Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search
Situation au Moyen-Orient - Débat du Conseil de sécurité - Procès-verbal

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
S/PV.1859 (OR)
4 December 1975

OFFICIAL RECORDS

T H I R T I E T H Y E A R

1859th MEETING: 4 DECEMBER 1975
NEW YORK

CONTENTS
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1859)
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the Middle East:
(a)
Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11892);
(b)
Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11893)


1859th MEETING
Held in New York on Thursday, 4 December 1975, at 4 p.m.
President: Mr. Ivor RICHARD (United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Present: The representatives of the following States: Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, China, Costa Rica, France, Guyana, Iraq, Italy, Japan Mauritania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania and United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/1859)

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. The situation in the Middle East:

(a) Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11892);

(b) Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11893)

The meeting as called to order at 4.45 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the Middle East:

(a) Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11892);

(b) Letter dated 3 December 1975 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/11893)

1. The PRESIDENT: Letters have been addressed to the President of the Security Council by the representatives of Lebanon, of Egypt and of the Syrian Arab Republic in which they request to be invited, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter, to participate in the discussion of the question inscribed on the Council's agenda. In accordance with the usual practice and in conformity with Article 31 of the Charter and rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure, I propose, therefore, if there is no objection, to invite the representatives just mentioned to participate in the Council's discussion, without the right to vote.

At the irritation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Ghorra (Lebanon) and Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) took seats at the Council table.

2. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council has before it a letter dated 3 December 1975 from the representative of Egypt, which is inscribed on the agenda, in which he requests the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the debate.

3. In the course of the informal consultations that have taken place prior to this meeting, the representatives of Guyana, Iraq, Mauritania, the United Republic of Cameroon and the United Republic of Tanzania have put forward the same proposal. I have been asked by those members of the Council to record that this proposal is not being put forward under rule 37 or rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council, but, if it is adopted by the Council, the invitation to the PLO to participate in the debate will confer on it the same rights of participation as are conferred when a Member State is invited to participate under rule 37.

4. I call on the representative of France on a point of order.

5. Mr. de GUIRINGAUD (France) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, am I to understand from what you have just stated that the representatives of the PLO would not be invited under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure?

6. The PRESIDENT: That is so.

7. Mr. de GUIRINGAUD (France) (interpretation from French): In his letter addressed to you requesting an urgent meeting of the Security Council, the representative of Egypt also asked that the representatives of the PLO be invited to participate in this debate.

8. In view of the fact that the Israeli attacks which gave rise to the request for a meeting of the Council were directed at Palestinian refugee camps on Lebanese territory, my delegation considers that our work could not but be assisted by any information that might be provided by representatives of the PLO.

9. We categorically condemn the Israeli bombardements, as in general we condemn all acts of violence, and we believe that before we adopt a resolution on the question before as, at the end of the debate; it would be useful to hear the testimony and information of all the interested parties. We therefore believe that the representative of the PLO should be invited to participate in the debate. However, in the present circumstances and within the specific context of the complaints before us, it is my delegation's view that this invitation can be extended only on the basis of rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure, which provides for the invitation of any person regarded as qualified to supply information.

10. In fact, the only persons who have so far been heard by the Council outside the context of rule 39 have been representatives of Member or non-Member States of the United Nations. Since the formula envisaged for hearing the representatives of the PLO is different from that laid down in rule 39, my delegation will, to its regret, be unable to associate itself with the decision that it is proposed the Council should take.

11. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the procedures agreed upon during our prior consultations, I shall put the present proposal to the vote. Before doing so, however, I shall call on those representatives who wish to explain their vote before the voting.

12. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): Mr. President, this unfortunate occasion has the one merit of providing me with the opportunity to express the great pleasure of the United States that you have acceded to the most important post of President of the Security Council at this very critical time. You will know of the utmost confidence which the United States delegation and, I am sure, each of the other delegations members of the Council have in your judiciousness and your commitment to orderly processes in the Council.

13. The United States delegation has insisted upon a vote on the issue of inviting the PLO appear before the Security Council. As a matter of principle we shall vote against the PLO being invited to appear.

