Question of Palestine home
Department of Public Information
31 December 1960
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MIDDLE EAST
THE PALESTINE QUESTION
DEVELOPMENTS ON ARMISTICE
DEMARCATION LINE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND SYRIA
During 1960, the Palestine question was not considered by the Security Council; however, certain complaints were brought before the Council in communications by the United Arab Republic and Israel and one of these was the subject of a full report by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
The United Arab Republic complained that on 31 January 1960 Israel forces had moved towards Arab farmers in the southern sector of the Demilitarized Zone north of Lake Tiberias (Syrian Region). On 1 February, following the shelling of Arab positions in the southern
sector, the Israelis had occupied the village of Tawafiq, but had been compelled to withdraw on the same day.
On 3 February, Israel complained that, since December 1959, the area of the village of Beit Katzir in the Demilitarized Zone south-east of Lake Kinneret had been subjected to repeated harassments and attacks from Syrian military positions at Tawafiq. Israel stated that "in order to put an end to these attacks Israel forces cleared the positions in the Demilitarized Zone of Syrian military forces illegally entrenched there."
On 16 February 1960, Major-General Carl Carlsson von Horn, Chief of Staff of UNTSO, submitted to the Security Council a report on the situation which had developed in the Tawafiq-Beit Katzir area.
Reviewing the background of the situation, the Chief of Staff said that the difficulties which UNTSO had met in the Tawafiq-Beit Katzir area had resulted from: the progressive extension of Israel cultivation towards the east; the Arab's opposition to what they considered to be encroachments on their lands; the difficulty of settling disputes owing to the complicated arrangements regarding land ownership; and the show or use of force in the Demilitarized Zone. UNTSO, he said, had been hampered by differences regarding the competence of the Mixed Armistice Commission (MAC) and the responsibilities of the Chairman under the General Armistice Agreement.
The Chief of Staff stated that the foundation ten years ago of the Kibbutz of Beit Katzir, and the development of cultivation by the Israel settlers using the waters of Lake Tiberias, had rapidly resulted in depriving Arab farmers in the Demilitarized Zone of all access to the Lake and of any land between the Kibbutz and the Lake. Moreover, like other Israel border settlements in or out of the Demilitarized Zone, the new Kibbutz had become a fortified position. Thirteen hundred metres to the east of Beit Katzir the Arab village of Khirbat-At-Tawafiq viewed with anxiety the progress of Israeli cultivation in its direction.
With regard to the differences between the parties in their interpretation of the General Armistice Agreement, the Chief of Staff said that the observance of the Agreement and of the Security Council's resolution of 18 May 1951 should have permitted the settlement of legal disputes: when the competence of the MAC or its Chairman was challenged, interpretation of the relevant provisions of the General Armistice Agreement by the MAC should have determined whether the Commission or the Chairman had the pertinent responsibility under the Agreement. However, he said, Israel had denied that the MAC was competent to deal with issues pertaining to the Demilitarized Zone, arguing that those issues should be dealt with by the Chairman through contact with the Israel delegation. On the other hand, Syria requested that certain of its complaints relating to the Demilitarized Zone should be considered by the MAC in its formal regular meetings. Israel's refusal to attend such meetings had resulted in a suspension since June 1951 of the regular meetings of the MAC dealing with any issue whatsoever.
On 20 January 1960, the Chief of Staff, as Chairman, issued findings of a "practical character" which, in his opinion, could enable the Arabs and the Israelis to carry on peaceful activities in the Tawafiq-Beit Katzir area.
In view of the above considerations and of existing evidence concerning present and past uses of the land in the area, the Chief of Staff found that an equitable solution of the current difficulties was that the present eastern limits of Israeli cultivation should be, subject to some reservations, the limits of Arab use of lands to the west of Tawafiq. Israel, without expressly rejecting these findings, ignored them, he noted.
Finally, the Chief of Staff transmitted a declaration and two resolutions, adopted at an emergency meeting of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission on 16 February 1960, condemning Israel for the attack against Khirbat-At-Tawafiq village and its almost total destruction by regular Israel armed forces on the night of 31 January-1 February 1960, and for the overflying of four Mystère jet planes used by the Israel Air Force over the area of Kuneitra, within Syrian territory.
On 25 February 1960, Israel submitted a further communication to the Security Council, referring to its previous complaint and restating its view of the situation in the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
In a letter dated 1 July 1960, the representative of Israel complained to the Security Council that the situation on the Israel-Syrian border was deteriorating as a result of recent acts of aggression committed by the armed forces of the United Arab Republic on 11, 12 and 28 June 1960. The renewal of unilateral armed action by the armed forces of the United Arab Republic along the Syrian border during recent weeks wash especially disquieting, he said, because it had been accompanied by a concentration of United Arab Republic troops in the border area, and also by fresh expression by United Arab Republic leaders of their policy of active belligerency against Israel.
