued to be imposed on the functioning of the system of higher education.

26. The Committee took note with concern of reports to the effect that the health situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in Gaza, remained deplorable and had continued to deteriorate since the beginning of the intifadah. The availability of medical care, water, sewage disposal and other needed services were subject to restrictive controls by the occupation authorities and the situation was further aggravated by the repeated and extensive imposition of curfews. The vast number of injuries inflicted during the intifadah were reported to have totally overwhelmed the already inadequate medical facilities. It was also reported that the wounded were very often denied care for hours while being detained on police or army premises. Attacks by Israeli troops against clinics had again been reported. The Committee deplored that the Government of Israel had again refused to co-operate with the Special Committee of Experts set up by the World Health Assembly to study the health conditions of the inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories. The Committee noted with appreciation that a number of international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private institutions had provided humanitarian assistance to Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory and had implemented projects concerned with sanitation, training of medical manpower, establishment of rehabilitation and primary health care centres, medical laboratories and others.

27. The Committee further noted that the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in his annual report 8/ had stated that there had been no improvement in the conditions of work and life of the workers of the occupied Arab territories and their families. Continued military occupation and massive constraints placed on agriculture, industry and other sectors prevented the endogenous economic development of the territories. The development of human resources was in jeopardy so long as schools and universities remained closed. The continued pursuit of the settlements policy remained a matter of serious concern as it had given rise to a dual legal and social system that was the source of serious inequality and tension, had created a discriminatory situation in the field of social benefits and had a detrimental effect on the Palestinian economy. Almost 40 per cent of Palestinians in the territories went to work in Israel but the majority of them enjoyed no legal or social protection. Recognition by Israel of Palestinian trade union organizations, which had recently been unified, would ensure respect for the fundamental principles of freedom of association and lead to the Palestinian workers' interests being better defended.

28. The Committee noted with satisfaction that the Secretary-General had repeatedly expressed concern at the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and had sent his personal representative to the area in June 1990. In his initial report to the Secretary-General, the personal representative had conveyed the fears expressed by Palestinians throughout the occupied territory and their profound feelings of vulnerability resulting from lack of protection as well as the need to ensure their basic economic and human rights.

29. Taking into account the continuing intolerable situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Committee wishes to urgently draw once again the most urgent attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council to the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949. The Committee reiterates its most urgent appeal to the Security Council, to the High Contracting Parties to the fourth Geneva Convention and to all concerned to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and international protection of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory pending the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the achievement of a just settlement. The Committee further wishes to express appreciation to the Secretary-General for his personal efforts in this regard. Above and beyond protective and emergency relief measures, the international community must take all possible measures to halt the rapid deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people and to develop socio-economic structures that will lead to the genuine development of the occupied Palestinian territory in preparation for independent nationhood. The Committee noted that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had undertaken the implementation of a number of development projects in the occupied Palestinian territory.


2. Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable rights
of the Palestinian people

(a)Communications to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security
Council

30. The Chairman of the Committee on a number of occasions drew the attention of the Secretary-General and of the President of the Security Council to urgent developments in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Chairman reported on actions by the Israeli armed forces and settlers that had resulted in loss of life and injuries among Palestinians and to other measures taken by the Israeli authorities to suppress the intifadah. She pointed out that those policies and practices were in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights instruments and United Nations resolutions, and posed further obstacles to international efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine question. The Chairman reiterated the Committee's appeals to the Secretary-General and to the President of the Security Council to take all possible measures for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under occupation and to intensify all efforts towards the achievement of a peaceful settlement.

31. The following letters by the Chairman were circulated as official documents of the General Assembly, under the agenda item entitled "Question of Palestine", and of the Security Council: (a) letter dated 6 December 1989 (A/44/851-S/21009); (b) letter dated 15 January 1990 (A/44/914-S/21089); (c) letter dated 15 February 1990 (A/44/920-S/21151); (d) letter dated 1 May 1990 (A/44/943-S/21281); (e) letter dated 21 May 1990 (A/44/947-S/21303); (f)letter dated 15 June 1990 (A/44/955-S/21362); (g) letter dated
19 September 1990 (A/45/528-S/21802).

32. The Chairman also drew attention to documents adopted by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (USA) and the Canadian Council of Churches, in a letter dated 16 January 1990 (A/45/86), and to the chapter relating to the occupied Palestinian territory in the country reports on human rights practices for 1989 published by the Department of State of the United States of America, in a letter dated 20 March 1990 (A/45/175-S/21199).

(b) Action taken within the Security Council

33. The Committee followed closely the activities of the Security Council on matters relating to the Committee's mandate and participated in Council debates as necessary.

34. In a letter dated 12 February 1990 (S/21139), the Permanent Representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations requested a meeting of the Security Council "to consider unlawful Israeli moves to settle the occupied territories". In the letter the Permanent Representative requested the Council to call upon the Israeli Government "not to permit any action which might alter the demographic structure of the occupied territories". The Security Council considered the item at five meetings, held between 15 and 29 March 1990.

35. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2911th meeting, on
15 March 1990, (S/PV.2911) and stated that the Committee was deeply concerned at recent developments in Israel's settlements policy in the occupied Palestinian territory. Recent statements by Israeli leaders showed once again Israel's obstinacy in denying the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and refusing to admit the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, despite the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. The settlements policy in the occupied territory, carried out by Israel since 1967, had been unanimously rejected and condemned by the international community. Referring to the work of the Commission established by the Security Council in resolution 446 (1979), she said that unfortunately, the Council was not able to take up the Commission's third report, and hence its recommendations could not be implemented. The Committee had repeatedly expressed concern at the Israeli policy of creeping annexation, which was accompanied by acts of violence by the settlers and repressive measures against Palestinians. The Committee shared the concern expressed by various Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations at the new wave of immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union and elsewhere, and it urged all the parties concerned to ensure that the immigrants would not be used to perpetuate the occupation of Palestinian territory, to hinder the peace process and to deny the Palestinian people the exercise of its inalienable national rights.

36. On 12 April 1990, a draft resolution was circulated that was sponsored by Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Yemen, Ethiopia, Malaysia and Zaire (S/21247). By that draft resolution, the Council would have reaffirmed the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; would have considered that Israel's policies and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in the occupied territories are violations of the fourth Geneva Convention and of the rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the other Arab territories; would have considered that the settlement of Jewish immigrants and the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied territories constitute an obstacle to achieving peace in the Middle East; would have called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by its international legal obligations in this regard; would have called upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used in connection with such settlements; and would have requested the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution not later than 31 May 1990. The draft resolution was not acted upon by the Council.

37. In a letter dated 21 May 1990 (S/21300), the Permanent Representative of Bahrain, in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of May 1990, requested the convening of an immediate meeting of the Security Council "to consider the crime of collective murder committed by Israel against the Palestinian people". The Security Council considered the matter at two meetings, held on 25 and 31 May 1990.

38. The first meeting of the Council on this matter took place at the United Nations Office at Geneva on 25 May 1990. At that meeting, the Council heard a statement by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (S/PV.2923).

39. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the same meeting and stated that the occupying Power continued its climate of terror and violence, in complete defiance of international public opinion, numerous United Nations resolutions and the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. She hoped the Council's deliberations would lead to energetic and immediate measures that would assure protection to the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory and permit that people to recover its national inalienable rights, including its right to self-determination and independence. Israel was refusing to participate in United Nations efforts to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East, where a serious threat to peace existed. At a time when the Palestinian people was open to the process of fruitful dialogue, Israel had resorted to violence and confrontation. The Council must face up to the challenge and ensure that Israel protected the civilians in the occupied territories. The Committee called upon the Security Council to meet its obligations and to send a mission to the area. The credibility of the Organization was at stake. Israel must be made to understand that its violence and arbitrary measures would not detract from the establishment of a Palestinian State.

40. At its 2926th meeting, on 31 May 1990, the Council had before it a draft resolution (S/21326) submitted by Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Yemen and Zaire. By that draft resolution, the Council would have established a Commission consisting of three of its members to be dispatched immediately to examine the situation relating to the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967; would have requested the Commission to submit its report to the Council by 20 June 1990, containing recommendations on ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation; and would have decided to keep the situation in the occupied territories under constant and close scrutiny and to reconvene to review the situation in the light of the Commission's findings.

41. The draft resolution was voted upon at the same meeting. The result of the vote was 14 to 1, with no abstentions. The draft resolution was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of the United States of America, a permanent member of the Council.

42. On 19 June 1990, following consultations, the President of the Security Council issued a statement on behalf of the members of the Council (S/21363). They strongly deplored the incident, which had occurred on 12 June 1990 in a clinic belonging to UNRWA and located near to Shati camp in Gaza, in which several innocent Palestinian women and children had been wounded by a tear-gas grenade thrown by an Israeli soldier. The members of the Security Council expressed their dismay at finding that the penalty imposed on that officer had been commuted. They reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, was applicable to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and requested the High Contracting Parties to ensure respect for the Convention. They also called upon Israel to abide by its obligations under that Convention.

43. In a letter dated 26 September 1990 (S/21830), the Permanent Representative of Yemen requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.

44. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2945th meeting of
5 October 1990 (S/PV.2945) and expressed the Committee's deep concern at the increasing armed repression by the Israeli occupying forces. She provided the Council with detailed information on casualties, detentions and other human rights violations since the beginning of the intifadah. She also stated that the Council had so far not adopted measures to ensure the protection of Palestinians; it had not acted on the constructive report of the Secretary-General of January 1988 and had not adopted several draft resolutions proposed by the non-aligned group. She called on the Council to take adequate and firm steps to ensure Israel's compliance with its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention and to set up urgently an appropriate system capable of ensuring the effective protection of the Palestinian population in the occupied territory. She further urged the Council to consider the question of Palestine with the same sense of urgency and determination that it had shown in the case of the Gulf crisis in order to achieve a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

45. At its 2948th meeting, on 12 October 1990, the Council adopted unanimously resolution 672 (1990), in which it expressed alarm at the violence which had taken place on 8 October at the Al Haram Al Shareef and other Holy Places of Jerusalem resulting in over 20 Palestinian deaths and to the injury of more than 150 people, including Palestinian civilians and innocent worshippers; condemned especially the acts of violence committed by the Israeli security forces resulting in injuries and loss of human life; called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967; and requested, in connection with the decision of the Secretary-General to send a mission to the region, which the Council welcomed, that he submit a report to it before the end of October 1990 containing his findings and conclusions and that he use as appropriate all of the resources of the United Nations in the region in carrying out the mission.

46. Subsequently, on 24 October 1990, the Council adopted unanimously resolution
673 (1990), in which it deplored the refusal of the Israeli Government to receive the mission of the Secretary-General to the region; urged the Israeli Government to reconsider its decision and insisted that it comply fully with resolution 672 (1990) and to permit the mission of the Secretary-General to proceed in keeping with its purpose; requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Council the report requested in resolution 672 (1990); and affirmed its determination to give full and expeditious consideration to the report.


3. Action taken by the Committee to promote the convening of
the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in
accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/42


47. In its resolution 44/42, the General Assembly reaffirmed the urgent need to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. It called once again for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination. It reaffirmed the following principles for the achievement of comprehensive peace: the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories; guaranteeing arrangements for security of all States in the region, including those named in Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of Palestine refugees in conformity with Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967; and guaranteeing freedom of access to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites. The Assembly also noted the expressed desire and endeavours to place the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, under the supervision of the United Nations for a limited period, as part of the peace process; once again invited the Security Council to consider measures needed to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, including the establishment of a preparatory committee, and to consider guarantees for security measures agreed upon by the Conference for all States in the region; and requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, to facilitate the convening of the Conference, and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

48. The Committee noted with satisfaction that the resolution had received an unprecedented vote of 151 votes in favour, with only 3 against and 1 abstention, and therefore expressed the overwhelming consensus of the international community. In adopting its programme of work, the Committee once again decided to continue to give the utmost priority in all its activities during 1990 to promoting the early convening of the Conference. The Committee also decided to stress the urgent need for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, in accordance with the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention.

49. The Committee was greatly encouraged by the overwhelming international support for its objectives and by the intensification of efforts among the international community in favour of a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, as reflected in particular by the recommendations adopted by the regional seminars and by symposia and meetings of non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine organized under the Committee's auspices (see paras. 52-78 below).

4. Attendance at international conferences and meetings


50. In accordance with its mandate, the Committee was represented at the following international conferences and meetings during the period since its previous report to the General Assembly:

(a) Regional Seminar for the Caribbean area held in observance of the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, held at Bridgetown, Barbados, from 19 to 21 June 1990;

(b) Fifty-second ordinary session of the Council of Ministers, held at Addis Ababa from 3 to 7 July 1990, and twenty-sixth Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa from 9 to 11 July 1990
(see A/45/482);

(c) Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held at Cairo from 31 July to 4 August 1990 (see A/45/421-S/21797);

(d) Third Conference of Ministers of Information of the Non-Aligned Movement, held at Havana from 24 to 29 September 1990.


5. Action taken by United Nations bodies, the Movement
of Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental
organizations

51. The Committee continued to follow with great interest the activities relating to the question of Palestine of United Nations bodies, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental organizations. The Committee especially noted the growing concern at all levels of the international community about the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and in the region as a whole and the increasing sense of urgency with which the international community addressed the need to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people under occupation and to advance towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The Committee welcomed the growing sentiment and momentum in favour of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/42. The Committee took particular note of the following documents:

(a) Communiqué of the Co-ordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held at United Nations Headquarters on
4 October 1989 (A/44/700-S/20934);

(b) Conclusions adopted by the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve States members of the European Community at the meeting of the European Council held at Strasbourg, France, on 8 and 9 December 1989 (A/45/74-S/21068);

(c) Final communiqué adopted by the tenth Summit of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Co-operation Council, held at Muscat from 18 to 21 December 1989 (A/45/73-S/21065);

(d) Resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-sixth session, held at Geneva from 29 January to 9 March 1990 (resolutions 1990/1, 1990/2 A and B and 1990/6);

(e) Joint declaration of the Eighth ASEAN-EC Ministerial Meeting held at Kuching, Malaysia, on 16 and 17 February 1990 (A/45/138-S/21161);

(f) Final communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the Committee of Nine on Palestine of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Tunis on 11 March 1990 (A/45/166-S/21192);

(g) Resolutions adopted by the Economic and Social Council during its first regular session of 1990 held in New York from 1 to 25 May 1990 (resolution 1990/11) and during its second regular session of 1990 held at Geneva from 4 to 27 July 1990 (resolutions 1990/53 and 1990/59);

(h) Statement by the Twelve States members of the European Community on Palestinian deaths in Israel and the occupied territories since 20 May 1990 (A/45/288-S/21332);

(i) Conclusions adopted by the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve States members of the European Community at the European Council, held at Dublin on 25 and
26 June 1990 (A/45/336-S/21385);

(j) Final communiqué adopted at the Third Ministerial Conference of the Mediterranean Non-Aligned Countries, held at Algiers on 25 and 26 June 1990 (A/45/357);

(k) Resolutions of the fifty-second ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa from 3 to 7 July 1990, (CM/RES.1276 and 1277 (LII)) and declaration of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa from 9 to 11 July 1990 (see A/45/482);

(l) Joint communiqu£ of the Twenty-third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held at Jakarta on 24 and 25 July 1990 (A/45/389-S/21455);

(m) Final communiqué and resolutions adopted by the nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held at Cairo from 30 July to 5 August 1990 (A/45/421-S/21797);

(n) Final communiqué and recommendations adopted by the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference at its thirteenth session, held at Rabat on
15 October 1990 (S/21890).


B. Action taken by the Committee in accordance with General
Assembly resolutions 44/41 A and B

1. Regional seminars


52. During the period under review, the Division for Palestinian Rights continued to organize regional seminars in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, in accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 34/65 D and subsequent resolutions.