14. We have witnessed a concerted attempt to disregard the rules of procedure and to accord to the PLO a role greater even than that which over the years the Council has granted to observer Government, and a role greater by far than has in more recent times been granted to the spokesmen of legitimate national liberation movements invited here under rule 39.

15. The United States is not prepared to agree to an ad hoc departure from the rules of procedure tailored to meet the asserted needs of the PLO. What is more important, my Government is not prepared to acquiesce in an action which will undermine the negotiating process, which is the only process that can lead to peace. For the representatives of the PLO have repeatedly, and as recently as the day before yesterday, told the General Assembly of their disdain for systematic negotiation. They have openly declared their hostility--indeed their contempt for the work of the Council. They categorically rejected Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which for years has served as the only agreed basis for still further negotiation. And now we find the PLO citing actions taken in the General Assembly and the Security Council as the basis for still further erosion of the negotiating process.

16. For those fundamental reasons we are totally opposed to inviting the PLO. To do so will disserve the search for peace in the Middle East.

17. The noblest and most fundamental aim of the Security Council is to achieve peace and security. In the case of the Middle East, my Government is dedicated to active leadership in the pursuit of that goal. My Government has long maintained that the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people must be reflected in the arrangements that will bring peace and security to the Middle East. The effort which has been made to flout the procedures of the Council and to disregard entirely the sensitivities of the people of the State of Israel can only complicate the search for peace.

18. We urge all who share the hope for a just peace in the Middle East to withhold their support from this egregious attempt to use this body to deal with an amorphous terrorist organization as though it were a concrete entity with the attributes of a sovereign Government. The United States will vote "No".

19. Mr. VINCI (Italy): On 2 December 1975 Israeli aircraft struck Lebanese villages as well as Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving a large number of victims, including women and children. Such action which has been described as "preventive", meets with the same firm condemnation that the Italian Government has expressed in the past in similar deplorable cases.

20. Since I have the floor, I wish to convey at once our sincere sympathy, deep sorrows and human solidarity to the families of all those who have been the victims of the air raids--that is to say, Lebanese and Palestinian civilians killed on Lebanese territory in circumstances for which there can be no justification.

21. Once again we have been confronted with an act of violence and I want to reiterate here, on behalf of my Government, our condemnation of any act of violence by whomever it is undertaken and wherever it takes place.

22. Following the air raids and in accordance with their rights as State Members of the Organization, two countries have asked for the opening of a debate on the issue of the attacks. At the same time, the representative of Egypt has requested that the PLO be permitted to participate in this debate, as you have just announced to the Council, Mr. President. We consider that request relevant in the sense that there is no doubt in our mind that the Palestinians and their representatives, in present circumstances, should be enabled to express their feelings and to tell us whatever they deem necessary concerning the case we are considering. Moreover, we are certainly interested in hearing whatever information they can give to the Council, thus helping us in examining the matter falling within our competence.

23. In this connexion, I want to make it very clear that we are indeed in favour of acceding to the request of the representative of Egypt that would afford an opportunity to the representative of the PLO to express his views on this tragic occurrence. However, after very careful examination of the Charter, the provisional rules of procedure of the Council and relevant precedents, and taking into account the principles on which the Organization is based, we have come to the conclusion that there is no other way that this can and should be done than under the clear provisions of rule 39.

24. Unfortunately, in our view, some members of the Council feel differently and deem it inadvisable to meet the request of the representative of Egypt under rule 39, a course which is supported by well-established practice. We are in fact faced with a motion requesting the participation of the PLO in the present debate on terms which are totally innovative with regard to such long practice. If that proposal were to be accepted, I fear it would create a precedent which might have unforeseeable consequences. In fact, to our mind this raises serious doubts and reservations as to its acceptability and its conformity with the provisions of the Charter, the provisional rules of procedure and the spirit of the Organization.