In a letter dated 6 July 1960, the representative of the United Arab Republic, replying to the Israel letter of 1 July, rejected the Israel claims as being far from accurate and not corresponding to the facts. He preferred not to discuss those facts because an investigation was being carried out by the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission and no decision had as yet been taken by that body.
He drew the attention of the Council to two resolutions of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission of 16 February 1960, condemning Israel for its hostile acts, and added that, as recently as 30 May 1960, the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission had condemned Israel for committing a hostile act against the airspace of the United Arab Republic.
In a letter dated 10 November 1960, the representative of Israel stated that the United Arab Republic, on 3 November 1960, had confiscated "finally" the cargo of four hundred tons of cement aboard the Greek vessel
The vessel was "illegally and arbitrarily" detained at Port Said on 17 December 1959. On 10 April 1960, the ship was permitted by United Arab Republic authorities to return northward from Port Said, after having been forced not only to discontinue its voyage but also to offload and abandon its cargo. The persistence of the United Arab Republic in such illegal and provocative conduct, said the Israel representative, was, among other things, a source of tension in the area likely to impair peace and security.
REPORT OF CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
On 14 November 1960, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine submitted its eighteenth progress report to the General Assembly for the period from 1 September 1959 to 11 November 1960. The Commission stated that it had directed its efforts principally to the programme of identification and valuation of Arab refugee immovable property holdings in Israel, and the release of Arab refugee bank accounts and safe deposits blocked in Israel. As the identification of Arab individual holdings in Israel was now practically complete, the work of valuation had begun in both urban areas and rural districts; it was expected that the analysis work might be completed by August 1961.
S/4263. Letter of 3 February 1960 from Permanent Representative of United Arab Republic.
S/4264. Letter of 3 February 1960 from Permanent Representative of Israel.
S/4270 and Corr.1. Report of Chief of Staff of UNTSO in Palestine on recent incidents in southern sector of Demilitarized Zone (Syrian Region) created by Article 5, paragraph 5 of Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement.
S/4271. Letter of 25 February 1960 from Acting Permanent Representative of Israel.
S/4365. Letter of 1 July 1960 from Permanent Representative of Israel.
S/4376. Letter of 6 July from Permanent Representative of United Arab Republic.
S/4560. Letter of 10 November from Permanent Representative of Israel.
A/4494. Report of Security Council to General Assembly, 16 July 1959-15 July 196O, Part IV, Chapter 10.
DECISIONS OF MIXED ARMISTICE COMMISSIONS
S/4268. Letter of 18 February 1960 from Acting Permanent Representative of United Arab Republic.
S/4547. Letter of 30 September 1960 from Permanent Representative of United Arab Republic concerning decision adopted on 29 September 1960 by Egyptian-Israeli MAC.
CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
A/4573. United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine. Eighteenth Progress Report (for period 1 September 1959-11 November 1960).
ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
Assistance to Palestine refugees continued to be given during 1960 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The provision of such aid was also considered by the General Assembly--for the thirteenth successive year--at its fifteenth session. The matter was referred to the Assembly's Special Political Committee, which discussed it in connexion with the annual report of the Director of UNRWA. The Special Political Committee discussed the question both at the first part of the Assembly's fifteenth session, in 1960, and at the second part of the session, in 1961.
REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF UNRWA
In his annual report, the Director of UNRWA urged United Nations Member states to approve a three-year programme aimed at increasing educational and vocational training opportunities for refugees, as well as continuing basic relief services.
The Director's report, which covered the year ending 30 June 1960, stressed that the lot of the refugees, dependent on relief since 1948, had been one of hardship and disappointment. Opportunities for living normal, independent lives had been non-existent for the majority of the refugees; their life of enforced idleness, now in its thirteenth year, had inevitably affected their outlook and morale. In their minds, the right to repatriation implicit in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), which the General Assembly had adopted in 1948 and reaffirmed in subsequent years, continued to be the one acceptable long-term solution to their problem and they were embittered because it still stood unfulfilled.
(Paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) provided, among other things, that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property. The United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine was instructed, among other things, to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation.)
The report pointed out that the refugees had been denied rehabilitation through repatriation or compensation for loss of or damage to their property because paragraph 11 of this Assembly resolution had never been implemented; they had not found work where they resided because those countries already had an ample supply of farmers and unskilled workers; and they had not moved to other nearby countries because these already had an abundance of such workers. For the most part, maturing youth had not been able even to move into those skilled jobs for which demand existed because they had had no opportunity to acquire the requisite skills.
UNRWA itself, the report emphasized, could not solve the refugee question. Any general solution to the complex Palestine problem, of which the refugee problem was a part, would be brought about largely by forces outside UNRWA--"forces which will govern and shape the future of the Middle East." UNRWA could and should work in harmony with those forces.