53. The Committee was pleased by the participation in the seminars of prominent political personalities, parliamentarians, policy-makers, and other experts, including Israelis and Palestinians. The Committee expressed satisfaction that the seminars had made a positive contribution to peace efforts by providing a forum for a balanced and constructive discussion of the issues. It noted that the seminar participants had adopted conclusions and recommendations expressing support for the Committee's objectives for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, particularly through the "two peoples, two States" formula and the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. It further noted the request that the Committee continue to ensure that regional seminars provide an opportunity for diverse points of view to be expressed so that a meaningful dialogue could be held among people of goodwill on all sides.

(a) Asian Regional Seminar

54. The Asian Regional Seminar was held at Kuala Lumpur from 18 to 22 December 1989. The Committee greatly appreciated the decision of the Government of Malaysia to provide a venue for this Seminar, which was held jointly with the Asian NGO Symposium.

55. The Seminar considered the topics of three panels: panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict"; panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people"; and panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the Asian region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". Further details on the Seminar and the text of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by participants are contained in annex II.

(b) Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar


56. The Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar, which had been postponed from 1989 for reasons beyond the Committee's control, was held at Buenos Aires from 5 to
9 February 1990. The Committee was particularly grateful to the Government of Argentina for providing a venue for this Seminar, which was held jointly with the Latin American and Caribbean NGO Symposium.

57. The Seminar considered the topics of three panels: panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict"; panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people"; and panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the Latin American and Caribbean region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". Further details on the Seminar and the text of conclusions and recommendations adopted by participants are contained in annex IV.


(c) African Regional Seminar


58. The African Regional Seminar was held at Freetown from 2 to 6 April 1990. The Committee greatly appreciated the offer of the Government of Sierra Leone to provide a venue for this Seminar, which was held jointly with the African NGO Symposium.

59. The Seminar considered the topics of three panels: panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict"; panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people"; and panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the African region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". Some details on the Seminar and the text of conclusions and recommendations adopted by participants are contained in annex VI.


(d) European Regional Seminar


60. The European Regional Seminar was held at Stockholm from 7 to 11 May 1990. The Committee was deeply grateful to the Government of Sweden for providing financial assistance and a venue for this important Seminar.

61. The Seminar considered the topics of three panels: panel I: "The intifadah: its impact on and significance for advancing towards a just solution based on the principle of two peoples, two States"; panel II: "Breaking the impasse - the urgent need for a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine; the International Peace Conference and the role of Europe" and panel III: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the political, economic, social and cultural development of the Palestinian people". Some details on the Seminar and the text of conclusions and recommendations adopted by participants are contained in annex VIII.


(e) North American Regional Seminar


62. The North American Regional Seminar was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 25 and 26 June 1990. The Seminar considered the topics of two panels: panel I: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the economic, cultural and social development of the Palestinian people, and its political programme to achieve statehood for the Palestinian people"; and panel II: "The intifadah, the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East". Some details on the Seminar and the text of conclusions and recommendations adopted by participants are contained in annex IX.

2. Co-operation with non-governmental organizations


63. The Committee, in accordance with its mandate under Assembly resolution 44/41 A, continued to extend its co-operation to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active on the question of Palestine and to expand its contacts with them. The Division for Palestinian Rights, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, organized regional and international activities for NGOs during 1990 in implementation of the Committee's objectives.

64. The Committee was greatly encouraged by the intensification of activities and programmes of the non-governmental organizations, including the sending of fact-finding missions to the area, the promotion of joint activities between Israelis and Palestinians, the provision of assistance and various other activities aimed at heightening public awareness and promoting a peaceful settlement. The Committee noted with satisfaction the continuing and growing involvement of Israeli organizations and Jewish organizations in North America and Western Europe in these efforts. It also noted that the regional symposia and the international meetings had adopted declarations expressing the full support of the NGOs for the objectives and activities of the United Nations towards a peaceful settlement of the question and reaffirming the commitment of the NGOs to further intensify their efforts in this direction.


(a) Asian Regional NGO Symposium


65. The Asian Regional NGO Symposium was held at Kuala Lumpur from 18 to 21 December 1989 together with the Asian Regional Seminar. The NGO Symposium considered the topics of three panels jointly with the Seminar. Two workshops were established for NGOs in order to consider the mobilization of such organizations in Asia and their role in providing assistance to the Palestinian people. Some details on the Symposium and the text of the final declaration are contained in annex III.


(b) Latin American and Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium


66. The Latin American and Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium, postponed from 1989, was held at Buenos Aires from 5 to 8 February 1990, together with the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar. The NGO Symposium considered the topics of three panels jointly with the Seminar. Two workshops were established for representatives of NGOs to consider the mobilization of NGOs for the protection of and assistance to the Palestinian people under occupation and the role of NGOs in the mobilization of public opinion. Some details on the Symposium and the text of the final declaration are contained in annex V.


(c) African Regional NGO Symposium


67. The African Regional NGO Symposium was held at Freetown from 2 to 5 April 1990, together with the African Regional Seminar. The NGO Symposium considered the topics of three panels jointly with the Seminar. In addition, two workshops were established for NGO representatives to consider the mobilization of NGOs for the protection of and assistance to the Palestinian people under occupation and the role of NGOs in the mobilization of public opinion. Some details on the Symposium and the text of the final declaration are contained in annex VII.


(d) North American Regional NGO Symposium


68. The North American Regional NGO Symposium was held at United Nations Headquarters from 27 to 29 June 1990, immediately following the North American Regional Seminar, in accordance with the practice followed in previous years. The programme for the Symposium was elaborated in consultations between the Committee and the North American Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine within the framework of a preparatory meeting held in New York on 22 and 23 January 1990.

69. The programme for the Symposium provided for two main panels: panel I: "Breaking the impasse: Moving towards Israeli-Palestinian peace and convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; and panel II: "intifadah update". The programme also included 12 action-oriented workshops aimed at identifying future tasks for organizing NGO constituencies in the North American region. Some details on the Symposium and the text of the final declaration are included in annex X.


(e) European Regional NGO Symposium


70. The European Regional NGO Symposium was held at Geneva on 27 and 28 August 1990, and was followed by the International NGO Meeting, which took place from 29 to 31 August 1990.

71. The programmes for the Symposium and the International Meeting were elaborated by the members of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine in consultation with the Committee within the framework of a preparatory meeting held at Geneva on 26 and 27 March 1990.

72. The Symposium considered the topics of three panels: panel I: "Urgent priorities to stop settlements in the occupied territory and protect the Palestinian people. What can Europe and European NGOs do?"; panel II: "1990: Time for peace - evaluation and follow-up"; and panel III: "Two peoples-two States. Europe's contribution to achieving peace". The programme for the Symposium also included four action-oriented workshops.


(f) International NGO Meeting


73. The International NGO Meeting had as a main theme "Palestine and Israel: Pre-requisites for Peace". The following panels were established: panel I: "Breaking the impasse in the peace process through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East: The influence of Palestinian, Israeli and international NGO co-operation"; panel II: "intifadah update"; panel III: "The changing role of NGOs"; and panel IV: "Movement of populations: The law and the politics". Six action-oriented workshops also met within the framework of the Meeting.

74. Some details on the European Symposium and the International NGO Meeting and the texts of the final declarations are contained in annexes XI and XII, respectively.

3. Information activities


75. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Division for Palestinian Rights, in accordance with its mandate, continued to prepare the following publications, under the guidance of the Committee:

(a) Monthly bulletins covering action by the Committee, other United Nations organs, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the question of Palestine;

(b) Reports of regional seminars, regional symposia and international meetings of non-governmental organizations;

(c) Monthly and bi-monthly reports on developments relating to the question of Palestine, monitored from Arabic, English and Hebrew press for the use of the Committee.

76. The Committee noted that the Division had published two studies, namely, Palestinian Children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988. Two updated issues (February and June 1990) of the information note on the work of the Committee and of the Division were also prepared. Another information note, entitled "The United Nations and non-governmental organization activities on the question of Palestine", was updated in October 1989 and February 1990. Both information notes were issued in the six official United Nations languages, as well as in German and Japanese. The following publications were also issued by the Division during the period under review: Resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council relating to the question of Palestine: 1989 (A/AC.183/L.2/Add.10) and Special bulletin on the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

77. The following studies are currently being prepared by the Division: The question of Palestine: 1979-1989 and Acquisition of land in Palestine and Israel's policy on the West Bank and Gaza Strip water resources. A compilation of seminar papers on legal aspects of the question of Palestine is nearing its completion.

4. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People


78. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed on
29 November 1989 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna. The Committee noted with appreciation that the International Day had also been commemorated in many other cities throughout the world in 1989.


V. ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 44/41 C


79. The Committee noted with appreciation that, during the past year, the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat continued its information programme on the question of Palestine with a view to furthering the world-wide dissemination of accurate, objective and comprehensive information on the question. The Department's continuing mandate on the area derived from General Assembly resolution 44/41 C, in which the Assembly requested it to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine during the biennium 1990-1991.

80. In response to the Assembly's request, the Department has disseminated press releases, publications and audio-visual material and has also organized fact-finding news missions and regional and national encounters for journalists.

81. Full coverage by press releases was provided of the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Security Council, including its meetings at Geneva, the Commission on Human Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and other intergovernmental bodies as they dealt with the question of Palestine.

82. The Department's coverage of the question of Palestine during the past year focused increasingly on news items and information concerning the situation in the occupied territories and efforts to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices.

83. In publication activities, the Department actively disseminated information through articles, press releases, brochures and booklets. The UN Chronicle reported extensively on the consideration given to the question of Palestine and other related items by the Assembly at its forty-fourth session and by the Security Council, particularly since the beginning of the uprising in the occupied territories. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at Headquarters with other United Nations offices was fully covered. The Department also covered and disseminated information on the seminars and symposia held in different world capitals by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

84. The Department continued to distribute its publications on the question of Palestine, such as a revised version of the booklet entitled "The United Nations and the Question of Palestine" in Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish; the booklet entitled "For the Rights of Palestinians: Work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People"; the booklet entitled "Human Rights for the Palestinians: The Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories"; the brochure entitled "The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" in English, which is currently being translated into French and Spanish. All publications have been given wide circulation through all available channels.

85. All aspects of the question of Palestine, including the Security Council meetings held at Geneva, Palestinian refugees, Palestinian rights, the intifadah, the situation of the occupied territories, the work of UNRWA, the meetings of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the prospects for an international peace conference on the Middle East, were covered extensively in both official and non-official languages in news, current affairs magazines, and other radio programmes of the Department of Public Information.

86. In addition to short items in news and current affairs radio programmes, the Department of Public Information produced 12 special feature radio programmes, including one on "The question of Palestine: The continuing search for a peace settlement", which was adapted into Chinese, Hindi, Turkish and Urdu and distributed to some 350 radio stations world wide; two editions on "Palestine: search for a just and durable solution" and "Question of Palestine: immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel" in French; and "The contribution of international seminars and symposia focus on Palestine" in Kiswahili. The "UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people" and "The question of Palestine" were featured in two editions of the weekly programme in Arabic, Afakon Alamiya. The Caribbean Unit produced two editions on "The question of Palestine and the Caribbean media (1) the root of the problem and (2) the Caribbean journalist perspectives" in two parts, which were distributed to all countries and territories in the Caribbean region. "The Work of UNRWA" was featured in the weekly English magazine Scope. All regional seminars and NGO symposia on the question of Palestine sponsored by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People were covered extensively in weekly regional magazines.

87. A 15-minute educational video for high-school-age students, with an accompanying study pamphlet for teachers on the question of Palestine, was produced in three languages for distribution world wide.

88. Full television coverage was provided of General Assembly and Security Council meetings on the question of Palestine. Television coverage was also provided of meetings of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its sponsored seminars as well as other official events. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the opening ceremony of the photo exhibit on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were also fully covered. A large number of video news packages on the various aspects of the question of Palestine were disseminated world wide through international syndicators. Members of delegations were also provided with video cassette dubs and excerpts on the question of Palestine and other related items. Cassette copies and line feeds were made available to major television networks.

89. As in previous years, the Department once again organized activities to acquaint the media with the facts and developments pertaining to the question of Palestine. A team of 14 high-level journalists participated in the news mission to the Middle East organized by the Department. Between 13 and 31 May 1990, they visited Tunis, Damascus, Amman and Cairo. A formal request to the Permanent Mission of Israel for the news mission to visit Israel and the West Bank went unanswered. The news mission provided the participants with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and impressions on various aspects of the Palestine question. During the mission, the journalists met and interviewed a large number of leaders and senior officials of Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Numerous field visits, particularly to Palestinian refugee camps, were also organized. The mission received extensive media coverage in all the countries visited. Numerous articles were later published and radio and television programmes broadcast by the participants on the basis of their experience and interviews conducted during the mission.

90. The Department also organized two regional encounters for journalists on the question of Palestine, bringing high-level journalists together with experts in the field for brief, in-depth, informal and candid discussions of the various aspects of the Palestinian problem. The first encounter was held at Buenos Aires from 12 to
14 February 1990 and was attended by 24 journalists from many North and Latin American and Caribbean countries, representing the print, radio and television media. The second encounter was held in Singapore from 26 to 28 March 1990. About 23 journalists from Asia and the Pacific participated.

91. The Department also organized three series of national encounters in which small, balanced panels of experts held meetings, in the form of in-depth press conferences. In Latin America and the Caribbean, national encounters with local journalists and foreign correspondents were held at Mexico City, Santiago and Port-of-Spain between 2 and
15 February. National encounters for Europe were held between 9 and 16 March at Oslo, London and Belgrade. Asian national encounters were held at Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok and New Delhi between 19 and 30 March.

92. United Nations information centres throughout the world continued to carry out information activities in connection with the question of Palestine and made available to the public United Nations information materials on the subject. These activities included public lectures and briefings, screening of United Nations and UNRWA films on the question of Palestine, photo exhibits and the production and dissemination of newsletters, press releases and leaflets on the various aspects of the question. The information centres undertook various activities in observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. They made available publications prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and distributed information circulars in official and local languages. Exhibitions were held, films screened, and events organized in various centres in co-operation with the diplomatic corps, UNRWA and national parliaments.


VI. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE


93. The year under review was one in which great hopes gave way to increasing anxiety over the prospects for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The new and favourable opportunities for concerted international action towards this end created by the Palestinian peace initiative of November 1988 and by the international trends towards democratization and relaxation of tensions were thwarted by Israel's continued intransigence and policy of armed repression of the intifadah. The Gulf crisis in the latter part of 1990 has heightened tensions and has brought instability to an already troubled region. There is a serious threat of armed confrontation that could have grave repercussions for the entire region and for the question of Palestine.

94. The Committee considers that despite these disquieting events, international attention must remain focused on the imperative necessity to overcome the political and diplomatic stalemate that has hitherto blocked progress towards a settlement of the question of Palestine. The Committee reiterates once again its firm belief that such a settlement, in accordance with internationally recognized principles, is of fundamental importance for the achievement of peace and stability in the Middle East region. Noting the successful efforts to achieve consensus within the Security Council and particularly the constructive manner in which its permanent members are acting together to resolve regional conflicts, the Committee appeals to the Council to take concrete and effective action to pursue with renewed determination the peace process and endeavours to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine.

95. As the intifadah is about to enter its fourth year, the Committee salutes the brave Palestinian people, in particular its women and children, for the heroic struggle to end Israeli occupation and implement the proclamation of the independent Palestinian State of November 1988. The intifadah has affirmed clearly the determination of the Palestinian people to bring the occupation of their land to an end and to achieve the exercise of their inalienable rights and has also affirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The Committee reaffirms the international consensus that the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing with other parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict is indispensable in any efforts and deliberations aimed at the achievement of a lasting peace in the Middle East. It also calls once again for Palestine to be accorded its rightful place within the international community and the United Nations Organization. While the Committee notes with satisfaction that the intifadah had helped the progressive forces in Israel to intensify their efforts for a just peace, the Government of Israel has remained adamant. The Committee affirms that the continuing denial of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and independence is entirely unacceptable and constitutes a major danger to peace. It calls upon Israel to recognize and respect the national aspirations and rights of the Palestinian people and to recognize as well the desire of its own people to a future based on peace and justice.

