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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
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.102
2 July 1984

Original: English

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 102nd MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 19 June 1984, at 3.00 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)

CONTENTS


Adoption of the agenda

Consideration of arrangements for the North American NGO Symposium (New York, 25-27 June 1984), the Ninth United Nations Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Tunis, 13-18 August 1984) and the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine (Geneva, 20-22 August 1984)


The meeting was called to order at 3.40 p.m.


ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The agenda was adopted.

CONSIDERATION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN NGO SYMPOSIUM (NEW YORK, 25-27 JUNE 1984), THE NINTH UNITED NATIONS REGIONAL SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE (TUNIS, 13-18 AUGUST 1984) AND THE INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE (GENEVA, 20-22 AUGUST 1984) (A/AC.183/1984/WP.2/Add.1 and annexes I to IV)

2. The CHAIRMAN said that the working paper (A/AC.183/1984/WP.2/Add.1) reflected the conclusions reached at the Committee's previous meeting and incorporated, in brackets, proposals made by the representative of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic concerning topics to be considered at the International Meeting.

3. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that his delegation had been surprised to see the Peace, Friendship and Solidarity Committee of Afghanistan, which was not well-known internationally, included among the six non-governmental organizations from the Asian and western Pacific region listed in annex III. He could not endorse the inclusion in the list of non-governmental organizations which had no justifiable reason for participating in the Symposium. He therefore requested clarification as to the criteria applied in selecting the organizations and as to whether the invitations had already been sent.

4. Mr. WATTERSON (Assistant Secretary of the Committee), referring to section C of the working paper, said that the organizations listed in annex III had been invited to participate in the International Meeting to be held at Geneva - not in the Symposium.

5. The CHAIRMAN said that the title of annex III should be revised accordingly.

6. Mr. AL-ATASSI (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that the standards used for issuing invitations to the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine should be taken into account in the preparations for the Symposium and the International Meeting, and that organizations in any way linked with Israel or zionism, or whose objectives were incompatible with the goal of restoring the rights of the Palestinian people, should be excluded. It was well-known that some of the organizations and individuals invited to participate opposed the restoration of those rights, co-operated with Israel, or were under Israeli occupation.

7. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that it had been unanimously agreed at the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine that non-governmental organizations which subscribed to its objectives and had a specific contribution to make could be represented by observers. Any organization which met those criteria should be welcome to participate in the Symposium and the International Meeting.

8. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had taken note of the statement made by the Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic, but that no organization should be prevented from participating in the Symposium or the International Meeting as long as it subscribed to their objectives.

9. Replying to a question from the observer for Egypt, he said that the parties concerned were still negotiating on the topics to be discussed at both the Symposium and the International Meeting, and that any disparities in the titles of the topics relating to paths to peace in the Middle East could be resolved during the negotiations.

10. Replying to a question from the observer for Morocco concerning the panel on policy-making in North America, he said that, although the United States and Canada had similar political regimes and ideologies, many other factors went into a country's decision to take a particular stand on a given issue.

11. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) said that he agreed with the Chairman: political choices were determined by history and by the economic and social balance of power as well. Those factors differed in the United States, Canada and Europe, and the experts participating in the discussion must analyse them with that in mind.

12. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that the panel discussion on factors determining policy-making in North America was the core of the Symposium. Participants must analyse the roles of the mass media, the business sector, Governments and ethnic groups in determining a country's policy on Palestine and the Middle East.

13. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that that topic was indeed crucial and should be given the necessary priority. If there was no diagnosis, there could be no cure: the discussion of factors which shaped policy should therefore facilitate the analysis of strategies for collaboration among non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which was itself crucial to the restoration of Palestinian rights.

14. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) said he agreed that a diagnosis of the factors which shaped North American policy would facilitate co-operation among NGOs. Two of the experts who were to participate in the Symposium had recently spoken on that very subject at the annual meeting of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

15. The CHAIRMAN replying to a question from the observer for Morocco, said that the question of Palestine and the crisis in the Middle East had affected European and North American public opinion in different ways; that was why a slight distinction had been made in the titles of panel discussions of policy-making in Europe and North America at the Symposium and the International Meeting respectively.

16. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee endorsed, in principle, the suggestions contained in the working paper regarding the organization of the North American NGO Symposium.

17. It was so decided.

18. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee might wish to consider and take a decision on its representation at the Symposium. He suggested that the members of the Bureau as well as two other members of the Committee should attend.

19. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that his delegation volunteered to participate in the Symposium and would shortly communicate the name of its representative to the Chairman.

20. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) suggested that all States Members of the United Nations should be invited to the Symposium.

21. The CHAIRMAN said that a press release would be issued after the current meeting informing Member States of the Symposium and inviting them to participate.

22 Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that his delegation would closely follow the proceedings and deliberations of the Symposium.

23. Mr. TRAORE (Mali) said he agreed with the representative of Turkey that all Member States should be informed of the Symposium and suggested that all members of the Committee should attend, because an exchange of ideas could be very profitable and would demonstrate the Committee's interest in the work of the NGOs with regard to the question of Palestine.

24. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that he supported the suggestion of the representative of Mali, because the Symposium was being held at Headquarters and the normal restrictions with respect to limited resources therefore did not apply.

25. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) asked whether the Symposium would consist only of a plenary or whether there would be working groups. He also said that there might be a problem with respect to the participants' electing their own Bureau.

26. The CHAIRMAN said that the NGOs would organize their own work as they wished; it might include the establishment of working groups.

27. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said he thought that the Committee should make initial suggestions as to the working methods of the Symposium.

28. The CHAIRMAN said that the Secretariat would be consulted with regard to the best method of work in order to derive the most advantage from the occasion for all participants. He said he agreed with the representative of Mali that the sending of a delegation composed of all members of the Committee would demonstrate the Committee's interest in the work of the NGOs; he felt, however, that a smaller delegation could be sent to represent the Committee, and that other members of the Committee could participate in their individual capacity or as observers for their Governments. The broadest possible participation should be encouraged.

29. He suggested that the Committee should now turn its attention to the Seminar to be held in Tunis.

30. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) asked whether, in view of the venue of the Seminar, there would be a possibility, within the limits of the budget, of including Arabic as one of the working languages.

31. The CHAIRMAN said that he understood the concern of the representative of Tunisia, but that the practice of the Committee had always been to use only two working languages, French and English. He said that consultations were continuing with regard to the delegation which would attend the Seminar. Following normal practice, the representative of Tunisia, as the host country would be included in the delegation.

32. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) asked whether the selection of participants would be confined to experts, or would include both experts and parliamentarians.

33. The CHAIRMAN said that paragraph 7 of document A/AC.183/1984/WP.2/Add.1 stated that both experts and parliamentarians might be invited to participate in the Seminar.

34. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the reference to experts did not rule out the participation of parliamentarians. It had been for administrative and budgetary reasons that the Seminar had envisaged inviting experts but not parliamentarians, although the experts might be parliamentarians as well.

35. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that his delegation had received an invitation to send a parliamentarian as a participant. He asked for clarification as to what sort of representative his Government should send.

36. The CHAIRMAN said that it had been Committee practice to lay down the broad outline of such seminars and send a letter to the Secretary-General informing him of the seminar in question and asking him to invite States Members of the United Nations to send representatives. Other experts might be invited at the Committee level. In the case of Turkey, for example, in addition to the expert who might attend at the invitation of the Committee, the Government could also designate a parliamentarian or diplomat to participate as an expert.

37. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) referring to the question raised by the representative of Turkey concerning the participation of Governments in the Seminar, said he agreed with the Chairman that the Governments should be responsible for the level of participation of experts. He also concurred with the Chairman's suggestion that representatives of the host country should be included in the delegation. His country would also be interested in participating in the Seminar.

38. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should now turn its attention to the
International Meeting to be held in Geneva.

39. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), referring to annex IV, which contained a list of potential panelists for the International Meeting, suggested that Mrs. Lucille Mair, who had made significant contributions to the cause of the Palestinian people, should be included as a potential panelist. He also noted that there was no reference to annex III in document A/AC.183/1984/WP.2/Add.1.

40. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee should take up the idea that Mrs. Lucille Mair should be included as a potential panelist, bearing in mind that the Secretary-General should be consulted. He said that a reference to annex III should have been included in section C.

41. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) noted the absence of the only Turkish NGO from annex III and asked if there had been an oversight. With regard to annex IV, his Government could not draw any conclusions with regard to the suitability of the potential panelists without having more information on them.

42. Mr. BETZ (Division for Palestinian Rights) explained that annex III was only a partial list of NGOs, containing the names of those which had never been contacted before.

43. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that his delegation had strong reservations about some of the organizations on the list of prospective participants and he therefore hoped that the list was only a tentative one.

44. The CHAIRMAN said that, with respect to the statement made earlier by the representative of Turkey, perhaps the Secretariat could be requested to prepare a short biography of each of the organizations listed. With the exception of the representative of Pakistan, the list of organizations seemed, on the whole, to be acceptable to the members.

45. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that, at the previous meeting, some delegations had expressed reservations about the manner in which the list had been drawn up. He therefore suggested that its approval should be postponed until delegations had had time to obtain more information about the organizations listed.

46. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that the Committee should not be sidetracked into discussing issues that had nothing to do with its objectives. Invitations to NGOs should be based on their ability to contribute to the Committee's work. The criteria for such invitations had been established in 1983 and were acceptable to all members of the Committee and should therefore be the ones used. The list of organizations in annex III was acceptable to his delegation.

47. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that, at the previous meeting, it had been agreed that decisions should be taken on the basis of consensus and that, in the absence of a consensus, no decision could be forced on the Committee. In other words, if a Member State objected to a particular NGO, then that organization should not be invited.

48. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that his delegation wished to know how the criteria for inviting organizations had been arrived at. When he had received that information, he would be able to express his delegation's views.

49. Mr. BETZ (Division for Palestinian Rights) said that the criteria had been applied since 1982. First, the NGO must be a national or international organization. Secondly, it must have a positive programme in the field of activity concerned. Thirdly, organizations were invited on the recommendation of members of the Committee. The majority of organizations on the list had been referred to the Secretariat by members of Committee. Others had been recommended by recognized NGOs and yet others had been contacted by the Secretariat directly. Most of the 500 organizations on the original list would not respond to the invitation because they had no means of attending the International Meeting in Geneva. However, the invitations had been extended in order to maintain the continual building up of a network of organizations that could assist in achieving the Committee's aims.

50. The CHAIRMAN said he hoped that that explanation would satisfy the representative of Pakistan. While the Committee understood and appreciated his viewpoint, it had to begin its organizational work for the Meeting and he therefore appealed to the representative of Pakistan not to press his proposal to defer approval of the list.

51. Mr. NAQVI (Pakistan) said that, as a conscientious member of the Committee, his delegation did not wish to impede its work. However, even with the explanation given by the Secretariat, it seemed to him that the list was a random selection of organizations recommended by some members of the Committee. Those organizations were comparatively obscure and his delegation needed to study the list carefully and seek instructions from his Government before giving its approval.

52. Mr. ILOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that the position of the representative of Pakistan was in accordance with the decision taken at the previous meeting to the effect that the final list of NGOs to be invited would not be approved until the criteria for such invitations had been established. One criterion was that the basic list would be those organizations that had attended the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine. It seemed that the names in annex III were merely an addition to the master list and not a revision of that list. For example, the NGO from Yugoslavia that had attended the International Conference was not listed in annex III. He therefore believed that it might be better to accept the suggestion by the representative of Pakistan and postpone a decision.

53. Mr. BETZ (Division for Palestinian Rights) said that the master list distributed at the previous meeting included all the names in annex III. That annex merely listed those organizations that had not attended the International Conference. The NGO from Yugoslavia that had attended the International Conference was included in the master list. The one mentioned in annex III had not attended the International Conference but had sponsored various activities in Yugoslavia and so appeared to be eligible for an invitation. The master list, which had not been selected at random, was available for scrutiny by members of the Committee.

54. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) said that the criteria for inviting NGOs to meetings were well known. However, the Committee should have complete information on the membership of the NGOs to be invited, their influence at the national and international levels and the contribution which they could make to the Committee's work.

55. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that his delegation, too, had serious reservations about some of the organizations listed in annex III. However, he believed that all NGOs should be given an opportunity to attend the meeting so that the international community could learn about their views, activities and goals.

56. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said it seemed clear that the Committee would have to meet again to decide on the question of participation at the Geneva Meeting because there appeared to be some confusion about the list of names, which seemed to be in three categories: those that had attended the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, those that had been invited but had not attended and those that had not been invited. It members concentrated on those three distinctions, that would facilitate the Committee's work.

57. The CHAIRMAN said that, in the light of the discussion, it seemed that approval of the list of participants at the Geneva Meeting would have to be deferred until the next meeting, which had to be held quite soon.


The meeting rose at 5.35 p.m.

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