Question of Palestine home
18 January 1988
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 18 January 1988, at 3.30 p.m.
Sir Crispin TICKELL (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Algeria (Mr. DJOUDI)
Argentina (Mr. DELPECH)
Brazil (Mr. NOGUEIRA-BATISTA)
China (Mr. YU Meng Jia))
France (Mr. BROCHAND)
Germany, Federal Republic of (Mr. VERGAU)
Italy (Mr. BUCCI)
Japan (Mr. TANIGUCHI)
Nepal (Mr. JOSSE)
Senegal (Mr. SARRE)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Mr. BELONOGOV)
United States of America (Mr. WALTERS)
Yugoslavia (Mr. PEJIC)
Zambia (Mr. MFULA)
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the
Official Records of the Security Council
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned,
within one week
, to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
The meeting was called to order at 3.45 p.m.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted.
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
LETTER DATED 7 JANUARY 1988 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF LEBANON TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL (
: In accordance with the decisions taken at the previous meetings on this item, I invite the representative of Lebanon to take a place at the Council table; I invite the representatives of Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Fakhoury (Lebanon) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Netanyahu (Israel), Mr. Salah (Jordan) Mr. Abulhasan (Kuwait) Mr. Bennouna Louridi (Morocco), Mr. Shihabi (Saudi Arabia) and Mr. Al-Masri (Syrian Arab Republic) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
: I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Mauritania in which he requests to be invited to participated in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Ould Boye (Mauritania) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council Chamber.
: The Security Council will now resume its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The first speaker is the representative of Yugoslavia, on whom I now call.
(Yugoslavia): I should like first of all to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. The Security Council has entered the new year with a considerable work-load. You have already demonstrated during the first part of your tenure in this high office exceptional wisdom and political skill in conducting the work of the Council in a most satisfactory manner, for which I should like to congratulate you.
The appreciation of my delegation goes also to Ambassador Aleksandr Belonogov of the Soviet Union for the skilful and very successful way in which he guided the deliberations of the Security Council during the month of December.
I should like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the outgoing members of the Security Council - Bulgaria, the Congo, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela - for their significant contribution to the work of the Council in the course of the past two years.
Since this is my first statement as Yugoslavia's representative in the Security Council, I should like to express my sincere gratitude to you, Sir, as well as other members of the Council, for their kind words of welcome. My country appreciates very highly the trust and support that Member States have shown by electing Yugoslavia to a seat in this important body. At the same time, however, we are well aware that my country's election to this post entrusts it with added responsibility within our common endeavour to ensure a more stable and lasting peace and security in the world. May I assure you, Sir, that along with the other members we shall, on the basis of our non-aligned policy, spare no effort in a constructive manner to bring about that noble and worthwhile goal. I am confident that the more favourable relations prevailing in the world today offer us a fresh opportunity - and obligation - for opening new processes for solving hotbeds of crisis that have plagued the world for years.
The situation in Lebanon, brought about as a consequence of the aggressive attitude of Israel and its continued threat to the territorial integrity of that country, is one of those issues that for quite some time now has preoccupied the international community and caused serious concern. The tragedy of Lebanon, its destabilization and enormous destruction compounded by Israel's invasion of 1982, should, much more than has been the case so far, provoke the conscience of mankind and spur it on to joint action to prevent further disaster from befalling this small non-aligned country. Despite the repeated demands for the international community and numerous resolutions of the Security Council, Israel continues to occupy part of Lebanese territory. The cause of our meeting today is the recent attacks against villages in southern Lebanon which resulted in the loss of life of innocent civilians and the temporary blockade of some Lebanese villages.
These latest acts of aggression have further aggravated the difficult situation in the area. We reject any pretext whatsoever, invoked by whatever country, to justify the threat to the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, as well as the lives of civilians, of another country. It is our deepest conviction that such practice is contrary to all norms of international law, particularly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. The most recent military attacks of Israel in southern Lebanon represent a violation of each and every rule of accepted international behaviour and deserve our full censure and condemnation. What is most important, these acts cannot strengthen security in the region, including the security of Israel itself. Past decades have shown the contrary. What is indeed needed is the readiness of all for a peaceful political solution of the Middle East problem, including the problem of Lebanon.
The Security Council has voiced its concern over this problem of Lebanon on many occasions in the past. May I again point out at this time the need for immediate implementation of
(1982) calling for Israel's urgent and unconditional withdrawal from all Lebanese territories to internationally recognized borders. The Ministerial Meeting of Non-Aligned Countries held during the forty-second session of the General Assembly reiterated its full support for the efforts of the Lebanese Government in its resolve to re-establish authority, peace and order over its entire territory. On this occasion, the non-aligned countries also stressed their support for the Lebanese Government in its efforts to ensure the safety and security of civilians in the area.
We consider it the duty and responsibility of the Security Council to press again at this time for the implementation of its resolutions aimed at restoring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon and at enabling the people of that country to decide on its destiny freely and independently and without foreign interference.
The tragic events and overall situation in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories have once again focused the attention of the international community on the urgent need for bringing about a comprehensive political and just solution to the Middle East crisis, and inseparable part of which is the tragedy of Lebanon.
The minimum the Security Council can do is the adopt the draft resolution proposed by the non-aligned members of the Council.