96. In the 15 years since the establishment of the Committee, an international consensus has gradually been achieved on the essential principles for a solution of the question of Palestine based on the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Committee recalls that in its first report to the General Assembly, it had recommended modalities for the attainment of those rights (see annex I), later complemented by the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine held at Geneva in 1983. Developments since the beginning of the intifadah led to an even wider consensus, as shown by the near-unanimous adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42. In that resolution the Assembly called once again for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination. The Committee reaffirms the principles for the achievement of a comprehensive peace contained in that resolution, namely, the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories, guaranteeing arrangements for security of all States in the region, including those named in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions, dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967, and guaranteeing freedom of access to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.

97. The Committee deeply regrets Israel's continued rejection of the constructive proposals contained in that resolution, which have been explicitly accepted by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Further, the Committee calls upon those States which have thus far prevented the implementation of General Assembly resolution 44/42 to reconsider their position and to join the international consensus. Concerned that the continued stalemate will further exacerbate tensions and encourage resort to extremism, the Committee recommends that the General Assembly should urge the Security Council, and in particular its permanent members, to consider measures needed to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, including the establishment of a preparatory committee, to consider guarantees for security measures for all States in the region, and to renew the mandate of the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned and, in consultation with the Security Council, to facilitate the convening of the Conference. The Committee expresses its support for every effort by the permanent members of the Security Council to bring the positions of the parties to the conflict closer to each other, to create a climate of confidence between them, and to facilitate in this way the convening and successful outcome of the International Peace Conference. Recent experience in the Security Council indicates that, given the necessary political will, the Council is able to achieve consensus on important matters of concern to the international community in the area of international peace and security. The Committee urges the Council to address the question of Palestine with the same urgency and determination with a view to finding a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine.

98. For its part, the Committee intends to continue to intensify its efforts towards this essential objective and to make it once again the focal point of its work programme in the coming year. The Committee considers that future regional seminars and NGO symposia and international NGO meetings organized under its auspices could make a valuable contribution by examining, with the assistance of experts from all regions, in particular Palestinians and Israelis, some of the more important and complex substantive issues that need to be addressed by the Conference.

99. Pending progress towards a political settlement, however, the Committee urges once again that all necessary measures be taken immediately to protect the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. The Committee has repeatedly drawn the attention of the Secretary-General, the General Assembly and the Security Council to Israel's non-acceptance of the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 and to the persistent violation by Israel of its obligations as the occupying Power under that Convention. In the past year, those Israeli policies and practices have led to increasing casualties and the deterioration of already insufferable living conditions. A matter of special concern is the suffering inflicted on Palestinian women and children as a result of Israeli practices. The deportations of Palestinians, the increased restriction on freedom of movement and association, and the restrictions on educational institutions, health and social welfare organizations, as well as constant daily obstacles and harassments, have produced inhuman and intolerable conditions. The Committee considers that it is now imperative for the High Contracting Parties to the fourth Geneva Convention and for the United Nations system as a whole to ensure that Israel abide by its obligations. The Committee calls upon the Security Council to establish urgently an effective United Nations presence in the occupied territory with a legal mandate to protect the Palestinians therein. In this regard, the Committee endorses the proposed establishment by the Security Council of a United Nations observer force.

100. The Committee is deeply concerned at the process of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements, usurpation of land and water resources, and settler vigilantism. The growing influx of new immigrants exacerbates the situation. The Committee noted that the international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, which was in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, had declared those actions null and void and had demanded that Israel dismantle the settlements and withdraw from the occupied territory. The Committee calls upon the Security Council to consider the matter again urgently and to undertake appropriate measures, in conformity with the fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to deal with the situation.

101. The Committee wishes to reaffirm that the United Nations has a duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the social and economic development of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, in preparation for the full exercise of national sovereignty in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Committee accordingly reiterates its call upon the organizations of the United Nations system, as well as on Governments and on intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to sustain and increase their economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

102. The Committee noted with satisfaction the increased awareness and mobilization of international public opinion in support of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of United Nations recommendations for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine. The Committee believes that its programme of regional seminars and meetings and symposia of non-governmental organizations, as well as the journalists' encounters and other informational activities sponsored by the Committee, have played a valuable role in this process, and it will continue to strive to achieve maximum effectiveness in carrying out this programme and to intensify its efforts in the implementation of its mandate. Further, the Committee intends to continue and intensify its efforts to ensure that such meetings provide an opportunity for diverse points of view to be expressed so that a real dialogue can be held among people of good will on all sides on the basis of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. In this context, the Committee invites all Governments, including those of the United States of America and Israel, to participate in the work of the Committee and in the events organized by it.


Notes


1/ On 27 September 1990, the Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic informed the Secretary-General that the prerequisite under international law for a continued membership of the German Democratic Republic in the United Nations and in other intergovernmental organizations ceased to apply with the accession as of 3 October 1990 of the German Democratic Republic to the scope of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany so as to unite Germany in a single State (A/45/557).

2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35).

3/ Ibid., Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/32/35); ibid., Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/33/35); ibid., Thirty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/34/35 and Corr.1); ibid., Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/35/35); ibid., Thirty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/36/35); ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/37/35 and Corr.1); ibid., Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/38/35); ibid., Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/39/35); ibid., Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/40/35); ibid., Forty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/41/35); ibid., Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/42/35); ibid., Forty-third Session, Supplement No./35 (A/43/35); and ibid., Forty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/44/35).

4/ Report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, Geneva,
29 August-7 September 1983 (United Nations publication, Sales No./E.83.I.21), chap. I, sect. B.

5/ The observers at the Committee meetings were as follows: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian people, the principal party to the question of Palestine, was also an observer.
6/ Until 3 October 1990, the membership of the Working Group was as follows: Afghanistan, Cuba, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, India, Malta, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the people directly concerned.

7/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

8/ International Labour Conference, 77th Session, 1990, Report of the Director-General, appendices (vol. 2), pp. 46-49.


ANNEX I


Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly
at its thirty-first session*



I. Basic considerations and guidelines


59. The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, and consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

60. The legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty are endorsed by the Committee in the conviction that the full implementation of those rights will contribute decisively to a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis.

61. The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with other parties, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations.

62. The Committee recalls the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the consequent obligation for complete and speedy evacuation of any territory so occupied.

63. The Committee considers that it is the duty and responsibility of all concerned to enable the Palestinians to exercise their inalienable rights.

64. The Committee recommends an expanded and more influential role by the United Nations and its organs in promoting a just solution to the question of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution. The Security Council, in particular, should take appropriate action to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return to their homes, lands and property. The Committee, furthermore, urges the Security Council to promote action towards a just solution, taking into account all the powers conferred on it by the Charter of the United Nations.

65. It is with this perspective in view and on the basis of the numerous resolutions of the United Nations, after due consideration of all the facts, proposals and suggestions advanced in the course of its deliberations, that the Committee submits its recommendations on the modalities for the implementation of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.





* Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35), paras. 59-72.
II. The right of return

66. The natural and inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes is recognized by resolution 194 (III), which the General Assembly has reaffirmed almost every year since its adoption. This right was also unanimously recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967); the time for the urgent implementation of these resolutions is long overdue.

67. Without prejudice to the right of all Palestinians to return to their homes, lands and property, the Committee considers that the programme of implementation of the exercise of this right may be carried out in two phases:

Phase one

68. The first phase involves the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced as a result of the war of June 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(a) The Security Council should request the immediate implementation of its resolution 237 (1967) and that such implementation should not be related to any other condition;

(b) The resources of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and/or of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, suitably financed and mandated, may be employed to assist in the solution of any logistical problems involved in the resettlement of those returning to their homes. These agencies could also assist, in co-operation with the host countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the identification of the displaced Palestinians.

Phase two

69. The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(a) While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 94 (III);

(b) Palestinians choosing not to return to their homes should be paid just and equitable compensation as provided for in resolution 194 (III).


III. The right to self-determination, national independence
and sovereignty


70. The Palestinian people has the inherent right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine. The Committee considers that the evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant resolutions of the United Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine. The Committee considers furthermore that, upon the return of the Palestinians to their homes and property and with the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity, the Palestinian people will be able to exercise its rights to self-determination and to decide its form of government without external interference.

71. The Committee also feels that the United Nations has an historical duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the economic development and prosperity of the Palestinian entity.

72. To those ends, the Committee recommends that:

(a) A timetable should be established by the Security Council for the complete withdrawal by Israeli occupation forces from those areas occupied in 1967; such withdrawal should be completed no later than 1 June 1977;

(b) The Security Council may need to provide temporary peace-keeping forces in order to facilitate the process of withdrawal;

(c) Israel should be requested by the Security Council to desist from the establishment of new settlements and to withdraw during this period from settlements established since 1967 in the occupied territories. Arab property and all essential services in those areas should be maintained intact;

(d) Israel should also be requested to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to declare, pending its speedy withdrawal from those territories, its recognition of the applicability of that Convention;

(e) The evacuated territories, with all property and services intact, should be taken over by the United Nations, which, with the co-operation of the League of Arab States, will subsequently hand over those evacuated areas to the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people;

(f) The United Nations should, if necessary, assist in establishing communications between Gaza and the West Bank;

(g) As soon as the independent Palestinian entity has been established, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved and the Palestinian entity, should, taking into account General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), make further arrangements for the full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the resolution of outstanding problems and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions;

(h) The United Nations should provide the economic and technical assistance necessary for the consolidation of the Palestinian entity.

ANNEX II


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-third
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine


(Kuala Lumpur, 18 to 22 December 1989)



1. The Twenty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth Asian Regional Seminar), on the topic "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held jointly with the Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel, Malaysia, from 18 to 22 December 1989, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, head of the delegation and Seminar Chairman; Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis (Cyprus); Mr. Ismail Razali (Malaysia), who served as Rapporteur of the Seminar;
Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone); Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic); and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi, Permanent Observer for Palestine.

3. Nine meetings were held and 13 panelists presented papers on selected aspects on the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 38 Governments, Palestine, UNDP and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), 3 intergovernmental organizations and 52 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the Seminar.

4. The joint event was opened by Mrs. Diallo and a welcoming address was made by
H.E. Datuk Abu Hassan Omar, Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

5. A message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, was read out by his representative, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights. The Chairman of the Committee also addressed the meeting, as did Ms. Yoshiko Tanaka of the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Asian NGOs. Mr. Ahmad Al-Farra, Observer for Palestine, read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

6. Further statements were made by the following: Mr. Kargbo, representative of the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; Mr. Oudovenko, Acting Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid; Mr. Nabil Taleb Ma'arouf, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Mr. Mostafa Foroutan, Assistant Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee, and
Mr. Fouad Beseiso, regional representative of ESCWA.

7. The Seminar and Symposium participants adopted a message to Mr. Arafat, and a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Malaysia.


8. The three panels that were established and their panelists were as follows:

Panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict": Ms. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi (Palestinian), Mr. Paul Findley (United States of America), Tan Sri Dato Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Jalal (Malaysia), Mr. Zhentang Liu (China), Mr. Ron McIntyre (New Zealand), Mr. Vyacheslav N. Matuzov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Mr. Amien Rais (Indonesia), and Tan Sri M'ohd Ghazali Shafie (Malaysia);

Panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people": Mr. Nabil Sha'ath (Palestinian);

Panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the Asian region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people": Mr. Donald Betz (International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine),
Mr. A. Kadir Jasin (Malaysia), Mr. Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian), and Mr. Mümtaz Soysal (Turkey).

9. The report of the Seminar, including summaries of the proceedings, has been issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat.

10. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:


Conclusions and recommendations


(a) The participants in the Seminar in reviewing recent developments concerning the question of Palestine welcomed the results of the nineteenth extraordinary session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) held at Algiers in November 1988, and, in particular, the Political Communiqué as well as the Declaration of Independence proclaiming the State of Palestine as a positive contribution towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. The decision adopted by PNC at Algiers, the position outlined by H.E. President Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in his address to the General Assembly at Geneva on 13 December 1988, the debate on the question of Palestine in the General Assembly session, the adoption of resolution 43/176 on 15 December 1988 became important landmarks in the international endeavours towards achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine and have led to increased support by all sectors of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Seminar noted with satisfaction that the provisions of that resolution had been reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. The participants also took note of a further qualitative improvement in the vote on this resolution. Even larger numbers of States, including Western States, cast their votes in 1989 in favour of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, reflecting the pressing need to convene such a conference.

(b) The participants noted that the Government of the United States of America had opened a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization. In this connection, the participants emphasized that the scope of such a dialogue should be expanded and include the consideration of substantive issues leading to meaningful political decisions between the two parties with a view to arriving at a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

(c) They also noted that the peace initiatives undertaken by the Palestinian leadership as well as the proclamation of the State of Palestine by PNC at its nineteenth extraordinary session, have received enthusiastic support from an overwhelming majority of States who have welcomed those developments as a concrete contribution towards peace. Significantly, a large number of States have already recognized and acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine and many States have established diplomatic relations with it.

(d) The participants expressed their conviction that these developments relating to the question of Palestine have created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to this complex and dangerous conflict on the basis of resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. These developments were brought about by the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, as dramatically manifested in the continuing intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory. The present international climate, which is characterized by increasing co-operation and the political will to solve regional conflict in a peaceful way through negotiations, has created favourable conditions for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

(e) The participants noted that there exists a wide measure of agreement within the international community that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East should be based on the following principles: withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region, including the States of Israel and Palestine, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally, a satisfactory solution of the Palestinian problem based on the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination leading to the establishment of an independent State of Palestine in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

(f) The participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar took note with utmost concern of the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation, the enormous toll among the Palestinians and the far-reaching socio-economic, demographic and emotional consequences which the Palestinian people has to face. The entire international community, as represented at the United Nations, has repeatedly declared that the Israeli acts of violence against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory were in blatant violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, which is fully binding on Israel - a Party to the Convention. The Israeli actions are also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to the generally recognized norms of international law. In the Gaza Strip especially, new measures to control the movement of individuals produced inhumane and intolerable conditions. In the West Bank, settler vigilantism threatened to develop into large-scale bloodletting. Of special concern for the participants were brutal Israeli practices used against Palestinian women and children. The participants strongly opposed the presence of Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.

(g) The process of Israeli colonization of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements and the brutality of settler vigilantism, was unequivocally rejected and condemned by the participants. The participants were of the view that the Israeli policy of usurping Palestinian land and establishing and strengthening settlements in that land constituted not only a gross disregard for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also a serious obstacle to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They also noted with appreciation that the entire international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar noted with concern the continuing funding of the illegal settlement activities by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory. The participants stressed that all assistance, financial or otherwise, to Israel, particularly from the United States, should cease forthwith. Any aid to Israel should be made conditional upon Israel's compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions and provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention. Any assistance resulting in the development and consolidation of the Israeli settlement infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territory is considered illegal and immoral and constitutes a serious obstacle towards achieving peace in the Middle East.

(h) The participants were of the view that the Palestinian intifadah, as the popular, democratic expression of the collective will of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, has given the struggle of the Palestinians the force of authenticity as well as moral ascendancy and political maturity. The intifadah, now in its third year, embraces three dimensions: the overt and visible resistance to the Israeli occupation while simultaneously expressing the Palestinian people's commitment to its sole and legitimate leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization; the social transformation and nation-building as the embodiment of statehood through the establishment of authentic, alternative popular infrastructure of the Palestinian society; and, finally, the intifadah was instrumental in bringing about a clear-cut political articulation through the PNC resolutions of November 1988. The participants supported the view expressed by the Secretary-General that the message of the intifadah was direct and unequivocal, namely, that Israeli occupation, which has now been in effect for 22 years, will continue to be rejected, and that the Palestinian people will remain committed to the exercise of its legitimate political rights, including self-determination.

