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        General Assembly
6 November 1986


27th meeting
held on
Tuesday, 4 November 1986
at 3 p.m.
New York


Chairman: Mr. AL-ASHTAL (Democratic Yemen)




*This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section,submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva. Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Committee at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.

The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.



Draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/C.2/41/L.21)

9. Mr. JØNCK (Denmark), Vice-Chairman, said that informal consultations had failed to produce consensus on the draft resolution, and it was therefore before the Committee for action.

10. The CHAIRMAN announced that Algeria, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Senegal, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia had become sponsors of the draft resolution.

11. Mr. HARAN (Israel) said that his delegation would vote against the draft resolution, but wishes to stress that Israel did not oppose assistance to the Palestinian people. Indeed the main purpose of the draft resolution should be to encourage countries that claimed to want to help the Palestinian people to provide additional resources. Plans already existed to spend more than had been contributed to date and it would have been natural for the draft to include a specific call on such countries to contribute more. However, that had not been done. Moreover, the draft resolution wrongly implied that the situation of the Palestinian people had deteriorated. Finally, the reference to the Israeli occupation in operative paragraph 6 was gratuitous and out of order. Instead of calling for negotiations that might lead to positive changes, the draft resolution was trying to encourage confrontation. If adopted as it stood, it might create serious obstacles to process on the Palestinian problem.

12. The CHAIRMAN put the draft resolution to the vote.

13. Draft resolution A/C.2/41/L.21 was adopted by 137 votes to 2.

14. Mr. SCOTT (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, said that his Government had been the largest single donor of economic assistance to the Palestinian people. For over a decade, it had had a direct programme for those living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under which it had provided over $80 million worth of assistance, $14 million in 1986 alone. His country was also the primary contributor to United Nations agencies assisting the Palestinian people and each year sponsored the resolution providing for the continuation of UNRWA, as well as contributing a third of its budget. In addition to the $24 million which that represented, a special supplement of $18 million had been authorized in 1986 to help UNRWA meet its budget crisis. The United States also contributed 17 per cent of the budget of UNDP and had pledged additional funds to its special programme of assistance to the Palestinian people.

15. No Government was more committed than his own to achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. However, the draft resolution just adopted had unnecessarily politicized the debate on the need to assist the Palestinian people, and his delegation had therefore voted against it. His delegation challenged those who talked ceaselessly of assisting the Palestinians to match the efforts and contributions of the United States to that cause.

16. Mr. DUN (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Economic Community and its member States, said that those States had voted in favour of the draft resolution and would continue to provide humanitarian assistance in various ways, such as supplies of food, emergency aid, and the co-financing of measures to benefit the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and elsewhere. Only the previous week, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the EEC countries had approved a programme of aid for the Palestinian people and had decided to give their agricultural and industrial exports preferential access to Community markets, since that seemed to be the best way of responding to their urgent needs.

17. Mr. WALTER (Czechoslovakia), speaking also on behalf of the delegations of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian SSR, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, said that they had voted in favour of the draft resolution because they attached great importance to the socio-economic aspects of the Middle East problem and firmly supported the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish its own independent State. They also condemned Israel's action in preventing the exercise of that right, for which those who were financing and arming the aggressors, giving them political cover and impeding the establishment of a just and stable peace in the Middle East bore their own share of responsibility.

18. The way to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem was through the collective efforts of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization. The most effect means would be to call an international peace conference on the Middle East. The delegation on whose behalf he was speaking would continue to support United Nations activities on the socio-economic aspects of the Middle East problem such as those dealt with by the draft resolution just adopted.

19. Mr. BATAINEH (Jordan) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it supported the provision of all possible aid to ease the sufferings of the Palestinian people. His country had always sought to alleviate those sufferings and to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy their sovereign rights in the occupied territories. However, with respect to paragraph 9 of the draft resolution, he had to point out that all measures of United Nations assistance to the Palestinians in Jordan must be carried out only with the prior cognizance of his Government, since they were subject to Jordanian sovereignty.

The meeting rose at 5.15 p.m.

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