: I thank the representative of Yugoslavia for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): At the outset let me assure the Council that the Palestinians happened to be in Lebanon not of their own will but as a result of their expulsion, at bayonet point, from their homes and properties. They fled there for their personal safety. The atrocities committed at Deir Yassin, Kfar Kassem, Ikrit and Bar'am and elsewhere by the Zionist gangs and Israeli troops are but a few examples. The expulsion - later referred to as the "transfer" and currently the "deportation"- are not of our doing. Israel wants southern Lebanon also to become the dumping ground for its crimes. In the Lebanon we are guests and we appreciate the hospitality and shelter we receive. We consider the struggle of the Lebanese to maintain Lebanon's territorial integrity and their own unity in a sovereign State as an integral part of our joint endeavours to achieve peace and stability.
We strongly protest the remark made by the representative of Israel this morning describing the Palestinians and Arabs as "wild beasts". From him we may expect anything. Mr. Begin considers us as "two-legged animals", and another Israeli chief referred to us as "cockroaches in a bottle" - among other racist
What the Council is now considering air attack-by-Israel on Lebanon resulting in the massacring of 26 innocent civilians, Lebanese and Palestinians. We have reason to believe that, among other motives, Israel hoped to divert international attention from the atrocious crimes being committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. But let us consider the ideological and political factors in the Zionist ideology and Israeli policy vis-à-vis Lebanon and its stability and sovereignty. Let us recall here some utterances by representatives of Israel. This might help us better to understand their aims.
Commenting on Security Council
(1978), Israel maintained that
"There can be no real prospect of restoring the authority of Lebanon over all its territory within its internationally recognized boundaries".
This can be construed as a statement of policy, and furthermore it can divulge the intention and determination of the Zionist movement, a participant in the creation of Israel, to occupy and, if this is not possible, to control part of Lebanon. The ambition and greed to occupy part of Lebanon was revealed in 1919, when the Zionist organization presented to the peace conference a map showing the boundaries of the "Jewish homeland" was to be "at a point in Mediterranean Sea in the vicinity of Sidon and following the watersheds of the foothills of the Lebanon as far as Jis El-Karo'on". One can discern the need for this area to ensure the economic viability - water resources in particular - of the "Jewish homeland" and thus the aggression, conquest, occupation and eventual creeping annexation of the territory.
The occupation of this part of Lebanon, as a matter of fact, did start in 1948, but Israel decided to withdraw and to sign an agreement with Lebanon. In justifying the signing of the armistice agreement, Ben Gurion noted on 17 March 1949 about the signing of the agreement:
"first, it strengthens our political position in general, and especially with regard to Eilat in the Gulf of Aqaba in the south" - which had just been taken - "secondly, it increases our pressure on the Syrians, thirdly, it facilitates a move into the West Bank.....".
But we should keep in mind that the strategy was to occupy that area and the water sources of the Litani River as well as Mount Hermon order to ensure the flow into the River Jordan.
On 27 February 1954, at a meeting among Ben Gurion, Sharett, Lavon and Dayan, a concrete proposal was outlined to disrupt Israel's then most peaceful neighbour, Lebanon. In this case, Israel's hegenonic ambitions did not even pretend to wear the phony fig leaf of security or defence. Prime Minister Sharett noted in his diaries that
"[Ben Gurion] passed on to another issue. This is the time, he said, to push Lebanon - that is, the Maronites in that country - to proclaim a Christian State. I said that this was nonsense. The Maronites are divided. The partisans of Christian separatism are weak and will dare do nothing. Christian Lebanon would mean their giving up Tyre, Tripoli and the Beka'a. There is no force that could bring Lebanon back to its pre-First World War dimensions, all the more so since in that case it would lose its economic raison d'etre.
"Ben Gurion reacted furiously. He began to enumerate the historical justification for a restricted Christian Lebanon. If such a development were to take place, the Christian Powers would not dare oppose it.... I claimed that there was no factor ready to create such a situation and that if we were to push and encourage it on our own we would get ourselves into an adventure that would place shame on us. Here came a wave of insults regarding my lack of daring and my narrow-mindedness. We ought to send envoys and spend money."
Ben Gurion wrote back to Sharrett on the same day:
"Upon my withdrawal from the Government I decided in my heart to desist from intervening and expressing my opinion on current political affairs so as not to make things difficult for the Government in any way. ... I permit myself to go back to one issue which you did note approve of, and discuss it again, and this is the issue of Lebanon.
".... It is clear that Lebanon is the weakest link in the Arab League. The other minorities in the Arab States are all Muslim, except for the Copts. But Egypt is the most compact and solid of the Arab States and the majority there consists of one solid bloc, of one race, religion and language, and the Christian minority does not seriously affect their political and national unity ... Without our initiative and our vigorous aid [there will be no Christian Lebanon]. It seems to me that this is [our] central duty.....".
Sharrett responded on 18 March 1954, saying,
"As far as I know, in Lebanon today there exists no movement aiming at transforming the country into a Christian State governed by the Maronite community..."
"There are also decisive economic arguments against it. We are not discussing the issue in 1920-21, but 30 years later. Mount Lebanon has meanwhile integrated into one organic unit with the coastal plain of Tyre and Sidon, the Valley of Baalbeck and the city of Tripoli. They are commercially and economically interdependent and inseparable. Mount Lebanon was not a self-sufficient unit even before World War I ... The annexation of the three regions plus the city of Beirut to the Lebanese State has rendered possible the creation of a balanced economy. A return to the past would not just mean a surgical operation but also a disintegration leading to the end of Lebanon...