(i) The Seminar appealed to the Security Council to take urgent measures to ensure physical protection of the Palestinian people under occupation, to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in all the territories under Israeli occupation. The participants regretted that on 7 November 1989 a permanent member of the Council had again prevented the Security Council from taking action on measures indispensable for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar participants stressed that the repressive policies and practices of Israel vis-à-vis Palestinians in the occupied territory and in particular the so-called policy of "transfer" or deportation of Palestinians, a gross violation of recognized instruments of international law, had been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations Security Council, the General Assembly as well as by an overwhelming majority of States Members of the United Nations. They pointed out that taking into account the gravity of the acts of violence and repression by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory, the Security Council should assume its responsibilities and ensure protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. The participants called on Israel, the occupying Power, to respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and accept the de jure applicability of the Convention to the Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and to comply fully with its obligations under that Convention.

(j) The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to end the Israeli occupation and to set up an alternative infrastructure that can be used as a basis for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. The Seminar considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, must be a necessary accompaniment of renewed efforts to achieve a political solution to the question. The United Nations system as well as international, regional and national organizations should continue and strengthen their humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians under occupation and to the Palestinian refugees. In particular, sustained and increased support should be channelled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and other United Nations bodies and agencies as well as through non-governmental organizations working directly in the occupied Palestinian territory.

(k) The participants agreed that it was incumbent upon the Government of Israel to respond positively to the stand taken by the Palestine Liberation Organization which has been welcomed and praised by the international community. Israel can no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and deny them their political rights, in particular their right to self-determination. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government were grossly inadequate. Any viable peace initiative must include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would enable Palestinians to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants stressed that as the so-called Israeli election proposals did not include the final objective of the exercise by the Palestinian people of all its inalienable rights including its right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent sovereign State, they are nothing but an instrument for perpetuating Israeli occupation.

(l) The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people remained the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region cannot be achieved without the full exercise of those rights, without the withdrawl of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories. It further affirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and, as such, was an essential party to any negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict by peaceful means.

(m) The Seminar, in particular, stressed the significance of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 calling for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination. Cognizant of the role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security, the participants in the Seminar urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, and to adopt interim measures including the deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final comprehensive settlement. The participants considered that it was incumbent upon Israel to terminate its occupation in compliance with resolution 242 (1967) and to accept the terms for a lasting and comprehensive settlement in the region.

(n) The Seminar stated that the international community was deeply and firmly convinced of the urgent need to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine. This is evidenced by the growing support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. That support is clearly reflected in the position adopted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Community, the Nordic States, Japan, as well as by the USSR, the People's Republic of China, and other socialist countries. In that regard, the Seminar noted with appreciation the sustained and continuing support by all States and peoples of the Asian and the Pacific region for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights and for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The position of Asian States was one of solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights. There was a broad consensus regarding the need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with the provisions laid down in General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and reaffirmed in resolution 44/42 of
6 December 1989. Movement towards peace in the region was facilitated by the carefully balanced and constructive policy adopted by the PLO. The continuing obstacle was the inflexible position of the Government of Israel as well as the attitude of one permanent member of the Security Council. The participants called upon Israel to abandon its negative position and to respond positively to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the question of Palestine.

(o) The Seminar took note of the continuing endeavours by the Secretary-General to set into motion a mechanism of consultations within the Security Council with a view to advancing the peace process, including the prospects for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(p) The Seminar appreciated the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, and of its recommendations, made in its report in 1976, and repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly since then, for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the increased support at the United Nations for the programme of action undertaken by the Committee. It urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular, its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(q) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, towards the attainment and exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

(r) The Seminar viewed with appreciation the support Governments and peoples of Asia have extended at the United Nations and in other organizations to the Palestinian cause and for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Seminar participants agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in Asia through the NGO activities and the use of the media. Participants expressed the view that the co-operation of Asian organizations, trade unions, solidarity groups etc., among themselves as well as between them and their counterparts in other regions, should be expanded. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine and the measures required for the achievement of a just settlement to the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has an important role in the dissemination of such information. For its part, the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination.

(s) The participants expressed their warm appreciation to the Government and the people of Malaysia for providing a venue for the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, and for the facilities, courtesies and hospitality extended to them.

ANNEX III


Declaration adopted by the Third United Nations Asian Regional
NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine


(Kuala Lumpur, 18 to 21 December 1989)



1. The Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel, Malaysia, from 18 to 21 December 1989. The Symposium was held in part together with the Twenty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, which took place from 18 to 22 December 1989 (see annex II).

2. In addition to the panels held jointly with the Seminar, two workshops specifically related to NGO activities were established to consider the following topics:

(a) "Mobilizing the NGO network in Asia";

(b) "The role of NGO assistance in meeting the needs of the Palestinian people: Medical, economic, and educational support".

3. The Symposium participants adopted a declaration and action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops and elected an Asian Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The report of the Symposium has been issued as a publication of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights together with that of the Seminar.

4. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted the following declaration:


Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gathered at the United Nations Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, totally uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and fully support its continuing struggle for independence, as expressed in the intifadah and by all other internationally legitimate means. We recognize and uphold the historic proclamation of the State of Palestine made on 15 November 1988. We recognize the proclamation not only as the expression of the continuous struggle of the heroic Palestinian people culminating in the intifadah, but also as an expression of the fundamental principle of the self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We call on all Governments of Asia and the Pacific region who have not already done so, to recognize the State of Palestine, in unequivocal terms and without delay.

We particularly note and welcome the declaration by President Arafat at the General Assembly meeting held at Geneva on 14 December 1988 in which he recognized the right of all States in the Middle East region to exist in peace and security, including the States of Palestine and Israel. We uphold the Palestinians' inalienable right of return to their homeland and their right to freedom and sovereignty, in the spirit of justice and of reconciliation, details to be negotiated between the Israeli Government and the PLO on the basis of all relevant United Nations resolutions.

We vigorously renew the call for the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and as reaffirmed in resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, with participants to include the five permanent members of the Security Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel, the Arab States party to the conflict and other concerned States on an equal basis and with equal rights. The emphasis must be on reaching a peaceful, just and comprehensive political settlement between Israel and independent Palestine as defined by the Palestine National Council in the Algiers Declaration of Independence and in all relevant United Nations resolutions, for the mutual advantage of all the peoples of the region and of the world. The need for the international conference is further reinformed by the recognition of the State of Palestine by an overwhelming number of nations.

Reaffirming the international consensus that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, we note the great strengthening of the consensus by the unwavering support for the PLO by the people of the intifadah and by the unified national leadership of the intifadah. We therefore urge all Governments fully to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine, and to press for its participation on an equal footing with other parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict at the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as the representative of the Palestinian people.

We, Asian NGOs, call for the immediate end to the military occupation of Palestine. We note with utmost concern and indignation that the Israeli repression, including killing, wounding, especially of women and children, mass arrests and detentions, demolition of homes, expulsions, starvation, uprooting of trees, confiscation of land, closures of educational institutions, and other violations of human rights continue. The fact that they have less media coverage arises not from any lessening of repression but because the media are prevented from reporting and can be penalized for doing so by the Israeli authorities. We nevertheless demand that media from all countries make every effort to cover and report events in occupied Palestine.

We call for effective international political and economic pressure on Israel to make it comply with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and to accept Security Council resolutions. We appeal to the Security Council to establish an immediate United Nations presence in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, to bring an immediate end to the escalating violations of human rights, to protect the Palestinian people and to bring the perpetrators of these practices to justice. We strongly recommend an expansion of UNRWA's Refugee Affairs Officer Programme as a practical expression of international concern for the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation.

We express grave concern at the situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon, call for help for them and for the strengthening of the United Nations peace-keeping activities in Lebanon and demand that Israel withdraw all its military forces unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon in accordance with Security Council resolution 509 (1982) of 6 June 1982. We wish to alert the world to the illegal diversion to Israel via subterranean channels of the waters from the Lebanese Litani and Hasbani Rivers. The result will be the desertification of the rich farmland of south Lebanon, the evacuation of the population and, we fear, the formal incorporation of south Lebanon into "Greater Israel". We express our appreciation for the peace efforts of the Arab League in resolving the crisis in Lebanon and particularly in assisting the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

We strongly uphold the forces of peace in Israel which support the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and an independent Palestinian State. We strongly condemn the penalizing of Israeli peace activities. We express support for those growing numbers of Israeli citizens who refuse military service in occupied Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, and we call upon the Israeli Government to recognize the right of Israelis to conscientious objection. We urge the Israeli Parliament to repeal the so-called "anti-terrorism" law of August 1986 which prohibits contact between Israeli citizens and representatives of the PLO.

We strongly condemn the proposed new Amendment No. 3 to the above law, which threatens charitable institutions, and urge the Israeli parliament not to pass it as it would provide arbitrary and dictatorial powers of confiscation of the assets of charitable and educational NGOs and close to them all avenues to aid from international sources. We call for an urgent international campaign against that amendment by Governments, NGOs and all peace-loving peoples.

We strongly condemn the Israeli practice of closing schools and kindergartens in occupied Palestine since the beginning of the intifadah and the continuous closures of Palestinian universities. We urgently call for international pressure to bear on the Israeli Government to immediately reopen all schools and universities and to stop this deplorable form of collective punishment. We urge the United Nations to implement its own resolutions, including sanctions that will ask the Governments of those Member States to reconsider their official, social, cultural and educational exchange programmes with Israel as well as grants or other educational facilities it gives to Israel, as long as Israel fails to respect the basic right of the Palestinian community to provide education for its children.

We call upon all NGOs to establish contact with and extend support to fellow NGOs in occupied Palestine, especially related to human rights, women, health, labour, children and education.

We call upon all Asian NGOs to monitor the relationships among Asian governmental and private institutions and Israeli governmental and private institutions, particularly in the areas of trade, labour, armaments and intelligence-gathering. We urge NGOs to publicize these linkages and to take collective action against them, including organizing boycotts of Israeli products regardless of exporting or mediating country.

We declare that the policies and practices of zionism and Israel are forms of racism. We appeal to the United Nations to consider impositions of mandatory sanctions against these racist policies and practices.


We call upon all Asian NGOs to appeal to their respective Governments to bring greater pressure upon the United States to end its unconditional support for Israel. We express our satisfaction with the PLO/United States dialogue in Tunis although the pace of this dialogue is very slow. We call upon the United States to advance the level of this dialogue to lead to early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Further, we appeal to Asian NGOs to seize any opportunity to express their opposition to the United States Government's unqualified support (financial and otherwise) for Israeli policies which violate Palestinian human rights. Specifically we call on NGOs to organize popular campaigns, vigils or sit-ins directed at United States embassies and its other governmental institutions. Such campaigns could also be directed at other Governments which lend support for Israeli policies against Palestinians.

We support the Security Council resolution which condemns illegal settlement in occupied Palestine, and we oppose any action by States or individuals which lend support to illegal settlement in occupied Palestine. We call upon all Governments that permit Jewish emigration to provide sufficient guarantees to ensure that those emigrants do not settle in the territory of occupied Palestine.

We request all Asian Governments to support the important role of NGOs in Asia in mobilizing public opinion and to extend financial and other assistance to these organizations so that they can more effectively support the struggle of the Palestinian people.

We consider the formation of the Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs to be a significant step in the mobilization of public opinion throughout Asia in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. We ask the United Nations to extend every support possible to ensure the firm foundation and functioning of the Co-ordinating Committee. The Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee looks forward to close co-operation with the International Co-ordinating Committee and the other regional Co-ordinating Committees to maximize the effectiveness of the NGO network in support of the rights of the Palestinian people.

We thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we greatly appreciate the presence of the Members and Observers of the Committee. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all of the United Nations Secretariat, including the interpreters who assisted in this meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here and to the presence and contribution of members of the International Co-ordinating Committee. All those mentioned here contributed greatly to the success of our meeting.

We sincerely thank the people and Government of Malaysia for welcoming us to Kuala Lumpur, for their warm hospitality and for the excellent facilities they placed at our disposal.

ANNEX IV


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-fourth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine


(Buenos Aires, 5 to 9 February 1990)


1. The Twenty-fourth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fourth Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar), on the topic "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held jointly with the First United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine at Buenos Aires from 5 to 9 February 1990, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinan People was represented by a delegation comprising Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba), head of the delegation and Seminar Chairman; Mr. Alexander Borg-Olivier (Malta), who served as Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Seminar; Mr. Dragoslav Pejic (Yugoslavia), Vice-Chairman of the Seminar; and, Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Permanent Observer of Palestine).

3. A total of 9 meetings were held and 14 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 34 Governments, Palestine,
2 United Nations organs, 3 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies,
2 intergovernmental organizations and 27 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The joint event was opened by Mr. Oramas-Oliva and a welcoming address was made by H.E. Dr. Alfredo Carim Yoma, Secretary of State of Special Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina.

5. A message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations was read out by his representative the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights. Mr. Oramas-Oliva also addressed the meeting, as did Mr. Ahmad Sobeh, representative of Palestine in Brazil, who read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

6. Further statements were made by Mr. Oramas-Oliva on behalf of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Mr. Virendra Gupta on behalf of the Special Committee against Apartheid, Mr. Sufian Barazi on behalf of the League of Arab States, and Mr. Pejic on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

7. The Seminar and Symposium participants adopted a message to Mr. Arafat as well as a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Argentina. They also adopted a message to the Foreign Minister of Israel deploring that two Palestinians from the occupied territory had not been issued travel permits by the Israeli authorities and were thus unable to attend the meeting.

8. The three panels that were established and the panelists were as follows:


Panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict": Archbishop Halarion Capucci (Palestinian), Mr. Pedro Catella (Argentina), Mr. Amos Kenan (Israel), Mr. Luciano Ozorio Rosa (Brazil), Mr. Isam Kamel (Palestinian), Mrs. Francisca Sauquillo (Spain), Mr. Ricardo Valero (Mexico), H.E. Mr. Alberto Velazco-San Jos£ (Cuba);

Panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people": Mr. Wedjan Al-Borno (Palestinian);

Panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the Latin American and Caribbean regions for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people":
Mr. Thomas W. Gittens (Guyana), Mr. Jean-Marie Lambert (Office of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine), Mr. Carlos Pacha (Argentina), Mr. Manual Felipe Sierra (Venezuela) and
Mr. William Waack (Brazil).

9. The report of the Seminar, including summaries of the proceedings, has been issued as a publication of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

10. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

Conclusions and recommendations


(a) The participants in the Seminar expressed their conviction that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, have created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to this complicated and dangerous conflict on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. These developments are mainly due to the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, as dramatically manifested by the continuing Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, in the occupied Palestinian territory. The present international climate, the political will to resolve regional conflicts in a peaceful way through negotiations within the framework of the United Nations, is especially conducive to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. It is imperative that this historic opportunity not be missed and that efforts be redoubled in 1990 to overcome remaining obstacles so that the process of negotiations can be initiated without delay.

(b) The participants in the Seminar, in reviewing development concerning the question of Palestine, welcomed the decisions adopted by the Palestine National Council (PNC) at Algiers in November 1988 and the constructive position outlined by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, in his address to the General Assembly at Geneva on 13 December 1988. These developments, which led to the adoption of resolution 43/176 on 15 December 1988, became important landmarks in the international endeavours aimed at achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. The participants were greatly encouraged by the vote on this balanced and comprehensive resolution, which was supported by an even larger number of States, including Latin American and Caribbean States, and for the first time, almost all Western States, all members of the European Community. This important development once again reflected the overwhelming support of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions
242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.

(c) The participants welcomed the fact that the Government of the United States of America had opened a dialogue with the PLO and emphasized that the scope of such a dialogue should be expanded to include the consideration in a constructive manner of substantive issues so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

(d) The participants in the Seminar welcomed efforts by Israelis and Palestinians to engage in direct dialogue and joint activities as a way of promoting mutual understanding, as well as a process of reconciliation between the two sides and the creation of a climate more conducive to negotiations. They appreciated the recent initiative "1990, Time for Peace" of 29 to 31 December 1989 in Jerusalem, where many persons, including Israelis and Palestinians, demonstrated in support of peaceful negotiations, respect of civil and human rights and in support of the two States/two peoples principle. The participants considered that the United Nations should offer its good offices and organize appropriate activities to bring together Palestinians and Israelis under its auspices.

