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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/SR.81
25 June 1982

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

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

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 81st MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 22 June 1982, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)

CONTENTS

Adoption of the agenda

Review of the situation in the region

Other matters


________________________________________
This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550, 866 United Nations Plaza (Alcoa Building).

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.

82-55975 0203r (E)
The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The agenda was adopted.

REVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN THE REGION

2. The CHAIRMAN said that he had sent letters to the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General to draw attention to the seriousness of the situation in the Middle East, which was affecting not only the Lebanese but also the Palestinians who came under the mandate of the Committee. He had also informed the Secretary-General of how the Committee felt and had stressed that the humanitarian issues were the most important.

3. He also wished to renew to the Government and people of Saudi Arabia the condolences of the Committee at the death of King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, who had steadfastly defended the cause of the Palestinians.

4. He then welcomed the United Nations Co-ordinator of Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon, who would report on the current situation.

5. Mr. AKHUND (United Nations Co-ordinator of Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon) said that he could provide only limited information, the reasons for which were self-evident. On 10 June, the Secretary-General had received a letter from the Permanent Mission of Lebanon, and subsequently a telegram from the Minister of Social Affairs of Lebanon, drawing attention to the loss of lives and property and asking the Secretary-General to organize a relief programme. Prior to that, the Secretary-General had alerted all agencies within the United Nations system to the situation and had requested them to provide assistance. In addition, he had appealed to all Member States to provide aid and had requested him, Mr. Akhund, to co-ordinate all assistance from New York. The main United Nations bodies providing assistance were WHO, FAO, WFP, UNRWA, UNHCR, UNICEF and UNDRO. Those activities were a result of Security Council resolution 512 (1982), which stressed the particular humanitarian responsibilities of the United Nations and its agencies towards civilian populations and called upon all parties to the conflict not to hamper the exercise of those responsibilities and to assist in humanitarian efforts.

6. WFP had provided an $11.5 million aid package and had begun distributing provisions from existing stocks. The Director of that organization had called a meeting of donor countries in Rome with a view to providing further assistance. In New York, UNICEF too had called a meeting of donor countries and had obtained $5 million for emergency relief operations. WHO and UNHCR had provided assistance from their existing budgets. UNWRA had started a relief programme from existing stocks to aid 15,000 people in the Bekaa Valley and in south Beirut. ICRC also was providing assistance in southern Lebanon and in Sidon.

7. Of course, it was difficult to determine the exact dimensions of the problem because the situation had not yet settled. Fighting was still going on. Lebanon had requested the Secretary-General to send an interagency mission and that mission would leave as soon as possible. It was difficult to provide assistance overland in Lebanon. There were three possible routes: one was used by ICRC by air from Cyprus to Tel Aviv and then by road into southern Lebanon; the second was an overland route by which ICRC and UNICEF provided relief assistance through Damascus to Beirut and the Bekaa Valley; the third route was by sea from Larnaca, Cyprus, to, Lebanese ports. That third route was being studied by his Office and it was his understanding that ships would be allowed to enter Lebanese ports. In that connexion, he hoped it would be able to provide cereals and food-stuffs, beginning during the current week.

8. The CHAIRMAN thanked Mr. Akhund for the efforts being made by his Office to provide relief assistance to the region.

9. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that Mr. Akhund had indicated that relief assistance was entering Lebanon in areas north of Beirut, where the vicious Israeli attack had not penetrated. On Saturday, 19 June, an ICRC vessel had obtained permission to put into Sidon but had had to turn back because the Israelis had reported that Sidon harbour had been mined. That was not true. That port was available to ICRC and the United Nations, and should be used. It would be much too expensive to send the relief assistance through Juniye.

10. Quite recently, Mr. Arafat, Chairman of the PLO, had sent a letter to the Secretary-General asking him to send a mission to investigate and assess the damage. He wished to know whether the Secretary-General had undertaken that task. He was grateful for the efforts being made by the United Nations system but believed that a mission should be sent to the area to assess the damage. He also wished to thank ICRC and Catholic Relief Services for the assistance being provided, which he hoped would be distributed in the truly needy areas, namely, among the 800,000 persons displaced by the Israeli aggression in the area south of Beirut. Of the 150,000 tons of supplies sent through Tel Aviv, only 30,000 tons had reached those people. Past experience had shown that the Israelis would endeavour to obstruct those operations. The purpose of the act of aggression by the Israelis was genocide and their stated aim was to eradicate the PLO, in other words, the entire Palestinian people.

11. MR. AKHUND (United Nations Co-ordinator of Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon) said that the Secretariat had taken full note of the points raised by the representative of the PLO. At present, the purpose of the United Nations operations was to provide such emergency relief as was needed as quickly as possible. He agreed that supplies should go to affected areas and, in that connexion, he wished to point out that they would only be off-loaded at Juniye. With regard to the United Nations survey mission to assess the damage, that proposal was in hand and the Secretary-General hoped to get it off the ground as soon as possible. Some distribution of relief assistance had been started in southern Lebanon by ICRC and UNRWA and in Beirut itself from existing stocks. Over 1,400 tons of supplies had already been distributed and in response to an appeal by the Red Crescent, UNICEF had provided some $100,000 worth of medicines and other assistance.

12. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer, Syrian Arab Republic) said that his Permanent Mission had received telephone calls from people seeking information on how to send money and medical assistance to the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. He wished to know how to ensure that such private humanitarian assistance would reach those who needed it.

13. Mr. AKHUND (United Nations Co-ordinator of Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon) said that cash could be deposited in the United Nations General Fund and credited to account No. 015-005-219 at the Chemical Bank at the United Nations. A press release had been issued on 14 June 1982 setting forth the procedures for the provision of humanitarian assistance. Contributions in kind could be sent to ICRC or UNHCR and food could be channelled through WFP in Rome.

14. The CHAIRMAN said that he had received information from the PLO office in Washington to the effect that medical supplies could be sent through the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

15. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Arab American University Graduates Medical Section had organized a campaign and had shipped out medicines and bags for blood plasma to the region.

16. The CHAIRMAN said that there appeared to be a consensus within the Committee that it should take note of the seriousness of the situation in southern Lebanon and Beirut, appeal to all private and public organizations, in particular the. United Nations and its agencies, to ensure that humanitarian assistance was provided as appropriately as possible to the victims, appeal to the authorities concerned to provide facilities to ensure that the victims benefited from all assistance and request the Secretary-General to step up United Nations surveillance in the area. The Committee would inform the Secretary-General of useful steps which might be taken to ensure the implementation of Security Council resolution 512 (1982).

17. Mr. MAHMOOD (Pakistan) said that the situation in the region was serious because it involved Israeli aggression against the territorial integrity of Lebanon. While the United Nations grappled with political matters, the question of humanitarian relief was most important. Pakistan had already decided to provide 30,000 tons of rice and 5,000 tons of sugar. In addition, a medical team was being sent into the area and Pakistan was prepared to provide transportation for Palestinian volunteers in the area.

18. Mr. KUTSCHAN (German Democratic Republic) said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic had sent a telegram to the Secretary-General endorsing the demand for a cease fire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops. In a statement of 6 June, the German Democratic Republic had condemned the Israeli aggression and expressed support for efforts to ward it off. It had made available medicaments and blood plasma, which had not yet reached those who needed them because of an Israeli blockade. The German Democratic Republic had established a special account for assistance and, under Security Council resolution 512 (1982), would continue to provide aid.

19. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had thus concluded its consideration of the humanitarian aspects of the crisis in the Middle East and invited delegations to make comments on the political aspects thereof.

20. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that since the beginning of June Israel's atrocious activities against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories had escalated. Some municipal councils had been expelled and threats had been made to expel others. Israel was apparently counting on a lack of knowledge in the rest of the world about what was happening in the occupied territories. It had declared the invasion of Lebanon to be aimed at the eradication of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which meant that it was aimed at the eradication of the Palestinian people. On 5 and 6 June, Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon, had been adopted. Today, however, Israeli bombings, tank advances and air raids were being directed against residential areas in Beirut. On 8 June, an attempt had been made in the Security Council to ensure that the provisions of resolutions 508 and 509 were implemented within a fixed time period. The United States, however, had used its veto to obstruct the work of the Security Council and to encourage Israel to continue its aggression and genocide against the Palestinian people.

21. Consultations had recently been held on the possibility of resuming the seventh emergency special session on the question of Palestine, with special emphasis on the right to life of the Palestinian people. His organization hoped that the Committee would support a call for the resumption of that emergency special session, at which measures permissible under General Assembly resolution 377 (V) could be instituted and the stalemate in the Security Council ended. It hoped that the emergency special session would be resumed as soon as possible and that the carnage in the Middle East could be brought to a halt.

22. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to contact the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement with a view to discussing the resumption of the seventh emergency special session on the question of Palestine.

23. It was so decided.

OTHER MATTERS

24. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the working group on the preparations for the seminar on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people had drawn up an extremely representative list of panellists and had come up with five topics for the debate, taking into account past seminars. The topics were the rights of the Palestinian people, the role of Africa in promoting the recognition of those rights and the similarity between the struggles of the Palestinian and African peoples to exercise their rights, the structure of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the search for effective means to promote a solution to the Palestinian problem, and the role of the United Nations in that search. The seminar would be held from 9 to 13 August in Dakar. Further arrangements would have to be made in order to finalize the programme for the seminar, and offers by members to represent the Committee at the seminar would be welcomed.

25. The Committee fully supported the Palestinian people in their present predicament and commiserated with the country of Lebanon for the aggression perpetrated against it. He hoped that the emergency special session would be called speedily and that a very strong resolution would be adopted at it.

26. Mr. KUTSCHAN (German Democratic Republic) said that in view of the Israeli commitment to exterminate the Palestinian people, it was a matter of high priority for the Committee to consider measures to mobilize all efforts to end the Israeli aggression. His country urged the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon, supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people and endorsed the suggestions made by the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

27. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee, in conformity with its mandate, would spare no effort to secure the triumph of equity and justice.
The meeting rose at 4.25 p.m.

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