" When all this has been said, I would not have objected - and on the contrary I would have certainly been favourable to the idea of actively aiding any manifestation of agitation in the Maronite community tending to strengthen its isolationist tendencies, even if there were no real chances of achieving the goals; I would have considered positive the very existence of such an agitation and the destabilization it could bring about, the trouble it would have caused the League, the diversion of attention from the Arab-Israeli complications that it would have caused, and the very kindling of a fire made up of impulses toward Christian independence."
On 16 May 1952, Prime Minister Sharrett noted,
"According to Dayan, the only thing that's necessary is to find an officer, even just a major. We should either win his heart or buy him with money to make him agree to declare himself the saviour of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory and will create a Christian régime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel and everything will be all right....."
That plan was divulged in 1954. The West Bank was occupied in 1967, and there was no longer any reason to take into consideration point 3 of Ben Gurion's strategy.
The occupation of Lebanese territory from the Litani southward was no dream; it was a strategy which was tactically postponed until March 1978. Israel succeeded in finding "an officer", and he was indeed a major. But Israel has failed to fragment the Lebanon into sectarian mini-States, and Israel has failed to eliminate the Palestinians, destroy their infrastructure, and decimate the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel ventured forth again in 1982, but the facts show that despite its plans, its strategy and its tactics, when confronted with the resistance of the Lebanese patriotic forces and the resistance of the Palestinian people, all Israel's 'dreams become nightmares for the Israelis and their allies. The Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, still draw international attention.
The junta in Tel Aviv makes pronouncements such as the following:
"Israel will continue to strike at PLO bases in Lebanon by land, sea and air, and will exercise a right to hot pursuit, not limiting itself to reprisal raids, but acting at a time and in a manner of its own choosing."
The exercise of State terrorism by Israel against the camps of Palestine refugees in south Lebanon and against Lebanese civilians is not only an act of aggression against the territorial sovereignty of Lebanon; it is an act of aggression against the norms of civilized society. The results of the air-raids - the victims - are a manifestation of acts of genocide.
Pretexts and allegations precede such so-called reprisal attacks. The so-called Peace for Galilee aggression in 1982 was preceded by a period of more than 10 months that witnessed not a single violation of the cease-fire across the frontiers from the north. Yet Israel carried out a major act of aggression, an invasion and an occupation that continues until today.
What is to be done? Again, that is a question that demands an answer from the international community represented by the Security Council. Also: what is the role of the permanent members of this Council?
The total, unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Israel from the sovereign territory of Lebanon is one of the
sine qua non
conditions for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Israel admits that the internationally recognized Palestine-Lebanon boundaries are now the Israel-Lebanon boundaries. Consequently, we ask why Israel does not withdraw all its troops beyond those international boundaries. There lies the answer to the situation.
: The next speaker is the representative of Morocco. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. BENNOUNA LOURIDI
(Morocco) (interpretation from French) At the outset I wish on behalf of the delegation of Morocco to thank you, Sir, and the other members of the Security Council for this opportunity to participate in this debate on the tragic situation in south Lebanon.
I wish also to congratulate you on your assumption of the high office of President of the Council for January. The Council's present debate cannot fail to gain from your broad experience, your wise guidance and your great courtesy.
My delegation is grateful also to the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union, Ambassador Belonogov, for having led the work of the Council last month with such distinction and effectiveness.
The Council has met once again to consider the disquieting situation which prevails in southern Lebanon, owing to Israel's continuing occupation of part of Lebanese territory under the pretext of setting up a security zone. Morocco, which in all international bodies has constantly called for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and the right of the fraternal Lebanese people to exercise full authority - and I stress "full authority" - over its own territory without any external interference, once again speaks out against the pretexts advanced by Israel for maintaining and strengthening its occupation of Lebanese territory.
For more than five years now,
Israel with its sophisticated war machine has been an invader in the southern part of Lebanon and has spread its practices of repression, privation and deportation of the local inhabitants, even establishing blockades against certain towns and villages.
The very telling account given by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, Mr. Fakhoury, reveals various aspects of the Israeli policy in Lebanese territory
and its underlying motivations.
In his most recent report, dated 4 December 1987 in document S/19318, the Secretary-General recalled in precise and objective terms the steps taken by the Israeli military authorities close to the demarcation line, giving map references, which he says
"have the apparent effect of realigning the border and thus give rise to concern that Israel is attempting to annex Lebanese-territory."
The Secretary-General went on to say that those Israeli encroachments extended to a number of square kilometres within Lebanese territory and have resulted in
"denying the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages access to their lands close to the border, which are often of great economic importance to them." (
S/19318, para. 2
Thus the constant and varied pressure exerted by Israel against Lebanon can obviously be explained only by a desire to consolidate the very fait accompli of occupation and, furthermore, to destroy the symbol of coexistence and harmony among ethnic groups and religions which has always been represented by Lebanon part of the world.
Nevertheless, a consensus has emerged in the Council that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) should be entrusted with the task of assisting the Lebanese Government and thus to guarantee the inviolability of its frontiers, in the interest of the security of all States in the region.
One may therefore wonder why it is that Israel is so anxious to authority of that international Force and discredit the Council's main function, namely, maintaining international peace and security.