(e) The participants noted that there existed a wide measure of agreement within the international community that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East should be based on the principles outlined in General Assembly resolutions 43/176 and 44/42, namely, withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region, including Israel and Palestine, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally, a satisfactory solution of the Palestinian problem based on the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in the occupied Palestinian territory.

(f) The participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, causing even greater suffering to the Palestinian people under occupation with far-reaching socio-economic, demographic and emotional consequences. The entire international community, as represented at the United Nations, has repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are in violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, which is fully binding on Israel, a party to the Convention, and also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to the generally recognized norms of international law. A matter of special concern for the participants was the suffering inflicted on Palestinian women and children as a result of the brutal Israeli practices. In the Gaza Strip, particularly, new measures to control the movement of individuals produced inhumane and intolerable conditions.

(g) The process of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian territory, as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements, usurpation of land and water resources, and the brutality of settler vigilantism, was unequivocally rejected and condemned by the participants. They noted with appreciation that the entire international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, which was in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, and stressed that Israel bore full responsibility for these illegal practices. The participants noted the expected increase in the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel and deplored the recent statements by the Government of Israel regarding the settlement of those imnmigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory. Any such action will be illegal and will complicate the attainment of a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants appealed to Governments to ensure that members of the Jewish community emigrating to Israel were not used as a tool to perpetuate Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

(h) The participants were of the view that the Palestinian intifadah was a clear manifestation of the popular, democratic expression of the collective will of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation that has given the struggle of the Palestinian people its hitherto suppressed identity, moral ascendancy and political maturity. The intifadah, now in its third year, embraces three dimensions: the overt and visible and fearless resistance to the Israeli occupation and the indivisibility of the Palestinian people and its sole and legitimate leadership, the PLO; the opportunity for social transformation and nation-building as the embodiment of statehood through the establishment of authentic, alternative popular infrastructure of the Palestinian society; and, finally, the intifadah was instrumental in bringing about a clear-cut political articulation and direction as manifested through the PNC decisions of November 1988. The participants supported the view expressed by the Secretary-General that the message of the intifadah was direct and unequivocal, namely, that the Israeli occupation, which had been in effect for 22 years, was unacceptable and would continue to be rejected, and that the Palestinian people were committed and determined to exercise their legitimate political rights, including self-determination, no matter what the price would be for attainment of their objective.

(i) The Seminar appealed to the international community and, in particular, to the Security Council to take urgent measures to ensure physical protection of the Palestinian people under occupation and to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people in all the territories under Israeli occupation. They urged the Security Council to take into account the gravity of the acts of violence, human rights violations, including the so-called policy of "transfer" or deportation of Palestinians, which has been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly, and other forms of repression by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, and to assume and discharge its responsibilities and ensure protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. The participants stressed de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and demanded that Israel abide by the Convention.

(j) The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to end the Israeli occupation and to set up an alternative infrastructure that could be used as a foundation for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. The Seminar considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the PLO, were a necessary corollary to renewed efforts to achieve a political solution of the question of Palestine.

(k) The participants appealed to the Government of Israel to respond positively to the peace initiative by the PLO, which has been welcomed and praised by the international community. Israel should recognize that it could no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and deny them their inalienable rights, in particular, their right to self-determination. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government were inadequate, since they did not include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would ensure that Palestinians would be enabled to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants called upon Israel to respond positively and with courage to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the question of Palestine which would be of benefit to all parties concerned including the international community as a whole.

(l) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the continuing endeavours by the Secretary-General to advance the peace process, including the prospects for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The participants in the Seminar urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference and to adopt interim measures including the deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final comprehensive settlement.

(m) The Seminar strongly endorsed the persistent efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, and urged the international community to sustain and strengthen their support for the Committee's activities and, in particular, its efforts aimed at facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(n) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, which would, inter alia, ensure the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

(o) The participants in the Seminar were of the view that the United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine and on the measures required for the achievement of a just settlement to the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights have an important role to play in the collection and dissemination of such information. For its part, the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine receives the widest possible dissemination.

(p) The Seminar noted with appreciation the steps taken by the countries members of the European Community in promoting the convening of the International Peace Conference and in providing increased assistance to the Palestinian people.

(q) The Seminar noted with appreciation the sustained and continuing support by the Governments and peoples of the Latin American and Caribbean region for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights and for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The position of these States was one of solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for an independent State of Palestine and for the exercise of its inalienable rights. In this context the Seminar stressed the importance of the establishment by Governments of Latin American and Caribbean States of diplomatic representation with the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people or upgrading of existing arrangements, as the case may be, as a manifestation of solidarity of the countries of the region with the people of Palestine. At the same time, the participants stressed that it was of utmost importance that all States in the Latin American and Caribbean region be unanimous in their support for the United Nations resolutions establishing the path for a comprehensive, peaceful solution to the question of Palestine. The participants in the Seminar, in particular, expressed their appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Argentina for its support of the cause of the Palestinian people and for the consistent support it has given to the question of Palestine at the United Nations.

(r) The participants noted that Argentina was home of sizeable communities of Jews and Arabs who had arrived in various waves of immigration. They had prospered in peaceful coexistence, practicing their religion, their traditions and their own customs, thus providing an excellent model for the people of Israel and Palestine to live together in peace and prosperity. The participants expressed their warm appreciation to the Government and the people of the Republic of Argentina for providing a venue for the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine and for the facilities and warm hospitality extended to them. This meeting constituted an important contribution to the peace process related to the Middle East conflict and to the question of Palestine in particular.
ANNEX V


Declaration adopted by the First United Nations Latin American and
Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine


(Buenos Aires, 5 to 8 February 1990)



1. The First United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held at Buenos Aires from 5 to 8 February 1990 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989. The Symposium was held in part together with the Twenty-fourth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, which took place from 5 to 9 February 1990.

2. In addition to the panels held jointly with the Seminar, two workshops specifically related to NGO activities were established to consider the following topics:

(a) "Mobilization and networking by non-governmental organizations to ensure the protection of, and promote assistance to, the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation";

(b) "Non-governmental organizations activities to further mobilize public opinion for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

3. The symposium participants adopted a declaration and action-oriented proposal emanating from the workshops and elected an Interim Latin American and Caribbean Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. Together with that of the Seminar, the report of the Symposium has been issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

4. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted the following declaration:

Declaration


We, the Latin American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) meeting in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 5 to 9 February 1990, in the first United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian People", declare our support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for independence and national liberation, in exercise of its rights to self-determination, as expressed in the heroic popular uprising, the intifadah, and through the diplomatic efforts deployed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its sole and legitimate representative.

We welcome the declaration of independence of the State of Palestine adopted by the Palestine National Council at its historic meeting at Algiers on 15 November 1988. We urge all Governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to recognize the independent Palestinian State forthrightly and without delay. As a prior step, we call for the opening of diplomatic missions of Palestine.

We point out that despite the considerable progress achieved at the international level in terms of peace, dialogue and co-operation, the question of Palestine continues to be one of the key conflicts threatening world peace and is still awaiting a peaceful, just and lasting solution, despite the positive Palestinian peace proposals.

We reaffirm our commitment to continue working within the framework of the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations, in particular General Assembly resolutions 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and 44/42 of 6 December 1989, which were adopted by an overwhelming majority of 151 Member States.

We stress the importance of the role the United Nations can play in any peace process, recalling its contribution that culminated in the full independence of the Namibian people, which can serve as source of inspiration for the Middle East.
ANNEX VI


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-fifth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine


(Freetown, 2 to 6 April 1990)



1. The Twenty-fifth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth African Regional Seminar), on the topic "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held jointly with the Third United Nations African Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine at the International Conference Centre, Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 2 to 6 April 1990, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising: Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), head of the delegation and Seminar Chairman; Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic); Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone) who served as Rapporteur;
Mr. Chinmaya Gharekhan (India); and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Permanent Observer of Palestine).

3. Seven meetings were held and 16 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 14 Governments, Palestine, United Nations organs, United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The joint event was opened by Mrs. Diallo and a welcoming address was made by The Hon. Alhaji Dr. Abdul Karim Koroma, Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone. A message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations was read out by his representative, the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights. Mrs. Diallo also addressed the meeting as did Dr. Morad Ghaled, President of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization, on behalf of the African non-governmental organizations. Mr. S. H. Gerjawi, Ambassador of Palestine in Sierra Leone, read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

5. Further statements were made by the following: Mr. Kargbo on behalf of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; Mr. Oudovenko, Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid; Mr. Nabil Marouf, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; and Mr. Nguug Etish Mowotsh of the Organization of African Unity.

6. The participants in the Seminar and Symposium adopted a message to Mr. Arafat as well as a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Sierra Leone. They also adopted a message to the Foreign Minister of Israel deeply regretting that a travel permit had not been issued by the Israeli authorities to a Palestinian from the occupied territory who had been invited as a panelist.

7. The three panels that were established and their panelists were as follows:

Panel I: (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; (b) "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict": Mr. Vital Balla (Congo), Mr. Benjamin Beit-Hallami (Israel), Mr. Yehia El-Gamal (Egypt),
H.E. Mr. Latyr Kamara (Senegal), Mr. Moibo Noumoudion Kouyate (Mali), Senator Michael Lanigan (Ireland), Mr. Andrew Seleke (ANC), Mr. A. S. Zasypkin (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Mr. Salah Zuheikeh (Palestinian);

Panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people": Mr. Jinnies Issa Atrash (Palestinian);

Panel III: "The mobilization of public opinion in the African region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people": Mr. Farouk Abu Eissa (Sudan), Dr. Bukar Bukarambe (Nigeria), Mr. Gipu Felix-George (Sierra Leone), Mr. Ahmed Gora Ebrahim (PAC), Mr. Mikko Lohikoski (Finland) and Mr. Lamine Jawara (Gambia).

8. The report of the Seminar, including summaries of the proceedings, has been issued as a publication of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

9. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

Conclusions and recommendations


(a) The participants in the Seminar expressed their conviction that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, have created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to this complicated and dangerous conflict on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. The courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, has been dramatically manifested in the continuing and intensified Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, in the occupied Palestinian territory as well as in the Palestinian peace initiative proclaimed in November 1988. The present international climate, which is characterized by the political will to resolve regional conflicts in a peaceful way through negotiations within the framework of the United Nations, is especially conducive to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. It is imperative that this historic opportunity not be missed and that efforts be redoubled in 1990 to overcome remaining obstacles so that the process of negotiations within the context of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East can be initiated without further delay.

(b) The participants in the Seminar noted with appreciation the sustained and continuing support by the Governments and peoples of the African region for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights and for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The position of these States, as manifested in the declarations and resolutions of the Organization of African Unity, was one of solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for an independent State of Palestine and for the exercise of its inalienable rights. In this context, the participants stressed the importance of intensified Afro-Arab relations both bilaterally and within the framework of the OAU and the League of Arab States. They asked, in particular, the Palestine Liberation Organization to intensify and enhance the level of its relations with the African States. The Seminar welcomed the recognition of the State of Palestine proclaimed by the Palestine National Council (PNC) in November 1988, by many African Governments as a manifestation of solidarity of the countries of the region with the people of Palestine. At the same time, it expressed concern about resuming diplomatic ties with Israel by some African States.

(c) The participants in the Seminar, in reviewing developments concerning the question of Palestine, welcomed the decisions adopted by the PNC at Algiers in November 1988 as reflected in its Political Communiqu£ and the constructive position taken by
Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in his address to the General Assembly at Geneva on 13 December 1988, which presented the Palestinian peace initiative. These developments had led to the adoption of Assembly resolution 43/176 on 15 December 1988 and have become important landmarks in the international endeavours aimed at achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine. The Seminar also noted with great satisfaction the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. The participants were greatly encouraged by the vote on this balanced and comprehensive resolution (151 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention), which was supported by an even larger number of States including all member States of the OAU, and for the first time, by all States members of the European Economic Community. This important development once again reflected the overwhelming support of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council. In order to realize, inter alia, the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination, the Conference should be convened on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and other relevant resolutions. The participants noted with regret that the negative position of a permanent member of the Security Council and another State, party to the conflict, had obstructed the implementation of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989.

(d) The participants noted that there existed a wide measure of agreement within the international community that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East should be based on the principles outlined in General Assembly resolutions 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and 44/42 of 6 December 1989, and it should include the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region, including Israel and Palestine, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally, a satisfactory solution of the Palestine problem based on the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in the occupied Palestinian territory.

(e) The Seminar received reports regarding political developments in Israel resulting from the intifadah. The Palestinian uprising has had far-reaching effects on every aspect of Israeli politics. Specifically, it has led to a major government crisis and has helped the progressive forces fighting for a just peace to engage in dialogue and joint activities with the Palestinians as a way to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation and to break down prejudices and stereotypes. The participants warmly appreciated the demonstration in Jerusalem "1990, Time for Peace", held from 29 to
31 December 1989, where many persons including Israelis and Palestinians supported peaceful negotiations, respect for civil and human rights and the "two peoples, two States" principle. They considered that the United Nations should offer its good offices and organize appropriate activities to bring together Palestinians and Israelis under its auspices.

(f) The participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, causing even greater suffering to the Palestinian people under occupation with far-reaching emotional, socio-economic and demographic consequences. The entire international community, as represented at the United Nations, has repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are in violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, to which Israel is a High Contracting Party, and also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to generally recognized norms of international law. The participants appealed to the Contracting Parties to the Convention to take appropriate measures to respect and to ensure respect for the provisions of the Convention. A matter of special concern for the participants was the suffering inflicted on Palestinian women and children as a result of the brutal Israeli practices. The increased restrictions of the movement of individuals, health and social welfare organizations as well as the constant daily obstacles and harassments have produced inhuman and intolerable conditions.

(g) The process of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian territory as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements, usurpation of land and water resources, and the brutality of settler vigilantism was unequivocally rejected and condemned by the participants. They noted with appreciation that the entire international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, which was in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention and stressed that Israel bore full responsibility for these illegal practices. The participants noted the systematic increase in the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel and deplored the recent statements by the Government of Israel regarding the settlement of those immigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory at a time when Israel denied the Palestinians the right to return to their homes. Any such action will be illegal and will complicate the attainment of a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants appealed to Governments to ensure that members of the Jewish community emigrating to Israel were not used as tools to perpetuate and strengthen the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, in conformity with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which says in article 12, inter alia, that the right of everyone to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence and the right of everyone to leave any country, including his own "shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present covenant". In this connection, participants took note of the recent meeting of the Security Council and its consideration of the "unlawful Israeli moves to settle the occupied territories". They urged the Council to condemn the settlement of immigrants in the occupied territories, declare it illegal and consider them as a new and serious obstacle to peace and to call upon the Israeli Government to review and abandon its obstructionist position.

(h) The participants were of the view that the intifadah was a clear manifestation of the popular and democratic expression of the collective will of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation that has given the struggle of the Palestinian people its hitherto suppressed identity and moral ascendancy. The intifadah, now in its third year, embraces three dimensions: the overt, visible and fearless resistance to the Israeli occupation and, the indivisibility of the Palestinian people and its sole and legitimate leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization; the opportunity for social transformation and nation-building as the embodiment of statehood through the establishment of authentic, alternative popular infrastructure of the Palestinian society; and, finally, the intifadah was instrumental in bringing about a clear-cut political articulation and direction as manifested through the PNC decisions of November 1988. The participants supported the view expressed by the Secretary-General that the message of the intifadah was direct and unequivocal, namely, that the Israeli occupation, which had been in effect for 22 years, was unacceptable and would continue to be rejected, and that the Palestinian people will remain committed to the exercise of its legitimate political rights, including self-determination.

