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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/PV.2393
5 November 1975

CONTENTS

Agenda item 22:

Admission of new Members to the United Nations (continued)

Agenda item 17:

Election of five members of the International Court of Justice

Agenda item 27:

Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General (continued)

President: Mr. Gaston THORN (Luxembourg).


AGENDA ITEM 22

Admission of new Members to the United Nations (continued):

1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to bring to the attention of the Assembly a letter dated 29 October 1975 which I have received from the Permanent Observers for the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam and the Republic of South Viet-Nam. The letter reads:

"On the instructions of our respective Governments, we have the honour to ask the General Assembly to be good enough to have the debate on the report of the Security Council concerning the second United States veto of the applications for admission to the United Nations of the Republic of South Viet-Nam and the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam removed from the agenda for the thirtieth session and placed as a priority item on the agenda for the thirty-first session."

2. On the basis of this letter, may I consider that the Assembly decides to defer until its thirty-first session consideration of the special report of the Security Council contained in document A/10273 and to take it up at that session as a matter of priority?

It was so decided.


AGENDA ITEM 17

Election of five members of the International Court of Justice

3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The General Assembly will in the near future proceed to elect five members of the International Court of Justice to fill the vacancies which will occur on 5 February 1976, when the terms of office of the following members expire: Mr. Manfred Lachs, Mr. Fouad Ammoun, Mr. Cesar Bengzon, Mr. Sture Petren and Mr. Charles D. Onyeama.

4. Among the documents relating to the election which have previously been circulated to the General Assembly and the Security Council is the list of candidates nominated by national groups [A/10182-S/l 1802 and Add.1-10).

5. The list of candidates nominated within the required time for the submission of nominations, pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, is to be found in document A/10182-S/11802. Additional information regarding the candidates on that list, including the withdrawal of three candidatures and one nomination received after 1 August 1975, is contained in the addenda to that document.

6. In view of the numerous changes to the original list of candidates, as contained in documents A/10182-S/11802 and Add.1-10, some Member States have indicated that they felt it would be desirable, in order to facilitate the election, that at the time of election the Assembly should have before it a consolidated and updated list of candidates. Accordingly, I propose to request the Secretariat to issue a new list of candidates under the symbol A/10182/Rev.l-S/11802/Rev.l, which would incorporate all the changes that have occurred since the issuance of the original list and thus facilitate the election for all representatives.

7. If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Assembly agrees to this proposal.

It was so decided.

8. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): May I take this opportunity to inform the Assembly that, following consultations with the chairmen of regional groups, the election of five members of the International Court of Justice will take place on Monday, 17 November 1975.

AGENDA ITEM 27

Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General (continued)

9. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I must inform the Assembly of the difficulties that have arisen in connexion with the debate on the question of Palestine. When the list of speakers was closed at 5 p.m. yesterday, 59 speakers had inscribed their names to take part in the debate. Not more than six speakers can be heard in the morning and eight in the afternoon. A meeting has been scheduled for tonight to accommodate more speakers. In order to conclude the item in the time allotted for its consideration I may, reluctantly, have to schedule more night meetings and possibly a Saturday meeting.

10. We must all realise that time is running short. We cannot continue to extend our debate, for we have only six weeks left. I earnestly appeal to all those inscribed on the list to confirm their positions so that I can give the Assembly a clearer idea of how it is proposed to handle the consideration of this agenda item. By this I mean that a large number of representatives have put down their names in three different places for three different meetings. I cannot organize the debate in that way and that is why I ask representatives to decide definitely today whether they wish to speak this afternoon, this evening, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon or on Friday.

11. A draft resolution has been circulated in document A/L.768. In this connexion, and to facilitate the organization of our work, I should like to suggest a time-limit for the submission of draft proposals under this item, namely, tomorrow, Thursday, at 12 noon.

12. May I take it that the General Assembly agrees to my suggestion to set the time-limit for the submission of draft proposals at noon tomorrow, 6 November?

It was so decided.

13. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to make one more suggestion. Unless we are compelled to do so, we shall not place a time limit on statements. However, in my personal capacity, I suggest to representatives that they accept half an hour as the maximum time to speak. I am making this proposal because I have found that last year, in the debate on the question of Palestine, the average length of statements, excluding those of the principal interested parties, was 20 to 22 minutes. We have exceeded that average this year and that is why, as a colleague, I ask you to keep this suggestion in mind when making your statements.

14. Mr. DAMDINDORZH (Mongolia): As is well known, the question of Palestine, in the varying context of the Middle East problem, has been discussed at General Assembly sessions for nearly 30 years. We must pay a tribute to the General Assembly for having made at its twenty-ninth session a tangible contribution to rendering all possible support to the Palestinian people in the exercise of its inalienable right to return to its homeland and to restore national and State independence on its own territory.

15. We all remember that the General Assembly, on 22 November 1974, adopted resolution 3236 (XXIX) on the question of Palestine, which solemnly recognized the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, free from outside interference and to national independence and sovereignty, as well as the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property.

16. Having invited the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] to participate in the work of the sessions of the General Assembly, and having accorded it permanent observer status at the United Nations, our Organization has recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Palestine.

17. In fact, the PLO has grown into a mature entity which provides leadership to the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine for their legitimate rights, trampled underfoot by Israeli usurpers. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) recognized "the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

18. All attempts to reduce the Palestine question to one of refugees have suffered a defeat. That question has been widely recognized as one of the deeply rooted political problems of the Middle East conflict. That is an impressive victory for the Palestinian people, achieved with the all-round support of the socialist countries and that of all the peace-loving and democratic forces.

19. The Mongolian delegation attaches great importance to the consideration of the Palestinian question at the present session of the General Assembly. In the view of my delegation, further relaxation of international tension and consolidation of the principles of peaceful coexistence of States with different social and economic systems and the growth of mutual confidence among nations are the most favourable conditions that could facilitate the positive solution of the Middle East crisis.

20. The discussion of the question of Palestine will undoubtedly contribute to the efforts aimed at an equitable solution of the Middle East problem and at bringing about a just and durable peace in that region of the world.

21. It is against that background that we note with great regret that the General Assembly resolution adopted at the twenty-ninth session, on the realization of the inalienable right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, including the creation of its own statehood and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and property, remains so far only on paper. It has not been implemented because of obstruction by Israeli Zionist circles.

22. The presence of Israeli troops on the Arab territories occupied by Israel during the wars of aggression, its obstinate refusal to accept the exercise of the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine in accordance with its national aspirations, and its refusal to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people are the main source of tension in that part of the world. All this we cannot but qualify as the continuation of aggression. Recognition of Israel as a sovereign State does not in any way mean recognition of and reconciliation with its aggressive policy.