The Moroccan delegation, which values the noble mission carried out by those forces, is alarmed by the acts of aggression of which they have been the target since their creation. May we today bow our heads in tribute to Captain McCarthy and express our profound condolences to his family and the Australian Government.
Israeli practices in Lebanon and the fact that Israel continues to occupy part of the territory of that fraternal country have been frequently condemned in the past by the Security Council, particularly in its resolutions
(1982), in which it clearly demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon and that Israel should respect Lebanon's internationally recognized boundaries. Those Security Council condemnations and injunctions have nevertheless remained fruitless - something that we regret. Israel continues to defy the international community and thus to prolong the suffering and tragedy experienced by an entire people.
Surely we must therefore agree that the Lebanese people has every reason resist so as to guarantee its own survival and that it is therefore the duty of the
international community, particularly the Security Council, to do everything possible to ensure Lebanon's stability and unity, so that the fraternal Lebanese people can live in peace within its national frontiers. This is indeed a vital need, the only one which will make it possible for Lebanese vital forces - whose endurance and courage have been universally recognized - to devote their creative energies to the noble task of reconstructing their country.
We have learnt from history the importance of this cultural melting-pot which Lebanon has always represented for enshrining once and for all certain civilized values - broad-mindedness, tolerance and coexistence within the same region. Undoubtedly, and perhaps even for that reason, Lebanon has been caught up in the whirlpool of the Middle East question and its future is henceforth bound to the urgent and comprehensive solution that should be provided for this situation by attacking its underlying roots, namely, the problem of Palestine.
But here again the General Assembly and the Security Council have identified a
procedure and a very clear target, namely, by means of an international conference to guarantee the right to peaceful existence of all peoples in that region without exception, including the right of the Palestinian people to an independent homeland.
Bruised and war-torn, as it is, Lebanon has more than its share of suffering. It is therefore high time that it return to its vocation as a land of peace and coexistence and a meeting-point between civilizations. It is high time that an end be put to the covetousness and foreign interference in Lebanon and that its people be given an opportunity to restore its unity and build a prosperous and peaceful future.
To this end, the United Nations has a special role to play and a great responsibility is incumbent upon it. In particular, the Security Council can no longer deal with the Lebanese tragedy in a half-hearted way. The Council should lay down the ways and means whereby, as suggested by the Secretary-General in his report:
"the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) can create a realistic prospect of restoring peace border." (
S/19318, para. 7
That is logical and is also a precept of international law; it is the position which is upheld by the United Nations Charter. The fact that reference has been made to other so-called violations cannot provide immunity against one's own violations of those laws and the Charter.
: I thank the representative of Morocco for his kind words about me.
The next speaker is the representative of Kuwait. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
(Kuwait) (interpretation from Arabic): It is a great pleasure for me, on behalf of Kuwait, to extend to you, Sir, congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council during a month replete with lively debate on Israel's aggression against Arab territories and on many other questions of international peace and security. You represent a country with which Kuwait has the closest ties of friendship and one that bears a special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Having had occasion to witness the vast experience and diplomatic talent you have brought to bear in the effective guidance of the Council's proceedings, I am sure that under your leadership this month the Council's work will be crowned with success.
I should also like to take this opportunity to thank your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union and our friend, His Excellency Ambassador Belonogov, for his masterly conduct of the Council's proceedings last month.
On behalf of my delegation, I am pleased to congratulate the new members of the Council that have joined it this month. I should like to wish them well as they begin their participation in the work of this important body. I am certain that Algeria, Brazil, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia will contribute to the defence of such noble international ideals as the maintenance of international peace and security. I am also certain that my friends the permanent members of the Council will also contribute to progress in the Council's work.
On behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, of which Kuwait has the honour to be Chairman, I am pleased to take part in the Council's debate on the repeated Israeli acts of unjustified aggression against a portion of the territory of Lebanon. Here, I should like to pay a tribute to the Permanent Representative of Lebanon for his enlightening statement highlighting Israel's acts of aggression and pointing to the implications of such unlawful acts.
The countries members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference are deeply concerned at the repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese territory. We are concerned at
the creation of military installations in a region that has been wrested from Lebanese sovereignty and treated by Israel in a manner unprecedented in international affairs as a "security zone" in which Israeli troops have been stationed. Such encroachments and incursions are blatant attempts to redraw international frontiers and illegally annex Lebanese territory. They have also seriously disrupted civilian life in Lebanon, where the inhabitants, are now deprived from access to their lands near the border. That, in turn, prevents people from reaching their workplaces to make a living and thus disrupts the country's economic and social life.
We are certain that the violations described to us by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon in his statement are only a few examples out of countless cases of encroachments and inhuman actions cynically carried out by Israel. As the Security Council is well aware, those violations are nothing new. Since December 1980, Lebanon has frequently had occasion to bring such matters to the Council's attention, not to mention the many
drawing the Council's attention to Israeli actions. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been witness to events there since 1980, can attest to the veracity of my assertions.
The subject of the Council's debates today is, therefore, but a further episode in a long series of Israeli acts of aggression dating from back to 1980. These violations demonstrate Israel's contempt for the principles of the United Nations Charter and of international law, and its scorn for Security Council resolutions calling for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
inues to occupy a portion of Lebanon, in violation of that country's territorial integrity as well as its sea and air space. Israel has imposed a naval blockade along Lebanon's southern coast that has deprived the civilian population of access to foodstuffs and medicines for days on end and prevented the International Red Cross from carrying out on-site inspections of conditions in the country. Such actions show small concern for human dignity or for the needs of old people, women and children. It is irrefutable proof of Israel's violations of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the 1907 Hague Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
It is particularly noteworthy that Israel persists in trying to justify its unlawful actions on the pretext of security while at the same time realizing its territorial ambitions with regard to Lebanese territory.