25. I should like to elaborate on this issue so that the reasons for our doubts and reservations may be properly recorded. First of all, no one can fail to take for granted that so far the Organization is an organization of sovereign States. The rights, duties, privileges and responsibilities set and conceived within the United Nations are linked to the very essence of statehood. Whatever feelings, consideration or sympathy we may have for a given organization, whenever some form of relationship is being established between that organization and the United Nations, we must accept the fact that there is an inherent difference between it and a sovereign State to the extent that it lacks statehood. I would go so far as to say that we can see some difference between the present discussion and the debate planned for January on the whole Middle East question, including the Palestinian problem, since politically speaking not legally, I must make that clear, but politically speaking--it is hard to deny that the Palestinians represent one of the main parties concerned. On this point, without prejudging our position at that time, I wish to recall that Italy recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to a national identity and to a homeland. Moreover, many points of law can be referred to, and I am sure you are aware, Mr. President, that, being the representative of a country which has a long tradition in the shaping of the concept of the rule of law, I am rather keen on that subject. I shall, however, refrain from developing this point and will raise only one basic issue.

26. Should we grant the PLO the same rights, in this connexion, as those given to a State Member of the United Nations? Would that not raise in this case quite serious legal and political questions about possible interference with the sovereign rights of a State Member of the United Nations, whatever the intentions may be? I am, of course, referring now to Lebanon, to the extent that it is the territory of that country that has been hit by the raids. In other words, we have in this case one main party concerned. We cannot have two as long as the Articles of the Charter and the provisional rules of procedure stand as at present. We believe, in other words, that Lebanon is the only subject of international law which is entitled to make its point, to present its claim, in response to the Israeli act of infringement of its national sovereignty.

27. On our side, we, as Members of the United Nations, have the duty, the individual and collective responsibility, to defend respect for the provisions of the Charter and the rules of procedure as they now stand. In our view, it is incongruous and incompatible with the very essence of international law that two different entities--to use very simple words--the Lebanese State and the PLO, should be granted the same right to act in the international sphere, namely, within the Council, with regard to the same complaint and in connexion with a clear act of violation of territorial integrity. That, in our view, would set a very dangerous example, and I wonder how many State Members of the United Nations would claim that the Council can indeed go beyond its powers and prerogatives by allowing such a radical change, which can certainly not be described as procedural inasmuch as it raises a very substantive matter of crucial importance for world order; a problem, to my mind, which goes much beyond the specific case under consideration. It is for that reason that we are not in a position to support such a proposal.

28. Mr. SAITO (Japan): It is the considered view of the Government of Japan that no solution of the Middle East problem can be reached without the participation of the PLO in any efforts to achieve a settlement. The PLO represents the Palestinians, who are one of the major parties concerned in the problem. My delegation therefore takes the position that the PLO should be invited to take part when the Security Council conducts its deliberations on the Middle East problem, including the Palestinian question, next January.

29. As regards the question before the Council today, namely, the deplorable Israeli attack on Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in which serious casualties, to our great sorrow, were suffered by the Palestinians, my delegation considers that the PLO should be allowed to make its statement on that attack in the Council. Rule 39 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure is, in our view, applicable to the present case. We find precedents for extending invitations under that rule to individuals representing various organizations, including liberation organizations. My delegation would give its full support to a request under rule 39 for the participation of the PLO in the debate of the Council.

30. Mr. ZAHAWIE (Iraq): My delegation finds it most unfortunate that the representative of the United States has found it expedient to take this opportunity to launch yet another display of an exercise in propaganda, using the Security Council for the benefit of the mass media of information of the United States of America. He does not seem to be aware of the fact that we are gathered here because of a complaint resulting from a most savage terrorist attack, not by the PLO but by a State Member of the United Nations which the representative of the United States saw fit to defend here today. If there has been an act of terrorism, it is the one that is the reason for our meeting here today, and it came from the other side.

31. It has been asked why this request for the participation of the PLO was not presented and is not being presented under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure. I shall read out the wording of rule 39:

"The Security Council may invite members of the Secretariat or other persons, whom it considers competent for the purpose, to supply it with information or to give other assistance in examining matters within its competence."

