Question of Palestine home
13 September 1984
Item 33 of the provisional agenda*
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Report of the Secretary-General
(in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C)
1. As indicated in the report of 13 March 1984 (A/39/130-S/16409), following consultations with the Security Council, on 9 March 1984, the Secretary-General addressed letters to 19 Governments and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to ascertain their views on all issues relevant to the organization and convening of an international peace conference in the Middle East as called for in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, including the identification of participants. The 19 Governments are the 15 members of the Security Council and the parties directly concerned in the Middle East conflict which are not members of the Security Council.
2. The replies of 18 of the Governments consulted have been circulated as General Assembly and Security Council documents, at their request, as follows:
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) - A/39/216-S/16509
China - A/39/217-S/16510
Egypt - A/39/219-S/16512 and Corr.1
France - A/39/218-S/16511
India - A/39/227-S/16523
Israel - A/39/214-S/16507
Jordan - A/39/238-S/16543
Lebanon - A/39/275-S/16584
Malta - A/39/231-S/16527
Netherlands - A/39/208-S/16503
Nicaragua - A/39/259-S/16565
Pakistan - A/39/224-S/16517
Peru - A/39/225-S/16518
Syrian Arab Republic - A/39/416-S/16708
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic - A/39/235-S/16533
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - A/39/222-S/16516
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - A/39/202-S/16494
Zimbabwe - A/39/255-S/16557
In her reply, the Permanent Representative of the United States of America reaffirmed the position of her Government as set forth in her letter dated 13 January 1984 to the President of the Security Council (A/39/130-S/16409, annex III, appendix). The reply of PLO is reproduced in the annex to the present report.
3. On 31 July 1984, the Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General a letter enclosing the text of a document dated 29 July 1984 and entitled "Proposals by the Soviet Union on a Middle East settlement" which also deals with the question of the organization and convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East (A/39/368-S/16685).
4. From the replies received and the discussions held with the Governments and authorities concerned, it is evident that the convening of the proposed conference would require, in the first place, the agreement in principle of the parties directly concerned to participate in the conference, and also that of the two States specifically mentioned in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, namely the United States and the USSR. Once such agreement exists, further consideration could more constructively be given to finalizing other related issues, such as the full list of participants, the date of the conference and an agenda acceptable to all concerned. At present, however, it is clear from the replies of the Governments of Israel (A/39/214-S/16507) and the United States of America (A/39/130-S/16409, annex III, appendix) that they are not prepared to participate in the proposed conference.
5. The Secretary-General shall continue to follow this question closely and shall keep Member States informed of any further developments.
Letter dated 27 April 1984 from the Permanent Observer of the
Palestine Liberation Organization to the Secretary-General
I am instructed by Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to refer to your letter of 9 March 1984, concerning United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C on the question of the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. It should be recalled that resolution 38/58 C has endorsed almost unanimously the call for convening an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The resolution has also endorsed the guidelines for such a Conference (para. 3). Furthermore, the resolution has specified the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization.
We wish to refer to your letter dated 5 January 1984, addressed to the President of the Security Council and we wish to thank you for having taken that initiative. We fully agree with you that the Governments which are directly involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict are Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, and that the Palestine Liberation Organization is also an "authority" which is directly involved in the conflict. However, we do not understand where the provision for the agreement with the plan of action should be sought from the Council. Resolution 38/58 C only calls for consultation with the Security Council so that the Secretary-General may undertake preparatory measures to convene the Conference.
Be that as it may, we completely disagree with the view expressed by the distinguished representative of the Government of the United States of America which considered the "holding of an international Conference as recommended by the General Assembly would only hinder" the path to peace. It is clear that the Government of the United States explicitly plans to undermine and foreclose the option to a process within the framework of the United Nations. It may be recalled that the General Assembly, in its resolution 34/65 B adopted on 29 November 1979, "declared that the Camp David accords and other agreements have no validity in so far as they purport to determine the future of the Palestinian people and of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967". President Reagan's initiative of 1 September 1982 precludes the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian State. Furthermore, it ignores completely the provisions of numerous Security Council resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 1967. The spirit of the letter of the representative of the Government of the United States of America indicates clearly that that permanent member of the Security Council rejects any process leading to a peaceful settlement.
The Palestine Liberation Organization trusts that the Secretary-General will maintain his contacts and endeavours with the aim that a Peace Conference be held within the framework of the United Nations. It might be of help if His Excellency, will consider a visit to the area to conduct on the spot contacts with the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict and make a personal assessment of the gravity of the situation and the urgency for convening such a Peace Conference.
I would like to recall that in his statement before the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983, Chairman Arafat said the following:
"In this context, we wish to suggest to you the following ideas:
"(a) The Middle East is a very important and vital region with regard to the establishment of peace since it has a direct effect on the international situation as a whole. Consequently, that region must remain free from the monopoly of any one power in the world, and free from balkanization and the threat of internal and external explosion;
"(b) The question of Palestine originated and developed as a result of international conflicts before and after the First and Second World Wars and international, political complications deriving from the changing and conflicting positions and balances of power in the world. Hence, the responsibility for the recovery of the rights of the Palestinian people is a wholly international responsibility within the framework of international legitimacy;
"(c) The Fez Summit resolutions constitute a unique opportunity for the achievement of the minimum degree of justice required. This opportunity for peace in the region, presented jointly by the Arab leaders at the Summit Conference, should not be wasted;
"(d) The exercise by the people of Palestine of their right to return, self- determination and national independence is the only basis for any peace based on justice in the Middle East;
"(e) Failure to deter the Zionist military aggressive mentality and the continuation of unlimited United States support for this barbaric military machine contradict any advocacy of international peace;
"(f) In the light of these principles we are struggling for peace and reject the American-Israeli policies calling upon us to capitulate;
"(g) In the light of these principles we welcome all peace initiatives based on the recognition of the rights of our people. We are ready to co-operate with all forces, and primarily the United Nations and its agencies, within the framework of international legitimacy and their resolutions concerning the question of Palestine. In this connection, we are calling for an international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, in which the two super-Powers would participate with the rest of the parties concerned, on the basis of the United Nations resolutions relating to the question of Palestine."
) Zuhdi Labib TERZI