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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS

Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Third Committee
35th Meeting (AM)
GA/SHC/3798
3 November 2004

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR INFORMS THIRD COMMITTEE OF RISE OF NEW FORMS OF RACISM,
INCLUDING MANIFESTATIONS IN POLITICAL PLATFORMS, STRUGGLE AGAINST TERROR

Special Rapporteur on Mercenaries Also Addresses Committee


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to begin its joint discussion on elimination of racism and racial discrimination and the implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as on the right of peoples to self-determination.

It was expected to hold dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (presenting his report contained in document A/59/329), as well as the new Special Rapporteur on the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.  For summaries of the Special Rapporteurs’ conclusions, please see their following introductory statements.

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The report of the Secretary-General on the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/59/376) contains an account of a consideration of the issue “the right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation” at the sixtieth session of the Commission on Human Rights and the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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Also before the Committee was a document containing identical letters by the Observer of Palestine dated 8 October 2004 that had been submitted to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council (document A/59/427-S/2004/806) to draw attention to grave and revealing statements made by a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the malevolent intentions of the Israeli Government in the presentation of its so-called “disengagement plan”.

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Statements

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MOHAMED ABDELSATTAR M. ELBADRI (Egypt) ...

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The right to self-determination applied fully to the occupied Palestinian people, he affirmed, just as it had applied to all those suffering under tyranny and occupation over the centuries.  The Palestinian people continued to suffer under the abominable Israeli occupation and the usurpation of their rights, including at the forefront, the right to establish a State on their national soil.  Their struggle to do so had been legitimized by the international community.  Israel must realize that the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories had been condemned by the international community.

How long would the occupation continue? he asked.  How long would widows continue to mourn their husbands, parents their children?  The occupation would continue to serve as a source of instability and of hatred threatening coexistence between peoples.  Egypt looked forward to the day when the Palestinians would exercise their right to self-determination and establish a Palestinian State on their national soil.  This was not a dream, he stressed, but the impending truth.  Israel remained the last fortress of colonization in the modern world.

XIE BOHUA (China) ...

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China also called for the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination to enable an early settlement of the Palestinian issue in a just and reasonable manner.  He said that was the key to durable peace in the Middle East.  China deplored the Israeli Government’s construction of the separation wall and its expansion of settlements.  Countering violence with violence did not resolve any problem but only served to exacerbate tensions.  China called on the international community to join in the efforts for the restoration of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people to bring long-lasting stability to the Middle East region.

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For information media - not an official record