It is deeply distressing to see this travesty of justice and the trampling underfoot of the principles of international law on such a shoddy pretext. But that pretext will not deceive world public opinion. Most certainly, it will not deceive anyone here in the Security Council. No one is taken in by Israel's pretexts; all are familiar with its claims and ambitions regarding Lebanese territory and the water and other resources of Lebanon.
On behalf of the Islamic countries, which are deeply committed to Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and unity within internationally recognized boundaries, I should like to remind the Council that the fifth Islamic Summit Conference, held in Kuwait, adopted a resolution on Lebanon, calling on the Security Council to condemn all acts of Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory, including what Israel calls a "security zone", which is but an example of the expansionist policies of that country. The Summit Conference called on the Security Council to condemn Israel's continued criminal acts of aggression forcing civilians to abandon their land and once again called on the Council to implement resolution 435 (1978) and other resolutions along the same lines, all of which call for the immediate unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Lebanese territory.
Last week Israel rejected Security Council
(1988), as it usually rejects international resolutions, dismissing them as though they are of little consequence. It is thus undermining the Council's prestige.
The Security Council's resolutions must be made effective.
PRESIDENT: I thank the representative of Kuwait for the kind words he addressed to me.
(Senegal) (interpretation from French): Since this is the first time I have spoken as a member of this august body, I must express my appreciation of the honour that has been done my country, Senegal, and my awareness of the particular responsibility it will bear for the next two years, as we attempt to find concerted, just international peace and lasting solutions to the various problems endangering international peace and security.
On behalf of His Excellency President Abdou Diouf, I express the gratitude and thanks of the people and Government of Senegal to all those friendly countries that have shown their confidence biennium 1988-1989.
In accomplishing that noble mission, Senegal, which humbly declares its availability and open-mindedness, would like to draw on the sincere and constructive co-operation of all the other members of the Council.
I should like to take this opportunity to address some words of welcome to you, Mr. President, and to pay a very well deserved tribute to those countries that have just left this "club" Bulgaria, Congo, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates - for the extremely positive part they have played and their worthy contribution to the Council's work during their term of office. Their actions and their wise advice will serve us as a source of inspiration and meditation.
It is indeed fortunate, Sir, that my first statement is being made at a meeting of the Council presided over by the very perspicacious, competent and far-sighted diplomat that you are, the representative of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with which Senegal shares the ideals of peace, justice and democracy. This honours me, and I should like to assure you of the complete co-operation of my delegation. You are discharging your task with effectiveness and pragmatism typical of the British people.
His Excellency Ambassador Belonogov, Permanent Representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - may I say how pleased I am to be his neighbour - deserves our gratitude and congratulations on the exemplary way in which he conducted the Council's affairs during the month of December, a particularly heavy
month. I am sure that since he is the representative of a great country I can count on his co-operation during our term of office.
Before addressing the substance of the item before the Council, I should like to express our great concern and deep emotion in connection with the events that occurred in Al-Aqsa Mosque recently. For the Senegalese it is a sacred religious place and inviolable, whether it be Muslim, Christian or Jewish. Given the situation that prevails in the occupied territories, I hardly need mention the possibility of actions that might violate other sacred places. My Government hopes that the Israeli authorities will take all the necessary steps to ensure that an end is put to the profanation of the holy places of Islam.
Three months ago the President of the Republic of Lebanon, His Excellency Mr. Gemayel, for the third time in five years addressed the United Nations to explain to the international community the situation prevailing in that country. Among other things, he said that the Security Council should in due course perhaps meet to determine the necessary ways and means to ensure the implementation of the relevant resolutions with the objective of guaranteeing the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and making it possible for the Lebanese army and the internal security forces to operate exclusively throughout Lebanon with the help of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in accordance with the mandate of that Force. One could not be clearer than that.
The fact that the Security Council is called upon to discuss the situation in the Middle East, in particular Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanese territory, was dealt with in President Gemayel's appeal, very clearly bringing out the Security Council's special responsibility to restore Lebanon's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity.
Too many years have passed in which flagrant violations of the principles of the Charter have been revealed. Too many flimsy pretexts have been advanced in this Council and before the entire world to give Israel's actions in southern Lebanon a semblance of legality.
The numerous written complaints of the Lebanese Government and the intervention by the representative of Lebanon Government and the intervention by the representative of Lebanon at the beginning of these discussions have given us a detailed and tragic account of the violations of human rights and the intolerable practices carried out against the civilian populations.
Noting can justify laying siege to Lebanese villages, as Israel has done, or arbitrary detention, forced exile, the demolition of schools and houses, the humiliation of innocent populations and the kidnappings regularly reported to us.
The Security Council has unanimously adopted a number of resolutions requesting that Israel put an end to these acts and demanding, in particular, that it act in harmony with international law and in respect for the fundamental principles of the Charter. It has thus given ample proof of the international community's categorical refusal to acquiesce in the use of force and the policy of occupation and aggression as a means of assuring the security of any State.
It is the responsibility of the Security Council, the main guarantor of international peace and security, to live up to the expectations of the Lebanese people which has for so long been robbed of its dignity, by restoring its inviolable and justified right to independent sovereignty and territorial integrity - in other words, peace. It is high time that reason prevailed over the law of the jungle and that we acted in concert to bring back peace and reconciliation to that part of the world by holding an international peace conference on the Middle East which would involve the participation of all, interested and concerned parties. It appears to us that conditions are now ripe for the convening and holding of that conference. As requested by the General Assembly, the preparations for it should be taken up by the Security Council as soon as possible.
Senegal will, as always, and until an overall solution has been found for the Middle East problem, join in any initiative conducive to the restoration of Lebanon's dignity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It is in this context that my country from the very outset has participated in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). It represents our solidarity with, and an act of justice towards, a people with which we are very closely linked. Above all, it is the expression of a credo: a belief in justice and the resolution contained in document
. We are certain that its adoption and implementation will make an important contribution towards restoring peace and security to the Middle East.
: I thank the representative of Senegal for his kind words about me.
The next speaker is the representative of Mauritania. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. OULD BOYE
(Mauritania) (interpretation from Arabic) : I should like at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the first month of 1988. We pray that it will be a year of prosperity and peace for all humanity.
I should also like to pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Belonogov, Permanent Representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for the excellent manner in which he conducted the work of the Security Council during his presidency last month.
My delegation would like to congratulate the friendly and sisterly countries that have joined the Security Council this year: Algeria, Brazil, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. We are certain that their efforts will be a dynamic factor in the work of the Security Council and that they will do their utmost to defend just international causes.
Since last year the Council has dealt variously with the attacks by the
South African régime against the front-line States and with the terrorist practices pursued by Israeli settler colonialism in the face of the Palestinian masses struggling for freedom, dignity and independence and revolting against the Zionist iron-fist policy.
Today, the Security Council is meeting to consider Israeli attacks against Lebanon, particularly its most recent one. Israel has attacked Lebanon constantly. It violates its territory, air space and territorial waters. Furthermore, it continues to occupy a part of Lebanese territory, using it as a base for aggression and a springboard for its most abhorrent, arbitrary measures leading to An ever-growing number of victims.
Israel has intensified its repressive acts, including the systematic destruction of farms, village and towns, as well as land and sea blockades of whole areas in an attempt to use the weapon of hunger to quell the population's spirit of freedom and rebellion. It has inhumanely resorted to that weapon against the village of Yahmar, which has led the Secretary-General, at the request of the Lebanese Government, to mediate in order to have the blockade lifted. This series of inhumane practices, highlighted by the most abhorrent violations of human rights
and repeated attacks against Lebanon and the Israeli occupation of part of Lebanon's territory, has been amply and eloquently described by Ambassador Fakhoury of Lebanon.
Israel's refusal to implement security Council resolutions calling for complete and unconditional withdrawal from Lebanese territories so as to enable the Lebanese Government to regain sovereignty over all its land, and for the cessation Security Council itself and all peace - and Justice-loving people.
Israel's flagrant violation of human rights and its refusal to withdraw from all occupied Arab territories makes it incumbent upon the Security Council to adopt a firm position
Israel, compelling it to implement its resolutions - in particular,
(1982) calling for Israel's
unconditional withdrawal from all Lebanese territory, for respect for Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the cessation of all inhumane practices against its people.
This body has been entrusted by the Charter with a great mission, namely, the task of maintaining of international peace and security. The oppressed peoples and small nations have placed high hopes in the Council. Thus Mauritania joins Lebanon in its request to this by, condemns the Israeli attacks and practices, and calls upon it to halt such acts of aggression and compel Israel to implement the Council's resolutions and cease its incursions into Lebanese territory and its preventing their inhabitants from reaching their farmland. Those are just demands that deserve the support of all.
: I thank the representative of Mauritania for his kind words addressed to me.
(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian) : First, Sir, allow me to congratulate you on the manner in which you have discharged your heavy responsibilities as President of the Security Council during the month of January. We are convinced that your high professional qualities and authority will make it possible for you successfully to guide the proceedings in the Security Council aimed at settling the very difficult problems now before us.
I should also like to extend a warm welcome to the new members of the Council and express our best wishes for successful and fruitful work in the Council.
May I also take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the delegations which have expressed kind words about me and my country in connection with my presidency in the month of December.
As a number of delegations have noted, this is the fourth time in one month that the Security Council has met to consider acts committed by Israel - this time, acts of aggression against Lebanon. This is not at all because the Security
Council has a special penchant for an item relating to Israel, or wishes to make Israel a scapegoat for the faults of others, nor is it because we harbour a desire to express any prejudice regarding that country. Nothing like that happens in the Security Council, but the Security Council cannot indeed must not close its eyes to cases when decisions that have been adopted are cynically ignored, notwithstanding the perfectly clear requirements of the Charter. The Charter requires that all Members of the United Nations implement decisions adopted by the Council.
The policies pursued by Israel regrettably leave the Council no other choice. It must devote meetings once again to a consideration of concrete acts committed by Israel against its neighbours and against occupied Arab territories.
