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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
17 December 1981




Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 15 December 1981, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

Report of the Chairman of the Working Group on its 9th meeting

Other matters

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550, 866 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.

The meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.


1. The agenda was adopted.


2. The CHAIRMAN, speaking as Chairman of the Working Group, said that the
9th meeting of the Working Group had been held at the request of the Chief of the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights to consider preparations for the Fifth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, which was scheduled to be held in Chicago from 15 to 19 March 1982. At that meeting the representative of Malta had informed the Working Group of his Government's invitation to hold the sixth seminar in Malta in April 1982. Furthermore, the Government of Senegal had informed the Working Group that it would be pleased to host the seventh seminar, which would probably be held in August 1982. The Working Group would hold further consultations on the question of organizing the seminar in Senegal and inform the Committee of its views in that regard.

3. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) inquired whether the Secretariat had already begun preparations for the seminar to be held in Chicago and whether it had contacted the authorities and parties concerned. He also wished to know whether the usual letter of invitation would be sent to Member States apprising them of the seminar, as had been done in the past. In some cases the Governments had sent special representatives to attend the seminars.

4. The CHAIRMAN said that the necessary preliminary work had already been done. Consultations were going on between the Working Group and the organizers of the seminar so that the preparatory work could be finished by early January. Contact had already been made with the United States authorities with regard to the holding of the seminar and once that question was settled the Committee would immediately send letters to the permanent representatives of all Member States and other parties concerned.

5. Mr. SCHROETER (German Democratic Republic) said that the results of the vote in the General Assembly on the resolutions concerning the question of Palestine were a great encouragement to the Committee. His delegation felt that, while consultations were being held with the United States authorities regarding the Chicago seminar, the Committee should consider other aspects of the preparatory work such as publicity for the seminar and advance notification to Governments and non-governmental organizations so that they would have sufficient time to consider the question of participation.

6. The CHAIRMAN said that due account would be taken of the observations made by the representative of the German Democratic Republic.


7. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) drew attention to an article in the Jerusalem newspaper Al-Fajr, which contained a letter addressed to the Secretary-General from West Bank and Gaza institutions appealing for United Nations support. He inquired whether the Chairman would find out if that letter could be circulated as an official United Nations document.

8. The CHAIRMAN said that the necessary steps would be taken in that regard.

9. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that on
1 December 1981 the Israeli military occupation authorities had installed a former military intelligence officer as the civilian governor of the Gaza district. The local populace had reacted by holding demonstrations and strikes. Israeli soldiers had killed some students and a curfew had been imposed; many people had been wounded and more than 4,000 people imprisoned.

10. He inquired whether the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights or any of the
United Nations agencies could provide information on that grave situation so that the Committee could alert public opinion through an official United Nations document.

11. The CHAIRMAN replied that a letter had been sent to the Secretary-General; the matter was being pursued in order to obtain the appropriate response.

12. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) drew attention to the case of
Mr. Ziad Abu Ain, a Jordanian citizen, whom the United States Government had
extradited to Israel. He proposed that the Committee should give the Chairman a mandate to participate on its behalf in the forthcoming debate on the case in the General Assembly.

13. The CHAIRMAN said that the statement made by the representative of the German Democratic Republic with regard to the vote in the General Assembly on the resolutions concerning the question of Palestine reflected the sentiments of the Committee as a whole. The results of the vote were certainly an encouragement to the Committee in its efforts to restore the rights of the Palestinian people and ensure peace and stability in the region.

14. The case of Mr. Ziad Abu Ain had been raised in the Economic and Social
Council at its first regular session of 1981. A draft resolution submitted by the Group of Arab States had been adopted by the Council as resolution 1981/42. At that time the Committee had been given the task of contacting the Secretary-General in order to express to him the feelings of the members of the Committee with regard to the case and also, if necessary, of contacting the United States Government in an effort to find a solution.

15. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that the situation had changed,
because Mr. Ziad Abu Ain had already been extradited. His delegation hoped that as many representatives as possible would participate in the debate in the General Assembly. For that reason, he had proposed that the Committee should give the Chairman a mandate to speak on its behalf.

16. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) pointed out that the recent developments in the case had not been discussed in the Committee. His delegation therefore did not think it would be possible to authorize the Chairman to speak on the Committee's behalf in the plenary Assembly.

17. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the
Committee had already discussed certain aspects of the case of Mr. Ziad Abu Ain and was aware of some of the circumstances involved. The case had been pending in the United States courts since August 1979. There was documented evidence that the United States State Department had interfered with the legal process. Mr. Ramsey Clark, who had volunteered to help Mr. Ziad Abu Ain, had objected strongly to the involvement of the State Department.

18. On 11 December 1981 the State Department had informed the Arab ambassadors in Washington that the matter was still under consideration and that they would be invited to the State Department on 17 December to discuss the matter further. Yet on Saturday 12 December at 6 p.m. the State Department had signed the extradition papers and had delivered Mr. Ziad Abu Ain to the Israeli authorities in Washington for extradition. The extradition of a person who had been living in a territory under foreign occupation to the occupation forces without any guarantee of safety was unheard of and constituted a violation of human rights conventions. A draft resolution on the case would be submitted in the plenary Assembly.

19. It was the Committee's responsibility to keep the question of Palestinian
rights under constant observation. He agreed with the representative of Jordan that the Committee could authorize the Chairman to speak on its behalf. The Committee had already taken some action on behalf of Mr. Abu Ain, and the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights had already received all the pertinent information.

20. The CHAIRMAN said that he would consult the members of the Committee in order to decide on the appropriate steps to be taken.

21. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that his delegation agreed with the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization that the case was within the Committee's purview. Nevertheless, in view of the complex nature of the case and the latest developments, the Committee should be fully informed before taking further action.

The meeting rose at 4.10 p.m.

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