23. The position of the Mongolian Government on the Middle East problem, including the question of Palestine, is clear-cut and consistent. The problem should be settled in conformity with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the recommendations of the General Assembly, in the interests of all the peoples of the region, without any exception, and on the basis of complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and of ensuring the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including its right to form its own national State.

24. Present-day realities clearly show that the Middle East problem as a whole cannot be settled without the recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine, nor can it be solved without the exercise of the right of that people to self-determination; the Middle East problem should be settled with the participation of the PLO on an equal footing with and rights equal to those of the other interested parties. Nevertheless, Israeli authorities are still ignoring the PLO and are sabotaging every positive step towards the realization of the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to national and State independence.

25. Israeli authorities, with the support and patronage of world imperialism and Zionism, are pursuing a policy of racial discrimination in respect to Arabs living in Israel as well as to those driven out from their homeland. This policy of Israeli Zionists is resolutely condemned by world public opinion, which has found its reflection in the work of the present session of the General Assembly.

26. The national liberation struggle of the Arab people of Palestine is winning the firm support of the world community, and the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, is getting more international recognition. Today the PLO is a member of the group of non-aligned countries.

27. The Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lima in August of this year, adopted a resolution on the question of the Middle East and the occupied Arab territories. The Conference reaffirmed "its total and effective support for the front-line States and the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to restore all the occupied territories and usurped rights by every possible means" [A/10217, annex I, resolution VIII].

28. The Mongolian Government and people have supported and will continue to support the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine, which constitutes part and parcel of the world national liberation movement.

29. In conclusion, we should like to emphasize the role the United Nations should play in the over-all political settlement of the Middle East problem. The Security Council should exert the necessary efforts to implement its relevant resolutions on the Middle East, relying upon the growing international solidarity with and support for the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people.

30. The main problems of the Middle East must be settled through peaceful negotiations, within the framework of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. My delegation fully shares the view that it is high time that the Conference was reconvened, with the participation of all the parties concerned.

31. Mr. BISHARA (Kuwait): The question of Palestine will remain in the lap of the United Nations for the foreseeable future. It is simply the tragedy of a people that was brutally and forcibly evicted from its homeland by alien settlers. As a result of that eviction, the people of Palestine faced a choice of three abominable possibilities: life in sordid camps with its bleak prospects, submission to the brutality of occupation or the agony of diaspora. None of these possibilities has weakened the determination of the people of Palestine to attain its noble goal in exercising its legitimate right to self-determination and independence in its homeland. The passage of time has not provided any legitimacy to the absurd claim of the Zionists that Palestine was a land without a people nor has it eroded the will of the Palestinians to return to their homeland. The international community, which was at a certain time deceived by the propaganda of the Zionists, has already realized that peace in the Middle East will remain as evasive as a mirage of the desert until the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to self-determination and independence are recognized. The hardships of the miserable refugee camps have strengthened the insistence of the Palestinians on achieving self-determination to such a degree that even the reluctant now accept the inevitability of independence for the people of Palestine. The ravages and the torments of the diaspora have demonstrated that the yearnings of the Palestinians who were uprooted and dispersed to return to their homeland are still as strong. The physical onslaught of occupation and the mental burden of colonization have engendered a spirit of defiance and resistance to Zionist oppression and suppression in the occupied territories of Palestine. Thus the Palestinians, physically scattered by the savagery of displacement, have already found unity in their unanimous craving for a return to their homeland where they will achieve self-determination and independence. That is why there exists today one people of Palestine who, despite the remoteness of some of its members, is united in its battle against Zionism to obtain its legitimate right in achieving nation status. Israel cannot for ever shelter behind the nonsensical contention that the Palestinians could be consigned to other areas in the Arab world. The Palestinians lived in their homeland for thousands of years and salvation from the tragedy will not come from outside but from within their own homeland, not from assimilation in the Arab countries, a process which they resist, but from repatriation to their own country. They had lived in Palestine long before the Zionists engineered their macabre plan of displacing them. They welcomed Jews when Jews were persecuted in the aftermath of the assassination of Alexander in Russia. They made room in their own country for the persecuted, unknowing that the persecuted would eventually persecute them. They displayed human generosity to those who were planning to dislodge them from their own hearths and farms. In sum, they maintained a high morale in spite of their long ordeal and suffering and their steadfastness of purpose was never undermined by any marginal or ephemeral considerations.

32. The people of Palestine have not emerged all of a sudden from the corridor of surprise. They did not come from nowhere. They were a people, have been so, and will remain so indefinitely since they are endowed with the requisites of nationhood. Their history did not start with the notorious Balfour Declaration of 1917 that promised their land to the aliens, nor did it commence with the Mandate of the League of Nations that placed Palestine under the ignoble British administration. They have suffered throughout the ages from the wounds inflicted upon them but have never relaxed in their determination to triumph over their hardships. The decision of the General Assembly in resolution 181 (II) of November 1947 was the culmination of a series of devilish injustices inflicted upon this everlastingly vibrant people. The United Nations had no right, nor any mandate, to partition a country against the will of its own people. The United Nations stigmatized and violated its own Charter by its own action. Rarely, if ever in human history, had a body which was established to ensure justice and maintain peace, flouted the foundations on which it was based. The resolution on the partition of Palestine will remain eternally as a symbol of sinister injustice to oppressed nations and will provide a telling lesson to those who look to the United Nations for fairness and equity. It is to the credit of the people of Palestine that they were admirably unaffected by their bitter experience with the United Nations; their representatives here have presented their case without rancour or hate, but with hope and remarkable resilience. Notwithstanding the cruel partition resolution, the people of Palestine have not lost their faith in the international community. For years, they had not forsaken hope of the implementation of resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, calling for the repatriation of the Palestinians to their homeland and for payment of compensation to those who did not wish to be repatriated. This resolution had been a topic for discussion in every session from the late 1940s until very recently. Israel, whose admission to the United Nations was conditional on its implementation of the resolution, succeeded through manoeuvres and hypocrisy in vitiating the will of the international community. The United Nations, instead of exhibiting power and determination for the implementation of its own resolution 194 (III), succumbed to the tactics of Israel in assigning the people of Palestine to the dreadful fate of life in the refugee camps.

33. Thus charity took the place of repatriation; almsgiving replaced compensation. The United Nations, because of its own inability to provide justice, has become used to reaching out with its begging bowls for charity. The people of Palestine are proud people, creative and intelligent. They ridicule the anomalous decisions of the past with a fierce determination to correct them through their toil, labour, fighting spirit and sacrifice. Thousands of them have already fallen on the altar of the sacred principles of self-determination and independence. They do not flinch from sacrificing blood for their noble goal. They will fight uninterruptedly until they achieve their aspiration to self-determination and independence. They harbour no hate or rancour against anybody. They are not warmongers but advocates of justice. They show no malice to the United Nations, but they came to it, despite their bitter memory, to seek justice through it.

They look into every nook and cranny to eliminate the deep and rankling disappointment of the past, for the sake of a better future.

34. The General Assembly last year adopted resolution 3236 (XXIX), emphasizing, inter alia, the rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination and independence. That resolution has not been implemented. Israel, whose history abounds with violations of United Nations resolutions, and whose raison d'etre in this body is the obstruction of the will of the international community, has shown nothing but scorn for that resolution. Israel, whose record is almost impeccable in the breach and violation of United Nations decisions, is not a country that bows voluntarily to the injunctions of this supreme body.

35. In the view of the delegation of Kuwait, it is high time to overcome the obduracy of Israel. That cannot be done by gratuitous appeals, but by drastic action. The delegation of Kuwait advocates the establishment of a committee, comprising a certain number of Member States in the United Nations, to undertake the implementation of the provisions pertaining to the exercise by the Palestinians of the right to self-determination and of their inalienable right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted. The establishment of that committee will not leave much room for manoeuvres by Israel.

36. If the Zionist State of Israel does not implement resolution 3236 (XXIX), and in particular paragraphs 1 and 2, then the committee should set up a programme of implementation, bearing in mind the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations. In other words, if Israel persists in its disregard of the plight of the Palestinians, certain punitive measures should be applied against it. Israel cannot continue in its campaign of ignoring the United Nations resolutions and at the same time enjoy membership in a body whose Charter, principles, aims and resolutions it incessantly flouts.

37. There is a constant conflict between its presence in the United Nations and its blasphemous deeds. Israel has shown, through its contempt for the United Nations, its Charter and its decisions, that it belongs to a world of injustice, of no charter, of no law, a world in which the rule of brawn, not brain, prevails.

38. Israel cannot continue its defiance of United Nations resolutions with impunity. We believe that the Assembly should adopt drastic measures against Israel so as to make it comply with United Nations resolutions. The world is weary of its procrastination, tired of its excuses, unreceptive to its bankrupt arguments, unwilling to listen to the evidence of hypocritical double standards.

39. The Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lima in August 1975, granted the PLO full membership in the Non-Aligned Movement. This was welcomed by more than 80 members of the international community simply because those countries acknowledge the undeniable fact that the PLO represents a people entitled to exercise its incontrovertible right to self-determination and independence. Those 80 countries of the non-aligned group, plus many another nation in this world, recognize the PLO because it is the embodiment of the reality of the situation. Moreover, there is no country in this world, apart from Israel, that does not recognize the rights of the Palestinian people to sovereignty in any final and durable settlement in the Middle East. Recognition by the non-aligned countries, and by many others, of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and sovereignty is indeed a translation of the reality of the situation prevalent in the Middle East.

40. No peace can be achieved without the active participation of the people of Palestine. No peace can be obtained without the reaffirmation of the right of the people of Palestine to independence and sovereignty. No peace can be arrived at without the satisfaction of the elemental rights of the people of Palestine and its consent to the terms of the edifice of peace. We will continue our annual deliberations on the question of Palestine until the time arrives when the suffering and the displacement of the Palestinians disappear and justice prevails.

36. 41. Israel must understand the significance of recognition by the international community of the rights of the Palestinians to a homeland and sovereignty.

It must read the writing on the wall. Similarly, it must take a leaf from the book of the Portuguese, who until recently held giddily to the fictitious theory of an overseas Portugal. Otherwise, animosity in the Middle East will continue to sweep over the shepherds and the flocks.

42. The situation in the Middle East constitutes a threat not only to peace in the area, but to the international security of the whole world. World peace will remain an unattainable target as long as the people of Palestine have not been able to redress the wrongs inflicted upon them by the Zionists and their supporters. Endeavours to secure partial and interim arrangements for the stability of the Middle East will be of no avail as long as they overlook the root of the problem and engage only in tackling its ramifications.

The tragedy of the people of Palestine is the crux of the matter; the rest are merely derivatives.

43. Conditions in the Middle East will continue in a state of constant turmoil punctuated by wars and truces until the problem is solved at its roots, correctly and justly. The genesis of the problem was the displacement of the Palestinians from their land and the occupation of their homeland by world Zionism, which has colonized Palestine and deprived the rightful owners of the land of their right to self-determination and independence. May I, in this respect, echo what the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait stated before the

General Assembly on 30 September 1975. He said:

"Peace will not be achieved in the Middle East as long as the people of Palestine remain deprived of the most elementary rights enshrined in the Charter and in numerous resolutions adopted since 1 1948, the latest of which was General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), which reaffirmed the inalienable human and national rights of the people of Palestine.

"Likewise, a just and lasting peace will not be achieved in the Middle East unless there is full respect for the principle enunciated in several resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, which is in fact a corner-stone of the Charter and which emphasizes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and calls for the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories. I wish to emphasize a truth that cannot be concealed: that unless the original sin which was perpetrated against the Palestinian people is corrected by the restoration of its inalienable human and national rights there will be no just or lasting peace in the Middle East." [2368th meeting, paras. 138-139.]

44. Israel should learn from this lesson. Those of us who have followed the activities for a step-by-step approach know full well that those attempts initiated by a Power that has not yet recognized the essential realities related to the rights of the Palestinians will eventually founder. In my opinion, Mr. Kissinger's frequent pilgrimages to the Middle East are no more than a wild-goose chase. On the other hand, Israel, whose incapacity to comprehend the realities is almost unprecedented in history, should understand that it' will continue to live in a web of danger and threat

until it acknowledges the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, sovereignty and independence. Israel is solely to blame for the continuance of bloodshed in our area. It has exhausted the patience of the international community by its adamant refusal to face the realities of the situation. It has been patronized and coddled by some Powers to the extent of emasculating the forcefulness of the resolutions and injunctions of the United Nations. The international community cannot accept the continuation of the present conditions. The application of mandatory punitive measures against Israel is long overdue. There is no more room for half-hearted approaches. There is a limit beyond which tolerance and patience become a sin. The international community has exhibited unwarranted patience with the arrogance and intransigence of Israel.