The report pointed out that the Palestine refugee problem was being compounded by the fact that maturing refugees were being given so little opportunity adequately to develop the latent productive talents they possessed; this deficiency was a major contributing cause of the continuing increase in the number of refugees dependent on UNRWA.
To meet this challenge, the Director proposed an expansion of vocational training facilities to increase, by the end of UNRWA's current mandate in June 1963, the number of graduates of these centres from the current 300 a year to 2,500 a year. Additional proposals called for doubling the number of university scholarships for first-year students and for continuing the Agency's loan-grants programme.
The total cost of this three-year programme, plus the rising costs of maintaining relief and educational services at their current level for an expanding population, would mean a total cumulative expenditure for the three-year period to 1963 of $16.3 million in excess of the estimated level of 1960. Of this sum, it was hoped that $4 million would be met by contributions from World Refugee Year (WRY); the other $12.3 million would have to come from contributions from Governments.
It seemed to the UNRWA Director probable that the refugee problem would continue well beyond June 1963 and would grow more complex as the total number of refugees steadily increased in relation to the number of jobs available. He cautioned against "facile assumptions" that it rested with the host Governments to solve the problem.
It appeared certain to him that some responsibility for international assistance would continue for a decade or longer. Not to recognize this fact would without doubt prove far more expensive than to provide such assistance in an appropriate and timely manner. The Palestine refugee problem, he said, had a bearing "on the stability and peace of the Middle East and hence on the stability and peace of the world."
The Agency's relief services continued to be its major undertaking, the report went on. But these services were on a minimal basis and involved the expenditure of no more than 7 cents (U.S.) per refugee per day--a cost which obviously could maintain an indigent population at only the barest subsistence level.
As of 30 June 1960, the total number of refugees registered with the Agency was 1,120,889, representing an increase of 33,000 in twelve months. There were 613,743 refugees in Jordan; 225,542 in the Gaza Strip; 136,561 in Lebanon; and 115,043 in the Syrian Region of the United Arab Republic.
The Agency devoted about one-third of its total budget to buying and distributing basic food commodities for 849,634 refugees, providing each with about 1,500 calories per day in summer and 1,600 in winter. As the basic ration did not in itself constitute an adequately balanced diet, the Agency continued its programme of supplementary feeding and milk distribution to protect the most vulnerable groups--children, pregnant and nursing women, tuberculosis patients, etc.--against possible malnutrition.
Eligibility and Registration.
As a result of continuous eligibility investigation, some 9,000 ration recipients were removed from the rolls and some 5,000 were added to the rolls or reinstated on them. These investigations, however, would clearly have only a marginal impact on the general problem of correcting the known inaccuracies in the ration rolls. A plan had therefore been worked out for a new approach to this problem. Its success, said the Director of UNRWA in his report, would depend on the extent to which the host Governments were in a position to co-operate in carrying it out.
The state of health of the refugees had been well maintained, the report stated. No major epidemics had occurred. The Agency operated or subsidized 89 health centres and 13 mobile clinics, as well as about 2,000 hospital beds. Increasing emphasis was being placed on the preventative aspects of the programme and on health education.
About 40 per cent of the refugees lived in 58 UNRWA camps in the four host countries. The Agency's shelter construction and maintenance programme had resulted in the elimination of all tents, as well as of many sub-standard shelters.
UNRWA did not provide the refugees with clothing, but it did pay $300,000 in the period under review for the ocean freight on nearly 3,000 tons of clothing and shoes collected overseas by voluntary agencies.
The Agency's social welfare services supplemented the basic relief programme by seeking to mitigate the special hardship and low morale arising from 12 years of enforced idleness in the camps.
The Agency's education system offered elementary education to all refugee children, secondary education to a gradually growing proportion of them (roughly equal to the proportion of the indigenous school population receiving it in the host countries), and university education to a few of the most gifted students.
WORLD REFUGEE YEAR
The report underlined that a single effort such as World Refugee Year (WRY), necessarily limited to humanitarian considerations, could not be expected to resolve such a complex problem as that of the Palestine refugees. Nevertheless, it was hoped that the refugees would benefit from increased financial support both for UNRWA and for voluntary agencies working on their behalf in the Middle East and that the Year would bring about a better understanding of their problem. As of 30 June 1960, the Agency had received over $1 million in pledges, and promises of a further $1 million towards its WRY goal of $4 million. WRY funds would be spent on increased vocational training facilities, on additional university scholarships and on grants and loans to enable refugee families to become independent. (For further details about WRY, see below, p. 356. For details about contribution pledges and payments to UNRWA for 1960-61, see table at the end of this article.)
