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Summary record of the 22nd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 25 October 1999, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Galuška .................................................................. (Czech Republic)
Agenda item 115: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 115: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued ) (A/54/98, A/54/118-S/1999/633, A/54/326, A/54/327)
20. Ms. Barghouti (Observer for Palestine) said that the right of peoples to self-determination was a very important item; its realization was enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and embodied in human rights instruments, and the international community, principally the United Nations, had a responsibility to guarantee its enjoyment by all peoples. Combating inequality and oppression and securing the right of peoples to self-determination should therefore be among the international community’s top priorities. More serious action was required in that regard, especially for people living under foreign occupation or domination. The Palestinian people had for too long suffered from Israeli occupation and oppression, and it was still being denied its right to self-determination. All the known ills of occupation continued, as did Israel’s creation of new facts on the ground, foremost of which were illegal settlements, the antithesis of freedom and self-determination for the indigenous people. Moreover, refugees and displaced persons continued to be denied not only their right of self-determination but also their right of return.
21. In the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, Palestine and Israel had recognized their mutual, legitimate political rights. Since a genuine commitment required recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, however, Palestine preferred to believe that Israel had not recognized that right for tactical reasons, and it hoped that the current peace process would result in full recognition, manifested in the existence of a Palestinian State. Real engagement in the peace process required such recognition, for it was inconceivable to recognize one’s adversary as a people while refusing to recognize its right of self-determination. Without such recognition, the peace process could not reach a normal, logical and successful conclusion. At the same time, the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, in exercise of the right of self-determination, could not be subject to any veto. In conclusion, her delegation trusted that Palestine would be able to participate in the forthcoming Millennium Assembly as a full member of the United Nations, and it was confident of the Assembly’s support in that regard.
28. Mr. Naser (Jordan) ...
31. The peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America had made great sacrifices in order to win their right to self-determination, waging a struggle that had always had the support of the United Nations. Despite numerous United Nations resolutions, however, the Palestinian people was still unable to exercise its legitimate right of self-determination in its national territory. His delegation welcomed the progress made in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and hoped that it would be accompanied by the effective implementation of the agreements signed, including the most recent agreement, the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, as a step towards a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian question that would guarantee the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital.
52. Mr. Haque (Pakistan) ...
53. In the Middle East, the revival of the peace process had given rise to a new optimism, and the recent signing of the Palestine-Israel agreement on final status talks was encouraging. His delegation was confident that the people of Palestine would soon regain all its territory. ...
The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.
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