45. Kuwait prides itself on its record of support for the cause of the people of Palestine. We recognize that they and only they can either force peace based on justice or cause disruption. They will work assiduously for peace if their legitimate rights are recognized. If they are not a party to any talks on peace, nothing will materialize. We in Kuwait oppose any arrangements that by-pass their fundamental rights. Even the uninitiated, the remote, the reluctant and the supporters of Israel acknowledge the indispensability of according the Palestinians their legitimate rights if any durable peace is to emerge. We know for sure that attempts to forestall any future conflict are futile unless the Palestinians are a party to those attempts. This, in turn, cannot happen until their lawful and inalienable right to self-determination and independence is taken into account. That is why Kuwait supports to the hilt the struggle of the Palestinians for the achievement of their national goals. We believe their struggle is in consonance with the Charter of the United Nations. They fight for the noble aims and purposes enshrined in the Charter, which proscribe colonialism, hegemony and the denial of self-determination. In their struggle to return to their homeland, they have not departed from the Charter; on the contrary, they give force and meaning to its provisions. For that reason, we view their strife as an implementation of the United Nations resolutions and a reinforcement of its Charter. Their struggle is worthy of the support of the international community since they have waged it primarily to implement the resolutions of the United Nations and to initiate scrupulous observance of the Charter and its tenets. Therefore, their national fight is not separate from our collective fight for respect for and observance of the Charter. I submit that the Charter has launched a war, through the people of Palestine, for the consolidation of its principles. We should take off our hats as a sign of respect for the Palestinians who fight on our behalf.

46, The thrust of the United Nations resolutions on Palestine is not to sanction the view that the Palestinians should be allowed to rot in the shameful refugee camps. The Palestinians valiantly responded to the call. They have held the lamp of justice aloft. They have defied death, maiming, bombing and mutilation. They are encouraged in their march to freedom by fair-minded nations and the Charter of the United Nations. There is no doubt they will triumph, as their ancestors triumphed against the onslaught of ancient invaders.

47. Mr. MEDANI (Sudan) (interpretation from Arabic): The Arab peoples have always been victims of aggression, and Zionism has always been the aggressor. The history of Zionism is full of crimes and conspiracies and it has become the twin brother of imperialism and racism. It is not surprising that this organic racist alliance has been established between the State of Israel, as a representative of the Zionist entity, and the racist regimes in the southern part of the continent of Africa in all the various stages of the history of the question of Palestine. This alliance started with the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 and has gone through all the conspiracies of the settlement of Jews from Europe, reaching its zenith in the adoption of the unjust resolution 181 (II) adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947, a resolution which was a blemish on the United Nations because it gave itself the right by that resolution to partition a land owned by a people for many thousands of years and to usurp that land and property for the benefit of world Zionism. That was an unjust resolution and was unprecedented in history; in it the United Nations disregarded its own principles and its own Charter, ignored the principle of the right to self-determination of colonized peoples and imposed partition on them.

48. The patient and peace-loving people of Palestine suffered crimes similar to those committed by Nazism and its allies in Europe and had to pay a very high price, namely, its land and its sons. That resolution was planned by Zionism, since the idea was born in the head of its founder, Herzl, adopted by Rothschild and implemented by the British authorities in Palestine. It was a conspiracy in which the interests and aspirations of Zionism and world imperialism were closely interwoven. Zionism did as it wanted and Israel became a Member of the United Nations. The people of Palestine were deprived of the minimum right to live in peace, their land was usurped, a land in which they had lived for over 2,500 years, and they were made homeless. They were replaced by racist usurpers who had emigrated from a strange land, claiming that this was historically just. Unfortunately, many people believed them and provided them with every means of protection, and even with weapons by means of which to occupy other territories: and all this because they believed the Zionist State represented the messenger of civilization and democracy and progress in the Middle East, completely forgetting the Palestinian people, with their historic civilization. They wished these people to live as orphans, supported by the United Nations, which would provide allocations for the relief of the homeless Palestinian people. Israel continued, and believed that this would put an end to the people of Palestine; it declared that the people of Palestine did not exist and denied the very existence of the question itself.

49. Yesterday its representative once more defied the resolutions of the United Nations recognizing the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine. He told representatives that they were not alert, because they had not listened to the dictates of Israel, and he said that the solution of the Palestinian problem was the responsibility of the Arabs. Israel has practised all the things it originally suffered at the hands of Nazism to make the Palestinian people succumb and become only a name in history. It has arrested thousands of youths and terrorized women and children.

50. What is really distinctive about the Arab nation and primarily the Palestinian people is their ability to survive. Therefore it was not strange that the Palestinian revolution should have been born under the leadership of the PLO. The world recognized in the United Nations that the PLO was the only legitimate representative of the people of Palestine by resolution 3236 (XXIX), followed by resolution 3237 (XXIX) granting the PLO observer status. This was a result of the successive victories of the Palestinian revolution in all international and regional forums. They started with the Second Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries at Cairo in 1964 recognizing the rights of the people of Palestine, including their right to return to their land. This was followed by the Third Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries at Lusaka in 1970, and finally by the Fourth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries at Algiers in 1973, at which the participants declared their recognition of the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the people of Palestine. Africa also expressed its recognition through its various conferences, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference expressed its recognition of the PLO. All this happened in spite of Israel and its allies. This confirmed the justice of the Palestinian cause and its ultimate victory, and it also proved once again that procrastination and resort to force would not be of any avail to the Zionist entity. What has happened in Cambodia, Viet Nam, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe also confirms the ultimate failure of that policy and the fact that victory will be to the people.

51. The successive victories of the Palestinian revolution, exemplified in world recognition and the creation of numerous offices in various parts of the world, have all had their impact on the Zionist entity and have made it hysterical, as is shown by the beating of innocent people within the occupied territories, the launching of campaigns of terror, and arrests. Throughout this period the Palestinians have shown courage and perseverance, because they are fully convinced of the justice of their cause. The Zionists have attacked Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon by air, sea and land, and the Palestinians who struggle against them have shown their bravery and their willingness to sacrifice their youths and their sons. The Zionist entity believed that the Palestinian question could be brought to an end by the complete extermination of the Palestinian people in the camps and the villages. That racist regime did not learn the lesson its allies had learnt in Viet Nam and Cambodia, nor did it learn the lesson that peoples are not put down by force or made to succumb by terrorism. Hardly a day passes without revealing to the world the scope of the myth of the racist regime in the land of Palestine, and its growing isolation. The resolutions adopted at Lima 1 and at Kampala have added to the victories of the Palestinians and their just cause and condemned the Zionist regime and policy. The racist regime has interpreted those resolutions by the fact that the Arabs were unable to attain their aspiration to isolate Israel. It ignored the international conferences, for one of two reasons: either because it found American support in arms and money, which encouraged it to ignore the many United Nations resolutions, or because it has become recidivist. Let me refer to what was reported by the media and to the reaction in the corridors of this Organization a few weeks ago, after the success of the Member States of the United Nations in confirming the legitimate rights of the Palestinians visa-vis Zionism, whose attitude was clearly apparent when the draft resolution condemning it as a means of racial discrimination was adopted. Zionism is indeed dangerous because it exploits the sacred religions to serve terrorist objectives and classifies people according to race and class, whereas the three religions call for love and equality among men. It is Israel which brings war and occupies homes and desecrates holy places, whereas the religions call for peace and the preservation of human dignity.

