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29 January 1988
Letter dated 29 January 1988 from the representative of Canada
to the Secretary-General
[29 January 1988]
I have the honour to transmit the text of a statement issued on 27 January 1988 by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Right Honourable Joe Clark, on the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the occupied Arab territories.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have this letter and the attached text distributed as a document of the Security Council.
Permanent Representative of Canada
to the United Nations
Text of a statement issued on 27 January 1988 by the
Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada
[Original: English and French]
The Secretary of State for Extemal Affairs, the Rigbt Honourable Joe Clark, welcomed the United Nations Secretary-General's analysis of the situation in the occupied territories [
He also expressed appreciation for tbe identification of realistic and practicable measures for the safety of their population and for the report's emphasis on the need to find a political solution to the current situation.
Consistent with Canada's long-standing position that the Fourth Geneva Convention
/ applies to the territories, Canada would be prepared to join with other contracting parties to that Convention in an appeal to the Government of Israel to apply its provisions to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Violations of the Geneva Convention, including human rights abuses and settlements, are unacceptable and damaging to the peace process. By applying the Convention, Israel would provide significant confirmation of its willingness to encourage a climate for peaceful negotiations.
The Government of Canada is ready to respond to an appeal for funds by the International Committee of the Red Cross to finance the extra activities required by the increase in detainees. As a major contributor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, we believe the international community should join in the effort called for in the Secretary-General's report to improve the infrastructure of the refugee camps located in the occupied territories. On 20 January, Canada made an additional contribution of $500,000 to special construction projects to the benefit of the refugee population. In 1987, Canada devoted $1,250,000 in development assistance to the territories. It will continue to share in efforts to assist these territories in ways helpful to peace.
Such measures, however, will not remove the root causes of the recent tragic events. As stated by the Secretary-General, "the underlying problem can only be resolved through a political settlement". Canada joins in his call for each side to strive to understand better the legitimate interests of the other and to act in a manner which promotes mutual understanding.
Canada believes that an intemational conference leading to direct negotiations would provide a suitable framework for the conclusion of a just and lasting settlement.
/ Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949 (United Nations,
, vol. 75, No. 973).