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In presenting his report to the General Assembly's Special Political Committee, the UNRWA Director, among other things, stressed the pressing need for a political settlement of the Palestine refugee problem which, as it increased in size and complexity year by year, overshadowed every major decision in the Middle East and seriously threatened the peace of the world.
During the general debate in the Special Political Committee, representatives of Arab states stressed the need for implementing Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948, which had envisaged a choice between repatriation or compensation for those refugees who did not wish to return to their homes. They also called for the enlargement and re-activation of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine and the appointment of a United Nations administrator to look after the properties of the refugees and collect the revenues from those properties. The representative of Saudi Arabia suggested that the present membership of the Commission (France, Turkey, and the United States) be increased from three to nine. Three of the new members would represent the "Eastern bloc," including the USSR, and the remaining three would represent the "uncommitted nations"--one each from Asia, Africa and Latin America. With such an expanded membership, he said, the Commission would then represent all shades of opinion in the United Nations.
The spokesman for Israel said that the process of absorption of the refugees in the neighbouring countries, which was already going on, pointed the way to a permanent general solution of the problem. He maintained that paragraph 11 of Assembly resolution 194 (III) (described above) did not recognize an unqualified "right of return" for the refugees. The General Assembly had no competence to confer "rights" on any individual to enter the territory of any sovereign state and, in any case, its resolutions were only recommendations. He re-affirmed his Government's previous declaration to the effect that if integration of the refugees in the Arab world were actually carried out, and if the international assistance offered in 1955 were still available, Israel would be prepared to pay compensation even before the achievement of a final peace settlement or the solution of other outstanding problems.
The United States representative noted that, since the Assembly's fourteenth (1959) session, the parties directly concerned had not shown that they were ready to approach the problem with the flexibility needed to solve it in accordance with the principles often confirmed by the Assembly. He urged United Nations Member states to continue their support of UNRWA in its constructive approach as outlined in the Director's report, and urged the Conciliation Commission to continue its efforts towards a solution of the refugee problem.
Cyprus, Guinea, India, Indonesia and Pakistan endorsed the suggestions made for enlarging the Conciliation Commission for Palestine and for appointing a United Nations administrator for Arab refugee property.
Several Members, including Australia, China, El Salvador, France, Turkey and the United Kingdom, noted with satisfaction the constructive work done by the Conciliation Commission in connexion with identifying and evaluating Arab refugee property in Israel. Others--among them Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Liberia, Honduras, Panama and Peru--urged the states directly concerned to approach the problem in a conciliatory spirit and to seek new ways of reaching agreement. The spokesman for Liberia also suggested that representatives of the African-Asian states, Israel, the United States and a designated European state might hold a conference to discuss "problems engendered by the sovereignty of Israel, its frontiers and the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III)."
The representatives of Bulgaria and the USSR stressed that, in spite of "some useful work by UNRWA," the Palestine refugee problem had not been solved. It was, they said, a political problem--inseparable from the political aspects of the Palestine problem as a whole. Israel, by refusing to implement General Assembly resolutions on the Palestine refugee question, was undermining the authority of the United Nations, they maintained. They called on Israel to allow the refugees to return to their homes, give their property back to them and compensate those who did not wish to be repatriated. The Western powers which supported Israel, they maintained, should stop trying to create tension in the area.
The representative of Canada repeated the suggestion made by his delegation at the fourteenth session in 1959 that an up-to-date review--which might be prepared by the Secretary-General, and which would take into account the political, economic and psychological aspects of the refugee problem--be made available to the Assembly by the date of the expiration of UNRWA's mandate in 1963.
Ireland again put forward the proposal it had made at the Assembly's 1959 session that Israel should be urged to allow a limited number of refugees who were willing to live at peace with their neighbours to return to their homes, without prejudice to the general solution of the refugee problem or to other aspects of the Palestine problem. The repatriated refugees should be encouraged to keep in touch with the refugee camps, in order to remove the alleged ignorance of conditions in Israel. New Zealand supported Ireland's proposal.
Ireland also suggested that the Conciliation Commission for Palestine might be enlarged mainly by the addition of "small states outside military alliances."
On 3 December 1960, the Special Political Committee concluded its general debate on the Report of the Director of UNRWA and adjourned discussion of the item in order to enable delegations to reach agreement on a draft resolution. On 19 December, the Committee agreed to resume consideration of the item at a later date.
When the Special Political Committee resumed its consideration of the item on 11 April 1961--at the Assembly's resumed fifteenth session--it had before it a draft resolution submitted by Afghanistan, the Federation of Malaya, Indonesia, Pakistan and Somalia.