Like other members of the Council, the delegation of the Soviet Union has listened carefully to the statement of the representative of Lebanon. In our opinion, the Lebanese Government was quite justified in placing the matter before the Security Council. As the representative of Lebanon noted, his Government only last year was required on 15 separate occasions to draw the attention of the Security Council to acts of aggression committed by Israel against his country. We are aware that actually these actions would have been considerably more than 15. The aggressive acts of Israel against Lebanon have taken on a more or less permanent character and are multiplied practically every week causing an increased number of victims among the peaceful Lebanese population, as a result of the military strikes carried out by Israel by land, from the sea or from the air.
Israel continues to hold sway on Lebanese soil, obstinately refusing to put an demanded by the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. While maintaining its direct military presence, Israel has created arbitrarily in the southern part of Lebanon a so-called security zone. It has installed there its puppets in the
person of the mercenary army of south Lebanon and it continues the criminal practice of punitive operations against the people of Lebanon and collective punishments.
Having seized the southern parts of Lebanon as a result of aggression, Israel is attempting to maintain its military presence by making use of these seized territories as a beach-head from which to make new strikes deep within Lebanon.
It is quite obvious that these actions are aimed at heightening tension, destabilizing the situation and undermining the efforts of the Lebanese to normalize this very difficult situation prevailing in their land. This is indicated very clearly in many reports of the Secretary-General, in particular in his letter addressed to the President of the Security Council of 24 November 1987 (S/19318).
The example of Lebanon and Israel's repressions in the occupied Palestinian territories make it abundantly clear what is the essence of the policy being pursued by Tel Aviv against the Arab States and peoples. It is precisely here that we can uncover the roots of the reason why the Middle East is constantly in the grip of military fever and why the conflict in this area has turned into a dangerous source of international tension fraught with a real threat to peace and security on earth.
The Soviet Union firmly condemns Israel's ongoing aggression in Lebanon and expresses its solidarity with the people of Lebanon, which is struggling against occupation, as well as with the Arab people of Palestine, which is waging a valiant struggle for its national rights.
Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon and the repeated invasions by Israeli troops in other parts of that country indicate that Tel Aviv is relying exclusively on force in order to resolve the problems inherent in its relations with its Arab neighbours. At the same time, as the British newspaper
pointed out, the only lesson that can be learned from the invasion of Lebanon is that any show of force there has a boomerang effect. These words were not written today but in July 1958 when that newspaper was still called
The Manchester Guardian
. Can it be true that the 30 years that have elapsed since then have proved an adequate period of time for people to learn and understand that it is impossible to resolve anything through the use of force?
Is there any other way to resolve the problems existing between Israel and Lebanon? Yes, of course, there is such a way and it is clearly indicated in Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), which reaffirm the need for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon and also contain a demand that Israel withdraw all its military forces unconditionally from the territory of that country.
The Soviet Union sees the question of guaranteeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon in the overall context of efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. The principles and the machinery for such a comprehensive settlement are well known, namely, an international conference on the Middle East with the participation on an equal basis of all parties involved, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the five permanent members of the Security Council. The expeditious creation of such a machinery would enable all States to concert their efforts towards bringing about an immediate settlement and provide a tangible incentive for people to move towards peace. It would cut short the unfavourable and explosive trends existing in the region.
The duty of the Security Council is to take effective steps towards ensuring the faithful implementation of decisions adopted by the Council. Once again we appeal to all states to make their contribution towards unsnarling the conflict in the Middle East and at the same time we declare our readiness to co-operate with all those who are genuinely anxious to bring about the implementation of a Middle East settlement on a just and lasting basis, taking into account the interests and rights of all States and peoples in that part of the world.
: I thank the representative of the Union, of Soviet Socialist Republics for his kind words about me.
The representative of Lebanon has asked to speak, and I now call on him.
(Lebanon) (interpretation from Arabic): First and foremost I should like to reaffirm to the President that the delegation of Lebanon welcomes the statement he delivered just before this morning's meeting ended. We believe that there is a need to maintain a high level of debate in the deliberations in the Council. We have always sought that, whether it be in our own statements in the Security Council or in seeking to exercise the right of reply. We did not wish to seek exercising that right of reply, but the representative of Israel exceeded all possible restraint in his statement this morning.
Lebanon - and the representative of Israel must understand this - has sovereignty and inviolability, and any attempt to deny that Israel has violated Lebanon's sovereignty is simply unacceptable. On the contrary, all that he said merely supported what we have repeated many times over: Israel is violating the sovereignty of my country, Lebanon. Attempts to justify those violations by saying that they are for reasons of security cannot be accepted by anyone of sound mind.
The representative of Israel invoked some parts of a statement delivered by the President of my country before the General Assembly. However, he quoted selectively what he wanted and left out other things mentioned by my President concerning Israel, its occupation of Lebanese territory and its practices. He neglected to mention my President's demand for Israel's withdrawal. Furthermore, he did not mention my President's call to Israel to abide by the Council's resolutions. Furthermore, what about the President's remarks about sisterly Syria? What about what he said about his belief in Syria's role as Lebanon's principal partner and the special relationship between Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic as well as the ties of friendship and co-operation existing between two neighbours?
I should like the representative of Israel to understand, I should like Israel to understand, that Lebanon's bilateral and international relations are determined and decided on by Lebanon Alone.
Had I wanted to reply to all the outright lies uttered by the representative of Israel we would be here for a long time Indeed. Let me reaffirm two things:
First, Lebanon is an independent and sovereign State and an indivisible part of the Arab nation. These are words spoken by the President of my country before the General Assembly. Let me further add that Lebanon's independence and sovereignty are recognized by all with the exception of Israel. The Lebanese are determined to maintain their independence and sovereignty even at the cost of their lives. We are determined to liberate our land from Israeli occupation. This we believe is a national duty. Lebanese resistance is a matter of honour, just as when it forced Israel to withdraw from the capital and from most of our territory.
Moreover, the representative of Israel should be ashamed to speak of "humanitarian "Israeli acts in southern Lebanon.. with its air force, navy and artillery, Israel is bombarding towns and villages; Israel is killing women and children; Israel is laying siege to towns and villages; Israel is humiliating our citizens and ruining their lives. How then can we believe in Israel's "humanitarian" acts in the south?
The representative of Israel wondered what his country could possibly do. I can tell him frankly and clearly: withdraw from Lebanon and implement the
resolutions of the Security Council.
As for the 17 May agreement, Lebanon did not abrogate it. After it had been signed, it was not upheld in conformity with the Lebanese Constitution. The President of Lebanon thus refused to sign it.
The representative of Israel spoke of a Lebanon covered with cancer and other diseases, as though Israel were a healthy body suffering from no ailments whatsoever in its current internal composition. Lebanon is not sick. Lebanon continues to be an exemplar of humanitarian coexistence and moderation. Lebanon is the exact opposite of Israel. Israel, with its racist ideology, is the root cause of all the tragedies of our region. Illness is often caused by a virus and is generally contagious. As a rule the patient catches it by chance. But disease can also be injected into a sound body, and this is what is being done by Israel in Lebanon. Israel and the Israelis must therefore go to their doctor; perhaps they can be cured and will then cease this criminal approach to Lebanon and other countries of the region.
: I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
(Brazil): The Brazilian Government, consistent with the principles that have long guided its foreign policy, has stated on various occasions that the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Lebanon must be respected. The suffering inflicted on the Lebanese population is a cause of grave concern to Brazil. It is distressing that the relevant resolutions adopted by this Council on the situation in that country have not been fully complied with. We are convinced that only through unqualified compliance with those resolutions can peace and stability return to Lebanon. This is extremely important as a goal in itself, and it could also be a significant element in a comprehensive, negotiated, peaceful solution of the crisis in the Middle East.
We join other members of the Council in strongly deploring the recent Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and all other measures and practices employed against Lebanon's civilian population. We also feel strongly that all activities which represent an encroachment on Lebanese territory should be ceased. That is why Brazil is prepared to vote in favour of the draft resolution under
consideration today, which was submitted by Yugoslavia on behalf of Algeria, Argentina, Nepal, Senegal and Zambia.
We hope this draft resolution, if adopted by the Council, can be fully complied with, in its entirety.
As this is my first statement in the Council as one of its new members, allow me, Mr. President, to conclude by expressing the satisfaction of my delegation at beginning our participation in the work of this body under your very able guidance. I wish also to thank you and other members of the Council for the kind words of welcome extended to us as we joined this high body of the United Nations.
: I thank the representative of Brazil for his kind words about me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United Kingdom.
My delegation is disappointed that the Council will not on this occasion be able to reach a unanimous decision on the matter before it. We firmly supported earlier efforts to agree on a statement to be made on behalf of the Council by the President. The result of those efforts, as Council members know, was something we could have accepted. In the course of that process our concerns became well known. Unfortunately, they are not covered in the draft resolution before the Council, and my delegation will, accordingly, be obliged to abstain.
Let it be clear that my Government deplores Israel's actions both in southern Lebanon and of the sort described by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon in his letter of 6 January to the Secretary-General. Equally, we deplore the continuing cycle of violence in the area, including the use of Lebanese territory for armed attacks upon Israel. The omission of any reference to the general background of violence and counter-violence makes the draft resolution, for all its merits, unbalanced and incomplete. The position we shall take on it implies no change in our commitment to Lebanese sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, or in our determination to secure the earliest possible Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in accordance with Security Council
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution (
) before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall not put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
A vote was taken by show of hands
: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Federal Republic of, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Senegal, Union of-Soviet-Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia, Zambia
: United States of America
: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
PRESIDENT: The result of the voting is as follows: 13 votes in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention. The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council.
I shall now call upon those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
(United States of America): The United States today has voted against the draft resolution on south Lebanon. Let no one misunderstand this vote. Our support for Lebanon's independence remains strong; our commitment to the restoration of Lebanon's sovereignty remains deep; and our resolve to help
re-establish Lebanon's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized boundaries continues to be firm.
Peace cannot come to south Lebanon until the border between Israel and Lebanon is secure. Stability in south Lebanon will always elude us so long as that tortured area is used as the stage for terrorist raids and rocket launchings into Israel. Resolutions on south Lebanon can do no good - no matter how many or how strong - until this by acknowledges the cyclical nature of the violence we seek to end. Attack has generated attack. On both sides, soldier and civilian alike have suffered.
Continuing a review of the situation in southern Lebanon, without an attendant concern for the security of northern Israel, will have no consequence. Without balance, neither this draft resolution nor any that we may consider in the future can succeed in restoring peace and security to the civilian population of southern
In conclusion, I should like to congratulate you, Mr. President, for the skilful and able way in which you have conducted the debates of the Security Council on this very difficult and very thorny question.
: I thank the representative of the United States for his kind words.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.
The meeting rose at 5.20 p.m.
* *** *
>> Complete document (pdf)