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17 November 1948


Third sessionDual Distribution


Report of the Third Committee

Rapporteur: Mr. Emile ST.LOT (Haiti)

1. The United Nations Mediator on Palestine devoted Part Three of his Progress Report of 18 September 1948 (A/648) to the problem of assistance to Palestine refugees. The information given was supplemented in the Acting Mediator's Progress Report of 18 October 1948 (A/689 and A/689/Add.1). This matter, together with other problems concerning refugees and displaced persons, was referred by the General Assembly to the Third Committee.

2. In view of the urgency of the problem of Palestine refugees, the Third committee, at its 108th meeting on 20 October 1948, interrupted its discussion of the draft Declaration of human rights to hear the Acting Mediator and his Director of Disaster Relief, and decided to give to the question of assistance to Palestine refugees an early place on its agenda. The committee decided, at its 118th meeting on 30 October, to establish a sub-committee, to which various draft resolutions which had been submitted were referred. It was also decided to send the joint draft resolution proposed by Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America (A/C.3/315) to the Fifth Committee for a preliminary report on the financial aspects involved.

3. The Sub-Committee held nineteen meetings in the course of which it studied various resolutions concerning aid to the Palestine refugees, of the relief operation and considered a report from the Fifth committee on the question of an advance of funds from the Working Capital Fund of the United Nations. As a result of this thorough discussion, the Sub-Committee reported its conclusions to the Third Committee in the form of a unanimously approved draft resolution.

4. The Third Committee, after considering the report of its Sub-Committee, at its 135th and 136th meetings on 13 November 1948, unanimously approved the draft resolution with one amendment and decided to refer its financial aspects to the Fifth Committee.

5. The Third Committee therefore submits for the approval of the General Assembly the following resolution:


WHEREAS the problem of the relief of Palestine refugees of all communities is one of immediate urgency and the United Nations Mediator on Palestine in his Progress report of 18 September 1948, Part Three, states that "action must be taken to determine the necessary measures (of relief) and to provide for their implementation" and that "the choice is between saving the lives of many thousands of people now or permitting them to die",

WHEREAS the Acting Mediator in his Supplemental Report of 18 October 1948, declares that "the situation of the refugees is now critical" and that "aid must not only be continued but very greatly increased if disaster is to be averted",

WHEREAS the alleviation of conditions of starvation and distress among the Palestine refugees is one of the minimum conditions for the success of the efforts of the United Nations to bring peace to that land.


1. EXPRESSES its thanks to the Governments and organizations which, and the individual persons who, have given assistance directly in response to the Mediator's appeal;

2. CONSIDERS, on the basis of the Acting Mediator's recommendation, that a sum of approximately $29,500,000 will be required to provide relief for 500,000 refugees for a period of nine months from 1 December 1948 to 31 August 1949; and that an additional amount will be required for administrative and operational expenses which shall be determined by the General Assembly on the recommendations of the Fifth committee;

3. AUTHORIZES the Secretary-General to advance immediately a sum of up to $5,000,000 from the Working Capital Fund of the United Nations, the said sum be repaid before the end of the period specified in paragraph 21, from the voluntary governmental contributions requested under paragraph 4;

4. URGES all states Members of the United Nations to make as soon as possible voluntary contributions in kind or in funds sufficient to ensure that the amount of supplies and funds required is obtained, and states that, to this end, voluntary contributions of non-member States would also be accepted. Contributions in funds maybe made in currencies other than the United States dollar, in so far as the operations of the relief organization can be carried out in such currencies;

5. AUTHORIZES the Secretary-General to establish a Special Fund into which contributions shall be paid, which will be administered as a separate account;

6. AUTHORIZES the Secretary-General to expend the funds received under paragraphs 3 and 4 of this resolution;

7. INSTRUCTS the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to establish regulations for the administration and supervision of the Fund;

8. REQUESTS the Secretary-General to take all necessary steps to extend aid to Palestine refugees and to establish such administrative organizations as may be required for this purpose, inviting the assistance of the appropriate agencies of the several Governments, the specialized agencies of the United Nations, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Red Cross Societies and other voluntary agencies, it being recognized that the participation of voluntary organizations in the relief plan would in no way derogate from the principle of impartiality on the basis of which the assistance of these organizations is being solicited;

9. REQUESTS the Secretary-General to appoint a Director of United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees who would establish his headquarters in the area, and to whom the Secretary-General may delegate such responsibility as he may consider appropriate for the overall planning and implementation of the relief programme;

10. AGREES to the convoking, at the discretion of the Secretary-General, of an ad hoc advisory committee of seven members to be selected by the President of the General Assembly to which the Secretary-General may submit any matter of principle or policy upon which he would like the benefit of the Committee's advice;

11. REQUESTS the Secretary-General to continue and to extend the implementation of the present relief programme, until the machinery provided for by the present resolution is set up;

12. URGES the World Health Organization, the food and Agriculture Organization, the International Refugee Organization, the United Nations International children's Emergency Fund, and other appropriate organizations and agencies, acting within the framework of the relief programme herein established, promptly to contribute supplies, specialized personnel and other services permitted by their constitutions and their financial resources, to relieves the desperate plight of Palestine refugees of all communities;

13. REQUESTS the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly, at the next regular session, on the action taken as a result of this resolution.


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