(i) The participants welcomed the fact that the Government of the United States of America had opened a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization and emphasized that the level of the dialogue should be raised and its scope should be expanded to include the consideration in a constructive manner of substantive issues so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

(j) The Seminar participants appealed to the international community and, in particular, to the Security Council to take urgent measures to ensure physical protection of the Palestinian people under occupation, to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people in all the territories under Israeli occupation. They urged the Security Council to take into account the gravity of the acts of violence and human rights violations, including the so-called policy of "transfer" or deportation of Palestinians, which have been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly, and other forms of repression by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory. They requested the Security Council to assume and discharge its responsibilities and to ensure protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. The participants again stressed the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 and demanded that Israel abide by the Convention.

(k) The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to end the Israeli occupation and to set up an alternative infrastructure as a foundation for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. The Seminar considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, were a necessary corollary to renewed efforts to achieve a political solution of the question of Palestine.

(l) The participants urged the Government of Israel to respond positively to the peace initiative of the Palestine Liberation Organization which had been welcomed and praised by the entire international community. Israel should recognize that it could no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and continue to deny them their inalienable rights, in particular, their right to self-determination. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government were inadequate, since they did not include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would enable the Palestinians to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants called upon Israel to respond positively to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the question of Palestine which would be of benefit to all parties concerned including the international community as a whole.

(m) The Seminar participants expressed their appreciation to the Secretary-General for his continuing endeavours to advance the peace process, including the prospects for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The participants in the Seminar urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the Conference and to adopt interim measures including the deployment of a United Nations force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final and comprehensive settlement.

(n) The participants in the Seminar endorsed the persistent efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and, in particular, the Committee's efforts aimed at facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(o) The Seminar participants took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of and in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East which would, inter alia, ensure the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The participants noted with appreciation that a much larger number of NGOs were participating in the regional NGO symposia and international meetings and requested that extra resources should be made available to cope with this work.

(p) The participants in the Seminar requested the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, in full co-operation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine and, in particular, to disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, to continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine, including Israeli violations of the human rights of the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territory, to expand its audio-visual material on the issue, to organize fact-finding missions to the area for journalists and to organize regional and national encounters for journalists.

(q) Participants drew parallels between the struggle of the Palestinian and South African peoples. They expressed concern about the dangers emanating from the policies pursued by the regimes of Israel and South Africa. In this context they condemned the ever-increasing military and nuclear collaboration between the two r£gimes.

(r) The participants welcomed the release of Mr. Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners in South Africa, as well as the unbanning of the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and other organizations. At the same time, they urged the South African regime to implement conditions laid down in the unanimous declaration of the General Assembly special session against apartheid in December 1989 so as to create a climate conducive to negotiations aimed at eradicating apartheid.

(s) Participants congratulated the people of Namibia on their independence and paid a tribute to their supreme sacrifice in achieving that freedom. They noted that the independence of Namibia was the latest proof that the legitimate yearning of a people cannot be denied or ignored forever.

(t) Participants also noted that the process of Namibia's independence under United Nations supervision supported the proposal of the Palestine Liberation Organization to have a similar process in the occupied territories of Palestine. They emphasized that there was a need to involve international supervision to ensure that any peace plan to be implemented in the occupied territories was free and fair.

(u) The participants in the Seminar took note with appreciation of the valuable support the Government of Sierra Leone had extended over the years to the just cause of the Palestinian people as well as of the efforts aimed at a just solution of the question of Palestine in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. They also expressed their profound gratitude to the Government and the people of Sierra Leone for providing a venue for the African Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, and for the facilities and warm hospitality extended to them.

ANNEX VII

Declaration adopted by the Third United Nations African Regional
NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(Freetown, 2 to 5 April 1990)




1. The Third United Nations African Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine on the theme "the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" was held at Freetown from 2 to 5 April 1990. The Symposium was held in part together with the Twenty-fifth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, which took place from 2 to 6 April 1990.

2. In addition to the panels held jointly with the Seminar, two workshops specifically related to non-governmental organizations (NGO) activities were established to consider the following topics:

(a) "Mobilization and networking by NGOs to ensure the protection of, and to promote assistance to, the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation";

(b) "Non-governmental organization activities to further mobilize public opinion for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

3. The NGO participants in the Symposium adopted a declaration and action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshop. They also decided to extend the term of office of the African Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine until the next African Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine and to increase its membership to include one member from Sierra Leone. Together with the report of the Seminar, the report of the Symposium has been issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

4. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted the following declaration:



Declaration




ANNEX VIII


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-sixth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(Stockholm, 7 to 11 May 1990)




1. The Twenty-sixth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fourth European Regional Seminar), on the theme "Peace and justice for the Palestinian people", was held at Stockholm from 7 to 11 May 1990, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Sights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee and head of delegation;
Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Seminar;
Mr. Hadi Thayeb (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman; and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Palestine).

3. A total of 7 meetings were held and 20 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 47 Governments, Palestine, 1 United Nations organ, 1 United Nations specialized agency, 1 intergovernmental organization, and 17 non-governmental organizations, as observers, attended the Seminar.

4. The event was opened by Mrs. Diallo and a welcoming address was made by H.E. Mr. Sten Andersson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

5. A statement on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations was made by his representative, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services. Mrs. Diallo also addressed the meeting, as did Mr. Eugene Makhlouf, who read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

6. The Seminar adopted a message to Mr. Arafat and a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Sweden.

7. The three panels that were established and their panelists were as follows:

(a) Panel I; "The intifadah; its impact and significance for advancing towards a just solution of the principle of two peoples, two States": Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi (Palestinian), Mrs. Marisa Cinciari-Rodano (Italy), Mr. Igor Khvorostiany (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus (Federal Republic of Germany), Mr. Mikko Lohikoski (Finland), Mrs. Nelly Maes (Belgium), Mr. Evert Svensson (Sweden) and Mr. Dedi Zucker (Israel);

(b) Panel II; "Breaking the impasse - the urgent need for a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine; the International Peace Conference and the role of Europe": Mr. Michele Achilli (Italy), Mr. Moshe Amirav (Israel), Marie-Christine Aulas (France), Rabbi Balfour Brickner (United States of America), Mr. Joseph Cassar (Malta), Ms. Viola Furubjeike (Sweden), Mr. Antonio Lacerda de Queiroz (Portugal), Mr. Wan Jingzhang (China), Mr. Martin Weiss (Federal Republic of Germany) and Mr. Andrei Zakharov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics);

(c) Panel III: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the political, economic, social and cultural development of the Palestinian people": Mr. Khalid al-Hassan (Palestinian).

8. The report of the Seminar, including a summary of the proceedings, has been issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

9. The Seminar participants adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:



Conclusions and recommendations



The participants in the Seminar took note with appreciation of the sustained efforts of the European countries to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, in accordance with United Nations resolutions. They stressed the great importance of the valuable contribution that the European countries could make towards the achievement of an equitable settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The participants expressed their conviction that negotiations based on the "two peoples, two States" principle and that adequately addressed the rights and concerns of both parties, Israelis and Palestinians, would result in peace with justice in the region. They noted with satisfaction that the Seminar had made a positive contribution to the peace process by providing a forum for a balanced and constructive discussion of the relevant issues by speakers representing viewpoints of the parties concerned, and by participants from Europe and from other regions at the governmental as well as non-governmental levels.

The participants were encouraged by the fact that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, had created a new momentum for bringing about a just solution to this complex and dangerous conflict on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. The intifadah and the Palestinian peace initiative of November 1988 are a manifestation of the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination. These developments and the present international climate, characterized by a new political will to resolve regional conflicts in a peaceful manner with the assistance of the United Nations, had opened new possibilities for breaking the impasse and progressing towards peace. Important sectors of the Israeli public were opposed to the unbending policies of their Government and had become active in support of the two-State solution. It was therefore imperative that this historic opportunity not be missed and that efforts be redoubled in 1990 to overcome remaining obstacles so that the process of negotiations could be initiated without further delay, particularly through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

The participants highlighted the important developments that had led to the adoption of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988. They considered that these developments had given impetus to international endeavours aimed at achieving a comprehensive and just settlement of the
question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. They noted the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, the most recent Assembly resolution on the question of Palestine, and were greatly encouraged by the overwhelming vote in favour of this balanced and comprehensive resolution, which included, for the first time, all member States of the European Community. This demonstrated the international consensus on the necessity of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions
242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.

The participants called upon those States which had thus far prevented the implementation of resolution 44/42 to reconsider their position and to join the international consensus. They further expressed their support for every effort by the permanent members of the Security Council to bring the positions of the parties to the conflict closer to each other, to create a climate of confidence between them and to facilitate in this way the convening and successful outcome of the International Peace Conference.

The participants expressed their appreciation for the position adopted by European Governments in response to the proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian Arab State to exist side by side with the State of Israel, in conformity with the two-State principle, as envisaged in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. The participants welcomed in particular the readiness demonstrated by the member States of the European Community to participate actively in the search for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and to co-operate fully in the economic and social development of the peoples of the region.

The participants noted that there existed an international consensus on the principles for the achievement of comprehensive peace as affirmed in General Assembly resolutions 43/176 and 44/42, namely: the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories occupied since 1967; guaranteeing arrangements for the security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II), within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967; and guaranteeing freedom of access to holy places, religious buildings and sites. The participants expressed satisfaction that all European countries supported these principles and had voted in favour of resolution 44/42. The consensus thus achieved among the European countries constitutes a significant contribution to the urgently needed peaceful resolution of the question of Palesine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Seminar noted that the intifadah had had far-reaching effects including on every aspect of Israeli politics. Specifically, it had led to a major government crisis and had helped the progressive forces working for a just peace to engage in dialogue and joint activities with the Palestinians as a way to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation and to break down prejudices and stereotypes. The participants endorsed the objectives of the demonstration at Jerusalem "1990, Time for Peace", held from 29 to 31 December 1989, in which Israelis, a large number of Palestinians, Europeans and others had expressed support for peaceful negotiations, respect for civil and human rights and the "two peoples, two States" principle. They agreed that the United Nations should continue to offer its good offices and organize appropriate activities to bring together Palestinians and Israelis under its auspices.

Participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, which had caused increasing loss of life, hardships and suffering with far-reaching emotional, socio-economic and demographic consequences. The international community had repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory were in violation of its obligations as a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to generally recognized norms of international law. The participants appealed to the High Contracting Parties to the Convention, including its European signatories, to take appropriate measures to ensure respect for the provisions of that Convention. The Seminar noted that certain economic measures taken in the past had produced positive results. A matter of special concern for participants was the suffering inflicted on Palestinian women and children as a result of the brutal Israeli practices. The increased restrictions on the movement of individuals and on educational institutions, health and social welfare organizations, as well as the constant daily obstacles and harassments, have produced inhuman and intolerable conditions.

The participants deplored the process of Israeli colonization of the occupied Palestinian territory as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements, usurpation of land and water resources, and settler vigilantism. They were alarmed at the recent establishment of additional settlements and the secret funding by the Israeli Government of a new settlement in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem and condemned these actions as insensitive and provocative. The international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, which was in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, had declared these actions null and void and had demanded that Israel dismantle the settlements and withdraw from the occupied territory. The participants deplored the recent statements by the Government of Israel regarding the increased settlement of Jewish immigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory while Israel continued to deny the Palestinians the right to return to their homes. They reaffirmed the international consensus that such actions were illegal and would further jeopardize the attainment of a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants appealed to Governments to ensure, in conformity with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that members of the Jewish community emigrating to Israel were not used as a tool to perpetuate and strengthen the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. They recalled that article 12 of the Covenant states, inter alia. that the right of everyone to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence and the right of everyone to leave any country, including his own "shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present covenant". In this connection, participants took note of the recent meetings of the Security Council and its consideration of the "unlawful Israeli moves to settle the occupied territories". They urged the Council to condemn the settlement of immigrants in the occupied territories, declare it illegal and consider it a new and serious obstacle to peace and to call upon the Israeli Government to review and abandon its obstructionist position.

The participants welcomed the fact that the Government of the United States of America had opened a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization and emphasized that the level of the dialogue should be raised and its scope should be expanded to include the consideration in a constructive manner of substantive issues so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

The Seminar participants appealed to the international community and, in particular, to the Security Council to assume and discharge its responsibilities and to take urgent measures to ensure the physical protection and to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. They urged the Security Council to take into account the gravity of the acts of violence and human rights violations, including the deportation of Palestinians, which have been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly, and other actions taken by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians in the occupied territory. The participants again stressed the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and demanded that Israel abide by the Convention.

The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to establish an alternative infrastructure as a foundation for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine and their efforts to end the Israeli occupation. The Seminar considered that intensified international action towards genuine social and economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, were a necessary corollary to renewed efforts to achieve a political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. The participants welcomed the steps already taken by the European countries in this regard and urged them to increase further their valuable assistance to the Palestinian people.

The participants urged the Government of Israel to respond constructively to the peace initiative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which had been welcomed and praised by the entire international community. They stressed that Israel should recognize that it could no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and continue to deny them their inalienable rights, in particular their right to self-determination. Israel should also acknowledge the aspirations of its own people to a future of peace and justice. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government on 15 May 1989 were inadequate, since they did not include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures that would enable the Palestinians to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants called upon Israel to respond positively to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine, which would ensure peaceful co-existence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and bring an end to decades of conflict in the region. The Seminar appealed to European countries to pursue their efforts vigorously to convince Israel of the urgent need for a positive and constructive response to peace efforts.

The participants emphasized the urgent need for progress in efforts for peace. They were unanimous in expressing concern that if progress were not made soon, extremist elements on both sides would further inflame the situation with grave consequences for international peace and security.

The Seminar participants expressed their appreciation to the Secretary-General for his continuing endeavours to advance the peace process and to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The participants urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the Conference and to adopt interim measures including the deployment of a United Nations force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final and comprehensive settlement.

The participants in the Seminar endorsed the persistent efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to bring about a solution of the question of Palestine through the attainment of the national rights of the Palestinian people and urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and, in particular, for its efforts to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. They noted with appreciation that the Committee was intensifying its efforts to ensure that the United Nations regional seminars on the question of Palestine provided an opportunity for diverse points of view to be expressed so that a real dialogue could be held among people of goodwill on all sides. In this context, the participants expressed satisfaction that there had been a constructive and frank exchange at the Seminar between the Israeli and Palestinian participants. The Seminar noted, however, that while Palestinians representing the Palestine Liberation Organization had participated in the Seminar, the official viewpoint of Israel had yet to be expressed. The participants expressed the hope that the Government of Israel would be represented at future meetings convened by the United Nations for this purpose and that representatives who could reflect a broad range of political viewpoints were given an opportunity to participate in such meetings. The participants suggested that future seminars and NGO symposia should consider, within the context of the International Peace Conference, some of the most substantive issues that need to be addressed.

The participants appealed to all European Governments to support the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in its efforts and urged the same Governments to give serious consideration to participation in the work of the Committee as members or observers. The participants considered that increased representation by European countries in the work of the Committee would broaden the scope of its deliberations and increase its effectiveness.

The Seminar participants took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of and in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations.

The participants in the Seminar were of the view that the United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine and on measures required for the achievement of a just settlement to the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights had an important role to play in the collection and dissemination of such information. For its part, the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat should continue to make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination and should continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine in full co-operation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America.

The participants in the Seminar took note with appreciation of the valuable humanitarian and other support the Government of Sweden had extended over the years to the just cause of the Palestinian people as well as its efforts towards a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. They also expressed their profound gratitude to the Government and the people of Sweden for providing a venue for the European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine and for the facilities and warm hospitality extended to them.

ANNEX IX


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-seventh
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 25 and 26 June 1990)




1. The Twenty-seventh United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Seventh North American Regional Seminar), on the theme "Peace and justice for the Palestinian people - an imperative for the 1990s", was held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on 25 and 26 June 1990, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989.

2. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, acted as Chairman of the Seminar and H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, Rapporteur of the Committee, served as Rapporteur.

3. Four meetings were held and 12 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 47 Governments, Palestine, 1 non-member State, 2 United Nations organs, 7 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, 3 intergovernmental organizations, 1 national liberation movement and 15 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The Seminar was opened by Mrs. Diallo and was addressed by the representative of the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services. A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was read out by the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations.

