About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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"The question before the Assembly today is not one which deals with the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people since these rights are inalienable and firmly established, and the Charter of the United Nations has further consolidated them. The Assembly's deliberations here should deal with the means that would enable the Palestinian people to exercise these rights, of which they have been deprived for so long."
Thus, Egypt believes that the objective of the work of this Committee is amply clear and that its mandate is well defined in General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX). We assure the Committee of our full cooperation and our pledge that ire will spare no effort in order to facilitate its important task.
With regard to the question of Palestine, Egypt has always maintained that a Just solution of the Palestinian question is a condition sine qua non for the just solution of the Middle East problem as a whole and for the creation of the necessary conditions for a just and lasting peace in the area. Egypt's position on this question was clearly stated by President Anwar El-Sadat, who, in his speech to the General Assembly on 29 October 1975, said:
A true description of the question of Palestine is that of a people whose fundamental rights have been usurped, whose economic wealth has been looted and whose contribution to civilization has been denied. It is a people which has been rendered homeless as a result of aggression unprecedented in the history of the world at large. Some people have suffered from the denial of their fundamental rights, while the political rights of others have been usurped. Many have been exposed to the looting of their economic resources. But the Palestinian people, has suffered more than any other because it has been subjected to all these forms of oppression in addition to being rendered homeless. However, events have demonstrated that ignoring the essence of the problem, and consequently blocking attempts to reach a just settlement, have made Palestinian people more determine to achieve their rights and to carry on their struggle until the whole world has realized that without solving the Palestinian question there can be no Just and,J durable peace.
One of the most important truths to emerge after the October 1973 war was the fact that the Palestine entity has found its embodiment and its crystallization, that recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of that people, has increased, and that the struggle for the restoration of all their rights has been intensified. As a result, the international community reaffirmed anew its recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine.
The historic resolution adopted "by the General Assembly on 22 November 1974, resolution 3236 (XXIX), should always be considered as the corner-stone of any search for a just solution of the question of Palestine. By this resolution the General Assembly defined and reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including the right to self-determination without external interference, and the right of the Palestinians to their national independence and sovereignty, and the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted. Furthermore, the General Assembly, by the same resolution, recognized that the Palestinian people is principal party to the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
In fact, this historic resolution has crowned the determined and persistent political struggle of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the name of the entire Palestinian people and on their behalf. The Palestine Liberation Organization has been the embodiment of the just struggle of the Palestinian people for many years. It was recognized by, and has found great support among, peace-loving nations. This recognition was further enhanced when the General Assembly, during its twenty-ninth session, granted the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.
Egypt's position has always been one of supporting and strengthening the Palestine Liberation Organization by all means. We have consistently maintained that the Palestine Liberation Organization must play its logical role of S&presenting the Palestinian people and upholding its inalienable rights. We are convinced that this Organization can always make a substantial contribution efforts seeking to establish a just and lasting .peace in the Middle East.
I must state here that last year, during the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, the international community was most responsive to the cause of peace when it adopted, by an overwhelming majority, its resolution 3375 (XXX), in which it declared that the Palestine Liberation Organization must participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East on an equal footing with other parties.
In conformity with this trend was the wise decision by the Security Council lately to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization twice to take part in its deliberations.
The General Assembly went a step further during its last session by establishing, in its resolution 3376 (XXX), this Committee. Thus the international community has now entered the phase of implementing the commitment it took upon itself by adopting General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) on this question. The road, therefore, is no longer vague and unknown. The clear task assigned to this Committee is to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights , recognized in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) , and to take into account all the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations.
The right to self-determination is foremost among the principles on the basis of which the United Nations functions. It is the first aim of the United Nations itself. It is a principle which has been consolidated by the struggle of the people - the peoples of Asia, Latin America, Africa and others - against colonialism, against usurpation and against oppression.
It becomes obvious, therefore, that the Palestinian people is now demanding exercise of its fundamental rights, particularly the right to return to its homeland, in order to exercise the right to self-determination and to establish its independent Palestinian entity in Palestine.
Throughout the very active participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the General Assembly sessions, in the Security Council deliberations, and in the work of this Committee, many constructive ideas and pragmatic proposals have been suggested by the leaders and the representatives of the Palestinian people in order to implement the inalienable Palestinian rights. We believe that this Committee should give its utmost consideration to these suggestions.
Although we have reiterated Egypt's position regarding the Palestinian question on many occasions before the General Assembly and before the Security Council, I would like, before concluding, to emphasize the following basic elements.
First, Egypt insists on the necessity of establishing a just and durable peace in the area, and this, in our view, cannot be achieved except through the liberation of all the occupied Arab territories and restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. That, in turn, should provide all the peoples of the area with a better opportunity to make a constructive contribution and participate in the efforts to achieve security and prosperity for our world.
Secondly, Egypt equally calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity, through the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Charter and its resolutions. All this constitutes a basic necessity and a prerequisite for peace in the area.
Thirdly, Egypt has consistently maintained that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole representative of the Palestinian people and as such is the guardian of the inalienable rights of this people, a fact that has been upheld by the United Nations. Therefore, the Palestine Liberation Organization should participate in all peace efforts as a principal party to the Middle East problem.
Fourthly, it has become an established fact, accepted by us and by the international community as a whole, that the situation cannot be allowed to stagnate once more and that we cannot accept further procrastination in the efforts for a just and peaceful solution. Therefore, Egypt calls for the reconvening of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing other participants, according to General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), (in order to deal with the problem in all its aspects, on the above-mentioned ; basis.
Fifthly, Egypt affirms the urgent need for effective action and effort on the part of our international Organization to find means of guaranteeing the restoration of full rights to the Palestinian people, particularly since our Organization has, almost from its establishment, been dealing with the Palestinian (question. We believe that our international Organization should be a party to the establishment of a Just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
We will be looking forward to the report and recommendations which the Committee will eventually submit to the Security Council. However, it is our conviction that the Committee should urge the Security Council to take appropriate action that could give further impetus to the Palestinian question within the United Nations. Thus the Security Council could make a positive contribution towards the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which depends the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.