52. Zionism is even more dangerous than all other kinds of racism such as apartheid, because it takes into consideration not only colour but also creed. This shows that it is a kind of imperialism of the intellect and belief because Zionists are the prisoners of their own principles and their own theory. Therefore their representative said that one million Christians in Lebanon were going to be annihilated by the Muslims of that country. He said this with no respect for the intellects of his hearers, as though we were living in the time of the Crusades and as though there was a kind of religious conflagration between Muslims and Christians. Then they call themselves harbingers of progress and of civilization in the Middle East where civilization has existed for many, many centuries.

53. Israel has also called itself the defender of Lebanon and yet the State of Israel has not let one day pass without attacking the camps of harmless Palestinian refugees in the peaceful south of Lebanon.

54. We all know what Zionism stands for. Israel is sorry to see that in Lebanon Muslims and Christians live side by side; it is displeased to find that Lebanon is a successful example of a secular State because its success is in defiance of the isolationist theory of the State of Zionism and racism.

55. Mr. Yasser Arafat stated last year that the establishment of a secular State was an ideal in Palestine to replace the racist Israeli State. Mr. Kaddoumi, the head of the delegation of the PLO, echoed that opinion and felt that it would be a good substitute for the racist regime existing in the land of Palestine. The representative of the PLO supported the establishment of a national authority to bring about the secular democratic State. That is the positive solution proposed by the PLO, which the Assembly has recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The resolutions adopted by the United Nations in order to correct the injustice of the earlier resolutions put forward by certain Powers in circumstances of which we are aware, were welcomed by us. Since the United Nations contributed to the creation of the Palestinian problem, it is the United Nations that should solve it. The United Nations also bears responsibility for restoring their land and properties to the people of Palestine and allowing them to exercise the right of self-determination in conformity with their legitimate rights. Those rights can only be protected if the General Assembly follows up the implementation of its resolutions.

56. Therefore we feel it is very necessary to set up a committee to follow up the implementation of the legitimate rights of the people of Palestine, a committee which would have wide competence to implement United Nations resolutions on the right to self-determination of the people of Palestine and the return of that people to its land and property. We feel that that cannot take place while Zionism enjoys privileges, and therefore a committee should be set up similar to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to put an end to the practices and activities of racist Zionism. That regime has so far been free to carry out its aggression for the past half-century by means of terrorist groups such as the Haganah and the Stern Gang. It has also been allowed to use pressure, to encourage those who support Zionism and to help the immigration of Jews into that State. Immigration therefore is the basis for the very existence of that State and thus it interferes in the internal affairs of other States, bringing pressure to bear on Jews and inciting them to go to Israel.

57. Those Jews who have been enticed into Israel have not all found what they were seeking; the Oriental and Arab Jews are second-class citizens in Israel and herein lies the evil of Zionism. In fact, the Oriental Jews, especially the Arab Jews, are the original Semites, not the European Jews. Therefore, it is up to Israel to correct its own anti-Semitic policies instead of accusing the Arabs, who are of Semitic origin, of anti-Semitism. We learn from the news that those who have been enticed by the Zionists into going to Israel from Eastern Europe have afterwards sought to become Christians, to be converted to Christianity, in order to be able to leave Israel with the help of Christian institutions. Many Oriental Jews invited to Israel refused to leave their own country when the manoeuvres and plots of Israel were revealed to the world. Thus Israel's immigration plans have suffered great setbacks. This angers the Zionists, who are also infuriated by the fact that Jewish youth today realizes that the Jewish religion is different from Zionism. Zionism exploits Judaism.

58. The secular democratic state of Palestine rejects all that and puts forward a just case for coexistence between and equal rights for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The secular state of Palestine will not allow immigrants because every man has his own country. We in the Sudan believe in that. President Nimeiri has made an appeal to those Jews of the Sudan who have been enticed by Zionism to leave the Sudan to return to their own country, the Sudan, and has said that he will help them and will return to them all their property. And those who responded to that appeal and returned to the Sudan, found their properties and funds untouched.

59. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Sudan in his address to this Assembly on 30 September said that one year ago the PLO had come here in spite of the intentions of the United States, which had to give way to our Organization's sense of right. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs stated:

"The vote which brought the Palestinian people into the community of nations last year is but the beginning of further steps towards affirming the Palestinian entity." [2368th meeting, para. 173.]

60. Yes, that was the very first step in accordance with the true will of the people of Palestine taken by their sole, authentic representatives in their efforts for peace. No peace without Palestine! Peace cannot be brought about without the full participation of the sole legitimate representatives of the people of Palestine. It is up to the United Nations and the General Assembly to pave the way for peace and to allow the representatives of Palestine to play their full role in its attainment. Now that the people of Palestine through its legitimate leaders has reconfirmed its wish for peace based on justice, it is up to the United Nations, which last year recognized the legitimacy of those leaders, to implement its resolutions regarding any international conference at which the question of Palestine will be discussed. This has been made clear by the head of the delegation of the PLO who said at this session:

"... there can be no peace in the region without justice and no justice without the full recognition and ultimate attainment of the national rights of our people. We declare also that no international conference has the right to discuss the Palestine problem in isolation from the PLO or in its absence; for the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Similarly, we declare that we reject any resolution which ignores the national rights of our people. We declare that we refuse to participate in any. conference whose frame of reference is based upon such an unacceptable resolution. We welcome, at the same time, any international effort which takes General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) as its basis." [2390th meeting, para. 29.]

61. We also heard here the appeal made by Mr. Yasser Arafat to the Assembly at the twenty-ninth session,3 not to let the olive branch of peace fall from his hand. War flares up in Palestine, and yet it is in Palestine that peace will be born. My country truly believes that it is the duty of the United Nations and of the international community to do its best to see to it that the olive branch does not fall from the hands of the Palestinian revolutionaries.

62. Mr. JAIPAL (India): Last November my delegation explained at length our approach and attitude to the question of Palestine,4 one which goes back in time to the early years of the Indian nationalist struggle for independence. At that time Palestine was under British administration according to a Mandate of the League of Nations. The struggle for the independence of Palestine was then regarded as an integral part of the world-wide nationalist movement. That global phenomenon of nationalism was based on the assertion of the well-established principle that sovereignty resided in the people, and the alien ruler was regarded as holding that sovereignty in trust until it was transferred to the sons of the soil, and the daughters too.

63. The procedures for decolonization at the end of the Second World War were by no means uniform. Areas under colonial rule became independent through a variety of means, peaceful and non-peaceful. It was only during the fifteenth session of the General Assembly that the process of decolonization was defined by the United Nations in specific terms. One important outcome was the reaffirmation of the United Nations Charter principle of self-determination of peoples. The other equally important result was the recognition by the United Nations of national liberation movements.