5. At the opening meeting, further statements were made by Mr. Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko, Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid. Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States, Mr. Ahmed Engin Ansay, Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Mr. Count Pietersen, Chief Representative of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania.

6. The Seminar participants adopted a message to Mr. Arafat.

7. The two panels that were established and their panelists were as follows:

Panel I; "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the economic, cultural and social development of the Palestinian people, and its political programme to achieve statehood for the Palestinian people": Mr. Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (Palestinian);

Panel II: "The intifadah, the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference for a 'two peoples, two States' solution, and the role of North America": Mr. Mahdi Abdul-Hadi (Palestinian); Mr. Faisal Husseini (Palestinian); H.E. Mr. Latyr Kamara (Senegal); Mr. Amos Kenan (Israel); Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus (Federal Republic of Germany); Mr. Michael Lanigan (Ireland); Mrs. Margaret McCormack (United States of America); Rabbi Marshall Meyer (United States of America); The Most Reverend Michael J. Peers (Canada); Mr. Chaim Shur (Israel); and Mr. Andrei Zakharov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).

8. The report of the Seminar, including a summary of the proceedings, has been issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

9. The Seminar adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:


Conclusions and recommendations

(a) The participants expressed appreciation once again for the opportunity to have a full and candid discussion of aspects of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. They expressed satisfaction that the Seminar had made a positive contribution to the peace process by providing a forum for a balanced and constructive discussion of the issues.

(b) The participants reaffirmed the view that negotiations based on the "two peoples, two States" principle, which adequately addressed the rights and concerns of both the Israelis and Palestinians, would result in peace and justice in the region, as envisaged in General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III). Statements were made indicating that important sectors of the Israeli public have become active in support of the "two States" solution. Appreciation was expressed for the position adopted by a large number of Governments and NGOs in response to the proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian Arab State, to exist side by side with the State of Israel. The participants urged that negotiations should be based on the "land for peace" formula embodied in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which provide a foundation for an eventual settlement, and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including primarily the right to self-determination.

(c) They noted the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989 and were encouraged by the overwhelming vote in favour of this balanced and comprehensive resolution which, for the first time, was supported by all members of the European Community. This resolution reaffirmed the necessity of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO and the five permanent members of the Security Council. Regret was expressed that to date there has been no progress in that regard. The PLO has explicitly accepted these resolutions whereas some recent statements on the part of the newly formed Government of Israel seemed to cast doubt on its adherence to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

(d) Participants expressed deep concern at the continued loss of life in the occupied territories and at the continued violations by Israel of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory. The international community has repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory were in violation of its obligations as a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and contrary to United Nations resolutions and generally recognized norms of international law. The participants appealed to the parties to the Convention to ensure respect for its provisions. They deplored recent statements by the Israeli Government implying the prospect of increased settlement of immigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory, while Israel continues to deny Palestinians the right to their homes. The participants supported the right of freedom of movement and the right of everyone to leave any country and the right to return to one's own country. However, those rights could not be used as a pretext to settle immigrants or Israeli civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. They urged the Security Council to prevent such illegal settlements.

(e) Participants viewed with grave concern the tragic incidents that have taken place recently in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory. They deplored the attack in Israel on the Palestinian workers from Gaza leading to several deaths and 10 wounded, which sparked demonstrations throughout the occupied territories that resulted in 7 additional Palestinian deaths by Israeli army gunfire and in the wounding of hundreds of others. Further, the participants expressed their concern over the recent incursion of the Israeli Defence Forces into the UNRWA Health Centre in Gaza town in which many civilians and, in particular, infants and young children, were injured. At the same time, participants expressed deep concern at the aborted raid on Tel Aviv beaches by Palestinian guerrillas and noted that the Palestine Liberation Organization dissociated itself from that attack.

(f) The participants supported the intifadah and the Palestinian peace initiative of November 1988 as efforts by the Palestinian people in its struggle to attain and exercise its inalienable rights. The participants considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government on 14 May 1989 were inadequate, since they did not include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people nor other measures that would enable the Palestinians to fully exercise their right to self-determination. It was noted that the intifadah had far-reaching implications, which included effects on aspects of Israeli politics. Specifically, it had led to a major government crisis and helped the forces working for a just peace to engage in dialogue and joint activities with the Palestinians as a way to promote mutual understanding. They agreed that the United Nations should continue to offer its good offices and organize activities to bring together Palestinians and Israelis under its auspices. Participants appealed to all Governments with influence, including the United States, Western European countries and Israel, and the Palestinians to pursue more vigorous efforts towards a fair and just solution to the Middle East dispute.

(g) Participants appealed to the Security Council to assume and discharge its responsibilities and to take urgent measures to ensure the physical protection and to guarantee the safety and security of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, including prevention of deportation of Palestinians, which had been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly. They urged the Security Council, particularly its permanent members, to undertake every effort to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to adopt interim measures, including the deployment of a United Nations force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.

(h) The participants noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General had taken the initiative to send a Personal Representative to Israel and the occupied territories to look into the situation and report back to him. The participants expressed appreciation for the Secretary-General's continuing endeavours to advance the peace process and to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference.

(i) The participants called upon the Committee to ensure that United Nations regional seminars on the question of Palestine provided an opportunity for diverse points of views to be expressed so that a meaningful dialogue could be held among people of goodwill on all sides. Satisfaction was expressed with the constructive and frank exchange that had taken place at that seminar between the Israeli and Palestinian participants, as well as nationals of other countries, including those of Jewish faith. It was noted, however, that while Palestinians representing the PLO had participated, the Government of Israel had yet to agree to be represented in such forums. The hope was expressed that the Government of Israel would be represented at future meetings. Participants suggested that future seminars and NGO symposia related to the question of Palestine should consider some of the substantive issues that needed to be addressed.

(j) Participants called upon all countries and particularly the United States and other Western countries to support the Committee's activities and its objective of expanding dialogue among opinion shapers and responsible political leaders. Those Governments as well as other Members of the United Nations were urged to participate in the work of the Committee as members or observers. The participants expressed the view that the Committee could make a significant contribution through the convening of seminars and symposia to widen the exchange of views ultimately leading to areas of common approval. It was noted with concern that the United States Government had, for the present, suspended its dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Participants considered that that action constituted a serious setback for the peace process. The participants expressed the hope that the dialogue would be re-established as soon as possible and its scope expanded to include the consideration in a constructive manner of substantive issues so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. Adversaries must speak together if peace was to be achieved.

ANNEX X

Declaration adopted by the Seventh United Nations North American
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 27 to 29 June 1990)




1. The Seventh United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27 to 29 June 1990.

2. The Symposium was attended by representatives of 110 North American non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 43 of them as observers. NGOs from other regions were also present, as were a number of governmental and intergovernmental observers.

3. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo opened the meeting on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The opening session was also addressed by the Permanent Observer of Palestine, who read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and by Ms. Jeanne Butterfield, Chairman of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACCP), who served as Moderator of the Symposium.

4. The programme for the Symposium was drawn up by the Committee in consultation with the NACCP. The panels and panelists were as follows:

Panel I; "Breaking the impasse: moving towards Israeli-Palestinian peace and convening the International Peace Conference": Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo;
Ms. Mahdi Abdul-Hadi (Palestinian); Mrs. Maha Mustaklem Nassar (Palestinian);
Mr. Edward Said (Palestinian); Mr. Shmuel Amir (Israel); Mr. Jack O'Dell (United States of America); and Mr. Joel Beinin (United States of America).

Panel II; "Intifadah update": Mrs. Chaya Amir (Israel); Mr. Hillel Bardin (Israel); and Mrs. Zahira Kamal (Palestinian).

5. Twelve workshops were also organized under the general theme "Milestones and future tasks for organizing NGO constituencies".

6. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted a declaration, together with action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops and elected a new North American Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.

7. The report of the Symposium, including a summary of the proceedings, will be issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

8. The declaration adopted by the participating NGOs reads as follows:


Declaration

We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the Seventh United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, wish to thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for making this meeting possible. We are indeed honoured by the reception and the presence of the members and observers of this distinguished United Nations body.

We wish also to thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights and are especially grateful for his enthusiastic support throughout our deliberations. We wish to thank also the liaison officers, the staff of the Division and of the Department of Conference Services for their invaluable assistance in the preparation and execution of this meeting.

We honour the victims of Israel's brutal and senseless repression of the heroic Palestinian uprising, with specific homage to the children of the stones and the sufferings and agonies they have endured. We commit ourselves to provide moral, political and material support to all the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and freedom.

We are heartened by the substantive contributions of the expert panelists, workshop organizers, resource persons and facilitators, as well as the insightful input of the record number of NGOs that participated in and observed this Symposium.

We resolutely reaffirm the overwhelming international majority decision that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in conformity with all relevant United Nations resolutions, including the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to establish an independent Palestinian State on its own national territory under the leadership of the PLO and the right of return. We absolutely reaffirm the position of an overwhelming international majority as expressed through General Assembly resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988 acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council and the decision that the designation "Palestine" should be used in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and practice.

We condemn the persistent attempts by the United States Government to prevent Palestine's full participation in United Nations agencies and affiliated bodies.

We welcome the Palestinian peace initiative as a practical means towards the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region. We call upon the Governments of the United States and Israel to respond positively to this initiative by supporting the immediate convening of the International Peace Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and 44/42 of 6 December 1989, which demonstrated for the first time the support of all members of the European Community. The PLO has explicitly accepted these resolutions, whereas some recent statements on the part of the newly formed Government of Israel cast doubt on its adherence to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

We deplore the decision of the United States Government to suspend dialogue with the PLO. We consider such suspension to encourage Israel's occupation and confiscation of and expanded settlement on Palestinian land.

We undertake to intensify our efforts to complement international efforts to alleviate the suffering of those who have been the targets of Israeli violence, especially the children, many thousands of whom have been maimed, permanently disabled and emotionally traumatized. We call upon the United Nations system, agencies, organizations and programmes, especially the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme, to intensify their efforts to address the educational, medical, housing and general economic and social needs of the Palestinian people in co-operation with Palestinian communities, popular committees and grass-roots organizations. We call upon States Members of the United Nations to increase their contributions and support for such efforts. We once again call for an expansion of the refugee affairs programme, and call for the Refugee Affairs Officer Programme of UNRWA to be encouraged to take a pro-active role, and not merely a passive observer role.

We welcome greater co-ordination among United Nations agencies on the Palestine question and particularly encourage their co-ordination with NGOs whose work complements United Nations programmes. We are gratified by the first United Nations-sponsored meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean NGOs at Buenos Aires, this year, and by their formation of a co-ordinating committee on the question of Palestine. We look forward to interacting with NGOs in that region and support the successful convening of the next meeting in 1991.

We recognize and express our continued concern for the role that de facto and de jure racism plays in Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people, both those in the occupied territory and those citizens of Israel who - without the benefit of "Jewish nationality" - are denied most basic rights under Israeli law. Actions by the State of Israel directed against Palestinians, supported by United States aid in violation of United States law, demonstrate how racism forms an element of Israel's state ideology, which denies the Palestinian people their inalienable rights. This is of continued concern as the demolition of Palestinian homes and villages, as well as the confiscation of Palestinian land and water, are accelerating, both within Israel and in the occupied territory under cover of the intifadah.

We deplore the United States veto of the Security Council proposal for a United Nations force to be dispatched to the occupied territory that would protect the Palestinian civilian population. We encourage the General Assembly to invoke the "Uniting for Peace" resolution, which would legally empower it to act in such a critical situation in accordance with the inherent right of collective and self-defence in customary international law. We further call upon all States parties to the fourth Geneva Convention to fulfil their obligations under common article 1 of that Convention to "ensure respect" for the Convention by monitoring, recording of and intervening in Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied territory.

We are convinced that Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel presents a further assault on all segments of the Palestinian community in every part of historic Palestine. More Palestinian lands are slated for confiscation, existing Jewish settlements are being expanded and the planning and building of new settlements continue unabated on Palestinian land with Israeli Government subsidies, in spite of official statements to the contrary. This is true whether it is within the "green line", where the last phases of "Judaization" are in progress, or in the territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. We, therefore, call for an immediate ban on all Israeli confiscation of and settlement on Palestinian land. We further call for a ban on United States Government funding of Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel until Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem has ended. We further call upon the United States and Canadian Governments to open their doors to Soviet Jewish immigration.

We applaud this year's NGO concern at United States aid to Israel and we consider such a focus as essential to breaking the present impasse created by the United States and Israeli intransigence and obstructionism to the peace initiative of the Palestine National Council at its nineteenth session. We believe that the continuation of United States aid to Israel under current circumstances is morally, politically and legally wrong. We insist that the United States Government enforce its own laws regulating military and economic assistance, particularly considering Israel's violations of United States human rights provisions and arms export restrictions, and further insist that the United States apply to Israel the principles embodied in the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. We call upon the Canadian Government to impose economic and other sanctions against Israel in view of the persistent, systematic and massive violence in contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We denounce Israeli laws that prohibit contacts between Israeli citizens and the PLO. Such laws explicitly obstruct dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian individuals, given that virtually all Palestinians stand by the PLO.

We join the anti-apartheid community in its deep concern over the continued military collaboration between Israel and South Africa. We take note also of General Assembly resolution 44/113 of 15 December 1989, which calls for an investigation of Israeli-South African collaboration in the development of medium-range nuclear missiles, and we look forward to the upcoming report of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

We applaud Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress for their position that black South Africans and Palestinians both suffer under a "unique form of colonialism". We further commend Mr. Mandela for his principled refusal on numerous occasions during his visit to the United States to distance himself from and sever solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and the PLO. We take inspiration from the anti-apartheid movement in North America in its successful sanctions campaign against South African apartheid. We endeavour to take similar action vis-a-vis Israel. We believe our efforts and those of the anti-apartheid movement are complementary, reciprocal and together advance the cause of world justice and peace.

The aim of this meeting is to develop practical organizing strategies and support projects for concerted action by North American NGOs. Our primary work was conducted in workshops and we receive their recommendations and commend them to all NGOs for their careful consideration and implementation.

ANNEX XI

Declaration adopted by the Fourth United Nations European
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(Geneva, 27 and 28 August 1990)




1. The Fourth United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 27 and 28 August 1990. The Symposium was convened in response to General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Committee Chairman; Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Committee Rapporteur; Mr. Samuel R. Insanally (Guyana); Mr. Ismail Razali (Malaysia); and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Palestine).

3. A total of 141 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the Symposium, 72 of them as observers. Several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies also participated.

4. The opening meeting was addressed by the Chairman of the Committee, Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), by the Chairman of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), Mr. Mikko Lohikoski (Finland), and also by the Permanent Observer of Palestine. Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi.

5. The programme of the Symposium was drawn up by the Committee in consultation with ECCP. The three panels and the panelists were as follows:

Panel I: "Urgent priorities to stop settlements in the occupied territory and protect the Palestinian people. What can Europe and European NGOs do?":
Mrs. Marie-Christine Aulas (France), Dr. Bashir Al-Khairi (Palestinian),
Dr. Ruchama Marton (Israel), Mrs. Caria Pecis (Italy) and Mr. Maxim Ghilan (France);

Panel II: "1990: Time for peace. Evaluation and follow-up":
Mr. Flavio Lotti (Italy), Mrs. Rana Nashashebeh (Palestinian) and Ms. Tamar Gozansky (Israel);

Panel III; "Two peoples - Two States": Mrs. Maria Gazi (Greece), Dr. Mustafa Barghouti (Palestinian), Mrs. Tamar Gozansky (Israel), Ms. Salwah Hdeib (Palestinian) and Mr. Mabeel Sha'ath (Palestinian).

6. Four workshops also took place on the following topics: (a) refugees; (b) culture; (c) involving Jewish communities in Europe; and (d) trade with the occupied territory (export and import).

7. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops and elected a new nine-member European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The report of the Symposium, including summaries of the proceedings, will be issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

8. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted the following declaration:



Declaration

The participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity once again to discuss various aspects of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. They considered that the Symposium, by providing a forum for an exchange of opinions as well as experiences about concrete actions, had made a positive contribution to the peace process.