That is rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure--and I emphasize: the provisional rules of procedure. Unfortunately, these provisional rules of procedure have not envisaged or taken into account the possibility of the participation of a party not a Member of the United Nations, nor yet a member of the Secretariat or "other person". We are faced with a situation in which the PLO happens to be the main target of this latest savage act of terrorism. This is a body that also happens to have been granted an official status within the United Nations--namely, the status of Permanent Observer, as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Is that body to be invited to the Council to participate under a rule which considers only members of the Secretariat or individuals or other persons? We think not. Nor could it be invited under rule 37, obviously, because that applies only to the Members of the United Nations.

32. It has all along been said that the Council, or any other body, for that matter, is the master of its own rules of procedure. In this case, it is the duty of the Council then to decide on these rules of procedure, especially since the matter is not provided for in the provisional rules we have before us.

33. The one other case in which there was an analogy that might be considered a precedent was the invitation of Permanent Observers from the two Viet-Namese States [1846th meeting]. Again, they were awarded the status of Permanent Observers; they could not be invited under any other rules of procedure. An invitation was extended to them to come and appear before the Council without reference to any rule of the provisional rules of procedure.

34. We have therefore decided, along with our colleagues from the non-aligned countries, to support the request made by the representative of Egypt to issue an invitation to the PLO to participate in the debate in the Council under no particular rule, and it is for the Council now to decide on this and to pronounce itself on this proposal.

35. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The Security Council is meeting today in order to discuss one of a long series of acts of aggression and international piracy, one of a long series of international acts of terrorism committed by Israel against a neighbouring State, Lebanon. And no contortions or attempts by the protectors of Israel to divert attention from this clear and plain fact by references to terrorism on the part of another party will be of any use in covering up this new international crime of Israel. The delegation of the USSR reserves the right to make a separate statement on the substance of the question under discussion. For the time being, it shall confine itself to stating its position on inviting the PLO to participate in this debate.

36. The Security Council at its informal meetings considered this matter in some detail. It was agreed that an invitation would be extended to the representatives of the PLO, but not under rule 39 or rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure. Rule 39 is inapplicable in this case. It provides for the Security Council to invite members of the Secretariat or other persons. In this case we are not dealing with members of the United Nations Secretariat or with any private individuals. We are dealing with the official observer of the PLO, which has been recognized by the United Nations in its official documents and in decisions of the General Assembly as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. Therefore, members of the Council, let us reject the legalistic casuistry that is being used here to conceal a deliberate attempt to prevent the representatives of the Palestinian people from taking part in the work of the Security Council in the discussion of a new act of international lawlessness by Israel.

37. It was agreed in the consultations that the invitation of official observers to a meeting of the Council was not provided for in the rules of procedure. The rules of procedure of the Security Council were drafted 30 years ago, and at that time the notion of official observers simply did not exist in the Organization. So obviously the drafters of the rules of procedure could not have been prophets; they could not have foreseen such a new institution at the United Nations.

38. Now there are official observers at the United Nations and the question arises as to how they are going to be given an opportunity to take part in the work of the Security Council when a question directly involving them is being discussed. A very important rule, a matter of principle, is involved in this point, that the Security Council has more than once applied in the past. What is the substance of that rule? It is that the Security Council is the master of its own procedures. That is why it has full authority to invite representatives of the PLO to take part in meetings of the Council, without invoking either rule 39 or rule 37. That is the line the Council took when inviting the official representatives of the two Viet-Namese States to participate in the meetings when the question of the admission of those States to membership in the United Nations was under discussion, although for reasons known to us all that request for admission did not gain approval.

39. Therefore in this case, if there is a desire and the will on the part of the members of the Security Council to invite the representatives of the PLO, the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, and to give those representatives an opportunity to take part in the discussion of this question. this matter can be resolved entirely without casuistic references to the rules of procedure. When the official representatives of the two Viet-Namese States were to be invited to meetings of the Council, no rules of procedure were invoked. A decision was made simply to invite them.

40. With regard to the question of the responsibility, and the legitimacy of the PLO, one of the speaker has pointed out that some observers at the United Nations are legitimate, but the official observers from the PLO are supposedly not lawful. Of course this is entirely out of keeping with the truth. That argument is contrived. Let us refer to the facts instead. The General Assembly in resolution 3236 (XXIX) has confirmed that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In a subsequent resolution adopted at this session of the General Assembly, resolution 3375 (XXX), the Assembly officially decided that the participation of the Palestinian people was essential in any efforts and deliberations aiming at the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The General Assembly in that resolution decided to invite the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties, on the basis of resolution 3236 (XXIX).