By the operative part of this five-power text, the Assembly would: (1) note "with regret" that the Conciliation Commission for Palestine had not yet reported progress on the task entrusted to it regarding implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) (described above) and would ask the Commission to continue its efforts and report to the Assembly's sixteenth session (in 1961); (2) recommend the establishment, at the Assembly's sixteenth session, of "appropriate and effective machinery for safeguarding the property rights" of the Arab refugees; and (3) direct attention to UNRWA's "precarious" financial position and urge Governments to consider to what extent they could contribute or increase their contributions so that the Agency could carry out its programme.
By the preamble, to this draft, the Assembly would: recall its previous resolutions on the question; take note of the UNRWA Director's report; note "with deep regret" that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) had not been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continued to be a matter of serious concern; and recognize the need to safeguard the property rights of the Arab refugees.
The United States introduced amendments to the five-power text intended, among other things, to change the second operative paragraph so that, at the Assembly's sixteenth session, "primary consideration would be given to the future welfare of the refugees themselves," (instead of recommending the establishment of machinery for safeguarding the refugees' property rights.)
Another amendment was to have the preamble of the five-power text include a reference to the fact that "no substantial progress" had been made in the programme endorsed in an earlier Assembly resolution (513 (VI)) for the re-integration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement.
Another United States amendment was to change the final preambular paragraph of the five-power text so that--instead of recognizing the need to safeguard the refugees' property rights--the Assembly would recognize that the sixteenth General Assembly "is to review the whole problem of the refugees ...."
Iraq and Libya submitted sub-amendments to the United States amendments. One was to add a preambular paragraph to have the Assembly recognize that it was to review the whole problem of the refugees at its sixteenth session. A second sub-amendment was to change the second operative paragraph of the five-power text to recommend that the Assembly give "primary consideration" at its sixteenth session to "the future welfare of the refugees themselves and that effective machinery for safeguarding the property rights of the Palestine Arab refugees be established."
The United States subsequently withdrew its amendments to the five-power draft and submitted a draft resolution of its own. By this, the Assembly would, among other things: (1) note the annual report of the Director of UNRWA; (2) note further that UNRWA's mandate was to be reviewed at the Assembly's sixteenth session; and (3) express the belief that, in its consideration of the item at the sixteenth session, "careful consideration should be given to the future welfare of the refugees themselves, including the safeguarding of their rights set forth in resolution 194 (III), paragraph 11, to repatriation or compensation for properties left behind."
The Iraqi-Libyan sub-amendments were then withdrawn. Iraq orally proposed amending the second operative paragraph of the five-power text to recommend that, at the Assembly's sixteenth session, "primary consideration be given to the future welfare of the refugees themselves including the means of safeguarding their property rights."
This was accepted by the sponsors of the five-power draft, who also accepted two of the United States amendments and then submitted a revised text of their proposal.
he United States then submitted a revised version of its proposal, the effect of which was to make the first and second operative paragraphs preambular paragraphs, and to delete the reference in the third operative paragraph to "repatriation or compensation for properties left behind."
The United Kingdom submitted an amendment to the five-power text to make the point that the Conciliation Commission for Palestine had not yet "been able to report" progress on the task entrusted to it.
On 18 April, the Committee proceeded to vote on the various proposals before it.
The United Kingdom amendment was adopted by a vote of 26 to 22, with 32 abstentions. After a series of separate votes on the various paragraphs, the five-power revised draft resolution as a whole was adopted by a roll-call vote of 47 to 19, with 20 abstentions. The United States revised draft resolution was rejected by a roll-call vote of 31 to 30, with 15 abstentions.
At a plenary meeting on 21 April, the General Assembly voted on the recommendations of the Special Political Committee. The fourth preambular paragraph--by which the Assembly would recognize "the need to safeguard the property rights of the Arab refugees of Palestine"--was not adopted as it did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority. The vote, by roll-call, was 44 in favour, 38 against, with 12 abstentions.
The second operative paragraph of the draft proposal--recommending that the Assembly give primary consideration at its sixteenth session "to the future of the refugees themselves, including the means of safeguarding their property rights"--also failed to receive the required two-thirds majority. The roll-call vote was 44 in favour, 35 against, with 15 abstentions.
The draft resolution as a whole, as thus amended, was then adopted by a roll-call vote of 37 in favour to 17 against, with 38 abstentions, as resolution 1604 (XV). (For full text of resolution as adopted by the Assembly, see DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES below.)
PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS FOR 1960-61
During the financial (calendar) year 1960, 34 countries and territories pledged the equivalent of $33,627,481 for UNRWA's activities. By 31 December 1960, the equivalent of $32,651,179 had been received in payments of these pledges, as well as $203,634 from pledges of previous years. At the end of the year, pledges still unpaid amounted to $976,302 for 1960 and $358,679 for prior years.
As of December 1960, UNRWA had received pledges of approximately $18,500,000 for 1961.
PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNRWA
FOR YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 1965
(Showing equivalent in U.S. dollars of pledges
and contributions in cash, kind and services)
Government Pledge Received
Australia 196,000 196,000
Austria 2,000 2,000
Belgium 20,000 20,000
Burma* 1,046 1,046
Canada 2,040,000 2,040,000
Canada* 1,020,000 1,020,000
Denmark 43,440 21,720
Federation of Malaya 1,500 1,500
France 182,757 182,757
Gaza Authorities 130,045 130,045
Republic of 238,095 238,095
Ghana 3,000 -
Greece 15,000 -
Greece* 2,500 2,500
India 13,235 13,235
Iran 3,000 -
Ireland 7,000 7,000
Italy 80,000 -
Japan 10,000 10,000
Japan* 2,500 2,500
Jordan 98,550 98,550
Lebanon 23,844 23,844
Liberia 5,000 5,000
Monaco 204 204
Morocco 4,000 -
Netherlands 65,790 65,790
New Zealand 140,000 140,000
New Zealand* 28,000 28,000
Norway 42,000 42,000
Pakistan 20,964 20,964
Pakistan* 1,050 1,050
Sweden 57,951 57,951
Switzerland 35,046 35,046
Turkey 5,000 5,000
United Arab Republic
Egyptian Region 340,000 340,000
Syrian Region 85,000 85,000
United Kingdom 5,400,000 5,400,000
United Kingdom* 224,000 224,000
United States** 23,000,000 22,147,418
Total $33,627,481 $32,651,179
*Special contributions for World Refugee Year.
**The United States pledge was $23,000,000 in cash and foodstuffs for the fiscal period 1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961, payable on a matching basis not to exceed 70 per cent of contributions paid by all Governments. The Agency for its own accounting purposes allocated this pledge half to its 1960 fiscal year and half to its 1961 fiscal year. The balance shown as unpaid is therefore only in terms of the Agency's allocation of the pledge. A further payment of $4,250,000 was received in January 1961.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--15TH SESSION
Special Political Committee, meetings 199-214, 224, 246-254.
Plenary Meeting 993.
A/4478. Annual Report of Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East, 1 July 1959-30 June 1960.
A/SPC/48. Letter of 8 November 1960 from representatives of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Republic and Yemen requesting that a Palestinian Arab delegation be heard by Special Political Committee.
A/SPC/L.61 and Rev.1. Afghanistan, Federation of Malaya, Indonesia, Pakistan, Somalia: draft resolution and revisions, as amended by United Kingdom, adopted by the Special Political Committee on 18 April 1961, meeting 253, by roll-call vote of 47 to 19, with 20 abstentions, as follows:
Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, Cambodia, Ceylon, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Federation of Malaya, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Dahomey, France, Honduras, Israel, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Senegal, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Upper Volta, Uruguay.
Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cameroun, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand.
A/SPC/L.62. United States: amendments to 5-power revised draft resolution, A/SPC/L.61/Rev.1.
A/SPC/L.63. Iraq and Libya: sub-amendments to United States amendments, A/SPC/L.62.
A/SPC/L.64. Philippines: amendment to 5-power draft resolution, A/SPC/L.61/Rev.1.
A/SPC/L.65 and Rev.1. United States: draft resolution and revision, rejected by Special Political Committee on 18 April 1961, meeting 254, by a roll-call vote of 30 in favour to 31 against, with 15 abstentions, as follows:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States.
Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, Ceylon, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Federation of Malaya, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
Argentina, Brazil, Burma, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Israel, Japan, Laos, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Venezuela.
A/SPC/L.66. United Kingdom: amendment to revised 5-power draft resolution, A/SPC/L.61/Rev.2.
A/4734. Report of Special Political Committee.
RESOLUTION 1604 (XV), as submitted by Special Political Committee, A/4734 and as amended in plenary, adopted by Assembly on 21 April 1961, meeting 993, by roll-call vote of 37 to 17, with 38 abstentions, as follows:
Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukrainian SSR, Union of South Africa, USSR, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia.
Cameroun, Chad, Congo (Leopoldville), Dahomey, Federation of Malaya, Gabon, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Niger, Senegal, Upper Volta, Uruguay.
Albania, Belgium, Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, France, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Republic, Venezuela, Yemen.
"The General Assembly,
its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, 393 (V) of 2 December 1950, 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952, 614 (VII) of 6 November 1952, 720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, 818 (IX) of 4 December 1954, 916 (X) of 3 December 1955, 1018 (XI) of 28 February 1957, 1191 (XII) of 12 December 1957, 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958 and 1456 (XIV) of 9 December 1959,
the annual report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period 1 July 1959-30 June 1960,
"Noting with deep regret
that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern,
. Notes with regret
that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has not yet been able to report progress on carrying out the task entrusted to it in paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 1456 (XIV), and again requests the Commission to make efforts to secure the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and report thereon not later than 15 October 1961;
. Directs attention
to the precarious financial position of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and urges Governments to consider to what extent they can contribute or increase their contributions so that the Agency can carry out its programmes;
. Expresses its thanks
to the Director and the staff of the Agency for their continued faithful efforts to carry out the mandate of the Agency, and to the specialized agencies and the many private organizations for their valuable and continuing work in assisting the refugees."
UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE
During 196O, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) continued to carry out its function of maintaining peace and quiet along the border area between Israel and the Egyptian Region of the United Arab Republic. The Force continued to be deployed along the western side of the Egypt-Israel Armistice Demarcation Line and the International Frontier south of the Gaza Strip--lines totalling 273 kilometres in length. The Force also continued to watch, mainly by air patrol, the coastline of the Sinai Peninsula from the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to the Straits of Tiran, a further distance of 187 kilometres.
The over-all strength of the Force was maintained at approximately 5,350 officers and other ranks. The countries participating in the Force continued to be: Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia. As a consequence of the formation of the United Nations Force (ONUC) in the Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville), the Swedish battalion with UNEF was sent to the Congo on 19 July 1960 on a temporary assignment. Thirteen UNEF officers were also temporarily deputed to ONUC for staff duties.
The Secretary-General reported to the fifteenth session of the General Assembly on the organization and functioning of the Force, as well as on financial arrangements and cost estimates connected with it. In his report, he noted that the presence of UNEF--whose functions had become largely routine--was a major factor in maintaining peace and quiet in the area; in the judgement of all concerned with it, its absence would have been likely to result in a recurrence of dangerous border disturbances and violence. Though relatively few incidents occurred during the period under review, the report pointed out that many of them, except for a restraining influence, might easily have got out of hand and developed into threatening situations. It continued to be true, said the report, that any substantial reduction in strength below the present level would make it impossible for the Force adequately to carry out its existing responsibilities.
The report also dealt in detail with the deployment of the Force, its well-being--which continued to be very satisfactory--logistical and local arrangements and the number and type of incidents occurring during the period.
In connexion with the financial position of the Force, the Secretary-General pointed out that, in spite of a small improvement foreseen in the collection of assessments, the fact that approximately one-third of the assessments for all years would remain unpaid at the end of 1960 would create a serious cash shortage. He went on to note that the $20 million assessed for 1960 included voluntary contributions in the amount of $3.2 million from the United States and $275,000 from the United Kingdom, which resulted in a 50 per cent reduction of the assessments for 1960 of all Member states, with the exception of the five having the largest assessments.
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Cost estimates for the maintenance of the Force were considered by the General Assembly's Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee at the Assembly's fifteenth session in 1960. The Committee had before it the Secretary-General's budget estimates for 1961 and the report thereon of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
In his foreword to the UNEF budget estimates for 1961, the Secretary-General expressed the view that the Force should continue operations during 1961 at its present strength, and he submitted total estimates of $19,384,800. He noted that the 1961 estimate for operating costs showed a decrease of $915,000 from the 1960 appropriation, which more than offset the estimated increase of $300,000 for reimbursements to Governments providing contingents to UNEF.
The Secretary-General referred to the question of compensation for equipment, material and supplies furnished by Governments to their contingents. In view of the fact that UNEF would soon be in its fifth year of operation and that substantial claims for loss or deterioration of government-owned equipment and supplies had accrued and must be expected to increase as long as UNEF continued, he considered that the General Assembly should reconsider its original reimbursement policy.
The Secretary-General noted that, as of 31 May 1960, unpaid assessments totalled over $24 million--or 32.5 per cent of the total UNEF assessments for the four years. As a result of the steady increase in the arrears of contributions to the UNEF Special Account, advances from the Organization's Working Capital Fund had been needed to finance UNEF expenses. At the end of 1959, these had totalled slightly under $3 million, but would be increased by several million dollars by the end of 1960. He considered the financial situation so critical as to require an urgent solution.
In its report on the Secretary-General's estimates, the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions--while recommending an appropriation of the estimated amount for assessment purposes--suggested that efforts be made to keep the expenses within a target level of $19 million.
During the debate in the Fifth Committee, the representatives of Bulgaria and the USSR took the view that UNEF had been established independently of the Security Council and therefore in violation of the Charter. That violation would continue until the General Assembly decided that the entire cost of UNEF should be borne by the states which had committed aggression against Egypt. As in the past, they said, their Governments would not participate in the financing of the Force.
Other delegations, while not questioning the juridical basis of the Force, considered that the arrangements made for financing it did not take account of different levels of responsibility. Mexico and Venezuela, for instance, did not consider that UNEF expenses should be shared on the basis of the regular scale of assessments; a composite formula should be found, taking into account the special responsibility of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the responsibility of states which had large public or private investments in the Middle East and consequently benefited more than others from the presence there of UNEF.
