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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
21 December 1988

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Wednesday, 14 December 1988, at 6 p.m.

Chairman: Mrs. DIALLO (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

Consideration of two draft resolutions on the question of Palestine

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 DC2-750, 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 6 p.m.

The CHAIRMAN called to order the 160th meeting of the Committee and welcomed the presence at the current special meeting of the Committee, in Geneva, of the members who had come from New York, and also of those members of permanent missions in Geneva who were participating in the Committee's work for the first time.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA (agenda item 1)

The CHAIRMAN proposed the following agenda: 1. Adoption of the agenda; 2. Consideration of two draft resolutions on the question of Palestine; 3. Other matters. If there were no objections, she would take it that the Committee wished to adopt the agenda.

It was so decided.


The CHAIRMAN recalled that the Committee had already adopted in New York three draft resolutions on the question of Palestine; it still had to take action on two other drafts, which did not yet have symbols, and were simply identified by the letters D and E. The texts were available only in English for the moment, and had been the subject of in-depth consultations. She invited the Rapporteur of the Committee to introduce draft resolution D.

Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Rapporteur) read out several amendments to draft resolution D, which dealt with the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In the fourth preambular paragraph, the words "Expressing appreciation ..." should be replaced by "Noting with appreciation ...". In paragraph 3 (b), the words "the two States" in the phrase "including the two States named in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947" should be replaced by "those"; at the end of paragraph 3 (b), the words "including the State of Palestine" had been deleted. In paragraph 3 (d), the words "the occupied territories since 1967" should be used.

He read out the text of draft resolution D as amended.

The CHAIRMAN invited the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization to comment on the text, if he so wished.

Mr. AL-KIDWA (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) thanked the members of the Committee and, in particular, the Rapporteur, for their efforts in producing the text which had just been introduced. He hoped that the text, and also that of draft resolution E, would be given symbols as soon as possible. Recalling that the negotiations which had made it possible to produce draft resolution D had sometimes been difficult, he noted that the Palestine Liberation Organization had exchanged views with members of the Committee on many occasions. He hoped that the draft would receive the same broad support which had already been given to other aspects of the question of Palestine. A tangible expression of such support would represent a further political victory for the Palestine Liberation Organization. It would also be desirable for draft resolution D to have sponsors in addition to the members of the Committee.

The CHAIRMAN assured the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization that the draft resolutions would be given symbols without delay.* Regarding the wish expressed at the end of his statement, she stressed that the immediate aim was to obtain substantial support from members of the Committee; thereafter it would be useful if other delegations joined the sponsors. The Committee was, however, also under pressure of time; the draft must be approved at the current meeting so that it could be submitted to the General Assembly for a vote the following day. It would therefore be desirable for the present, in view of the importance of the issue with which it dealt, for draft resolution D to have the maximum number of sponsors in the Committee.

Before inviting delegations to comment on draft resolution D, she requested the Rapporteur to introduce draft resolution E, the final text of which had just been circulated. The two texts could then be discussed together.

Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Rapporteur) read out the text of draft resolution E.

Mr. DIAKITE (Mali) said that everything possible must be done to ensure that the draft resolutions were adopted by consensus, in accordance with the expressed wishes of the majority of the members. His delegation would give its unreserved support to both texts.

Mr. RATH (India) said that his delegation fully supported the two texts, which, he recalled, were the result of long negotiations. He pointed out, however, that the phrase "those named in resolution 181 (II)" in paragraph 3 (b) of draft resolution D, as proposed by the Rapporteur in his amendment, was not entirely satisfactory, as the States in question had only been alluded to in that resolution and had not been named. Nevertheless, if that minor inaccuracy could not be corrected easily and quickly, his delegation would not oppose the adoption of the draft resolution.

Mr. ALFONSO-MARTINEZ (Cuba), Mr. DOST (Afghanistan), Mr. SUTRESHA (Indonesia), Mr. CHEWAN (Malaysia) and Mr. HIELSCHER (German Democratic Republic), also stressing that the two draft resolutions were the result of in-depth consultations and negotiations, expressed full support for the form and content of the two texts. They announced that their delegations wished to become sponsors.

Mr. INSANALLY (Guyana) expressed the fear that the concept expressed in paragraph 4 of draft resolution D in the phrase "as part of the peace process", a concept which he himself accepted, might give rise to criticism, because, in the preliminary draft on the basis of which the Committee had worked, it had been understood that United Nations action would be intended to create conditions favourable to peace and would not be an element inherent in the peace process.

In addition, in the fifth preambular paragraph of draft resolution E, it would seem preferable to avoid the expression "peaceful coexistence", which was not commonly used in the case of the Middle East. All the same, his delegation supported the two draft resolutions.

Mr. ELTCHENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) agreed with other representatives that the two texts had been the fruit of long and difficult negotiations. They were acceptable to his delegation, which wished to become a sponsor.

He considered that, in paragraph 3 (d) of draft resolution D, as orally amended by the Rapporteur, it would be more correct to say "the territories occupied since 1967".

Mr. WANG Xuexian (China) said that his delegation fully supported the two draft resolutions. In order to put an end to rumours to the effect that his delegation would find it difficult to accept those texts, he wished to point out that they presented no difficulties for his delegation. That clarification was particularly important because the Committee was endeavouring to produce a text which would command the maximum number of votes in its favour, and the press would be ready to pounce on any rumour of discord.

The CHAIRMAN, in reply to the representative of Mali, said she feared that the two texts could not be adopted by consensus, as one State had already indicated its opposition. It was therefore imperative to mobilize the maximum number of votes.

Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Rapporteur) said that he was not authorized to make
substantive amendments to the draft resolutions. On the other hand, he thought that the Committee could accept drafting changes such as those which had been proposed to paragraph 3 (d) of draft resolution D by the delegation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and to paragraph 3 (b) by the delegation of India. He added that, in the fifth preambular paragraph of draft resolution E, "provides" should be replaced by "would provide".

The Committee was, however, under pressure of time, and should not worry too much about style, which could always be improved during the consideration of the two texts by the General Assembly.

Mr. AL-KIDWA (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, in order to save time, the Bureau should consider possible drafting changes, and should consider how to comply with his request, made at the beginning of the meeting, regarding the circulation of draft resolution D under a separate symbol.

The CHAIRMAN approved that suggestion.

Mr. ALFONSO-MARTINEZ (Cuba) asked if time pressure was such that the Committee could not produce two texts capable of commanding the largest possible number of votes. Recalling that very substantial efforts had already been made to give the two texts the broadest possible geographical representation, he said it was important that other delegations should be given the opportunity to become sponsors. Was the Committee being held to a rigid schedule?

The CHAIRMAN, while sharing the concern of the Cuban delegation, said that the texts were to be considered on Thursday, 15 December; if not, they would be considered later in New York. The Committee wanted the vote to take place as soon as possible, in Geneva. In any case, those delegations which wished to become sponsors could do so during the morning meeting.

Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Rapporteur) proposed that the matter should be settled by having the two draft resolutions issued in provisional form, containing the list of those delegations which had already become sponsors. Once all the sponsors were known, the text could appear in final form.

It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 7.05 p.m.

* Draft resolutions D and E were subsequently circulated as documents
A/43/L.53 and L.54 respectively.

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