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22 October 1991
Agenda item 35
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 45/83 of 13 December 1990 in order to inform the General Assembly of the steps taken by the Secretary-General to fulfil the requests addressed to him in that resolution to report on various aspects of the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East".
2. In paragraph 15 of resolution 45/83 A, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council periodically on the development of the situation and to submit to the Assembly at its forty-sixth session a comprehensive report covering the developments in the Middle East in all their aspects. That report will be submitted separately as a document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
3. In resolution 45/83 B. which deals with Israeli policies in the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and in resolution 45/83 C, which deals with the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), the General Assembly called upon all States to adopt a number of measures concerning relations with Israel and called upon the States concerned to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions. In order to fulfil his reporting responsibility under the above- mentioned resolutions, the Secretary-General, on 5 August 1991, addressed notes verbales to the Permanent Representative of Israel and to the Permanent Representatives of the other Member States and requested them to inform him of any steps their Governments had taken or envisaged taking concerning implementation of the relevant provisions of those resolutions. As at 21 October 1991, two replies had been received, from Trinidad and Tobago and Ukraine. Those replies are reproduced in section II of the present report.
II. REPLIES RECEIVED FROM MEMBER STATES
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, with reference to the Secretary-General's note of 5 August 1991 (note RES 45/83-GA), has the honour to inform that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, while maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel and affirming its right to exist, in no way supports through national policy or action activities by Israel aimed at encouraging it to pursue aggressive policies against the Arab countries and the Palestinian people.
1. Ukraine supported resolution 45/83, entitled "The situation in the Middle East", when it was considered at the forty-fifth session of the General Assembly and takes its relevant provisions into account in its foreign policy activities.
2. A peaceful settlement in the Middle East is, in present conditions, one of the most important problems requiring solution without delay. Ukraine takes the view that the basis of the Middle East problem is the Arab-Israeli conflict and the long-standing illegal occupation of Arab territories by Israel. The heart of the conflict wee and is the unsolved problem of Palestine.
3. The situation is aggravated by the actions of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territorial, which result in violations of the norms and principles of international law, in particular the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. Israel's efforts to suppress the
, the peaceful mass movement of Palestinians in defence of their national rights, and its policy of colonizing the lands that it has abided by building Israeli settlements there, are causes for grave concern.
4. Ukraine is convinced that the interests of a comprehensive Middle East settlement that would guarantee lasting peace and security to all the countries and peoples of the region require Israel to renounce those policies and practices, an end to its occupation of Arab territories, and the creation of conditions in which the Palestinian people can freely enjoy their legitimate right to self-determination. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) provide a reliable foundation for a peaceful solution to the whole problem.
5. These fundamental considerations have been the basis of Ukraine's activities as a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. They establish the political line followed by the representatives of Ukraine when taking part, now and in years gone by, in the United Nations European regional seminar on the problem of Palestine, trying thus to make their contribution to mobilizing public opinion for a just solution of the Middle East problem as speedily as possible.
6. In advocating a durable peace in the Middle East based on strict observance of the standards and principles of international law, Ukraine also proceeds from the fact that achievement of this aim would give it and other States the possibility of developing mutually advantageous cooperation with all the countries of the region. At the same time, the Ukrainian State cannot fail to be concerned for the fate of thousands of its citizens who have emigrated to live in Israel in recent years, the more so because they are sometimes sent by the Israeli authorities to settle in the occupied Arab territories. It is essential to put an end to this practice, which has been condemned by resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly.
7. Thanks to the active efforts of the United Nations and the whole international community, a broad international consensus has formed in recent years on the necessity for a Middle East peace conference. This prepared fertile soil for the concerted actions undertaken recently by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, as a result of which a possibility of breaking the deadlock in the process of achieving a Middle East settlement has appeared.
8. Ukraine welcomes the initiative taken by the Soviet Union and the United States and their agreement to make efforts to convene a Middle East peace conference in October 1991. The flexibility and realism shown among Arab countries in their approach to this forum and a certain evolution in Israel's position inspire hope. The barrier of irreconcilable hostility that sometimes seemed insuperable has thus been lowered and the number of problems that were a source of serious disagreements between the parties has diminished.
9. At the same time, the continuing process of preparing for the conference will still require great efforts. An important part in the forthcoming conference must belong to the United Nations, in which the legal foundation for a Middle East peace settlement was formulated and which disposes of a great capacity and the necessary diplomatic apparatus to conduct the talks.
10. Ukraine believes that an important condition for moving the negotiating process forward is that it should be comprehensive in nature, that it should take account of the interests of all the parties involved in the conflict and that those parties should take a direct part in the conference. In this connection, Ukraine attaches great importance to finding appropriate ways of safeguarding the interests of the Palestinian people at the conference, and to their representatives having the opportunity to take direct part in the conference.
11. On the basis that the path to a comprehensive Middle East settlement passes through the collective efforts of States, Ukraine considers that the countries of the European Community should be assured an appropriate role.
12. Now that there are clear signs of progress, opening up real prospects of settling the protracted, potentially explosive Middle East conflict, the international community must make the greatest possible effort to accelerate this process, to make it irreversible and to ensure a successful solution of the problem.