Still other Members favoured inclusion of the costs of the Force in the regular budget of the United Nations. The United Kingdom and the United States also believed that the financing of UNEF was the collective responsibility of the United Nations but thought it desirable to reduce the burden on those Member states whose capacity to pay was limited. Both Governments announced their intention of making voluntary contributions--as they had in the past--over and above their assessed share of UNEF's expenses. The United States offered a voluntary contribution of $1.8 million for 1961; the United Kingdom said it intended, subject to Parliamentary approval, to make a voluntary contribution of $135,000.
On 16 December 1960, the Fifth Committee adopted--by a roll-call vote of 31 to 8, with 19 abstentions--a draft proposal submitted by Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia. By this, the Assembly, among other things, would authorize the Secretary-General to spend up to a maximum of $19 million for the continuing operation of the Force during 1961. It would also decide to assess that amount against all Members on the basis of the regular scale of assessments. In this connexion, the draft resolution stated that voluntary contributions to UNEF could be used to reduce by as much as 50 per cent the assessment: (
) of states admitted to United Nations membership during the fifteenth session of the Assembly; and (
) of all other Member states receiving assistance during 1960 from the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, beginning with those assessed at the minimum percentage of 0.04 per cent. The resolution also stipulated that such reductions must be requested prior to 31 March 1961. An amendment by Iraq to delete the reference to that date was rejected by the Committee by a vote of 8 in favour, 17 against, with 29 abstentions.
The resolution also approved the recommendations made in the Secretary-General's report on the reimbursement of Governments with regard to supplies, material and equipment furnished to their contingents.
The Fifth Committee's recommendation was approved by the General Assembly at a plenary meeting on 20 December 1960, by a vote of 50 to 8, with 27 abstentions, as resolution 1575 (XV). The Assembly also took note of the Secretary-General's report on UNEF.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--15TH SESSION
Fifth Committee, meetings 821, 822, 824.
Plenary Meeting 960.
A/4396. Cost estimates for maintenance of the Force. Report of Secretary- General.
A/4409. Budget estimates for financial period 1961. Report of Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
A/4486 and Add.1,2. Progress report of Secretary-General on the Force.
A/C.5/L.645. Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia: draft resolution, as amended by sponsors, adopted by Fifth Committee on 16 December 1960, meeting 822, by roll-call vote of 31 to 8, with 19 abstentions, as follows:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, Federation of Malaya, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, during Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yugoslavia.
Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukrainian SSR, USSR.
: Afghanistan, Chile, _____, Colombia, Cuba, Dahomey, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Union of South Africa, United Arab Republic, Venezuela.
A/4674. Report of Fifth Committee.
A/4688. UNEF Budget for period 1 January-31 December 1961.
RESOLUTION 1575 (XV), as submitted by Fifth Committee, A/4674, adopted by Assembly on 20 December 1960, meeting 960, by 50 votes to 8, with 27 abstentions.
"The General Assembly,
its resolutions 1089 (XI) of 21 December 1956, 1151 (XII) of 22 November 1957, 1337 (XIII) of 13 December 1958 and 1441 (XIV) of 5 December 1959,
the observations made by Member States on the financing of the United Nations Emergency Force,
the budget estimates for the Force submitted by the Secretary-General for the year 1961 and the observations and recommendations thereon of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,
"Having noted with satisfaction
that special financial assistance has been pledged voluntarily towards the expenditures for the Force in 1961,
that it is desirable to apply voluntary contributions of special financial assistance in such a manner as to reduce the financial burden on those Governments which have the least capacity to contribute towards the expenditures for maintaining the Force,
the Secretary-General to expend up to a maximum of $19 million for the continuing operation of the United Nations Emergency Force during 1961;
to assess the amount of $19 million against all States Members of the United Nations on the basis of the regular scale of assessments, subject to the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 below;
that the voluntary contributions pledged prior to 31 December 1960, including those already announced and referred to in the fourth preambular paragraph above, shall be applied, at the request of the Member State concerned made prior to 31 March 1961, to reduce by up to 50 per cent:
) The assessment that the Member States which were admitted during the fifteenth session of the General Assembly are required to pay for the financial year 1961 in accordance with Assembly resolution 1552 (XV) of 18 December 1960;
) The assessment of all other Member States receiving assistance during 1960 under the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, commencing with those States assessed at the minimum of 0.04 per cent and then including, in order, those States assessed at the next highest percentages until the total amount of the voluntary contributions has been fully applied;
that, if Member States do not avail themselves of credits provided for in paragraph 3 above, the amounts involved shall be credited to section 9 of the 1961 budget for the Force;
the recommendations set forth in paragraphs 67 to 70 of the Secretary-General's report on the United Nations Emergency Force concerning reimbursement of Governments in respect of supplies, material and equipment furnished to their contingents.