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UNITED
NATIONS
A S

        General Assembly
        Security Council
A/49/636
S/1994/1240

3 November 1994

Forty-ninth session Forty-ninth year
Agenda items 38 and 40
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
QUESTION OF PALESTINE

Report of the Secretary-General


1. The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/158 D of 20 December 1993 on the question of Palestine. The operative part of the resolution reads as follows:
2. On 10 August 1994, the Secretary-General, pursuant to the request contained in paragraph 6 of the resolution, addressed the following letter to the President of the Security Council:
3. As of 17 October 1994, no reply had been received from the Security Council.

4. In a note verbale dated 18 August 1994 to the parties concerned, the Secretary-General sought the positions of the Governments of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, and of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with regard to any steps taken by them to implement the relevant provisions of the resolution. As at 17 October 1994, the following replies had been received.

Note verbale dated 30 September 1994 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
"Paragraph 3 of the same resolution 'stresses the need for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles'. The PLO welcomes the progress made in this regard, particularly in the field of providing economic, social and other assistance to the Palestinian people. The creation of a coordinating mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territory, through the appointment of the United Nations Special Coordinator, at the under-secretary-general level, is a welcome development. The PLO hopes, however, that the United Nations will be more involved in the peace process itself. In this regard, the participation of the United Nations in the steering committee of the multilateral working groups would be a normal step forward. In general, the Palestinian side believes that there is a need for broader acceptance of the United Nations in order for it to play its natural role in the historic search for peace in the Middle East. It is worth mentioning that the Security Council played a very useful role, and directly contributed to the peace process, when the Council adopted its resolution 904 (1994). The PLO seeks the full implementation of the said resolution and further involvement of the Security Council.
Note verbale dated 3 October 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Observations

5. Since the signing by the Government of Israel and the PLO of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 1/ the peace process has achieved important results on the road to a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, 2/ signed in Cairo on 4 May 1994, and the subsequent launching of early empowerment, represent important steps forward in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles. The signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan on 26 October 1994 is a historic achievement that will hopefully generate further momentum in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and encourage progress in the Israeli-Lebanese and Israeli-Syrian tracks of the peace process.

6. The United Nations warmly welcomes these developments. During the past year, I have continued to follow the bilateral negotiations between the parties concerned and have maintained close contacts with them as well as the co-sponsors of the peace process. It is my fervent hope that the discussions between Israel and the PLO will steadily progress through the transitional period, achieving agreement on the interim arrangements and permanent status issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. Such steps will be important in establishing a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

7. Over the past year, the United Nations has significantly enlarged its programmes of economic, social and other assistance to the occupied territories in order to support the implementation of the Declaration of Principles, and to promote peace in the region as a whole. It has also continued to participate actively in the multilateral negotiations on Middle East regional issues. With a view to ensuring effective coordination and intensification of the United Nations assistance, I appointed in June 1994 Ambassador Terje Rod Larsen of Norway as Special Coordinator in the occupied territories. His efforts have focused primarily on Gaza.

8. As I have stated on numerous occasions, the United Nations is prepared to undertake any role that would be helpful to the parties in advancing the peace process. The Organization has been involved in the Middle East - through its resolutions, through its peace-keeping operations, through its programmes of economic and social assistance and through the good offices of the Secretary-General - for nearly five decades. It has acquired great experience in the area. For my part, I remain at the disposal of the parties concerned, and will assist them upon request. I will also make every effort to ensure that the United Nations system contributes its utmost in the fields of economic and social development, which will be essential in building peace throughout the region.

Notes

1/ A/48/486-S/26560.

2/ A/49/180-S/1994/727.

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