41. Moreover, at its twenty-ninth session, in resolution 3237 (XXIX), the Assembly accorded the PLO the status of Permanent Observer at the United Nations. What more legitimacy can one possibly require? A decision of the General Assembly lays down the law for the United Nations. The Assembly invited the PLO to participate in the sessions and the work of all international conferences convened under the auspices of the General Assembly, in the capacity of observer. It emphasized that the PLO had the right to participate in the capacity of observer in the sessions and the work of all international conferences convened under the auspices of other organs of the United Nations.

42. The participation of the PLO in discussions by the Council of the new Israeli aggression against Lebanon is important and indispensable, because the Palestinian people, represented in the United Nations by the PLO, is not only an equal party in the Middle East conflict but, in this case, it is also the principal victim of aggression because the act of international piracy by Israel perpetrated not only in the territory of Lebanon but in areas where Palestinian refugee camps were situated. This was a dual crime committed by Israel: a violation of the integrity of territorial airspace and an unprovoked attack on a sovereign State: an attack which caused a great many casualties on the site of a camp of refugees who had been driven from their homes as a result of Israeli aggression. What more legitimate basis is required for the invitation of the lawful representatives of the Palestinian people?

43. The Soviet Union and its representatives in the Council firmly advocate the full participation of the representatives of the PLO in the forthcoming discussion in the Council of this new act of aggression committed by Israel. We most resolutely support the considerations and proposals advanced by the group of non-aligned countries in the Security Council to the effect that representatives of the PLO should be invited to participate fully in the debate in the Council on this question. Such an invitation would be fully in keeping with the resolutions of the General Assembly and the resolution 381 (1975) of the Security Council.

44. I wish particularly to point out that when resolution 3210 (XXIX) of the Assembly, concerning the invitation of the PLO to participate in the Assembly on the question of Palestine, was adopted, 12 out of the total number of the current members of the Security Council voted in favour of the resolution. In that resolution the General Assembly:

"Considering that the Palestinian people is the principal party to the question of Palestine,

"Invites the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in the deliberations... on the question of Palestine..."

45. Today the Security Council is discussing a question of direct concern to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have suffered as a result of a barbarous, unprovoked Israeli attack on Palestinian refugee camps. The Council cannot disregard the attitude of the General Assembly; if it did it would bring great discredit on itself as the principal organ of the United Nations responsible for ensuring international peace and security and taking decisive measures to curb aggression, no matter where it may occur or by whom it is committed.

46. It would be most unfortunate if those members of the Security Council which voted in the Assembly in favour of inviting the representatives of the Palestinian people, headed by their outstanding leader, Mr. Arafat, were to change their position in the Council today and put obstacles in the way of inviting the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, the PLO. That is the position in connexion with this question.

47. The delegation of the Soviet Union considers that to invite the representatives of the Palestinian people, the representatives of the PLO, to participate with official observer status in the consideration of this barbarous act of aggression against Lebanon and the Palestinian people, which is but one in a long series of such acts, is just, necessary and logical. No juridical casuistry can in any way justify opposition to the adoption of such a decision by the Council.

48. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): I intervene briefly in the interest of keeping the record straight with respect to some of the things which have been said here this afternoon.

49. First, the representative of Iraq asserted that the decision of the Security Council in September to hear the two Viet-Nams [ibid.] is a precedent for the proposal to invite what is called the "full participation" of the PLO. The Viet-Namese cast was entirely different. What the Council did in the case was to invite the two Viet-Nams to make statements to the Council after the vote, not to participate fully.

50. Secondly, that invitation was extended on a "no-objection" basis. The President very properly paused, and, after a moment, said: "Hearing no objection, the motion is adopted". There are objections in this case.

51. Thirdly, although the then President made no reference to any of the Council's rules of procedure when the Council invited the two Viet-Nams--there was no reason for him to do so; we knew under what rule we acted--the fact is that the legal basis of the invitation was rule 39. As the representative of Italy has said today, there can be no other basis under the rules as they now stand.