64. What happened in Palestine is a matter of recorded history and is known to all of us—not only its recent history but also its ancient origins, thanks to the erudition and dedication of Mr. Baroody. However, the consequences of the partition of Palestine still remain and the question now before us is at the very root of peace in the Middle East. There have been so many bitter conflicts in that region stemming from the Palestine question and deeply involving the great Powers that every new round of hostilities brings on new dangers to world peace.

65. No peace settlement in the Middle East, regardless of whether it is arrived at within or outside the framework of the United Nations, will be viable or durable unless it contains a just solution to the key issue, which is the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian Arabs. The United Nations bears a special responsibility for this problem, for it was the United Nations which unwittingly created this problem by its decisions of 1947 and 1948.

66. At that time, it will be recalled, the conscience of mankind was outraged by the manner in which some nations of Europe tried to liquidate the Jewish components of their nationals, and a world war was fought against the forces of Nazism and fascism. After that war the United Nations created Israel by partitioning Palestine in a manner which led to yet another war that resulted in the eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their homes, properties, lands and even the country of their origin. Their flight to neighbouring countries has equally outraged the conscience of mankind, especially as it was caused by people who themselves had been victims of racial discrimination.

67. For over 27 years the United Nations has stood by and done virtually nothing for the Palestinian Arabs except to treat them as refugees. We in India understand and sympathize with the plight of refugees, because all through our history India has been at the receiving end of an influx of refugees from the north and south, and from the east and the west. The case of Palestinian Arabs is surely different from that of the permanent refugee. They have a rightful claim on the United Nations to redress the wrongs and injustices inflicted upon them in their own country. They have now come to the United Nations with an olive branch, for the gun is out of place here. They have come to us in peace and with the demand that the United Nations use its enormous prestige and power to restore to them their national rights.

68. We consider this to be a good and healthy development. It represents the desire to turn away from paths of violence to ways of non-violence and negotiation. It is good indeed that the United Nations recognized the status of the PLO and the rights of the Palestinian Arabs at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly. The trust that the Palestinian Arabs have placed in the United Nations has to be redeemed by the United Nations if there is to be a lessening of hatred and violence. It is vital that the United Nations should therefore adopt decisions that give hope to the Palestinian Arabs, because to do otherwise would be callous and cruel.

64. 69. What the Palestinian Arabs are now seeking is a reasonable expectation that their inalienable rights will be restored to them in the foreseeable future within a framework of justice and peace. The Charter of the United Nations contains all the procedures necessary for meeting the legitimate demands of the Palestinian Arabs. What remains to be demonstrated to them is the collective will—indeed the unanimous will—of the Member States of the United Nations to undertake seriously the responsibility of finding meaningful solutions for the problems of the Palestinian Arabs. can we stand by and watch the Palestinian Arabs being subjected to the sort of treatment whereby the European Jews were hounded out of Europe 35 to 40 years ago? The Palestinian Arabs too are entitled to return to their own country and to live there as they have always done. The consequences of Israeli aggression and occupation of Arab lands and territories should first be liquidated by the United Nations, and the Palestinian Arabs should be enabled to live in their own land with honour and dignity as a sovereign and independent nation. This is of course without prejudice to the existence and security of all the established States in the Middle East.

70. This is one of the unfinished tasks of the United Nations—one which was created by the United Nations and one which the United Nations must finish in the interests of peace. We cannot redress one wrong by committing another. We must not allow the Palestinian Arabs to return to their refugee camps without a framework, however tentative it may be, which will constitute the beginning of a process for the search for a peaceful way to restore their national rights within a reasonable period of time.

71. I envisage not only a framework but a machinery, perhaps more than one, which will not only bring to light the full scope of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs, but also attempt to match and harmonize those aspirations within the bounds of flexible realism. It is with this profound sense of responsibility that all Member States should apply their minds to this question and make their own constructive contributions to a just and durable solution.

72. There is no doubt in our mind that the United Nations must get more and more involved in this question. It was never an exclusively Arab problem. It was always a United Nations problem. We created it and so we must solve it.

73. Mr. SEMEGA-JANNEH (Gambia): All the parties involved in the Middle East crisis have at various times admitted that the problem of the Palestinian people constitutes the very core of that crisis. Therefore, we have to be realistic and admit that there cannot be any just and lasting peace in the war-torn area until the problem of the Palestinian people has been equitably and permanently solved.

74. It is now close to 30 years since the Palestinian people were deliberately squeezed out of their homeland by the expansionist policies of Israel, which then Portrayed them in its propaganda media as a band of wreckers and murderers who should be banished from international life.

75. A prominent American once said, "You cannot fool all the people all of the time". It is my conviction that the time has come when, in the interest of a just and lasting peace, Israel should face the unpalatable fact that the kind of propaganda referred to earlier is no longer acceptable to the international community as a whole.

76. The Gambia Government has a consistent record of supporting Security Council resolution 242 (1967), in which Israel is assured of secure and recognized borders. We continue to support that resolution, which we believe is not incompatible with the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We therefore call upon Israel to respect all previous resolutions adopted by the United Nations on the question of Palestine.

77. I should like to end my statement by quoting the famous words of a noble Englishman in the House of Lords about 200 years ago, when the United States was locked in a life-and-death struggle with the British people for its independence. The statement of that nobleman to his countrymen, telling them the absolute truth and justice, should ever serve as a reminder to all nations, suppressor and suppressed alike. The noble Englishman to whom I refer was Lord Chatham, who said the following in the House of Lords during the American War of Independence:

"I cannot, my lords, I will not, join in congratulations on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment, it is no time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery cannot save us from this rugged and awful crisis. . .

"You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? You do not know the worst, but you do know that in three campaigns we have done nothing and suffered much. You may swell every expense to every German depot; your attempts shall ever be vain and impotent; doubly so, indeed, from the mercenary aid on which you rely, for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your adversaries to overrun them with mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the whims of hireling cruelty. . .

"If I were an American—as I am an Englishman— whilst a foreign troop remained in my country I would never lay down my arms. Never. Never. Never."

That could be applicable to the Palestinians.

78. Mr. VINCI (Italy) (interpretation from French): It is in my capacity as representative of the country which presides over the European Economic Community [EEC], and on behalf of its nine component States, that I wish to make known our views on the all-important question of which the Assembly is seized. That our Community should be concerned with the fate of the Palestinians should surprise no one in view of the fact that that problem affects a region near to us and with which, in the course of history, we have maintained close ties founded on an obvious need for complementarity, and the fact that the settlement of the question is at the very heart of the Middle East crisis.

79. Moreover, it is obvious and cannot be denied that the situation in Palestine in the past few years has acquired decisive weight in the search for peace in the Middle East. As the debates in various international forums, notably this one, have shown, it would appear to be vain to seek a general settlement of the conflict that does not include a solution of the Palestinian problem.

80. This preoccupation of the States members of the Community was formally voiced for the first time in their joint declaration of 6 November 1973.5 The members of the Community continue to insist in particular on the need to implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) to which they have always been strongly attached. Similarly, they continue to believe that special attention must be given to the Palestinian problem, which appears to be the most complex of the various fundamental aspects of the settlement of that question. These aspects of the position of the States members of EEC remain valid and cannot be dissociated from the question as a whole.

81. It is in this spirit and on the basis of the position that I have just outlined that the nine States continue to be ready to contribute to the search for and the implementation of a definitive global settlement of a situation which continues to hold great dangers for international peace and security.

82. In conclusion, the nine members of EEC consider that a peace settlement which takes account of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must, on the one hand, respect Israel's right to exist within secure and recognized borders, on an equal footing with other States in the region, and, on the other hand, recognize the right of the people of Palestine to the expression of their national identity.

83. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I wish to express my gratitude to the last three speakers for the brevity of their statements, which enables me to start already on the list of speakers inscribed for this afternoon. Before I call on the representative of Hungary, I wish to thank him for his understanding and willingness to speak this morning.

84. Mr. BANYASZ (Hungary): At the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, Hungary was among the Member States which took the initiative of asking that the question of Palestine be placed on the agenda and that an invitation should be extended to representatives of the PLO as the only legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. The historic address to the General Assembly by Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO, the prominent son of the Palestinian people fighting for freedom and national independence, is still fresh in our minds. And we were glad to cast our vote in favour of resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX) adopted on 22 November 1974 by the General Assembly. We held and still hold that by those resolutions the United Nations has taken the first step on the path to putting an end to the striking injustices and untold suffering which have afflicted the Arab people of Palestine for over a quarter of a century. The fact that the progressive countries unanimously stated their case for the adoption of those resolutions, which, at the same time, enjoyed universal political support from public opinion everywhere, clearly shows that the time is definitely past when attempts can be made by some circles to reduce the question of Palestine to a mere problem of refugees. It can no longer be disputed that in spite of repeated acts of aggression, massive banishment and the continuing Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Arabs have preserved their national identity and are waging a just national struggle to establish an independent State of their own.

85. Hungary, acting on common ground with its friends, with the socialist countries as well as with Arab and other States that cherish progressive political and social aspirations, has been prompted by an endeavour, now as in the past, to promote a peaceful settlement of the Middle East question as a whole, including the question of Palestine. We have firmly upheld our position in every international forum that the Middle East will remain a hotbed of grave tensions so long as Israel's territorial expansion against the Arab countries is not ended, the repeated resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council are not implemented, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination is not recognized.

86. Considering that these tensions are diametrically opposed to the measures taken in several other parts of the world to reinforce the process of detente and to strengthen security and confidence, the survival of such a hotbed is an added source of deep concern to the adherents of peace and international co-operation. It is no fault of the General Assembly or of the peace-loving States that little, if any, progress has been made in the implementation of the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly last year on the question of Palestine. The clarity of vision of some circles in treating this question, just like several other international problems, is impeded by approaches from the angle of sentiments, and their actions on these same problems are blocked by cold-war biases or obsolete strategic considerations.

87. In our view, the whole Middle East question and the question of Palestine, which is the key problem of the area, impose upon us a task whose solution brooks no delay. A solution, however, cannot come but by way of a sober analysis of the facts and by looking to the future. No one can deny that the massive banishment of Palestinian Arabs from the land of their ancestors has been a consequence of imperialist aggressions, which have been going on without interruption for over a quarter of a century now and which have caused a hard-working and talented people to be deprived of home and country, under the very eyes of the world. Their children grow up in refugee camps, their schools are run on international relief grants, and the whole community is exposed to constant harassment and persecution, far though these people are from their homeland. We are under a political and moral obligation to put an end to this intolerable situation and to compel the aggressor to return without delay all the Arab territories under its occupation. We are in duty bound to ensure that the Palestinian Arab people fully exercise their right to self-determination, that the refugees return to their homeland and receive compensation for the property they were dispossessed of. It is our duty to help them attain independent nationhood in accordance with their wish. No one can deny— and we Hungarians also are emphatic about this—that all peoples, without exception, of the Middle East region have the right to live in freedom and independence and to enjoy peace and the fruits of development. We socialists are opposed, out of principle, to any discrimination by reason of race or religion and refuse to accept such categories as "superior" and "inferior" peoples, just as firmly as we maintain that no people and no State is entitled to squeeze the toil out of another and that not a single country is entitled to conquer and occupy the territory of another by force of arms. A lasting peace will never be born of injustice, of damaged national self-respect and of humiliation. It is in the fundamental interest of the entire world community to bring about the reign of peace in the Middle East. That is similarly in the interest of those who until now have been reluctant to support, or have supported in a half-hearted way or not at all, the efforts for a Middle East settlement and, within that framework, the cause of the Palestinian people. Yet, in the Middle East of tomorrow, no one can expect to enjoy more goodwill than is earned by the concrete deeds of the present.

89. Our future tasks ensue directly from our statements on the small progress made in the implementation of last year's General Assembly resolutions. What we have to do in the first place is to affirm again, this time, the main statements and provisions of these resolutions in terms clear and unequivocal to all and to invite all Member States to work with greater resolve for the implementation thereof.

90. Neither can it be disputed that the Middle East tension, which carries in itself the danger of the outbreak of a new war, is a question of basic concern to international peace and security, and as such belongs first and foremost to the sphere of competence of the Security Council, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. It is for the Security Council to oblige Israel to withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories and to implement the provisions of the numerous resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly.

91. It is likewise a generally accepted fact that the PLO, which was recognized also by last year's General Assembly resolutions as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, has a rightful place in all forums where the Middle East problem, including the question of Palestine, is discussed in the search for a settlement. I believe that the granting of observer status to the PLO and the active participation of its representatives in the work of the General Assembly, its committees and other bodies have already served a useful purpose. It is with pleasure that I recall at this point that the PLO has set up representation of its own in Budapest under the agreement concluded between the competent organs of the Hungarian People's Republic and the leaders of the PLO.

92. Time and again, we witness attempts here in the General Assembly and outside it to divert our attention, by marshalling arguments, from the fundamental concept involved in the subject now under consideration. We are not concerned here with presenting our views on religious dogmas or with the results of scientific research into the vague historical past of mankind. Our task is to find the best ways and means of ensuring the requisite implementation of last year's General Assembly resolution and thereby accelerating the final solution of the question of Palestine and the achievement by the Palestinian Arab people of its right to self-determination. All those who are working towards this goal may always count upon disinterested and enthusiastic support from Hungary.

