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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.109/SR.1486
28 June 1999

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE SITUATION WITH REGARD TO THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING OF
INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES


SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 1486th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 22 May 1998, at 10 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba)
(Vice-Chairman)


CONTENTS

OBSERVANCE OF THE WEEK OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES OF ALL COLONIAL TERRITORIES FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS




______________________________________________________________________________

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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




In the absence of Mr. Samana (Papua New Guinea), Mr. Rodríguez Parrilla
(Cuba), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.


OBSERVANCE OF THE WEEK OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES OF ALL COLONIAL TERRITORIES FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

1. The CHAIRMAN said that since 1972, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 2911 (XXVII), the United Nations had observed annually a Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of All Colonial Territories Fighting for Freedom, Independence and Human Rights. That observance was fully in accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter, which were eloquently reaffirmed in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. It was an occasion for the United Nations and the international community to recommit themselves to the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations, through the full implementation of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV); to reassert their faith in fundamental human rights, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; and to demonstrate support to the peoples of all colonial Territories.

/...

7. Mr. KA (Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People) recalled that the Committee had been established by General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) to consider and recommend a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate and internationally recognized rights, including the right to self-determination and the right to establish their own State. The Week of Solidarity was therefore a week for Palestine and for all the Palestinians living under occupation, deprived of their freedom and dispossessed of their lands; for all the Palestinians in forced exile; and for all the Palestinians who had been deprived of their most basic rights, including freedom of movement and the right to work and live in peace, dignity and security.

8. The Week was being observed in the context of an acute crisis in the Israeli-Arab peace process. Despite the many initiatives of the sponsors of the peace process to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and despite the international community's indignation about the settlement activities and systematic sealing-off of occupied Palestinian territories, the occupying Power was continuing to deny the Arab and Palestinian population their basic rights.

9. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was time to go back to the negotiating table as the only means of finding a peaceful political outcome to the crisis.

10. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would continue to work under the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly to assist in the resumption of the political and diplomatic dialogue among the parties concerned so that a just solution would be found to the crisis in the Middle East, the Palestinian people would regain their rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their own State, and a new era of peace and security for all and of partnership among the various nations and communities would begin. It was to be hoped that the end of the International Decade would coincide with the end of the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the accession of the martyr people of Palestine to international sovereignty.

/...

26. Mr. JILANI (Observer for Palestine) said that Palestine looked forward to the achievement of self-determination and independence by all peoples by the year 2000, so that in the twenty-first century the world would be free from colonialism, foreign occupation and oppression. The eradication of colonialism had been one of the major achievements of the United Nations. The right to self-determination was considered by the international community as a fundamental human right to which all peoples were entitled; the denial of that right therefore constituted a grave violation of human rights. In that regard, the international community must bear its responsibility, especially with regard to people under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation who were still struggling for their right to self-determination.

27. On 15 May 1998 the Palestinian people had commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of al-Nakba, the dispossession and uprooting of over half the population from their land and homes. For five decades the Palestinian people had suffered a grave injustice, but they had managed to survive, against all odds, and had gained the respect and recognition of the international community. They had maintained and strengthened their national identity and sustained continuous resistance against ruthless Israeli occupation. They had established their own institutions and waged the intifada, a sustained daily resistance to Israeli military occupation, for six years. It was clear that stability and peace in the Middle East could not be attained unless the injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people was reversed and their rights were achieved.

28. The problem now was that, while the Israeli side claimed to wish to achieve peace, its policies and actual practices were virtually precluding any possibility of attaining a peaceful solution to the problem. It appeared to be searching for a solution to its own internal problems rather than aiming for a solution to the conflict and truly striving for genuine coexistence on an equal footing between the two sides. The Palestinian people had made many sacrifices, but they were ready to make historic compromises in order to exercise their inalienable rights and finally live in peace.

/...

The meeting rose at 11.50 a.m.

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