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        General Assembly
15 October 1990

Original: English

Forty-fifth session
Agenda item 75


Report of the Secretary-General

(in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 44/48 A)

1. The General Assembly, at its forty-fourth session, adopted resolutions 44/48 A to G of 8 December 1989 concerning the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/44/352 and A/44/599). By resolution 44/48 A, the General Assembly, inter alia, demanded that Israel desist forthwith from a number of policies and practices mentioned in the resolution.

2. On 14 March 1990, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel, in which he requested, in view of his reporting responsibilities under the resolution, that the Minister for Foreign Affairs inform him of any steps his Government had taken or envisaged taking in implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution.

3. No reply had been received at the time of the preparation of the present report.

4. In paragraph 19 of resolution 44/48 A the Assembly reiterated its call upon all States not to recognize any changes carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in the occupied territories and to avoid actions which might be used by Israel in its pursuit of the policies of annexation and colonization or any of the other policies and practices referred to in the resolution.

5. In light of paragraph 19 of the resolution, the Secretary-General, on 14 March 1990, also addressed notes verbales to the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of all other States, in which he requested them to inform him of any measures their Governments had taken or envisaged taking in implementation of the resolution. Replies to the note verbale were received from Chad, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the Holy See, New Zealand, Poland and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

6. In paragraph 24 (d) of resolution 44/48 A the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available.

7. In response to paragraph 24 (d) of resolution 44/48 A, the Department of Public Information undertook the following activities:

(a) A booklet published by the Department in 1985, in describing the work of the Special Committee, deals specifically with the human rights situation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Arab Golan. This booklet was revised, updated and distributed worldwide in late 1999. Another booklet, published in 1986, deals generally with the question of Palestine and also covers the subject of human rights in the occupied territories. This booklet was revised and updated in 1990. The English version has been distributed world wide; the other four languages (Arabic, German, French, Spanish) will be released soon. A brochure on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which has been distributed worldwide in English, has been translated into French and Spanish to be distributed in time for the Solidarity Day on 29 November 1990;

(b) The question of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory was covered by the Department's press, radio and visual services whenever it was discussed in United Nations bodies, including the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Commission and other intergovernmental bodies. The output of those services was used extensively by the Department's network of United Nations information centres around the world;

(c) The Department issued press releases on the mission to the Middle East undertaken by the Special Committee;

(d) News media fact-finding missions to the Middle East, organized annually, bring around 10 to 15 high-level journalists from all over the world to the region, allowing them an opportunity to understand the Middle East conflict first hand. In addition, media representatives also participate in two annual regional encounters and series of national encounters organized by the Department. The fact-finding missions and encounters both deal comprehensively with the situation in the Middle East in general and the question of Palestine in particular, which include an assessment of the human rights conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory. During 1990, regional encounters were held in Buenos Aires for North and Latin American and Caribbean regions and in Singapore for the Asia and Pacific region. Ten national encounters were held in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.


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