93. Mr. PETRIC (Yugoslavia): The debate on the question of Palestine, one of the crucial issues of our time, is being conducted this year on the basis laid down by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session. At that session, the Assembly adopted, with great majorities, three resolutions that constituted a historic achievement for the Palestinians and their only legitimate representatives, the PLO, as well as a major step in our world Organization's more realistic approach to the situation in Palestine and in the Middle East.

94. In inviting the PLO to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly, in reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine and recognizing them as a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and in granting observer status to the PLO so that it might participate, in that capacity, in its work, the General Assembly has, at long last, formally established a major element that was formerly missing from the United Nations framework for the solution of the problem.

95. By these three landmark resolutions, this Assembly has also shown the way, the direction in which we all must move. There is no way back, and any attempt to negate those resolutions, to question again the rights of the Palestinian people and of the PLO is futile and, indeed, dangerous.

96. Of course, the decisions taken by the Assembly last year are not the only important advances towards the Palestinian people's achievement of the position of an equal partner, duly recognized by the international community. Here, the Yugoslav delegation would like to stress particularly the admission of the PLO—at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lima—as a full member of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. That was a new expression of the firm solidarity of non-aligned countries with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for its inalienable national rights.

97. The situation in Palestine and in the Middle East continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security. Israel's stubbornness in maintaining its occupation of Arab territories and its denial of the national rights of Palestinians, amount to a continuation of its aggression and constant, systematic violation of the principles of the Charter and its defiance of the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. We are still dealing with the obstinate Israeli policy of intransigence and of occupation and annexation and with Israel's refusal to abide by the decisions of the United Nations, intended to block, and continuing to delay, the solving of the Middle East crisis, which is causing the gravest concern. Unless concrete and substantive advances are made, as a matter of urgency, towards an overall solution as well, new armed conflicts in that region may again erupt, with unforeseeable consequences.

98. It was precisely on the basis of an analysis of the actual situation that the Political Declaration of the Lima Conference [see A/10217 and Corr.l, annex, p. 3] stressed the necessity of continuing and intensifying efforts to implement resolution 3236 (XXIX).

99. Only steps, actions and measures accelerating the movement towards a just and comprehensive settlement can contribute towards the establishment of a lasting peace. We are firmly convinced that the effectiveness of such actions, measures and steps is directly commensurate with the extent to which they contribute to the realization of the national rights of the Palestinian people. Equally, unless substantial progress is made towards the achievement of those rights, it will become impossible to take any decisive step towards the solution of the Middle East crisis.

100. It is for all those reasons that resolution 3236 (XXIX) constitutes an indispensable part of the structure of considerations and principles, upon which any deliberative process in formulating the settlement must rest.

101. Here we should like to reiterate that only within the framework of a settlement based on the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied after 5 June 1967 and on the implementation of the legitimate and inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people —the right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, including the right to establish its own State—can the independent and secure existence of all the peoples and States of the region be guaranteed.

102. When considering, as we are in this debate, ways of finding a way out of the crisis, which threatens the whole world, and when stressing our collective responsibility in the search for a peaceful political settlement, we must stress particularly the indispensable role that the United Nations must play. It is through the United Nations that the entire international community can make its contribution, and it is our common experience that all the endeavours to confine the consideration of this problem within a narrow circle simply cannot lead to real, sustained progress. The Lima Declaration [ibid.], in connexion with this problem, stressed the importance of the positive participation of non-aligned countries.

103. It is at this point that I should like to-reject categorically all the attempts made here and elsewhere to disqualify the majority of Member States and put them, so to speak, into the dock because they dare to see further, and because they care to understand that there is no security based on occupation of Arab territories and the denial of Palestinian rights.

104. Is there any need, here and now. to remind anyone that in the light of the growing recognition of the impossibility of dealing with the Middle East crisis without dealing with the Palestinian problem, in the light of the futility of past attempts to freeze the state of "neither war nor peace", in the light of the events of October 1973, the growing majority in the United Nations are more realistic than those supposed realists who wanted to stop history in June 1967?

105. No one here should be intimidated by the attacks of those who speak about everything except their aggression and annexation of other peoples' territories and their clear obligation to vacate them, the refusal to do which is the core of the trouble. Also, we are by now accustomed to the insults levelled at the United Nations by Israel and those who support it, to the predictions of doom for the United Nations, to the transparently self-serving assertions about the supposed depths to which we are all supposedly being dragged down, and so on.

106. This is simply contrary to the reality, for the United Nations is growing in membership and in its responsibilities and importance. Without the United Nations an increasing number of problems could not be tackled, dealt with effectively or solved at all. This, surely, is not a sign of decadence. Let us remember that some of those who only last year were painting the worst possible picture about the imminent collapse and uselessness of the United Nations insisted in this year's general debate on its indispensable role in peace-keeping and peace-making in the Middle East and Cyprus and its role in many other areas. Are we to have a repetition of the same pattern again?

107. Let us not forget either what the United Nations was able to achieve at the seventh special session of the General Assembly.

108. We should also be quite resolute in rejecting as pernicious the arrogant insistence on categorizing Member countries here as "decent" or "not decent", "totalitarian", "democratic", and so on. We do not mind academic discussion about anything. However, when such distinctions are made here in the United Nations, which is based on the Charter, which does not distinguish between "democratic" and "totalitarian" aggression, between torture and the wholesale violation of human rights perpetrated by "decent" and "not decent" regimes, they then strike at the foundation of the rational and just international order and at the Charter of the United Nations itself.

109. Shall we permit Israel's aggression, occupation, annexation, to stand, just because it calls itself "a free and socially advanced country in the Middle East"?

110. It is Israel's continued refusal to vacate the territories of Arab countries occupied after 5 June 1967 and to recognize the rights of the Palestinians that is producing all the bitterness, tension and explosions. For all this the direct responsibility rests with the unchanged policy of Israel. Indeed, we are confident that the situation will change fundamentally for the better for everyone as soon as Israel vacates the Arab territories occupied in 1967, when it recognizes the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including the establishment of its own State, and when it recognizes the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine and its right to participate as an equal in all the stages of the comprehensive settlement of the Middle East crisis.

111. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Before adjourning the meeting, I should like to announce that Guinea has become a sponsor of draft resolution A/L.768.

The meeting rose at 12.50 p.m.


Notes


1 Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975. See document A/10217 and Corr.l, annex.

2 Twelfth ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Kampala from 28 July to 1 August 1975. See document A/10297, annex II.

' Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Plenary Meetings, 2282nd meeting, paras. 82-83.

4 Ibid., 2290th meeting, paras. 1-7.

5 Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1973, document S/11081. Also circulated under the symbol A/9288.

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