The participants reconfirmed their support for the intifadah and the Palestinian peace initiative of November 1988. These were seen by the participants as genuine proofs of the willingness of Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the PLO, to search for a mutually acceptable, just peace. They appealed to the European Governments to support unequivocally these decisions and to establish official relations with the PLO, and to recognize the State of Palestine if they had not yet done so.

The participants deeply regretted that the United States had decided to suspend its dialogue with the PLO and expressed the hope that it would be re-established as soon as possible and its scope expanded to include the consideration of substantive issues in a constructive way so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and tasting solution of the question of Palestine.

The participants reaffirmed their conviction that negotiations based on the two States, Palestine and Israel, principle, which addresses the basic rights and concerns of both the Palestinians and the Israelis would result in peace and justice in the Middle East, based on the principles embodied in General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III). Reports from the "1990: Time for Peace" initiative, held at Jerusalem from 29 to 31 December 1989, and various other peace initiatives indicated that important sectors of the Israeli public had become active in support of the "two States" solution.

Appreciation was expressed for the position adopted by a large number of European and other Governments and NGOs in response to the proclamation of the State of Palestine to exist side by side with the State of Israel. The participants stressed that peace negotiations should be based on the formula embodied in the Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and on the implementation of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily their right to self-determination, and should provide a foundation for a just and lasting peace settlement.

The participants welcomed the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989 by an overwhelming vote in favour of this balanced and comprehensive resolution, which, for the first time, was supported by all European States. In this resolution, the Assembly reaffirmed the necessity of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council. The participants deeply regretted that there had been no progress in that regard. The PLO has explicitly accepted these resolutions. However, the Government of Israel has by its recent statements and practical actions demonstrated that it continues to violate the Security Council resolutions.

The Symposium was organized while an extremely dangerous situation was gaining momentum in the Gulf, threatening to draw the whole region into a catastrophe of immense dimensions.

The participants reaffirmed their respect for international law and United Nations principles. Accordingly they considered that the acquisition of territory by force was illegal. The participants called upon Iraq to comply with the Security Council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Only the strict observance of the Security Council resolutions can prevent the crisis from spilling over into a military confrontation, which would harm the interests of all peoples in the region. Therefore, the participants urged all Governments to refrain from any military actions, which should be undertaken - if necessary - exclusively under the authority of the Security Council, with all armed forces, including those of the United States, being placed under United Nations command.

The participants noted that diplomatic efforts were being undertaken by the Secretary-General and by others including members of the League of Arab States and expressed the hope that these endeavours would contribute towards a peaceful solution of the crisis.

The participants, noting the near unanimity attained by the Security Council in dealing with this crisis and welcoming the higher profile of the United Nations and its Security Council, called upon its permanent members, especially the three European States - France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union - to show the same resoluteness in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core question of Palestine and in securing the implementation of its resolutions concerning this question.

Participants emphasized that the current crisis in the Gulf should not in any way detract from the urgent attention that needs to be given to a solution of the question of Palestine, without which there cannot be lasting peace and stability in the region.

The participants strongly denounced the continued violations by Israel of the human rights of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, which has led to continued loss of life. The European NGOs, as part of the international community, have repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory are in gross violation of its obligations as a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and contrary to United Nations resolutions and generally recognized norms of international law.

The participants requested the European Governments parties to the Convention to fulfil their duty by ensuring that Israel stops the violations of its provisions.

The participants expressed in particular their grave concern at the continued closure of Palestinian universities since 1988 and called for their immediate reopening. They further called upon the Governments of Europe and upon the European Community to restrict educational and cultural contacts with Israel until such time as all Palestinian educational establishments are reopened.

The participants viewed with grave concern the consequences of continued, massive immigration to Israel from Eastern European countries while at the same time the Government of Israel was increasing its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and especially in Jerusalem, contrary to principles of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. More Palestinian lands are slated for confiscation, existing Jewish settlements are being expanded and the planning and building of new settlements continue unabated. At the same time, the Israeli Government refuses to recognize the right of Palestinians to return to their homes.

The participants strongly requested the European Governments to undertake resolute actions collectively and individually to ensure that Israel ceases all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, in conformity with Security Council resolution 465 (1980).

The participants supported the right of freedom of movement and the right of everyone to leave any country and the right of return to one's own country. However, these rights cannot be used as a pretext to settle immigrants or Israeli civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. They urged the European Governments to undertake any necessary efforts to ensure that the Security Council would act to prevent such illegal settlements.

The participants called upon States concerned with Jewish immigration, particularly the Soviet Union, to seek guarantees that such immigration will not lead to settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories, thereby infringing upon the right of the Palestinian people, and will be in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and legal instruments of human rights.

They also requested the European and other Governments to help the plight of Soviet Jews and other emigrants by enabling those who wish to settle in Europe to do so.

Participants expressed concern that the idea of expulsion (transfer) of Palestinians out of their country had gained further political legitimacy in Israel when new extremist parties such as Moledet and Tsomet entered the Israeli Parliament on the basis of transfer programmes.

Since then, more and more voices within the Israeli establishment and public opinion have been openly calling for the further mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland as a means of solving the Palestinian question and making room for the new massive Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel.

In the light of the growing danger of war in the Middle East and the possible participation of Israel in this war, concern was expressed that the Israeli establishment might foster and use the atmosphere of war to carry out this plan of further mass expulsion of the Palestinian people.

The participants called upon the international community and Europe in particular to exercise due diligence in that regard to prevent Israel from carrying out such plans.

The participants expressed their grave concern about the violence against Palestinians that had taken place recently in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory, such as the unprovoked attack on Palestinian workers from Gaza and incursion of Israeli army into the UNRWA Health Centre in Gaza town. These and similar continued actions by the Israeli Government, the occupying Power, and individuals, as well as the lack of effective measures by the international community to put an end to this policy, have seriously eroded the trust of many Palestinians in the capacity or willingness of the international community to help bring about a peaceful settlement. The participants were deeply worried about the prospect that Israeli intransigence and aggression would further deepen frustration among the Palestinians and that a cycle of violence would render more difficult the search for a peaceful settlement.

The participants expressed their resolute support for the Palestinian people struggling against the Israeli occupation and defending the Palestinian society and its social, economic and political institutions against the illegal onslaught of settlers and of the Israeli occupation forces.

The participants expressed their support to the Israeli peace forces, who are working under difficult conditions, especially after the coming into power of an extremist Government. They called upon European NGOs and institutions to support the Israeli peace forces and to give them their full support and co-operation.

Participants appealed to the Security Council to assume and discharge its responsibilities and to take urgent measures to ensure the physical protection and to guarantee the safety and security of the Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation, including prevention of deportation of Palestinians, which has been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and General Assembly. The participants were encouraged that the European Governments, indeed all Governments except that of the United States, supported the proposal for taking practical measures for the protection of the Palestinian people and urged all Governments to transform their stated will into practical action without delay. In this respect, the participants welcomed the decision of the European Community to send a representative to Jerusalem as a step in the right direction.

The participants stressed the urgent need to ensure a permanent presence of European MGOs in the occupied Palestinian territory in order to monitor the human rights situation there and to provide any possible protection to the civilians. They further urged the European Parliament, other European institutions and all European Governments to undertake all necessary measures in that respect.

The participants also urged the Security Council, particularly the permanent members, which include three European Governments, to make every effort to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to adopt interim measures, including the deployment of a United Nations force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the people in other occupied Arab territories.

The participants called upon European NGOs to continue their co-operation and joint activities together with Israeli peace forces and Palestinians in the spirit of the "1990, Time for Peace" initiative, and to participate in the planned follow-up actions during 1990-1991. They also supported initiatives to engage broader participation of peace forces from Arab countries in this co-operation, which should also aim at curbing the continuing dangerous military buildup in the Middle East.

The participants requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to provide every assistance through the newly elected European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine to European NGOs in implementing their resolutions on the question of Palestine. Such support could include sponsoring effective meetings on special issues, etc., and the promotion of a better understanding of the issues of special concern to the Palestinians and Israelis.

The participants also called upon the Committee to ensure that the United Nations regional and international NGO meetings should continue to provide an opportunity for diverse points of views to be expressed so that a meaningful dialogue might continue to be held among people of good will on all sides. The participants called on all European countries to intensify their support for the Committee's activities. European Governments were urged to participate in the work of the Committee as members or observers.

The aim of the Symposium was - in addition to a meaningful dialogue - to develop practical activities for concerted action by European NGOs. That part of the work was therefore conducted in workshops, and the Symposium received their recommendations. The participants commend them to all European NGOs for their careful consideration and implementation.



ANNEX XII

Declaration adopted by the Seventh United Nations International
NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine

(Geneva, 29 to 31 August 1990)




1. The Seventh United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 to 31 August 1990. The Meeting was convened in response to General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1990.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Committee Chairman; Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur; Mr. Samuel R. Insanally (Guyana); Mr. Ismail Razali (Malaysia); and Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi (Palestine).

3. A total of 229 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the Meeting, 64 of them as observers. Several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies also attended the proceedings.

4. At the opening meeting, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva made a statement on behalf of the Secretary-General. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization sent a message, which was read out by Mr. Nabil Ramlawi, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Other opening statements were made by Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo and by Mr. Don Betz, Chairman of the International Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP).

5. The programme for the Meeting was prepared by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with ICCP. The overall theme was "Palestine and Israel: prerequisites for peace". The four panels and panelists were as follows:

Panel I; "Breaking the impasse in the peace process through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East: the influence of Palestinian, Israeli and international NGO co-operation": Mrs. Tamar Gozansky (Israel), Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel), and Mr. Nabeel Sha'ath (Palestinian);

Panel II; "Intifadah update": Dr. Mustafa Barghouti (Palestinian), Mr. Ibrahim Dakkak (Palestinian), Mr. Hashem Mahameed (Israel) and Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi (Palestinian);

Panel III; "The changing role of NGOs": Mr. Jean-Marie Lambert (ICCP), Mr. Ghassan Abdallah (Palestinian), Mr. James Graft (Canada), Mrs. Maha Muskalem-Nassar (Palestinian) and Mr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel);

Panel IV: "Movement of populations: the law and politics": Mr. Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (Palestinian), Mr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel) and Mr. Bashir Al-Kairi (Palestinian).

6. Six workshops were also held on the following topics: (a) women; (b) peace organizations; (c) Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities; (d) health; (e) education; and (f) agriculture. A number of special interest groups were also organized by the participating NGOs.

7. The NGOs participating in the Meeting adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. The report, including summaries of the proceedings, will be issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

8. The declaration adopted by participant NGOs reads as follows:

Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gathered at the Seventh International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, are meeting at a time when the Middle East situation is more serious and more threatening to world peace than for many years. The need for the International Peace Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989 and earlier resolutions, for which we have called repeatedly at previous International Meetings, has never been more urgent. We now call for steps by the Secretary-General to prepare for the International Peace Conference as a matter of urgency. As the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the PLO should participate in the International Peace Conference on an equal basis with all other parties to the conflict, as called for in resolution 44/42. We remind all signatories to the fourth Geneva Convention of their contracted obligation to ensure respect in all circumstances for the Convention and to bring to justice persons committing or ordering to be committed grave breaches of the Convention.

Meeting after almost 1,000 days of the intifadah. we commend the Palestinian people of the intifadah in their heroic struggle to end the occupation and to implement the proclamation of 15 November 1988 of the independent State of Palestine. We call upon all Governments to recognize the State. We call for full international support for the intifadah. We strongly uphold the support of the people of the intifadah for the PLO as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We strongly affirm that the continuing denial of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination is entirely unacceptable and constitutes a major danger to peace.

We are appalled at the continuing, bloody repression of the Palestinian people by the Government of Israel and its endless violations of human rights, both in Israel and in occupied Palestine. As well as condemning the repression in occupied Palestine we condemn the official and escalating discrimination by both legalistic and "iron-fist" methods against the Palestinian citizens in Israel. We are gravely concerned with the increasing and deliberate destruction of Palestinian culture and identity and call for strong international pressure for the reopening of all schools and universities in occupied Palestine. Noting the refusal of the Israeli Government to respond to the demands of the international community, we call for the application of effective international political and economic sanctions against Israel to make it respect the rights of the Palestinian people and comply with its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949. We note that Israel is designated as an occupying Power in Security Council resolutions 607 (1988) and 608 (1988) of 5 and 6 January 1988 and in other resolutions. We call for the urgent establishment by the Security Council of an effective United Nations presence with a legal mandate to protect the population of occupied Palestinian territory.

We condemn as unjust and unacceptable the actions of the Government of the United States of America in vetoing on 31 May 1990 the otherwise unanimously approved Security Council draft resolution for a United Nations fact-finding mission to the occupied territories. We view with concern the unwarranted suspension by the United States of its dialogue with the PLO on 20 June. We call for the immediate resumption of a serious and constructive United States of America/PLO dialogue that would contribute to the convening of the International Conference on Peace in the Middle East. We also condemn the United States record of continuing congressional and executive actions that have helped to make possible Israel's repression of Palestinian human rights.

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, we call upon Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait in accordance with Security Council resolution 660 (1990), as we continue to call upon Israel to withdraw from the territory it occupies.

We note the power the United Nations has exercised to enforce Security Council resolution 660 (1990) and call upon it to exert equal efforts to enforce all other United Nations resolutions concerning the acquisition of territory by force as part of a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement. We call for all Middle East issues to be dealt with on an equal basis and in accordance with international law. We welcome the peace initiative by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and also other initiatives by members of the League of Arab States.

We call for the end of the massive military buildup in the Middle East, with the withdrawal of all foreign forces, and for any military presence to be under United Nations control. We note that for many years, the policies of successive United States Governments have helped and encouraged Israeli occupation and annexation of Arab territory with gross violations of human rights, even though United States law specifically stipulates that countries engaged in gross violations of human rights are not eligible to receive United States foreign aid. In this context, we condemn the double standards of the United States Government.

We condemn the Israeli Government's policy of settling Jews in the occupied Palestinian territory, and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem. We call upon all States concerned with Jewish emigration, particularly the Soviet Union, to seek guarantees that such emigration will not lead to settlement in the occupied territories, will not infringe the rights of Palestinians either in Israel or occupied Palestine, and will not infringe upon the Palestinian right of return. Noting from past experience that the overwhelming majority of Jewish emigrants from the Soviet Union do not wish to go to Israel, let alone to occupied Palestine, we call upon all countries to which they might wish to immigrate to facilitate such immigration.

We call upon the Government of Israel to cancel the so-called "anti-terrorism law", which prohibits Palestinians and Israelis from meeting with official representatives of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, we call upon the Government of Israel and its legislature to stop all proceedings to deprive Mr. Mohammed Miari of his parliamentary immunity and also to stop all legal procedures to prosecute him for his participation in the campaign of the "boat of return".

Recognizing the extreme gravity of the present situation, we recognize and stress the important role of the forces of peace in Israel which support the International Peace Conference and an independent Palestinian State and we strongly uphold them in all their efforts for peace and justice for all peoples.

Much of our work in this Meeting was conducted in workshops. We endorse their conclusions and recommendations. We urge all Governments seriously to consider the options defined by NGOs in this Declaration.

We urge the United Nations to convene an international meeting of NGOs in the late summer of 1991, the venue and format to be decided in consultation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP), and to maintain its programme of regional symposia. We commend the work of ICCP and its secretariat at Geneva and call upon the United Nations to offer every possible assistance to the Committee and its secretariat.

We request the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session as part of the Committee's report. We urge that records of this meeting be disseminated widely by the United Nations to NGOs, Governments and the media.

We thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this Meeting and we greatly appreciate the presence of the Chairman, members and observers of the Committee. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all others of the Secretariat, including the interpreters who assisted in this Meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here, and we regret that some of our invited panelists and resource persons were prevented from attending by Israeli authorities. The success of this Meeting was greatly contributed to by all those herein mentioned.



91-02405 2070-71f (E)



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