Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||

About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS


        General Assembly
1 June 1984


Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 30 May 1984, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

Report by the representative of the Department of Public Information

Preparations for seminars and non-governmental organizations' symposia

Other matters

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-0750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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

The meeting was called to order at 11.10 a.m.


1. The agenda was adopted.


2. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information), reporting on the activities of the Department of Public Information in connection with Palestinian rights, said that the fact-finding mission for journalists to the Middle East organized by the Department of Public Information had visited Tunisia from 23 to 27 April, Egypt from 27 April to 3 May, Jordan from 3 to 8 May, and Syria from 8 to 11 May. An information officer from the Department had accompanied the group and given the journalists an initial briefing.

3. In Tunisia, the delegation had met with Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with the Secretary-General of the Arab League and with the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia. In Egypt, the delegation had met with a number of high Egyptian officials: the Minister and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the Adviser to the President, the Vice-Chairman of the Ruling National Democratic Party, the head of the State Information Service and the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the People's Assembly; and also with the research staff of the Centre for Political and Strategic Studies of the leading Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram. In Jordan, the delegation had met with King Hussein, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Ministers of Information and of Occupied Territories, a member of the Jordanian Senate, the Vice-President of the Jordan Valley Authority, and the Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs; and had visited a Palestinian refugee camp in the Jordan Valley. In Damascus, the delegation had met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Director-General of General Establishment for Refugees, the
Chairman of the Palestinian National Council and the official spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The delegation had also met with UNRWA officials and visited a camp for Palestinian and Lebanese refugees and the city of Quneitra in the Golan Heights.

4. The participating journalists had all agreed that the mission had achieved its purpose in giving them a first-hand opportunity to learn in depth about the various aspects of the Palestinian question. Government officials in the four countries had also expressed their support for the mission, which had received extensive media coverage in all the countries. The participating journalists had published several articles on the visit, which were currently being compiled.

5. The Department of Public Information was also planning to hold a journalists'encounter on the question of Palestine in Vienna from 4 to 7 June. Among the panellists would be the Chairman of the Committee and Mr. Terzi of the Palestine Liberation Organization. On the agenda for the encounter were a historical review of the origins of the question, the screening of United Nations films on the question, and discussions concerning the United Nations and the question of Palestine, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian problem.

6. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) asked whether the Department of Public Information could report later on reactions to the mission and on the publications that had resulted from it.

7. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) said that each participating journalist had published several articles, which the Department was currently compiling and which it would make available to the Committee in the original language.

8. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that eventually a sampling of those articles should also appear in the bulletin issued by the Division, so that they could reach a wider audience.

9. The CHAIRMAN observed that the mission organized by the Department of Public Information had undoubtedly led to a better understanding of the question of Palestine and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and was a step towards the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region.


10. The CHAIRMAN said that, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 38/58 B the Division for Palestinian Rights, in consultation with the Bureau, was currently organizing two symposia. He suggested that the first symposium should be held in the North American region (New York City) from 25 to 27 June.

11. It was so decided.

12. The CHAIRMAN said that the Bureau had given its preliminary approval to the draft agenda of the symposium, the list of speakers, and the list of non-governmental organizations chosen to participate according to established practice. The second symposium would be an international meeting and would be held in Geneva from 20 to 22 August; again, the Bureau had approved the list of non-governmental organizations, and invitations had been sent.

13. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights) said that the Division, in preparation for the first symposium mentioned, had sent 150 invitations to United States and Canadian non-governmental organizations and thus far 22 replies had been received, 14 of them affirmative. Twenty-two high-ranking professors and political scientists had been invited to participate as panellists, and they would set the standard for the symposium. For the Geneva symposium, the Division had sent 250 invitations to non-governmental organizations and thus far had received only 10 replies, 7 of them affirmative. The Division expected a good response from the organizations invited as the time for both symposia approached.

14. The CHAIRMAN, turning to the preparation for seminars, said that he was happy to report that the Tunisian Government had agreed to host the planned European-African seminar at Tunis from 13 to 18 August 1984. Preparations for the seminar were already under way and the Bureau had considered a list of topics.

15. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, observed that the list of topics had been
circulated to the members of the Committee, and he wished to suggest the following new wording for the first four topics: "The Role of the United Nations in the Search for Peace in the Middle East"; "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East - Efforts and Prospects to Promote a Successful Outcome, and the Benefits Therefrom"; "African and European Co-operation in Seeking Effective Measures to Enable the Palestinian People to Attain and Exercise its Rights"; and "The Role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Social, Cultural, Economic and Political Development of the Palestinian People and in the Attainment of Its Political Objectives". The fifth topic would remain the same, namely, "The Status of the Holy City of Jerusalem".

16. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that in the case of the first topic he preferred the original version, which included the words "and the international community". Those words were important, since the international community included many organizations which were outside the framework of the United Nations but which did contribute to its work. He suggested that the wording of the second topic should reflect the fact that the International Peace Conference should be convened as soon as possible, as the General Assembly resolution on the question had made clear. With regard to the third topic, he believed that the word "inalienable" should be added before the word "rights" to reflect the accepted wording of the relevant General Assembly resolutions.

17. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) said that Tunisia was pleased to act as host to the seminar. Since it would take place during the tourist season, he recommended that preparations should start as early as possible.

18. The first topic would be given broader scope if the words "and other forums and organizations" were added after the words "United Nations".

19. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that he would have liked to see some new items on the agenda for the forthcoming seminar. Also, in all frankness, none of the five topics suggested, not even the fourth, reflected the agony of the Palestinian people or was closely related to the actual situation in the occupied territories, where encroachments by Israel were daily occurrences.

20. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that he supported the changes suggested by the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization except in the case of the first topic, where he preferred the Tunisian suggestion. He was concerned that five discussion panels might be too many for one seminar. If a reduction was made, he would favour retaining the third topic and also the second and fourth topics.

21. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that he favoured the Jordanian suggestion that Israeli practices should be discussed. He observed that the symposia and seminars held under the auspices of the Committee had become the heart of its work each year, and he wondered whether the Committee had received any feedback regarding earlier seminars; it would be useful to make an assessment of past results during the current year. He requested that a list of non-governmental organizations and participants invited to the seminar should be circulated to members of the Committee.

22. The CHAIRMAN, referring to the proposed wording of the first topic to be discussed at the seminar, said that the United Nations had always been involved in the search for peace in the Middle East, but that that did not preclude other bodies from also taking initiatives. He therefore favoured the wording suggested by the representative of Tunisia. The second topic should reflect the fact that a consensus had been reached on the need to convene an International Peace Conference on the Middle East as soon as possible. If worded as proposed by the Rapporteur, it would do so; it might also be appropriate to include a reference to General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Committee should follow the Rapporteur's suggestions for the third and fourth topics as well. The representative of Turkey had mentioned the possibility of decreasing the number of panels; the Bureau had considered five to be the absolute minimum, but the Committee could eliminate one if it so desired.

23. The observer for Jordan had raised a problem which had never been lost from sight: Israeli practices in the occupied territories, and particularly the settlement policy, were constantly on the Committee's agenda, since the Palestinian people could never exercise its inalienable rights as long as Israeli occupation continued. The apparent repetitiveness in the Committee's discussions came not from a lack of inventiveness but from the many obstacles in its path. Although he sympathized with the desire of the observer for Jordan to make the fourth topic as explicit as possible, he believed that the best course was to retain the wording suggested by the Rapporteur. The list of the participants in the symposia was being prepared by the Secretariat and would be distributed to Committee members as soon as it was ready.

24. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that everyone was aware of the history of the Palestinian people and of the role played by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the attempt to secure the exercise of that people's rights. The fourth topic should be so worded as to stress that role, particularly in the occupied Arab territories, and to avoid controversy. He therefore proposed that the topic should be entitled either "The role of the PLO in the search for peace in the Middle East" or "The contribution of the PLO to the welfare of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories".

25. Mr. MANSOUR (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that it was unnecessary to refer to the role of the PLO in the search for peace, as that subject would be adequately covered during the discussion of the second topic. Palestinians, although a single people, were dispersed throughout the world: the PLO served their interests not only in the occupied territories, but wherever they were found. He therefore regarded the wording for the fourth topic suggested by the Rapporteur as the most comprehensive, accurate and innovative.

26. Mr. ROA-KOURI (Cuba) said that the Rapporteur's suggested wording was indeed more comprehensive than any of the other formulations and should therefore be selected.

27. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that he fully agreed with the statement made by the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization but thought that, although the concept of a Palestinian people was the most important aspect of the problem, their rightful claim to the occupied territories should be mentioned as well. His proposal had been designed to consolidate the juridical relationship between the people and its lands.

28. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should adopt the Rapporteur's proposal for the fourth topic and should also arrange for an exposé of the contribution of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the well-being of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories.

29. Mr. DIMITRIJEVIC (Yugoslavia) said that his delegation fully supported the Chairman's suggestion, which would ensure that panellists had an opportunity to discuss a very important subject.

30. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee agreed to his suggestion.

31. It was so decided.


32. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that the members of the Bureau worked hard to prepare for the Committee's discussions, and something should be done to lighten their burden. At the 98th meeting, his delegation had proposed that the Committee should revert to its former practice of entrusting the elaboration of the subjects it was to discuss to the Working Group; he was now more than ever convinced of the need to revive that practice.

33. As his delegation had pointed out at the 98th meeting, the members of the Committee should be provided with all relevant documentation at least 24 hours before all scheduled meetings. The suggested panel topics had not been available before the current meeting; that situation should not be repeated in future.

34. The CHAIRMAN said that the comments made by the representative of the Ukrainian SSR would be taken duly into account.

The meeting rose at 12.25 p.m.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter