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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/PV.166
14 December 1989

ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

VERBATIM RECORD OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIXTH MEETING

Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 29 November 1989, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mrs. DIALLO (Senegal)

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People




The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Today the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is holding a solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in keeping with General Assembly, resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.

It is my honour and pleasure to welcome His Excellency Mr. Joseph N. Garba, President of the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session His Excellency, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Li Luye, President of the Security Council His Excellency Mr. Daya Perera, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories Mr. Ronald 1. Spiers, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services and Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, representative of Palestine. I should also like to welcome representatives of Member States intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and members of the press - indeed all those who accepted the Committee's invitation to participate in this solemn meeting.

I now invite everyone here to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people.

The participants observed a minute of silence.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I shall now make a statement on behalf of the Committee.

It is exactly 42 years today since the General Assembly, on 29 November 1947 adopted resolution 181 (11), which provided for the creation of two independent States, a Jewish one and an Arab one, joined in economic union, with a special international status for Jerusalem. It is also just over 70 years since the Covenant of the League of Nations provisionally recognized the existence of Palestine as an independent nation, subject, however, to a period of tutelage by a Mandatory Power.

The sister country of Namibia, similarly placed under the League's Mandate System, is now well on the road to freedom and independence. After so many years Of suffering and struggle, the valiant people of Namibia has now successfully completed the first stage of the independence process, with the holding of free and fair elections and the establishment of a Constituent Assembly. Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters of Namibia, who are now happily celebrating the event resulting from their sacrifices.

The same day as we saw those pictures of joy on our television screens 15 November - was the anniversary of another declaration of independence, that of the Palestinian State. Agence France Press reported from Jerusalem:

"The Israeli authorities, fearing demonstrations to mark the anniversary, clamped a curfew on some 500,000 residents in the West Bank and Gaza. The army sent in reinforcements. Palestinians were arrested by the hundreds as a Preventive measure. The Palestinian people, nevertheless, celebrated that event peacefully. By their spirit and determination they told the international community that it must intensify its efforts on all fronts until the hopes of the Palestinians for a State of their own, like those of the Namibians, are finally realized.

Every year in observing the anniversary of the partition of Palestine we are reminded of the historical responsibility of the United Nations towards the Palestinian people, and of the fact that the pledge made in resolution 181 (11) has been fulfilled only with regard to the creation of a Jewish State. The establishment of an Arab State has remained an unfulfilled objective whose realization becomes more urgent every day.

Nearly 1 million Palestinians were driven into a life of exile in 1947. Later another half million fled their homes, in the 1967 war. Today nearly 3 million Palestinians live in host countries, waiting impatiently for the day when they can have their own independent sovereign State. For more than 20 years Israel has persisted in its military occupation of Palestinian territory, which is increasingly brutal and constantly violates international norms. No security or other needs can justify the systematic refusal to recognize the Palestinian national aspirations and rights and the daily violence against Palestinian civilians, including women and children.

The experience in Namibia clearly shows that a political process assisted by the United Nations can be successful in bringing about the exercise by a whole people of its rights to self-determination, once the parties recognize that a military solution is impossible, being self-defeating by its very nature, and agree in good faith to set out on the path to self-determination.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has continued to appeal to the Israeli Government to end its intransigent opposition to United Nations efforts to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, based on international legality and on recognition of the rights and interests of all the parties. Israel must understand that its continued occupation and continued intolerable policies and practices towards the Palestinians in the occupied territory not only are in violation of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, but also increase its isolation from the community of nations and render peace efforts increasingly difficult, by further escalating tension and violence in the region.

The Committee has expressed full support for the uprising of the Palestinian People, the intifadah, as the latest stage in its long-standing struggle to attain the exercise of its inalienable rights as enunciated by the General Assembly - the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return.

The historic declaration by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988 of the independent State of Palestine and the subsequent peace initiative launched by President Yasser Arafat in his statement in Geneva marked a turning point of indisputable importance in the long history of Israeli-Palestine relations. Israel can no longer try to deny the reality that its counterpart in any efforts and negotiations to achieve a settlement is the Palestinian people, through its authentic representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In the view of the Committee, which it is my honour to serve as Chairman on behalf of Senegal, the United Nations and the international community as a whole must now redouble their efforts to bring about the realization of a Palestinian State, the legal foundation for which was laid by the General Assembly in 1947.

In the Committee's view, the international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, remains the most comprehensive and widely-accepted proposal. It would provide a way of bringing the parties together in a negotiating framework capable of satisfying everyone's concerns and interests. The Committee will therefore continue to make the convening of that conference a priority objective for the coming year. It calls on all parties concerned to bring about the changes of viewpoint that will make it possible to convene the conference.

In that connection, I wish to express the Committee's gratitude for the tireless efforts of the Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, to facilitate the convening of the conference, and for the constant support he has lent the Committee.

Until a settlement is achieved, the immediate concern remains the protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation and the provision of emergency assistance. The Committee appeals to the international community as a whole Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations - to do everything in their power to support the valiant Palestinian people in its struggle against occupation and for self-determination and independence, which is a struggle for the achievement of the very purposes of the United Nations Charter, so that the wall between Israel and the Palestinian people may also fall.

I call now on the President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Major-General Joseph Garba.

Mr. GARBA (President of the General Assembly): Today we commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Recognizing the need to strengthen and consolidate international support for the Palestinian people, the General Assembly, by its resolution 32/40 B, requested the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In commemorating this occasion, therefore, we are renewing our pledge to the Palestinian people that their just demands and aspirations will continue to be supported by the international community.

The Assembly's efforts to promote a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine take on even greater urgency at the present time because of the exacerbation of an already tense atmosphere and further escalation of violence in the region. It is indeed a matter of deep regret that violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War still persist despite the international outcry over the grave situation in that territory and various General Assembly and Security Council resolutions requesting full compliance with that Convention.

On 6 October 1989 the Assembly adopted resolution 44/2, expressing its views on the extreme gravity of the developments in the occupied territory. That resolution, inter alia, condemned Israel's persistent policies and practices violating the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the ransacking of personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons. It requested the Security Council to consider with urgency the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory with a view to considering measures to provide international protection to Palestinian civilians.

We note with deep concern that despite a notable improvement in international relations generally, the atmosphere of tension and confrontation in the occupied territories is degenerating. Now more than ever before it is urgent, in the light of these developments, that we intensify our efforts to facilitate the implementation of United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. But more important, we must emphasize that those who seek the support of the United Nations for their respective causes must also abide by the sanctions and resolutions of the United Nations.

At present there is broad consensus among the vast majority of United Nations Member States on the need to convene without delay the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in conformity with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 43/176. While, as the Chairman has noted, that Conference is overdue and would be most propitious, its successful convening and outcome will depend on the interested parties showing good faith and willingness to negotiate.

That resolution affirmed the urgent need to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. It also affirmed the principles for the achievement of a comprehensive peace, which among other things include the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, as well as Jerusalem, and from other occupied Arab territories guaranteeing arrangements for the security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (11) of 29 November 1947 and subsequent relevant resolutions; and resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (111) of 11 December 1948 and subsequent relevant resolutions. All those are salient factors that would definitely enhance peace.

The Secretary-General in his report on the work of the Organization (A/44/1), stated that hopes for early progress in the peace process have sadly given way to mistrust and doubt among the parties concerned, and that bilateral efforts to Promote a dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians have not been successful. The Secretary-General's constant attempts to pave the way to an effective negotiating process, including contacts with the parties concerned and the permanent members of the Security Council, have also proved inconclusive.

Under the present circumstances, therefore, it has become imperative for the Security Council to take positive action towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of resolution 43/176. The General Assembly should once again call an the Security Council, and in particular the permanent members, to consider measures needed to convene the Conference. Among such measures should be the establishment of a preparatory committee and the renewal of the mandate of the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned and with the Security Council to facilitate the convening of the Conference.

The international community is grateful to the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts and his intensified contacts with the parties, and we wish him success in his endeavours in the future.

In response to that sentiment, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has also exerted all efforts to bring about the proposed early convening of the International Peace Conference, and in all the seminars, symposiums and international meetings of non-governmental organizations organized by the Committee during the past few years it has recognized the need for and urged international action to that end.

I wish warmly to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman, Her Excellency Mrs. Claude Absa Diallo of Senegal, for their continuing efforts to promote the solution of the problem of Palestine in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. The observance of this Day will certainly inspire hope in the minds and hearts of the Palestinians and convey to them once again that the United Nations remains committed to their just cause and to the realization of their inalienable rights.

I want to take this opportunity, Madame Chairman, to extend to you and the Committee my best wishes for the success of your very important endeavours.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar. The SECRETARY-GENERAL (interpretation from French): The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People symbolizes the great importance the General Assembly attaches to the question of Palestine, the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East. There is a wide measure of agreement within the international community that such a settlement should be based on the following three considerations: withdrawal of Israeli forces from Arab territories occupied since June 19671 acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries and, finally, a satisfactory solution of the Palestinian problem based on recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people including the right to self-determination. In this context the question of Jerusalem remains of primary importance.

The Palestinian uprising - the intifadah - will soon be entering its third year. The message of the intifadah, born of the frustration and despair of a Population that has lived under Israeli occupation for more than 22 years, remains direct and unequivocal, namely, that the occupation win continue to be rejected and that the Palestinian people will remain committed to the exercise of their legitimate political rights, including the right to self-determination. During the past year confrontations have continued unabated, with hundreds killed and thousands wounded, including many children. The international community has repeatedly called upon Israel to abide scrupulously by its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, whose applicability to the occupied Palestinian territories has repeatedly been reaffirmed by the Security Council. In this connection it will be recalled that on 6 July 1989 and 30 August 1989, respectively, the Council adopted resolutions 636 (1989) and 641 (1989), in which it deplored the continuing deportation by Israel, the occupying Power, of Palestinian civilians and called upon Israel to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those deported and to desist forthwith from deporting any other Palestinian civilians. I share the concern of the Security Council and I have myself on numerous occasions appealed to the Israeli authorities to put an end to such practices and to adhere fully to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At the beginning of this year hopes of progress in the Middle East peace process were heightened by a number of dramatic political developments, notably the decisions adopted by the November 1988 session of the Palestine National Council, in Algiers, the General Assembly debate on the question of Palestine in Geneva a month later, including the statement there by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the events that led to the decision by the United States to begin a dialogue 'With the Palestine Liberation Organization. Since then, important proposals, aimed primarily at launching a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, have been put forward. While it is, of course, essential to pursue every initiative that might help bridge the gaps between the parties and bring them to the negotiating table, I cannot but be concerned by the fact that valuable time is passing and that the willingness to negotiate that exists today may be eroded by bitterness resulting from events in the field.

"My constant attempts to pave the way for an effective negotiating process, which have included repeated contacts at the highest level with the parties directly concerned and with the Security Council, starting with its permanent members, have thus far been inconclusive. However, as mandated, I will continue my efforts to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In this context it should be recalled that the General Assembly in resolution 43/176, has called for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the Participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.

For years I have stated that few international issues are as complex or potentially dangerous as the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which the question of Palestine is the core. This remains so today. My regret at the lack of progress in resolving that question is all the greater given the significant steps that have been taken towards the resolution of other regional disputes. It seems to me imperative, therefore, that a fully concerted and well-coordinated effort be made by the international community to help the parties to enter into an effective negotiating process that will lead to comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The prolonged suffering of the Palestinian population makes it all the more urgent that such a process be launched. For my part, I shall do all that I can to discharge the responsibilities entrusted to me in this regard.

Madame Chairman, I should like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the dynamic, energetic and effective way in which you are presiding over the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Under your wise and able leadership and that of the other officers, the Committee is carrying out its mandate with unswerving dedication. I extend to you and to the Committee my best wishes for success in your important endeavours.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon the President of the Security Council, His Excellency Mr. Li Luye.

Mr. LI Luye (President of the Security Council) (interpretation from Chinese): Madame Chairman, allow me first of all to express to you and your colleagues, the members of the Committee, my appreciation for having invited me, as President of the Security Council, to take part in this special meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It is indeed a great pleasure for me to be able to participate in this important annual event by which the international community continues to manifest its solidarity with the Palestinian people and the importance it attaches to a just solution of the Palestinian problem. We fully recognize that such a solution would prove a decisive element in the achievement of a negotiated, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.

The Council is fully aware that the question of Palestine and the efforts to find a just solution to it remain among the major concerns of the United Nations and the international community as a whole, since that question involves not only the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people but also the stability of a particularly troubled region of the world and, thus, international peace and security.

As is well known, the Security Council has been closely associated with the Persistent efforts to find an equitable solution to the problem of the Middle East. The Council has been called upon many times to direct its urgent attention to the crisis engendered by that conflict and its consequences. The Council has also on occasion expressed its grave concern at the continued deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories and its conviction that the prevailing situation could have grave consequences for ongoing endeavours to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the area.

At the same time, members of the Council have noted with appreciation some initiatives taken in the past year. They are convinced that efforts must be continued with a view to sustaining and strengthening the political process leading to the achievement of a comprehensive, peaceful, just and lasting settlement of the situation in the Middle East, particularly a solution to the Palestinian problem in all its aspects. They express the hope that all relevant parties will co-operate towards this goal.

Guided by the responsibilities conferred upon it by the Charter, the Security Council will continue its efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East for the benefit of all parties concerned, including the Palestinian people.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon Mr. Terzir Permanent Observer of Palestine, who will read a message from President Yasser Arafat.

Mr. TERZI (Palestine) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to read out the message addressed by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the State of Palestine, as follows:

"On the occasion of your annual observance of the International Day Of Solidarity with the Palestinian people I have great pleasure, on behalf of the Government and people of Palestine and in the name of my brethren, the other members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and on my own behalf, in extending to you all our deep gratitude and great appreciation for your firm solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people to regain its inalienable national rights, including the right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish its independent State.

"I also take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his tireless efforts and constant endeavours to put an end to the injustice and suffering of our people and to enable it to attain its freedom and independence. I also wish to express deep appreciation to the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations for the very effective role it has continued to play in support of the just struggle and national cause of our people. May I also extend my warmest thanks to You, Madame Chairman, for your very efficient administration of the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and for your valuable and constructive efforts to enable our people to regain and exercise its legitimate national rights.

"This solidarity meeting is being held at a time when our Palestinian people has just marked the first anniversary, on 15 November# of the Proclamation of the independent State of Palestine. That proclamation and the historic resolutions adopted by the Palestine National Council in this respect, at its extraordinary 19th meeting, are among the most important and practical political results of the forceful intifadah of the Palestinian people, which, in 10 days, will enter its third year. In facing up to the Israeli occupation authorities, the all-out Palestinian uprising is actually gaining further strength and resistance.

"The international community has already - as it does today on this first anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Palestine - expressed its Solidarity with, and its support for, the just struggle of our people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole and legitimate representative. The purpose of that struggle is to end the Israeli occupation and give concrete form to the proclamation of independence by setting up the independent State of Palestine on Palestinian soil.

"That is exactly what we had announced in the Palestinian peace initiative launched by the Palestine National Council in Algiers a year ago. That initiative was reiterated in my statement in Geneva last December. In taking the initiative, we wished to make an effective contribution to advancing the peace process in the region on the basis of the tenets of international legitimacy embodied in the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, including Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as the right of our Palestinian people to self-determination.

"In our initiative, we concurred with the view of the General Assembly endorsed in its resolutions, that the best way to attain peace in the region is to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict in the region, including the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel, on an equal footing.

"The initiative was supported and welcomed by the whole international community, with the exception of Israel. The Arab summit meeting at Casablanca also endorsed the initiative, as did the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries at its summit Conference in Belgrade. The European Economic Community also expressed its support, in the Madrid Declaration. The Socialist States, too, supported the initiative at their summit in Bucharest. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has extended his support to the initiative, as has the General Assembly, in its resolution 43/176. In addition, the initiative received the support of other. international and regional groupings as well as the support of China and Japan.

"As we supported the peace process, we have responded favourably to every initiative that has been put forward with the aim of restoring peace to the region, including, for instance, the holding of free and democratic elections in the occupied territories, under international supervision, as part of the overall peace process in the region.

"At the meeting of the Central Council in October 1989, we adopted yet another important resolution - namely, our agreement to engage in an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue with an open agenda and without pre-conditions as a first step towards peace.

"Despite our many positive steps which I have just described and which are in consonance with the will of the international community and international law, the United States has been the only country in the world whose Administration has persisted in its bias in favour of the Israeli side and has continued to ignore reality and refuse to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization. In so doing, the United States Administration even took the view that the approval by Israel of the Palestinian delegation that would take part in the dialogue is tantamount to an essential pre-condition for negotiations.

"The United States Administration, which has started a dialogue with us on the basis of our initiative and our agreement with Mr. Shultz, through the efforts, of Mr. Andersson, Foreign Minister of Sweden, is still as far as ever from dealing with us on any fair or constructive basis, independently of the Peace initiative, our will to engage in dialogue, or our agreement to negotiate in order to maintain the peace process.

“Unfortunately, the United States Administration has based all its plans and its approach on the so-called Shamir plan, aiming at the blowing up of the peace process. That plan is no more than a legitimization of the Israeli occupation, which considers the Palestinians as part of Israel, not as a full and equal partner in negotiations.

"The fact that the United States Administration continues to side with Israel complicates matters and exacerbates the situation in the occupied territories. It is a stance that does not help advance the peace process in the region.

"Members are aware that the situation in the occupied territories is causing a great deal of concern and anxiety to us and to an peace-loving Peoples throughout the world. It is a situation on the point of explosion owing to the stepping up by the Israeli authorities of their iron-fist policy against our Palestinian people under the occupation. The savage repression and criminal acts and the pillage and plunder by the Israeli authorities of the towns of Haql-al-Ruhaa and Beit Sahur are a vivid example of the brutality and State terrorism systematically practised by the occupying Power in every part of our territories: in Gaza, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Ramallah and many other towns, camps and villages in our Holy Land.

"The decision of the occupying authorities to organize the settlers into terroristic gangs called death squads, which has been condemned in all peace-loving circles throughout the world, and even in Israel itself, is a decision that increases the possibilities of racist massacre and extermination faced by our people.

"So far, our people has opted for peaceful resistance. It has stuck to that option throughout the two years of its popular intifadah. However, in view of the increased extremism and repression by the Israelis and the acts of aggression and the racist practices engaged in by the settlers, we expect more and worse massacres. This makes the situation in the entire region far more explosive.

"Consequently, we believe that the United Nations has an important role to play through its ability to provide adequate and necessary protection to our people, to save it from massacre at the hands of the settlers and State territories. It is a stance that does not help advance the peace process in the region.

"Members are aware that the situation in the occupied territories is causing a great deal of concern and anxiety to us and to all peace-loving Peoples throughout the world. It is a situation on the point of explosion owing to the stepping up by the Israeli authorities of their iron-fist policy against our Palestinian people under the occupation. The savage repression and criminal acts and the pillage and plunder by the Israeli authorities of the towns of Haql-al-Ruhaa and Beit Sahur are a vivid example of the brutality and State terrorism systematically practised by the occupying Power in every part of our territories in Gaza, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Ramallah and many other towns, camps and villages in our Holy Land.

"The decision of the occupying authorities to organize the settlers into terroristic gangs called death squads, which has been condemned in all Peace-loving circles throughout the world, and even in Israel itself, is a decision that increases the possibilities of racist massacre and extermination faced by our people.

"So far, our people has opted for peaceful resistance. It has stuck to that option throughout the two years of its popular intifadah. However, in view of the increased extremism and repression by the Israelis and the acts of

aggression and the racist practices engaged in by the settlers, we expect More and worse massacres. This wakes the situation in the entire region far more explosive.

"Consequently, we believe that the United Nations has an important role to play through its ability to provide adequate and necessary protection to our people, to save it from massacre at the hands of the settlers and State terrorism at the hands of the Israeli authorities. We therefore urge the Committee to raise its voice and demand an end to the systematic and official Israeli repression, terrorism and arrogance of power. We call upon the United Nations to bring the necessary pressure to bear on the United States Administration to change its biased approach, which takes the side of the Posture of repression and arrogance of power represented by Israel.

"We also hope that the Committee will be able to exert the necessary Pressure on Israel and the United States Administration to induce them to abide by United Nations resolutions, which represent international law and to concede our country's right to self-determination, so as to revitalize the peace process in the region, that peace which is desired by the entire world for the land of peace: Palestine.

"We thank the Committee once again for its solidarity with the Palestinian people and wish it every success in its noble task of enabling our People to exercise its national, inalienable rights.

"Revolution until Victory"

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I shall now suspend the meeting for a few minutes because the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, and the President of the Security Council must take their leave, owing to other commitments.

The meeting was suspended at 11.20 a.m. and resumed at 11.25 a.m.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on His Excellency Ambassador Daya Perera, the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.

Mr. PERERA (Sri Lanka), Chairman, Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the occupied Territories: On behalf of my two colleagues on the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, and on my own behalf, I have the honour to convey a message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Since it was established in December 1968 following the 1967 hostilities and territorial occupation by Israel the Special Committee has always endeavoured to provide, in the reports it has prepared for consideration by the General Assembly, an accurate and faithful description of the human rights situation of the civilian population.

As in previous years, the Government of Israel has continued to withhold its co-operation with the Special Committee and has once again denied it the opportunity to visit the occupied territories. This attitude, however, has not prevented the Special Committee from fulfilling its mandate to the best of its ability by reflecting in its reports all relevant information received orally and in writing relating to the enjoyment of human rights in the occupied territories.

Having examined and analysed the information and evidence placed before it, the Special Committee, in its twenty-first report, has reached the conclusion that the situation in the occupied territories is very alarming and reveals a further worsening, as a result of more than 20 months of continued violence and unrest, of an already grave human rights situation.

The recent period has been marked by a further increase in the frequency and intensity of daily incidents, leading to the deaths of several hundred Palestinians and to the wounding of thousands In the numerous clashes occurring practically every day and in several localities. Many clashes have opposed Palestinians and Israeli settlers, who have waged anti-Arab demonstrations and organized arson and retaliation raids after stone-throwing incidents. Clashes have also occurred between civilians and demolition teams sent to demolish houses. Other incidents have included raids by Israelis to carry out scores of arrests, collect taxes impose curfews or close off entire areas. Other forms of collective punishment have included harsh economic sanctions and the issuing, in order to tighten control over civilians, of identity cards to Palestinians wishing to enter Israel.

The administration of justice has also witnessed a considerable deterioration in the protection of basic human rights. Quick justice has continued to characterize court procedures, provoking many protests from lawyers and human rights activists. The widespread use of administrative detention has contributed to further weakening judicial safeguards. The already difficult situation of detainees has worsened as a consequence of the arrest of tens of thousands of Palestinians, including children. The harsh conditions of detention have led to Protests by prisoners in the form of widespread hunger strikes.

The recent period has also been characterized by an alarming trend towards increased deportations of Palestinians from the occupied territories carried out in spite of a wave of protests by the international community against that illegal Practice, which is in violation of the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The deterioration of the human rights situation is also illustrated by severe limitations on fundamental freedoms, such as the freedom of association and expression, the exercise of which has been hampered by various reassures, including closure of newspapers and press agencies, interference in the work of the media and detention of journalists and trade unionists. Last, but not least. the right to education has been severely restricted by prolonged closure of educational institutions.

The Israeli policy of settlement and physical annexation of occupied territories has also continued and has contributed to the climate of tension and frustration in those territories.

In view of the grave circumstances prevailing in the occupied territories I should like, together with my two colleagues, to reiterate our strong appeal to the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories by adopting measures aimed at the alleviation of their plight and providing adequate safeguards for the realization of their long-denied fundamental rights and freedoms.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of Yugoslavia, Mr. Pejic, who will speak as the representative of the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, to read out a message from Mr. Janez Drnovsek, President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mr. PEJIC (Yugoslavia): I have the great honour to read the message of Mr. Janez Drnovsek, President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the current Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, addressed to the United Nations Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to convey, on behalf of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in my own name, warm greetings to the courageous Palestinian people and its legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and to express our wholehearted support for their historic struggle for the lofty goals of freedom and independence.

"On this year's observance of that important date, we are still not in the position to point to any tangible progress in resolving the tragedy of the Palestinians, which has continued for more than 40 years. Unfortunately, this is yet another occasion to recall the suffering and sacrifices of the Palestinian people as a consequence of the Israeli occupation of the territory of Palestine and of other Arab lands. Further activities of Israel from a position of force should not be tolerated indefinitely. We must demand most resolutely that Israel and other factors enter into negotiations and reach peaceful solutions with the legitimate representatives of Palestine. I am convinced that the conditions for that are more auspicious now than in the past, and that the just solution of the Palestinian problem would be of enormous interest and importance to all peoples living in the region of the Middle East.

"At its ninth summit Conference in Belgrade, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries reaffirmed its position with regard to Palestine and stressed the urgency of reaching a just and comprehensive solution of the problem under the auspices of the United Nations, with a view to ensuring the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.

"At the same time, the Heads of State and Government of the non-aligned countries drew attention to the significant changes and developments in the region, which created the conditions for joint action by the international community aimed at reaching a comprehensive, lasting and just solution for all the countries of the region. In that respect, of particular relevance is the constructive attitude of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as demonstrated by the decision of the Palestine National Council concerning the peace initiative for the solution of the Palestinian question. That peace initiative has received wide international support and was also met with a positive response by those in Israel who are in favour of a peaceful settlement.

"The constructive position of the Palestine Liberation Organization has also contributed to the opening of dialogue with the United States and strengthened other positive initiatives for convening an international conference on Palestine and the Middle East. All that has no doubt contributed to the creation of more favourable conditions for the solution of the problem. We consider, therefore, that it is high time for Israel to accept the constructive approaches of the PLO and contribute to the opening of the Middle East peace process.

"We believe that the International Conference on Palestine and the Middle East, held under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing, would make a substantial contribution towards ensuring that all peoples and States in the region live in peace and security within their national territories.

"We are all duty bound to support all efforts and initiatives aimed at finding a just solution and preventing any further tragic loss of human life and material destruction. The beginning of the peace process and the solution of the problem of Palestine can objectively be the cornerstone of the future socio-economic development in the region.

“As one of the founding Members of the United Nations and of the Non-Aligned Movement, Yugoslavia is deeply concerned over the failure to resolve the question of Palestine over the years. In accordance with the principles of our foreign policy, we will continue to lend even stronger and more comprehensive support to the Palestinian people in their efforts to achieve their just goals. In its capacity as Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, and taking into account the positive attitudes and initiatives of other countries, Yugoslavia continues to strive to reach a just and durable settlement of the Palestinian problem.

"I take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its invaluable contribution to the cause of the rights of the Palestinian people. I am convinced that the positive developments in international relations will soon have an impact on the solution of that longest-lasting world problem, too, and that the Middle East region will discover the peace and unhampered development denied it for so long."

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Shihabi. Saudi Arabia is the current Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Mr. Shihabi will read the message of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

Mr. SHIHABI (Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour, as we celebrate in the United Nations the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to convey to you, Madame Chairman, and through you to this gathering, the message of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in which he expresses the insight of the leader, the conscience of a nation, and the aspirations of his people and of the Islamic peoples, that the truth may prevail and that evil may be crushed in the land of Palestine. He is the leader who has lived with the Palestinian tragedy, who has struggled and continues to struggle, for its successful, conclusion. I will now read the message of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

"Today, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, here at the United Nations we stand with the Committee to support the struggle and the resistance of the Arab people of Palestine, who oppose oppression with their faith and reveal to the world the behaviour of the oppressor in the Arab land of Palestine. We support the Committees, appreciative of its efforts to expose those who commit that oppression and to reveal their inhuman practices and methods, which violate all conventions and laws.

"As it witnesses the uprising of the Arab Palestinian people, the world is beginning to realize that they are in the right. It appreciates their heroism and sacrifices, and rejects the Israeli authorities' resort to acts of violence and despotism. More than ever before we are called upon to concentrate our efforts and reveal the just cause for which innocent souls are being martyred daily and for which the Arab people of Palestine are being subjected to all manner of repression and torture. The efforts of this Committee in this regard deserve the full appreciation and encouragement of all who uphold security and peace.

"At every opportunity, including from the rostrum of the United Nations, we have condemned Israeli practices against the Arab people of Palestine. In every respect those practices violate human norms and conventions and ignore the judgement of history. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible for thwarting Arab peace efforts which the world has recognized as balanced. We repeat today their clear responsibility in frustrating those efforts, and we affirm that the dream of continued occupation is a defective dream and that the Palestinian Arab people will certainly attain their rights, however long it May take. There is no doubt that the battle of peace will be won by men of wisdom and that it cannot be won by those who fear themselves and fear justice.

"To be sure, the ferocity and viciousness of those practices place a special and great responsibility upon the United Nations and its Member States, as Israel was founded an the basis of a General Assembly resolutions which the Palestinian Arab people declared at the time to be unjust and oppressive. The Israeli authorities came to confirm that injustice and Oppression, continuing them without check until they reached the stage where they imposed on us – and the United Nations in particular - the need for a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the tragedy and a firm stand, for which the United Nations deserves the respect of all nations.

"Since those Israeli practices frustrate the chances of peace, the international community bears a great responsibility to give peace a chance, and the United Nations and all its members should shoulder their responsibility with respect to the resolutions they adopted and are committed to.

“The Palestinian people stand in defence of their rights, setting the most excellent example of heroism, sacrifice and stead fastness with their beliefs and their religion, and depending upon God and their own resources and resolute human capabilities. The oppression and despotism that gravely harm the Palestinians, their sources of income, their houses of worship and their educational institutions strengthen their determination to gain their rights no matter how great the sacrifices, with the world standing by their side, as it has stood by the side of other peoples.

"Israeli practices against the Palestinian people, which this Committee exerts great efforts to expose to the world and the United Nations, reveal both an intention to occupy and a lack of respect for international norms and conventions.

"I reaffirm our appreciation and support to the Chairman and other members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people in their efforts to give the United Nations an active role in exacting justice. I wish the Committee all success in accomplishing its humane mission. God's peace, mercy and blessings be with you all-" That message constitutes an image of hope, a programme of work, a commitment by a leader who assumes his responsibilities.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call next on the Permanent Representative of Kuwait, current Chairman of the Group of Arab States.

Mr. ABULHASAN (Kuwait) Chairman of the Group of Arab States (interpretation from Arabic): It is my pleasure to address the Committee on behalf of the Group of Arab States in the United Nations at today's observation of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I thank you, Madame Chairman, and the other members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for your efforts to defend the rights of that people suffering under the yoke of occupation, particularly its inalienable right of self-determination, its right of return and its right to establish its own independent State in Palestine. Today, as the international community expresses its solidarity with and support for the heroic legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people, defending the justice of its cause and the legality of its rights, the Group of Arab States in the United Nations wishes to salute the heroes of the intifadah for their resistance to the guns of the Zionist settlers, who have not with total failure in their attempt to silence the demands of the Palestinian people, who will certainly gain victory and national independence, which is their inalienable right recognized by divine and human law.

I also ask you to mourn with us those innocent martyrs who have shed their blood and to express all possible solidarity with and support for the heroic Palestinian people. Our words of support should be reflected in real, practical action, our deep feelings in effective results.

The international community has showered the Palestinian people with words of support and solidarity, and eloquent statements. But those resounding statements, apart from their moral value, are not the right response to the guns, and they have not put an end to the tragedy. Nor have they enabled the Palestinian people to return to its homeland and establish a State of its own, like an other peoples.

There could be no better time than today for the international community to take another look at its collective position on the Palestinian cause, and at Israel and the circles which provide and enhance its raison d’etre on the basis of aggression and expansionism. in proposing solutions the international community must base itself on international resolutions, and it must also consider the religious teachings of nations, international law, the United Nations Charter and international conventions.

We call for effective solidarity with the Palestinian people, whose heroes, including children and other defenceless people, fall every day. This cannot be achieved except through bringing pressure to bear on Israel and its few supporters to succumb to the demands for peace and the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict in the Middle East, which is the source of tension and instability throughout the world. That is why the international community must move in that direction and call on the Security Council to shoulder its Charter responsibility to put an end to Israel's crimes and its blatant rejection of all options of peace and settlement. it should impose sanctions against Israel, which continues, in extreme intransigence, to challenge the will and the many resolutions of the international community. Israel must succumb to the logic of peace and coexistence and enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights, including its right to return, its right of self-determination, and its right to the establishment of an independent State of its own, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole and legitimate representative.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call next on the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States.

Mr. MAKSOUD (league of Arab States): Solidarity with the Palestinian people at this juncture of history assumes historical significance. On the eve of the third anniversary of the Palestinian uprising, the world community has realized how the intifadah of the Palestinians has set in motion a corrective force, not only among the Palestinians and in the Arab world but also among those people in Jewish communities throughout the world who have expressed, consistent with their own traditions and spiritual values, outrage against the Zionist and Israeli establishment. The Palestinian uprising has brought out the best in Jewish values and the worst in the Zionist establishment. It is that development that plants the seeds of ultimate reconciliation.

The Palestine National Council has - one year ago - declared an independent Palestinian State. There have been many questions about how that Palestinian State can be recognized in the world community. It has been recognized by more than 85 independent States Members of the United Nations. That State was declared in order to Pre-empt any attempt to dilute the rights of the Palestinian people in terms of self-determination. It was declared in conformity with the jurisprudence established by various United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 242 (1967).

The Palestine National Council has declared the independent State and declared the parameters of the national patrimony of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. It has done 90 in order to remove any equivocation as to the intentions and deliberate motives of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian State wants to provide the Palestinian people with a sense of identity.

Any attempt - either through the charade of the Shamir election plan or the various procrastinations being introduced and injected into the genuine peace process - is an attempt to municipalize the basic inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. Therefore, any attempt to deny the Palestinian State its status is a recognition of the validity of occupation. We say that because Israel does not, under any circumstances, recognize that it is an occupying Power. It says it is a claimant Power. Therefore, in order to pre-empt its annexationist objectives in the occupied Palestinian territory it was necessary for the Palestinian people and the world community to recognize the ultimate national purpose of the Palestinian people, namely the structuring of an independent Palestinian State.

Not only do we in the League of Arab States support unequivocally the status of the Palestinian State, but we will endeavour in all our efforts to mobilize - politically, diplomatically and with an eye for the need for strategic balance in the region - not only to deter Israel from further annexation but to terminate its occupation of the independent Palestinian State.

The fact that the State of Palestine is occupied does not deny it its Juridical, political or institutional status on the world level and within the United Nations. It is unfortunate that the United States at this particular moment finds it necessary to threaten the will of the international community by threatening to withdraw its contribution to the budget. By that threat it is violating its own commitment as a Member of the United Nations, besides setting what might constitute a very bad precedents that anybody who does not agree with developments at the international level can threaten the international community and the United Nations. At this moment of solidarity with the Palestinian people, that attempt must be answered by concrete steps to enhance the status of that People's representation in the United Nations, because that would be a criterion according to which the Palestinian State would know it was the anchor of Palestinian aspirations and rights and the address at which the international community can lay responsibility and obligations.

In this respect we appreciate the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the response of the United Nations. We know that the task will be a difficult one. For a super-Power so blatantly to threaten to undermine and stifle the will of the international community is truly unprecedented in the annals of the Organization. Solidarity with the Palestinian people requires solidarity with the evolution of the Palestinian State, and the fact is that the State of Palestine constitutes the only investment in a comprehensive peace. We must again reinforce our efforts to sponsor a United Nations international conference at which all the parties concerned will be represented to salvage the peace option from procrastinations and attempts to derail the genuine peace process by the diversionary tactics that have blunted efforts for the past 40 years.

I should like to take this opportunity, therefore, to express the solidarity of the League of Arab States. Palestine is not only an integral part of the Arab nation: we are part and parcel-of the Palestinian uprising, intellectually, politically and diplomatically. It is high time that a measure of that uprising is reflected in the evolution of the diplomatic status of the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations. We salute the people of Palestine, especially those under occupation, who are giving every day a lesson in non-violent heroism against an oppressive, repressive and violent occupying Power.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon Ms. Jeanne Butterfield, Chairman of the North American Co-ordinating Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine and representative of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.

Ms. BUTTERFIELD: I am honoured to address the meeting today on behalf of the International Co-ordinating Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine on this historic occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As non-governmental organizations that have been involved with the United Nations in working on the question of Palestine we reaffirm on this occasion our total support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their continuing, struggle for independence, as expressed in the intifadah and by all other internationally legitimate means.

We of course, as non-governmental organizations, recognize and uphold the historic proclamation of the independent State of Palestine made on 15 November 1988, just over one year ago. we recognize the proclamation not only as the expression of the will of the heroic people of the intifadah but also as the expression of the fundamental principle of the self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We join with others to call upon all Governments of States Members of the United Nations that have not already done so to recognize the independent State of Palestine in unequivocal terms and without delay.

As non-governmental organizations we also uphold the Palestinian right of return. We vigorously support the call to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, and we reaffirm the international consensus that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and call on all of our Governments fully to recognize the PLO.

As non-governmental organizations we do not have the power of Governments to make policy or to negotiate peace, but as non-governmental organizations we are profoundly aware of our responsibility to hold our Governments accountable to the will of the people. We are the organizations that have the responsibility to consolidate public opinion and to find new and creative ways to express that opinion to our own Governments around the world. we are the organizations that must work day to day to build grass-roots solidarity with the Palestinian people and to build a world peace movement that is committed not only to nuclear disarmament and non-intervention but to peace in the Middle East as well.

We have been working hard on those priorities over the past year, and we do see our efforts begin to bear fruit in the hearts and minds and organized activities of grass-roots communities around the world. Our international Co-ordinating Committee Office at Geneva has produced 19 issues of an excellent newsletter that provides information and resources to nearly 1,500 non-governmental organizations around the world. The International Co-ordinating committee office has also produced 15 excellent background papers on topics that non-governmental organizations need to accomplish their work. It has responded with emergency appeals in cases of selected human rights abuses, focusing the attention of non-governmental organizations throughout the world on the protection of the Palestinian population under occupation and highlighting particular cases of arrests, detentions and expulsions.

There is now a network of nearly 1,500 non-governmental organizations that actively work together and co-ordinate their Work on the question of Palestine. We have active regional co-ordinating committees in Europe and North America. The United Nations-sponsored symposiums in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America are helping to launch new regional co-ordination efforts there as well. Our network of non-governmental organizations has done a tremendous amount of work over the past year. We have held forums, we have sponsored vigils, organized speaking tours, sent delegations to the occupied territories, conducted religious services, shown slide shows and films and videos, lobbied congress members and -parliamentarians, organized boycotts and more. Dozens and dozens of newsletters and action alerts and newspapers and magazines have been written and distributed. Conferences have been held sponsored by non-governmental organizations at which representatives from Palestine and from Israel discussed their common concerns and argued their differences. The non-governmental organization activities of 1989 will culminate in a large peace action in Jerusalem at the end of December. That effort has grown far beyond the non-governmental organization community that launched it and has been taken on as a major initiative by the European peace movement itself. More than a thousand delegates from around the world will convene in Jerusalem for three days of activities culminating in a human peace chain around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on 30 December. That highly visible action will inject new momentum into the various peace initiatives in which non-governmental organizations are engaged around the world.

The NGO community has become more organized and effective over the past year. It has shaken off sectarianism in order to work together for a common cause. It has shaken off complacency in the face of the ever-escalating repression facing the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the increasing polarization within Israeli society itself.

The NGO community has been active, but we are well aware that the situation calls for more than just activity. The situation in the West Bank and Gaza is extremely urgent. It has reached crisis proportions. Israeli General Dan Shomron has publicly stated that the only way to crush the intifadah is through mass deportations, starvation or genocide. He and other Israeli military leaders have repeatedly said that the intifadah cannot be ended by military might but must be met with political negotiation and settlement, yet at the same time Shamir has engaged in a public-relations game of a so-called election plan in order to mask his ever-constant call for an iron fist to crush the intifadah.

The people of Palestine, the people of Israel, the people of North America, the people of the world want peace. The Government of the people of Palestine has listened to its people and has launched a major peace initiative indicating its willingness to make painful historical compromises for the sake of peace. The Government of the people of Israel continues on the other hand to try to convince its people that peace will come only through force and might and blows. The Government of Canada has at least begun to talk with the PLO. The Governments of several European nations are actively encouraging the peace process, and the Government of the Soviet Union is constantly in dialogue with the PLO. Meanwhile, the Government of the United States continues to pour more than $3.5 billion a year into Israel and ignores the sentiment of the people of the United States, who says "Recognize the PLO, recognize the State of Palestine, end the occupation convene the international peace conference make peace".

The non-governmental organizations are not Governments and cannot negotiate peace. But the non-governmental organizations represent grass-roots public opinion and can wage peace. The non-governmental organizations in the United States have a particularly serious responsibility, they must ensure that the United States Congress acts for peace in the Middle East. United States and Israeli intransigence must be broken. We need more than Secretary of State Baker's speech indicating that Israel must consider ending the occupation. We need more than United States dialogue with the PLO. We need the United States Government to act decisively for peace, and to act now.

The people of Beit Sahur, in the occupied West Bank, sent a message to the Israeli peace forces which were prevented by the Israeli army from visiting Beit Sahur. The message also inspires the community of non-governmental organizations to redouble its efforts in solidarity with the people of Beit Sahur and Palestine. The people of Beit Sahur wrote:

"Peace and coexistence is our message. We have repeated it often, peace in Palestine and Israel, each free and secure .... The way to peace is to recognize the existence of the Palestinian nation on this land and its legitimate right to self-determination and its own choice of representatives. We want no more than what you haves freedom and our own representatives to pay taxes to. The Palestinians, throughout more then 40 years of homelessness and suffering, have proved that they are strong enough not to be removed from this land. The Palestinians also, like all peoples, long for peace. It is up to you to ask your fellow citizens when they will realize these incontrovertible facts. As non-governmental organizations we have much in common with the people of Beit Sahur and with peace-loving people the world over, a sense of rage at injustice being done, a sense of compassion for those suffering as a result of this historic conflict, a sense of purpose that we can act and make a difference, a sense of urgency that we must act now, and a deep yearning, with the people of Palestine, for a just and lasting peace. We as non-governmental organizations are challenged as never before. Time is running out. mass deportations are possible. Starvation is possible. Even genocide is possible. But peace is possible too, and we commit ourselves to acting effectively to make it happen.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I should be grateful if Ms. Butterfield would convey to her Committee our thanks for the support that non-governmental organizations have always given to our Committee. I have the honour to inform participants that the Committee on the Exercise Of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people has received messages of support and solidarity from many Heads of State or Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Governments and organizations. The texts of those messages will be published in a special bulletin to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Messages have been received from the following Heads of States His Excellency Mr. Najibullah, President of the Republic of Afghanistan, His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Emir of the State of Bahraini Their Excellencies Mr. Hussain Muhammad Ershad, President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh; Mr. Q.K.J. Masire, President of the Republic of Botswanal, Mr. Petar Mladenov, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bulgaria and President of the State Council of the People's Republic of Bulgaria; Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers of Cuba; Mr. George Vassiliou, President of the Republic of Cyprus; Mr. Gustav Husak, President of the Cechoslovak Socialist Republic; and Mr. Karel Urbanek, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia; Mr. Kim Il Sung, President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Mr. Haidej Abubaker Al-Attas, President of the Presidium of the People's Supreme Council of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen; Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings; President of the Provisional National Defence Council of the Republic of Ghana; Mr. Matyas Szuros, Acting President of the Republic of Hungary; Mr. Soeharto, President of the Republic of Indonesia; Mr. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, President of the Islamic Republic of Irani; and Mr. Saddam Hussein, President of the Republic of Iraqi; His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al Sabah; Emir of the State of Kuwait; Their Excellencies Mr. Phoumi Vongvichith, Acting President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic; General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino, President of the Republic of the Philippines; His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatari; Their Excellencies Mr. Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal; Major-General J.S. Momoh, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. R. Premadasa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; General Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President of the National Revolution Salvation Council and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of the Sudan; Mr. Ramsewak Shankar, President of the Republic of Suriname; Mr. Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, President of the Republic of Tunisia, and Mr. Yoweri K. Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates and His Excellency Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Yemen Arab Republic.

The Committee has also received messages from the following Heads Of Government: Their Excellencies Mr. Li Peng, Premier of the state Council of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, Mr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mr. Edward Fenech Adami, Prime Minister of Malta, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius; Mrs. Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan; Mr. Felipe Gonzalez, President of the Spanish Government; General Chatichai Choonhavan, Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister of Turkey; Father Walter Lini, Prime Minister of Vanuatu; and Mr. Do Muoi, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

The Committee has received messages also from the following Ministers for Foreign Affairs: Their Excellencies Mr. Domingo Cavallo, Minister for External Relations and Worship of Argentina; Mr. Michel Gbezera-Bria, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, Mr. Acheik Ibn Oumar, Minister for External Relations of the Republic of Chad, Mr. Julio Londofto Paredes, Minister for External Affairs of Colombia, Mr. Antonis Samaras, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece; Mr. Choi Ho Joong, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea; Mr. Jadallah Azuz El-Talihi, Secretary of the People's Committee of the People's Bureau for Foreign Liaison and International Co-operation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; Commandant Cheikh Sid'Ahmed Ould Baba, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Mauritania; Mr. Yousuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Omani; Mr. Krzysztof Skubiszewski, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Mr. Farouk al-Shara, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic and Mr. Vladimir Kravets, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

We have also received messages from the Government of Bolivia through its Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship; from the Governments of Brunei Darussalam and Ecuador and from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Committee has received messages from His Excellency Mr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and messages sent on behalf of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) by Mr. Ahmed Gora Ebrahim, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and on behalf of the African National Congress (ANQ by Mr. Alfred Nzo, Secretary-General of that organization.

On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I extend our sincere appreciation to the Heads of State and Government, and the ministers for Foreign Affairs, to the Governments and organizations I have just mentioned, and to all those who have participated in this meeting, for their sustained endeavours to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and for the support they have always given the objectives and activities of the Committee. The statements we have heard and the messages of solidarity we have received today once again attest to the international community's resolve to make progress towards bringing peace to the Middle East and achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, in particular their right to self-ietermination and the establishment of the independent Arab State of Palestine, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 181 (II), whose forty-second anniversary we are commemorating today.

We have noted with growing disquiet the worsening Israeli oppression in the occupied Palestinian territories and the increasingly marked awareness at all levels of the international community of the urgent need to provide for the protection and safety of the Palestinian people subject to occupation. The international consensus in favour of the prompt convening of the International Peace Conference in the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, has clearly been strengthened. I can assure everyone here that the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will be unstinting in their efforts ultimately to attain those objectives, which are of crucial importance not only to the Palestinian people but to the peace and security of the entire region.

I now call upon His Excellency Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who has asked to make a statement.

Mr. KADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)) (interpretation from Arabic): At the end of this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it gives we great pleasure on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization to convey our gratitude to you, madam Chairman, and to all friendly countries that have participated with us here and that have voiced their solidarity with the Palestinian people and support for their just cause.

I also wish to thank the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council for having attended the meeting for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people, and for supporting the attainment of peace process on a just basis.

It also gives me pleasure to express to you, Madam Chairman, our great esteem and to all the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People our thanks for their unremitting efforts on behalf of the Palestinian cause. I should like to thank them especially for their constant endeavours in support of the just struggle of the Palestinian people and of the ongoing intifadah, whereby they seek to achieve freedom and independence and to return to their homeland.

It gives me pleasure on this occasion to thank all the friends who, either by their presence or their messages or other communications, have expressed their solidarity with our Palestinian people and the glorious intifadah. We thank them for condemning the terrorist practices of Israel.

We wish finally to convey our special thanks to the United Nations and all its bodies. We fully appreciate their active role in support of all just causes and in launching the peace process with a view to putting an end to hegemony and blackmail.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I wish to thank all those who made today's meeting possible through their selfless and devoted work.. I would mention in particular the staff of the Division for Palestinian Rights, represented here by Mr. Mirza, the Chief of that Division, Mrs. Reanda, the Secretary of our Committee, the staff of the Department of Conference Services and of the Department of Public Information and all others who those who watch over the corridors to safeguard our security.

I remind participants that the exhibition presented by the office of the Permanent Observer of Palestine, under the auspices of the committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, will open at 3.45 p.m. in the lobby of the General Assembly Building.

The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m.



This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages, preferably in the same language as the text to which they refer. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also, if possible, 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 records of this meeting will be issued in a corrigendum.



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