52. Finally, in this regard, whether we believe there is one Viet-Namese State or two Viet-Namese States there certainly is at least one such State, but there does not now exist any State of Palestine, nor does the PLO claim that there exists a State of Palestine. The PLO cannot therefore properly be treated as the Government of a State.

53. In conclusion, a number of references have been made here this afternoon to what was agreed or not agreed in the private consultations which the Council held prior to this formal meeting. I regret to say that the recollections of the United States delegation are very much at variance on a number of points with the recollections of other members of the Council. I regret this because it must surely be a sign that we have a faulty memory. I do not in any way mean to suggest that there has been misrepresentation, much less that there has been deliberate misrepresentation, but there is some distress on our part that our recollections and understanding should be so much at variance with those of other members of the Council. It must be a fact that if the practice which the Council has evolved of meeting in private and without a record being taken is to become the source of subsequent confusion or even disagreement, and conceivably even the quest for advantage in consequence of the absence of a record, then clearly the disposition of some members of the Council to continue that practice will be diminished and the use of a creative innovation in our procedures will perhaps commence to decline. I make that point in the most open and unaccusatory manner simply because it seems to me that it is not useful in this debate to make reference to earlier agreements which are not a matter of record.

54. Mr. TCHERNOUCHTCHENKO (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) (interpretation from Russian): The Byelorussian SSR associates itself with the representatives of the non-aligned countries members of the Security Council that have proposed that the representatives of the PLO be invited to take part in the work of the Security Council in the light of the fact that the PLO has observer status, and in accordance with the practice which the Council has applied in this case.

55. The objections that have been made to this are merely formalistic casuistry, nothing more, and it is quite impossible to agree with them. The General Assembly, in a number of its decision, has emphasized the rights and the role of the PLO in the solution of the whole complex of questions relating to the Middle East problem. At the present time it is difficult to imagine that any question relating to the Middle East could be discussed or resolved without the participation of the representatives of the Arab people of Palestine represented by the PLO. After the adoption of a number of such decisions, with which members of the Council are familiar, one cannot fail to express regret at the position of those who, notwithstanding the opinions of the overwhelming majority of Members of the United Nations and the world community, continue to ignore the PLO.

56. As for the substance of this question, which has been referred to by other members in the Council, the aggressive acts of Israel were directed in Lebanon against the Arab people of Palestine and against a Palestinian refugee settlement. Why, in this situation, should one ignore the PLO, which is the only legitimately recognized organization of the Palestinian people? Who, in such a situation, is best placed to represent the interests of the Palestinian people? There can be no doubt, in the view of my delegation, that it is only the PLO and its representatives.

57. For these reasons, the Byelorussian SSR insists that the PLO and its representatives, should take part in the work of the Council from the very beginning of the discussion of the question before the Council. The Council will be doing its duty and taking a serious attitude towards the question under discussion if it invites the representatives of the PLO, in the light of that Organization's observer status.

58. Mr. ZAHAWIE (Iraq): I apologize for taking the floor again this afternoon, but if I do so it is purely in the interest of keeping the record straight.

59. With regard to what was said just now by the representative of the United States, I should like to point out, first, that whether it is a State or a liberation movement which is invited to participate in the debates of the Council, is, in our view, immaterial. The invitation is now being issued to a Permanent Observer of the United Nations to participate in the Council's debate.

60. Secondly, the precedent was set in terms of participation, without reference to any rule of procedure. There is an analogy again between this invitation and the invitation that was extended to the representatives of the two Viet-Nams, in that they were invited without reference to any particular rule of the rules of procedure.

61. Thirdly, I do not remember--though I too, perhaps, may have a faulty memory--having said that the observers from the two Viet-Nams were asked to participate fully in the deliberations and debate in the Council. If I am right--and the records would so show and will perhaps back me up on this--I said that the invitation was extended to them to participate in the debates of the Council.

62. Now, while I have the floor, I also seem to remember that the representative of the United States wanted to preclude the PLO's participation in this debate because, he said--if I remember correctly--that they have shown nothing but "disdain" and "contempt... for the work of the Council" [para. 15, above].

63. Now, the representative of the United States may be forgiven for not knowing who, in fact, has shown the greatest contempt and disdain for the Council--he is a newcomer--but I would advise him to read the records of the Council. He will find that it is the State of Israel, which he seeks to protect, that has shown the greatest contempt and disdain for the work of the Council and of the United Nations.

64. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): I have asked for the floor in order to clarify a point. I think one would have to be pretty daring, not having been present at the informal consultations of the Council, to interpret at one's discretion the discussion of the question at that meeting as the representative of the U.S. is now doing. Nor can we agree with the idea of separating official observers at the United Nations into first-class and second-class observers. There is no rule of procedure or any United Nations document one might mention that contains any such division.

65. One other point: I categorically affirm that in the case of the invitation of the official observers of the two Viet-Namese States to take part in the work of the Security Council [1846th meeting], the President did not make any reference to rule 39, because there would have been no point in so doing: the official observers of the two Viet-Namese States are official observers at the United Nations and not private individuals. And the then President of the Council, the representative of Mauritania--I am sorry that he is not here, because he could bear me out on this--did not invoke rule 39. So to try to ascribe to him something which he actually did not do is, to say the least, odd.

66. In preparing for today's meeting, I took the trouble to read the records of the Security Council, precisely that part of the records where the President's statement concerning the invitation to the official observers of the two Viet-Namese States was under discussion, and there was no reference at that point to rule 39. I thought that we should set the record straight on that. I think it is useful to do so.

67. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): I intervene, first, to assure my colleague from the Soviet Union that the United States' understanding of the record is exactly as is his own. We do not have any misunderstanding or disagreement. It would not, in any event, be of much avail, because there is in fact the record. It would perhaps be useful if I were simply to restate what I said on the occasion of commenting about the invitation to the two Viet-Nams. The third point I made a moment ago [para. 51, above] was:

"Thirdly, although the then President made no reference to any of the Council's rules of procedure when the Council invited the two Viet-Nams... The fact is that the legal basis of the invitation was rule 39. As the representative of Italy has said today, there can be no other basis under the rules as they now stand."

That was the end of that passage, and that is all I wish to state.

68. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): In reply to the representative of the United States, that is your own interpretation, it is not the interpretation of the President. And as for what the President understood by that, it would be better to ask him than to misinterpret him.

69. Mr. KANE (Mauritania) (interpretation from French): I believe that we are embarking on an endless debate. The question you put, Mr. President, before the Security Council is quite clear. It would, however, appear that Mauritania is being quoted, especially by way of reference, during our debate today.

70. I shall now speak on behalf of Mauritania, even though the Permanent Representative of Mauritania is not here. To us, any representative of Mauritania represents Mauritania, regardless of whether or not he is the Permanent Representative.

71. Therefore, speaking on behalf of Mauritania, I wish to say that when Mr. El Hassen made his proposal to the Council [ibid.], he did so not as representative of Mauritania but as President of the Security Council. I believe the records of the Council are crystal-clear in this regard, and there is no need to ask the representative of Mauritania to give his own interpretation. The question he put to the Security Council was crystal-clear, as was the reply given to that question. I think we should avoid quoting the representative of Mauritania as such, and that we should rather speak of the President of the Security Council, who asked the Council to reply to a question he put, a question to which he received a crystal-clear reply that appears in the records of the Council. I would ask delegations, therefore, to refer to the President of the Security Council, and not to the representative of Mauritania.

72. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): I have the happy opportunity to call to the attention of my colleague from Mauritania the fact that the form of the statement I made earlier to the Council and that I just a moment ago quoted was exactly the form which he quite understandably prefers. I said, and I shall say it once again:

"Thirdly, although the then President made no reference to any rule of the Council's rules of procedure when the Council invited the two Viet-Nams... The fact is that the legal basis of the invitation was rule 39. As the representative of Italy has said today, there can be no other basis under the rules as they now stand."

73. Mr. KANE (Mauritania) (interpretation from French): I apologize for speaking again. I leave it to the representative of the United States to place whatever interpretation he deems fit to the statement that was made--I repeat--by the President of the Council when he made the proposal to the Council.

74. Now, Mr. President, as to the proposal you have made to the Security Council, it is quite clear, whether or not it is similar to, or identical with, the one made earlier by the representative of Mauritania when he presided over the Council. In any case, your question is quite clear, and each delegation is free to vote either in favour of, or against, that proposal. I do not, however, think it is necessary to go back to past sessions of the Council to find interpretations that fit into the position taken by either side.

75. The PRESIDENT: As there are no further speakers before the vote, I should like, as the representative of the UNITED KINGDOM, to make a short statement in explanation of my own vote.

76. I wish to explain why I intend to vote against the proposal that was put forward by the delegations of Guyana, Iraq, Mauritania, the United Republic of Cameroon and the United Republic of Tanzania. That proposal contemplates conferring on the PLO a right to participate in the proceedings of the Council in this debate going far beyond what has customarily been accepted as appropriate in such a case. The granting to the PLO of this exceptional status in the Council's proceedings would, in the view of my Government, constitute an undesirable and an unnecessary departure from the established practice of the Security Council. The provisional rules of procedure of the Council provide only for Member States of the Organization to enjoy such treatment. We see no sufficient reason to depart from that position. We certainly do not regard it as appropriate to accord such exceptional treatment to a body which is not merely not a Member State of the Organization, but which does not claim to be a State at all, nor to be the Government of a State. The PLO has been accorded a certain status by the General Assembly, but it does not, in our view, have the same status as those States which have been recognized as permanent observers to the Organization.

77. There is the further consideration, to which we attach considerable weight, that the essence of the complaint which is now before the Council is that of a complaint concerning the infringement of the territorial sovereignty of a Member State, Lebanon, which will itself be taking a full part in our proceedings. I should like to make it clear, however, that the way in which I cast my vote today on behalf of the United Kingdom is entirely without prejudice to the decision which the United Kingdom Government will take when the Council deals with the question of the participation of the PLO in the other debate which, as we recently agreed, will begin on 12 January 1976.

78. Now speaking in my capacity as PRESIDENT, in accordance with the procedures agreed upon during our consultation, we will proceed to a vote on the proposal put forward by the representative of Egypt in his letter, supported by the representatives of Guyana, Iraq, Mauritania, the United Republic of Cameroon and the United Republic of Tanzania, that there should be accorded an invitation to the PLO to participate in this debate, and that that invitation will confer upon it the same rights of participation as are conferred when a Member State is invited to participate under rule 37.

A vote was taken by a show of hands.

In favour: Byelorussian Soviet, Socialist Republic, China, Guyana, Iraq, Mauritania, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania.

Against: Costa Rica, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Abstaining: France, Italy, Japan.

The proposal was adopted by 9 votes to 3, with 3 abstentions.

79. The PRESIDENT: I call on the representative of Costa Rica, who has asked to speak in explanation of vote after the vote.

80. Mr. SALAZAR (Costa Rica) (interpretation from Spanish): My delegation wishes to explain its negative vote on the proposal.

81. As stated by some of the members of the Security Council who supported the proposal, the invitation has been formulated so as to attribute to the PLO, rightly, in their view, the quality of sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Because we disagree with that qualification, my delegation did not support General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX). In my delegation's view, some kind of referendum should have been held before attributing the capacity of sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people to the PLO, a referendum which, for obvious reasons, it has not been possible to carry out. The fact that such a referendum has not been held makes it impossible for my delegation to support any procedure which, without the expressed will of the people' seeks to confer exclusive representation.

89. Although my delegation agrees that, in view of the subject to be considered by the Council on this occasion, it would be desirable to hear the Palestinian views, we do not share the opinion which justifies the presence of the PLO and qualifies it as the sole legitimate representative of that community.

83. Furthermore, my delegation holds the view that the framework for an invitation such as the one proposed is found in rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council.

84. The PRESIDENT: In accordance with the decision just taken by the Security Council, I invite the representative of the PLO to take a seat at the Council table.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Aql (Palestine Liberation 0rganization) took a seat at the Council table.

...



Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter