About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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AGENDA ITEM 27
Question of Palestine: report of the Secretary-General (continued)
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The Assembly has before it two draft resolutions, [contained in documents A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l land A/L.770 and Add. 1.
2. In connexion with draft resolution A/L.770 Add.l, I now call on the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, Mr. Gheit of Egypt.
3. Mr. GHEIT (Egypt), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee: The Fifth Committee, in accordance with the 153 of the rules of procedure, has just completed consideration of the report of the Secretary-General [A/C.5/1705] on the administrative and financial implications of draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l dealing with the establishment of a committee on the Exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
4. I have been requested by the Fifth Committee to inform you of its decision that, should the General Assembly adopt the draft resolution contained in [document A/L.770 and Add.l, the Secretary-General would be authorized to enter into the necessary commitments, initially under the terms of the General Assembly resolution on unforeseen and extraordinary expenses for the biennium 1976-1977, with the prior concurrence of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
5. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The Assembly will recall that the debate on the item is closed and that we are now going to vote. However, I call on the representative of Senegal to complete the introduction of the draft resolution which he began last Friday [2398th meeting], without in any way reopening the debate.
6. Mr. FALL (Senegal) (interpretation from French): I do not intend to reopen the debate, but I should like to complete my introduction of draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l.
7. As members of this Assembly have seen, operative Paragraph 3 reads:
"Decides to establish a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People composed of the following Member States:"
The paragraph is not complete. I was surprised, therefore, that no member of this Assembly asked me a question about this. Nevertheless, I will reply to that question by asking that the paragraph read as follows:
"Decides to establish a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People composed of twenty Member States to be appointed by the General Assembly at the current session."
8. This will complete this paragraph, and nominations of the 20 members to be appointed by the General Assembly will be submitted by the President to the Assembly for approval in due course. We did not want to entrust to any other body the appointment of those 20 members because we believe the question is crucial.
The Assembly, therefore, will have to take a decision in due course on the appointment of these 20 members.
9. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I shall now call on those representatives who wish to explain their votes on one or both of the draft resolutions before they are put to the vote.
10. Representatives will also be given an opportunity to explain their votes after the two draft resolutions have been voted upon.
11. Before calling on the first speaker on the list, I should like to invite the attention of representatives to rule 88 of the rules of procedure which provides, inter alia, that:
"The President shall not permit the proposer of a proposal or of an amendment to explain his vote on his own proposal or amendment."
12. Mr. KOH (Singapore): As my delegation did not participate in the general debate on the question of Palestine, we should like to take this opportunity to state our views and to explain how we intend to vote on the two draft resolutions before us.
13. Let me first turn to the draft resolution in document A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l. This draft resolution is entitled "Invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the efforts for peace in the Middle East". The thrust of this draft resolution is to be found in its operative paragraphs 2 and 3.
Operative paragraph 2 reads:
"Calls for the invitation of the Palestine Liberation Organization ... to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties ..."
Operative paragraph 3 reads:
"Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Co-Chairmen of the Peace Conference on the Middle East of the present resolution and to take all necessary steps to secure the invitation of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the work of the Conference as well as in all other efforts for peace."
14. My delegation will support this draft resolution for the following reasons: First, we believe that, if the question of Palestine is to be resolved in a satisfactory manner, then it is necessary for the Palestinian people, through its representative, to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences concerning Palestine. We note that the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] has been recognized by the League of Arab States and by the Organization of African Unity as the representative of the Palestinian people. My delegation is therefore prepared to accord the same recognition to the PLO.
15. Secondly, this draft resolution is consistent with my delegation's belief in dialogue between the parties directly concerned in any dispute. If a dispute is to be resolved peacefully and not by violent means, then it is imperative to bring about a dialogue between the disputants. In the case of the dispute over the question of Palestine, the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis are the two primary disputants and we must encourage them towards a dialogue with each other.
16. I shall now turn to draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l. In operative paragraph 1, the General Assembly would reaffirm its resolution 3236 (XXIX), which, inter alia, reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine. Those rights include, first, the right to self-determination without external interference; secondly, the right to national independence and sovereignty; and, thirdly, the right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted.
17. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) contains an ambiguity.
This concerns the geographical area in which the rights of the Palestinian people are to be exercised. The resolution refers to "Palestine". If "Palestine" is used to refer to the area of the former Mandate, then we have to take into account the fact that parts of that area now constitute the Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel.
18. The most reasonable interpretation of resolution 3236 (XXIX) is that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to a national home are to be expressed in those parts of the Palestine territory which are not part of the national territory of Jordan and Israel.
19. My Government has diplomatic relations with Israel and we believe that the State of Israel is entitled to the same respect for its independence, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity as other States. If Israel withdraws, as it must, from the territories it has occupied since the 1967 war, then Israel's right to exist as a State within secure and recognized boundaries should not be endangered. We therefore interpret resolution 3236 (XXIX) as upholding, on the one hand, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to a homeland of their own; and, on the other hand, the right of Israel to exist within the boundaries prevailing before the 1967 war.
20. Operative paragraph 3 of draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l reads:
"Decides to establish a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People ..."
Since we are of the view that the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is compatible with the right of the State of Israel to exist, we therefore see no difficulty in accepting this paragraph. As for the composition of the Committee, we hope that it would comprise States which represent the views and interests of all the parties directly concerned with the question of Palestine. Any temptation to compose the Committee exclusively or even predominantly of States holding only one view should be eschewed because such a committee would lack credibility.
21. Operative paragraph 4 reads:
"Requests the Committee to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of implementation, designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise [their] rights ..."
In formulating its recommendations the Committee is authorized to take into account "all the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations".
22. With respect to this paragraph, my delegation would like to make two clarifications. First, our acceptance of the Committee does not in any way prejudge our position on its recommendations. Our position on the Committee's recommendations will be based upon our assessment of their merit. Secondly, whilst we can agree that, in making its recommendations, the Committee can take into account all the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations, we wish to make it clear that the Committee itself cannot exercise such powers. The Committee's competence is limited to making recommendations.
23. The positive vote which my delegation will cast on draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l is, therefore, based upon the interpretation which my delegation has given to resolution 3236 (XXIX) and to operative ,paragraphs 3 and 4 of the draft resolution.
24. Finally, I wish to reiterate my Government's consistent support for Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which established the only agreed framework for the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
25. Mr. ALGARD (Norway): By its resolutions 242 (1967) of November 1967 and 338 (1973) of October 1973 the Security Council laid down the guidelines for a just and comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. We find it of the utmost importance that United Nations organs, be it the General Assembly or the Security Council, in dealing with the Middle East conflict avoid any move that might tend to upset the balance of these two resolutions which are fundamental to the work for peace in the Middle East.
26. My Government therefore regrets that draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l refers only to General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) and does not contain any reference to the two Security Council resolutions, as this leaves doubt about the basis on which negotiations in the Middle East shall take place. For this reason my delegation cannot support that draft resolution.
27. I should like to reconfirm, however, that my Government still holds the view that no lasting peace can be achieved in the Middle East unless the legitimate interests and rights of the Palestinians are taken into account.
28. Norway has consistently supported Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) as a basis for just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It is our view that such peace must be built on the following main principles. First, the acquisition of territory by force cannot be accepted. This is a basic principle of the Charter of the United Nations. Any changes to or adjustments of borders can be effected only as the agreed result of peaceful negotiations. Secondly, all States in the area must have the right to live within secure and recognized boundaries. This principle, which is laid down in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), is essential to any peace settlement and must be retained intact. Thirdly, a just solution must be found for the Palestinians. The Norwegian Government recognizes the fact that no lasting peace can be achieved in the Middle East unless the legitimate interests and rights of the Palestinians are taken into consideration.
29. As to draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l, it is the view of my Government that it leaves out a very important element which was contained in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), that is, the right of all States in the Middle East to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.
30. The present draft resolution aims at establishing committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It is regrettable that, as a for the work of the committee, the draft resolution refers only to General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) and does not contain any reference to the guidelines for a just and lasting peace in the Middle laid down in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
31. In the opinion of my Government, the draft resolution also raises certain constitutional problems it seems to trespass on the competence of the Security Council. For this reason, my delegation will have to vote against draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l.
32. Mr. SIKIVOU (Fiji): Since Fiji's admission to the United Nations my delegation has consistently advocated dialogue in this world forum rather than -confrontation or the use of arms in the settlement of differences, including major international problems such as the Palestine question.
33. As recently as 8 October, the Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji, when he addressed the Assembly during the general debate again repeated our position, pay, inter alia:
"We do not believe that a lasting solution to any of these problems can be brought about by force or by exclusion from the world family of nations. In seeking solutions to the problems arising from differences and conflicts of national interests, we prefer that the international community should actively encourage peaceful accommodation through continuing dialogue and constructive discussions among those directly involved." [2380th meeting, Para. 51]
34. Our position on the question of Palestine is based on the following: first, the right of the displaced Palestinian people to a homeland; secondly, the right of Israel and of every other State in the area to exist within secure and recognized boundaries; thirdly, the withdrawal of Israel from all Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war; and fourthly, the need for dialogue among all parties directly concerned in settling differences, including, for example, those arising from the implementation of the imperatives I have just mentioned.
35. It is for these reasons that we shall support draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l, sponsored by Egypt and other delegations. It invites the PLO to participate in the Peace Conference on the Middle East. We trust that the draft resolution will be adopted and that, thereafter, Israel and the PLO as well as those working closely with them, will be able to discuss, to negotiate and to iron out their differences.
It is to be hoped that the participation of the PLO will help in the achievement of the ever-evasive acceptable solution to the question of Palestine and the attainment of lasting peace in the area as a whole.
36. We trust that Israel will recognize the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians in the subject under debate. It cannot be left out of serious attempts to find solutions to problems that so vitally affect them.
37. My delegation regrets that, for the same reasons, we are unable to support draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l, because it makes no mention of Israel or of its sovereignty, or of its right to secure and recognized boundaries; it makes no mention of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It proposes, however, to establish a committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people; it speaks of a programme of implementation of steps to be taken for the resettlement in Palestine of Palestinians, and of other matters which, in the opinion of our delegation, are matters for careful and thorough negotiation and discussion by the PLO and Israel. They are problems better dealt with by dialogue in a spirit of give and take, and not by confrontations or by resolutions which encourage or cultivate them.
38. My delegation therefore does not see how adoption of draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l can serve a useful purpose. Because of its weaknesses, it would only add another unimplementable resolution to an already large stock of similar resolutions.
39. Mr. TEMPLETON (New Zealand): My delegation would have very much wished to give its support to a moderate and balanced draft resolution which facilitated further negotiations and advanced the cause of peace in the Middle East. We acknowledge the efforts of Egypt and some other Arab delegations to produce a moderately worded draft resolution which would lead to an early reconvening of the Geneva Conference.
40. Unhappily, in my Government's view, neither draft resolution meets the criteria of balance and even-handedness which would allow us to vote for it, and we doubt, therefore, that either of them can facilitate the negotiation of a settlement.
41. I am obliged to say that the way in which this matter is being handled in the rather super-heated atmosphere of plenary meetings under strict deadlines, without the opportunity for the normal detailed examination and exchange of views on texts in the Special Political Committee, and with draft resolutions being submitted at the last minute and only minimal opportunity being afforded for consultation of Governments, is unlikely to lead to the emergence of a constructive resolution which would take due account of all the interests involved in this item.
42. We cannot ignore the fact that the draft resolutions before us are one-sided, negotiated essentially among the Arab delegations, and that efforts by others to introduce a more balanced approach would have little chance of success.
43. The position of New Zealand was clearly stated in the debate at the twenty-ninth session,1 and it remains the same: we recognize the rights of the Arab people of Palestine—including their right to self-determination. We wish their voice to be heard, and we wish them to be participants in a peace settlement which takes full account of their rights and aspirations. Equally, we recognize the rights and existence of the people and State of Israel, including those of territorial inviolability and political independence, and believe that a peace settlement must take full account of those rights.
44. Both draft resolutions [A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.1 and A/L.770 and Add.1] take as their starting point resolution 3236 (XXIX). No reference is made to the key Security Council resolutions which, in our view,provide the appropriate basis for the negotiation of a settlement. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) dealt solely with the rights of the Palestinian people and ignored the rights and interests of the other principal parties, which must obviously be taken into account in the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
45. New Zealand therefore abstained from voting on that resolution and for that reason must abstain from voting on draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l.
46. Finally, if draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l is nevertheless adopted, I wish to express the earnest hope that the proposed committee will take into account the rights and interests of all the parties and thus open up the possibility of making an effective contribution to the lasting Middle East settlement that we all desire.
47. Mr. AKE (Ivory Coast) (interpretation from French): As the delegation of the Ivory Coast did not take part in the general debate at the beginning of the session or in the debate on this agenda item, I should now like to make a brief statement on the position of the Ivory Coast regarding the question of Palestine and to explain my delegation's vote on the two draft resolutions before the General Assembly.
48. The question of Palestine, which the General Assembly is now considering for the second consecutive year with the participation of representatives of the Palestinian people, should be taken up with realism if we sincerely wish to work for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in an area of the world which has suffered all too much from the clash of weapons, from violence, from suspicion, from intransigence, from human frustration and from lack of understanding, and, finally, from the hegemonic policies of the great Powers, purveyors of weapons.
49. We believe that the Sinai Agreement of 4 September 19752 between Egypt and Israel, which led to the evacuation of part of Egyptian territory by Israeli troops, is an important step on the difficult way to peace in the Middle East.
50. The efforts that led to the Agreement should, of course, be encouraged but we should not lose sight of the fact that they might in the long run prove to be in vain if they are not viewed in perspective, if they, do not take into account what is the very core of the crisis in the Middle East: the problem of Palestine. In spite of the progress, which we have every reason-to welcome and for which we congratulate those-responsible, the situation in the Middle East remains, very grave, for the very simple reason that people have refused to accept two quite obvious realities: the fact of Israel and the fact of Palestine.
51. Our Arab and Israeli friends must accept those realities, harsh though they may seem to be. The former must resign themselves to accepting the existence of Israel as a sovereign and independent State Member of the United Nations; the latter must recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people, in particular its right to a homeland on the territory of Palestine, which, rightly, all Palestinians, whether Jews, Arabs, Muslims or Christians, claim—the land of Palestine, where they lived together in harmony for many centuries. Neither the one side nor the other will, in our: opinion, be working towards a genuine settlement of the crisis in the Middle East if it strives to disregard those realities. We do not believe we are doing them; any service at all if we do not speak the truth, for the just and lasting peace to which they aspire calls for the acknowledgement and acceptance of these political realities.
52. In its statements at the twenty-ninth sessions on 27 September 3 and 19 November 19744 the Ivory-Coast stated its position on the question of Palestine-and showed how the tragedy of the Middle East arose from the historic decision of the United Nations on 29 November 1947 to divide Palestine into two States, one for the Jewish Palestinians and the other for the Muslim and Christian Palestinians. We cannot denounce the major Powers too strongly for the heavy responsibility they bear in this matter, because they either could not or did not wish to adopt the measures, required—and for good reason—to gain acceptance for, their decision which guaranteed the borders between the two States. What suffering and poverty could have been avoided in that area of the world! What material and spiritual resources could have been made available for the development of that region if the major Powers had discharged their responsibilities properly.
53. The partition resolution was thus only partially implemented because only one State, Israel, emerged with and has an independent national existence, recognized and guaranteed by the great Powers, an existence which the overwhelming majority of States will not allow to be challenged. The other State however, which was to result from that partition and was to have been the homeland of the Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs never saw the light of day, and those Palestinians have become stateless persons, left to their own devices! Their part of Palestinian territory is today occupied by Israel and held by other States in the area.
54. We wish to stress once again that a settlement of Palestinian problem is the sine qua non for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. We believe that any realistic solution must be Abased on the principles which we enunciated in our statement of 19 November 1974 4/ which we now reaffirm because we believe they are essential, just as we reaffirm our full support for Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) as the basis for the settlement of the situation in the Middle East.
55. Consequently, Israel must evacuate the Arab and Palestinian lands which it has occupied since the war of June 1967 and all other States holding Palestinian territory should give it back to the Palestinians so that they may settle there, create their own State and enjoy their own national, independent, sovereign existence, with international recognition.
56. We appeal earnestly to Israel to understand that it is high time that it gave sympathetic consideration the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and recognized their rights to a country, distinct from both Israel itself and Jordan. We understand its unyielding denial of any representative role to the PLO but it should overcome its bitterness and agree to begin a dialogue with that Organization, which represents the Palestinian people and is a valuable spokesman. The future of Israel lies in peaceful and brotherly coexistence with that people. It should not fall into the trap of the same kind of absolutism for which it criticized others not so long ago after a certain conference, but should today show itself more than ever understanding in its approach to the question of Palestine.
57. We should like to address ourselves to the Arab countries, neighbours of Palestine: we believe that you also should help your Palestinian brothers to recover their national rights, giving those rights real and concrete substance. If with your assistance they had been able to create their own State, perhaps the situation in the Middle East today would have been quite different and the crisis, instead of being an Arab-Palestinian crisis, would have been only an Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which equally could have been overcome through dialogue, mutual understanding, cooperation and peaceful coexistence of the two States.
58. To the Palestinians, represented here by the PLO, we say: we understand and share your frustration, your feelings and your ardent desire for justice and peace. You have appealed to the United Nations, which has welcomed you and recognized the legitimate rights of your people, and we believe that you should help us to help you to make your rights a reality in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Your very legitimate ideal is the establishment of "a secular democratic state in all of Palestine" where all, "Muslims, Christians and Jews, can dwell together in brotherhood, equality and openness to the World and live free from any fear or anxiety", in fulfillment of your lofty and progressive aspirations for the future—to borrow the words of the leader of the legation of the PLO [see 2390th meeting, para. 62]. Your ideal is a noble and praiseworthy one but I am sure you will agree that its realization, unfortunately, I belongs to some time in a future that it is hard to predict.
Why not deal with the realities of the moment? Why not build your future on these realities and reassure Israel that it has the right to existence, abandoning any idea of destroying that State as a sovereign, independent nation? By giving such an assurance you would, for a certainty, contribute to creating favourable conditions for a fruitful dialogue between all, Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians, to resolve your differences and establish a basis for fraternal, confident co-operation which should lead tomorrow to that unity for which today you yearn. Hatred, intransigence, distrust, to which one might add the unrealistic positions of some, cannot lead to the peace which you, Israelis and Palestinians, long for and which we too so ardently desire. We are convinced that your desire for peace is sincere, but we believe it is our duty to reaffirm that we believe that you should preach and practise a policy which will be a source of reassurance to both sides.
59. As President Houphouet-Boigny declared in another connexion, on 28 April 1971:
"Peace requires an effort, an effort of faith and courage. Political courage means facing up to a situation which cannot be corrected overnight with the determination that by our perseverance, by our love transmitted to others and by our faith in peace, we can one day change that situation."
And inasmuch as you are all believers, that will, that faith, that courage can build a bridge of friendship and reconciliation over your antagonisms, your quarrels and your present divisions to bring together brothers that have been separated and create a situation where the unity of Palestine can be envisaged with a real chance of success and as one of the things that are possible once peace is restored.
60. As far as we, the Members of the United Nations, are concerned, it is our duty to do our utmost to create a climate of confidence that will be propitious for dialogue not only among the Palestinians—whether they be Jews, Muslims or Christians—but also between the Arab world and the Israelis. Let us strive to rise above their antagonisms in order to devote ourselves to everything that can bring them together. Although their claims and demands are very often mutually exclusive and contradictory, let us select those that really contribute to the drive towards peace and reject those that do not, for they are not in the interests of the parties concerned, nor will they help us to move towards a settlement of the problem. Let us no longer be satisfied with the sort of resolution which, once adopted is soon forgotten inasmuch as it does not take into account all aspects of the situation in the Middle East and, in particular, ignores the realities that will determine the establishment of a just and lasting peace in that region we hold so dear.
61. I wish to thank you Mr. President, for giving us this chance to state the views of our Government. The delegation of the Ivory Coast will take a decision on draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l in the light of the following considerations.
62. First, the existence of the State of Israel is an irreversible fact and the creation of an Arab Palestinian State, with its own national identity, is imperative.
63. Secondly, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which we reaffirm, must be exercised and implemented in an Arab Palestinian State and we support the formation of that State out of the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and of those now held by other States in the area.
64. Thirdly, the question of Palestine is the very core of the crisis of the Middle East. Therefore, the participation of the Palestinian people through its representatives, the PLO, and its commitment to the process of negotiation and the patient efforts to seek a just and lasting peace are a necessity.
65. Fourthly, any solution to this problem must be sought through peaceful means, through negotiations, or direct or indirect dialogue.
66. Fifthly, the return of the Palestinians to their homes and property in Israel would be unrealistic if it did not take into account the prerogative of any sovereign State to regulate immigration into its territory.
67. Sixthly, any reference to certain relevant provisions of the Charter, and particularly to the prerogatives of the Security Council, that might imply a return to measures with the unavowed intention of suspending or expelling one of the parties that is already a Member of the United Nations, or that might imply the application of Chapter VII of the Charter, is in our view difficult to accept.
68. Finally, the creation of any committee whose essential purpose would be, on the one hand, to help Palestinian Muslims and Christians to realize their national rights and to create an Arab Palestinian State that would coexist with Israel and, on the other hand, to assist the international community to understand the need for this, would meet with no fundamental objections on our part, if that is the true objective of those who have sponsored draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l.
69. As a result of these considerations, the delegation of the Ivory Coast will vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and will abstain on draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l.
70. Mr. RAE (Canada): The carefully phrased draft resolution before us in document A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l, contains elements with which Canada agrees. It also presents aspects we cannot accept.
71. We agree with the general proposition that the Palestinian people are entitled to be heard, and thus to participate, in the negotiations on the Middle East. It is evident that they have a direct interest in such negotiations, a fact fully recognized by the Canadian Government. In consequence, we can support the reference to resolution 3236 (XXIX) in so far as the right of participation is concerned. In spite of reservations which we have previously expressed about the specific organization mentioned as the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs, the Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada, at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, expressed the Canadian view that the Palestinian Arabs had a right to take part in all negotiations involving their destiny.5
72. We cannot agree to the reference to resolution 3236 (XXIX) in so far as that resolution calls in question the existence of the State of Israel, which clearly is not a subject for negotiation.
73. In view of these considerations the Canadian delegation will abstain on draft resolution A/L.768/ Rev.l and Add.l.
74. With regard to draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l, while the Canadian Government wishes to join in the expression of deep concern that limited progress has been made in the search for a just solution of Middle East problems, it cannot support that draft resolution. By its direct linkage with and re-endorsement of all elements of resolution 3236 (XXIX), on which it will be recalled Canada abstained at the twenty-ninth session of the Assembly, the draft resolution ignores the rights of existence of the State Israel and its role as an essential party in the search for a negotiated settlement.
75. Furthermore, Canada cannot support the establishment of a United Nations special committee on Palestine. If such a committee fully complied with the proposed mandate, it would, perforce, be prejudging the activities of another body responsible for the ongoing process of negotiation, already established by the United Nations, and which Canada has endorsed and continues to support. Such a committee in our view would both complicate and interfere with existing arrangements without itself contributing to a resolution of the basic problem. For these reasons, we will vote against draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l.
76. Mr. CORREA DA COSTA (Brazil): In relation to draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l, the Brazilian delegation would like to place on record the fact that, as it has repeatedly stated, the Brazilian Government recognizes the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and sovereignty, consider the exercise of those rights by the Palestinian people as an essential condition for the attainment of a just and lasting peace in the region. Any other solution would be illusory and would only serve to aggravate matters even further.
77. The Brazilian Government sees with growing concern the absence of progress towards the exercise of those rights and considers that the prolongation this unjust situation is a disturbing factor of international order. One of the obstacles in the way peace is the non-participation of representatives the Palestinian people in the halls where their destiny is under debate. It seems to us, furthermore, that the creation in the United Nations of an appropriate mechanism to guarantee to the Palestinian people exercise of their rights is a just and constructive idea Brazil rejects the -occupation of territories by force and considers that such occupation must cease.
78. The Brazilian delegation, however, does not feel able to participate in the vote on the two draft resolutions before us, especially in view of their reference to a resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session the interpretation of which has still not been made entirely clear to us. The Brazilian attitude arises only out of the circumstances which I have just mentioned, and does not change the fundamental position of my Government in relation to the Palestinian question.
79. Mr. MORENO MARTINEZ (Dominican Republic) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of the Dominican Republic regrets that the two draft resolutions are based on General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), which, in our opinion, contains ambiguities that could lead to an aggravation of the Middle East conflict instead of promoting its settlement, and that they are not based on Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which provides a solid foundation for the search for peace.
80. The Dominican Republic wishes to have peace in the Middle East, a durable peace, and efforts to achieve that peace should be based on justice, which can only be attained through dialogue among all the parties concerned.
81. We do not believe that a just and lasting peace can be achieved if the just exclusion of the Palestinian people is remedied by the equally unjust exclusion of the Israeli people. The Palestinian people have a right to live in their own independent and sovereign State, but that right is concomitant with and not exclusive of the right of the Israeli people to live in their own independent and sovereign State. To survive it is necessary to coexist. To coexist it is essential to have a dialogue.
82. For these reasons, the delegation of the Dominican Republic, which seeks through dialogue to achieve peace and peaceful coexistence among all independent and sovereign peoples, will abstain in the voting on both draft resolutions.
83. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): In conformity with rule 91 of the rules of procedure, we shall vote first on draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l. A roll-call vote has been requested by several delegations.
A vote was taken by roll call.
The Netherlands, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Democratic Yemen, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal.
Against: Netherlands, Nicaragua, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Costa Rica, Germany (Federal Republic of), Honduras, Israel.
Abstaining: New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Swaziland, Sweden, Uruguay, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malawi.
The draft resolution was adopted by 101 votes to 8, with 25 abstentions (resolution 3375 (XXX)).
84. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
We shall now vote on draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l. As members will recall, the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee introduced the report of the Fifth Committee on the financial implications of this draft resolution orally [paras. 3-4 above]. A roll-call vote has been requested on this draft resolution also. A vote was taken by roll call.
Czechoslovakia, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Democratic Yemen, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus.
Against: Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Germany (Federal Republic of), Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Swaziland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica.
Abstaining: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, New Zealand, Paraguay, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uruguay, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia.
The draft resolution was adopted by 93 votes to 18, with 27 abstentions (resolution 3376 (XXX)).
85. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French):
I shall now call on those delegations that wish to explain their vote after the vote. I should like to make two comments: first, to ask all those who are going to speak to confine themselves to what may be considered an explanation of vote rather than a continuation of the debate; secondly, to tell the first two speakers that, as sponsors of one of the two draft resolutions, they can only explain their vote on the draft resolution they did not sponsor.
86. Mr. AL-SHAIKHL (Iraq) (interpretation from Arabic): I should like to explain the position of the delegation of Iraq with regard to draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l. Our non-participation in the voting is in line with Iraqi policy on the Palestine question.
87. It is correct to say that the international deliberations and conferences referred to in draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l are the Geneva negotiations, the Peace Conference on the Middle East. Here we should like to explain two basic points.
88. First, we have reservations with regard to the Geneva Conference and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which were the bases for that Conference. As regards the reference in operative paragraph 2 to the participation of the PLO on the basis of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), this requires a review of the bases on which the Geneva Conference is set up and also that some parties be urged to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people as stipulated in resolution 3236 (XXIX). For that reason we consider that, if we do not have the necessary changes in those bases in accordance with resolution 3236 (XXIX), there will be no sense or meaning in the present resolution.
89. The second thing that worries us is that one important fact is being ignored, namely, that the scope of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) and the framework for its implementation in our view go beyond the Geneva Conference, which came as a result of the circumstances and consequences of the Zionist aggression of 1967 and the war of October 1973. To impose resolution 3236 (XXIX) on the Geneva Conference or on any negotiations carried out in the same manner would contradict the context of that resolution and the meaning thereof.
90. Although we are convinced that draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l—now resolution 3375 (XXX)—has some positive aspects, particularly para graph 1, we consider, nevertheless, that the inclusion of this paragraph with other counter-productive paragraphs will not help the Palestinian struggle to achieve the implementation of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX).
91. For these reasons and in view of the reservations of Iraq with regard to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the Geneva negotiations, as well as in order to get a resolution that would more clearly guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people as stipulated in General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX)—-for we are not convinced that these are guaranteed by General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX)—the delegation of Iraq did not participate in the voting thereon. We affirm that Iraq, led by the Arab Socialist Baathist Party, has been and will continue to be loyal and faithful to the cause of the Palestinian people and their just struggle, and the attitude it has_adopted here gives further proof of this loyalty.
92. Mr. VINCI (Italy) interpretation from French): In my capacity as the representative of the country at present presiding over the European Economic Community and on behalf of the nine member States of the Community, I have already had occasion on 5 November to explain our views on the crucial item now before the Assembly [2393rd meeting, paras. 78-82).
93. I should like to recall here that, for us, a peace settlement taking account of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must, on the one hand, respect the rights of Israel to exist within secure and recognized boundaries on an equal footing with other States in the region and, on the other hand, recognize the right of the Palestine people to express its national identity. The nine members of the Community believe that particular attention should be given to the Palestinian problem, which seems to be the most complex among the essential aspects of the settlement. We emphasize particularly the need to implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which we continue to support firmly.
94. With regard to the draft resolution submitted in document A/L.768/Rev. 1 and Add. 1, we appreciated the constructive motives that prompted this initiative.
However, we cannot support an exclusive reference to resolution 3236 (XXIX), a text on which we abstained last year. We would have wished the draft resolution, rather, to be based on the principles of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which must define the framework for a peaceful settlement as well as for negotiations and for any efforts exerted to that end.
95. These considerations also apply to draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l, about which we have even more serious misgivings. We have reservations regarding the establishment of a committee the man date of which, as defined in operative paragraph 4 of the draft resolution, is based on resolution 3236 (XXIX) and does not take into account all the elements that should be taken into consideration to arrive at a just and lasting settlement, particularly respect for the right of all States in the region, including Israel, to live within secure and recognized boundaries.
96. In the view of our delegations, the provisions of this draft resolution should not infringe upon the prerogatives and responsibilities entrusted by the Charter to the existing bodies within the United Nations, the Security Council in particular.
97. In view of the foregoing reasons, the nine member States of the Community regret not having been in a position to vote in favour of draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l. If individual circumstances led them to vote differently on these two draf^esolutioxis^Jhgjrnevertheless share the same essential concern in regard to them.
98. Mr. KIKHlA (Libyan Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic. The delegation of. the Libyan Arab Republic did not participate in the general debate on agenda item 27 concerning the question of Palestine because our point of view and our attitude with regard to the destiny of the Arab cause is well known. We have already explained our point of view in our speech to the General Assembly during the general debate on 6 October [2375th meeting, paras. 87-93].
99 My delegation sponsored draft resolution A/L.770/ and Add.1, for which a great majority of the members of the General Assembly voted. My delegation did not participate in the vote on draft resolution A/L.768/ Rev.l and Add.l, which the General Assembly also adopted.
100. On this occasion, we should like to reaffirm our support for the position of principle adopted by the Palestinian people and explained by the representative of the PLO when he addressed the General Assembly on 3 November [see 2390th meeting, para. 29]. That position comprises the following five points: first, there can be no peace in the area without justice, and no justice without full implementation and full recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people secondly, no international conference has the right to discuss the question of Palestine in the absence of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; thirdly, any resolution which ignores the national rights of the Palestinian people is to be rejected; fourthly, the PLO refuses to participate in any conference which considers such a resolution as the basis of its work; and fifthly, the PLO welcomes any international effort arising out of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) adopted last year.
l0l. We also considered that the designation of any particular international conference, as proposed in Imperative paragraph 3 of draft resolution A/L.768/ Rev.l and Add.l might raise some doubts. I should like, on behalf of the Libyan Arab delegation, to reaffirm our previous attitude with regard to Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
102. Mr. LAI Ya-li (China interpretation from Chinese): The Chinese Government and people have always supported the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggle to regain their national frights and recover their lost territories. We are firmly [opposed to Israeli Zionist aggression and the superpower contention and expansion in the Middle East. Since draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l mainly concerns the question of the Geneva Conference, which is based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and since the Chinese delegation's position on these two resolutions is known to all, the Chinese delegation, in accordance with this position, did not participate in the voting on the above-mentioned draft resolution.
l03. Mr. JANKOWITSCH (Austria): the debate held in this Assembly during the past week and concluded today with a vote on draft resolutions A/L.768/ Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l has, if it is Still necessary, again established a number of undisputable facts—among them the fact that the Palestinian people, its legitimate rights and interests, and its aspiration to a homeland are central to any efforts and deliberations aiming at the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Stressing this fact, the debate has also indicated that disregard of the Palestinian question and failure to achieve progress in this particularly sensitive area of the Middle East crisis, might entail nefarious consequences and can have negative effects on the overall peace effort.
104. On previous occasions in discussing the questions of the Middle East and Palestine, both in the Security Council and in the General Assembly, the Austrian delegation and its representatives have not been oblivious of these facts. By giving renewed recognition to the important place the problem of Palestinian rights must hold in any future arrangement for peace in the Middle East, the Assembly is obviously making a sincere effort to provide new momentum to the ongoing endeavours for peace. While these efforts have in the most recent past shown considerable promise and an indisputable degree of success, they certainly need to be further sustained and enlarged so as not to lose their beneficial effect on all parties concerned. And there is no doubt that it is in regard to the problems of the Palestinians that the least progress has been made.
105. Recognizing the damaging effects of such a situation, the two draft resolutions just adopted by the Assembly aim at providing progress where none has been achieved and at giving hope to those who have so far felt left out of the over-all peace effort. We find it difficult not to sympathize with such an approach. We also find ourselves in full agreement with the attempt made in these draft resolutions to involve representatives of the Palestinian people in the international process of negotiation and dialogue and to allow them to present their aspirations in this ongoing process themselves.
106. This should be all the easier since the parties concerned recognize the existence of a Palestinian problem and the fact that it needs a new and imaginative approach, a fundamentally political approach. The Palestinian problem must at last be treated on a new level, different from the two extremes from which it was so often exclusively viewed in the past—either as a purely humanitarian problem requiring little more than a relief effort to be gradually increased over the years or as a problem chiefly associated with a particularly heinous form of international violence, terrorism.
107. We therefore continue to believe that the best way to achieve progress is to allow this problem to become part of the process of negotiated peace in the Middle East, the only alternative acceptable not only to the parties but also to the international community as such.
108. Both draft resolutions constitute, in our view, valuable and apparently serious efforts—on which we wish to congratulate the sponsors—on the way to disengaging the problem of Palestine from war and violence, neither of which can be regarded as means adequate to secure even the most legitimate rights for any or all parties in the Middle East.
109. The two draft resolutions, to our regret, do not, however, include all the elements which they should contain in order to achieve their purpose. Firmly attached to the framework of United Nations decisions on the Middle East and Palestine, my delegation is concerned about the absence of reference to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the latter having been adopted when my country was a member of that body. As these resolutions have found acceptance by the parties, they are and remain among the most important corner-stones of present and future peace-making efforts in the Middle East. We therefore feel that they could thus also serve in the pursuit of a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question, mindful of the legitimate interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
110. Furthermore, as Austria reserves an equal amount of respect and understanding for the rights and interests of all parties in the area, we have to remind ourselves that, when defining the rights and aspirations of one people, no proper purpose would be served by infringing the rights and aspirations of another, particularly a neighbour. This means, in the context of the Middle East, that another chief element of a just and lasting peace in the region is the equally inalienable right of Israel and its people to exist and to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries as a sovereign and independent nation at peace with its neighbours, including its Palestinian neighbour.
111. That was one of the main reasons and considerations which prevented my delegation from supporting resolution 3236 (XXIX) with its vote last year, and we have again been guided in our attitude to the two draft resolutions concerned by these same considerations. We therefore had to abstain in the votes just taken on the two d^ffresplutions.
112. Mr. ALEMAN/(Ecuador) (interpretation from Spanish): Ecuador voted in favour of draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l Add.1, by which the PLO would be invited to participate in all conferences on the Middle East held under the auspices of the United Nations. We are convinced that it is only by means of dialogue, understanding and negotiations among all the parties concerned that a just and peaceful settlement of the protracted conflict in that part of the world can be found.
113. As stated on a number of occasions, Ecuador believes that that settlement would be unrealistic if it did not take into account, on the one hand, the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, independence and sovereignty, which my country expressly supports, and, on the other land, recognition of the existence of the State of Israel within secure and recognized boundaries.
114. I should like to recall here the well-known position of my country on the question of the Middle East as explained by the head of the Ecuadorian delegation in his statement on 6 October to the General Assembly [2376th meeting, paras. 210-212].
115. Mr. SAITO Japan):We Government of Japan has consistently taken the position taken all international disputes should be settled by peaceful means and that the terms of the settlement of the Middle East problem should be reached through peaceful negotiations.
116. Accordingly, Japan supports the proposal advocated by President Anwar El-Sadat of Egypt that the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, be invited to participate in the work of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.
117. Therefore, Japan could have voted for the original draft resolution in document A/L.768. We understand the underlying spirit which inspired draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l. and Add.l, but Japan abstained in the vote on that draft resolution because it is intended to implement General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), on which the Government-of Japan abstained last year.
118. Mr. GALLARDO MORENO (Mexico) interpretation from Spanish): We voted in favour/Of draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A//L.770 and Add.l, which have just been adopted by the Assembly, because, as the chairman of the Mexican delegation stated very clearly at this same rostrum at the twenty-ninth session:
"... we are convinced that there can be no just and lasting peace in the Middle East unless . . appropriate measures [are taken] to guarantee the Palestinian people a future of freedom and dignity."
119. At that same session we stated, and we wish to reaffirm today, that the establishment of the Palestinian people as a sovereign, independent State, with all the prerogatives of such a State, will be only:
"... the final step in the implementation of the historic resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in which the Assembly approved the plan to partition Palestine between a Jewish State and an Arab State, both of them to be independent and sovereign."7
120. Having established that, I wish to make it equally clear, as we did in the speech from which I have been quoting, that recognition of the Palestinian State should not affect in any way the existence of the State of Israel. Indeed, we are convinced, as we stated on that earlier occasion, that within the framework of resolution 181 (II),
"... and as an indispensable prerequisite to the establishment and strengthening of peace, one of the parties will have to recognize the existence and legal status of the Palestinian people, with all the rights that would accrue to any other people; the; other party, in turn, will have to recognize the existence of the State of Israel as an irreversible fact, irrevocably approved by the United Nations. Otherwise—to put things in the simplest way there can be no peace. For, above and beyond ancestral rivalries and the grievances that each of the parties may have regarding the other, it must be borne in mind that they both belong to the same region of the world which implies inexorably that peaceful coexistence and mutual respect are the immutable guidelines for a peace worthy of name.
121. The significance and meaning that we attach, to the provisions of both resolutions that have been adopted should be viewed in the light of the considerations I have just put forward.
122. We are convinced also that a settlement of the so-called question of Palestine is but one part of the complex problem of the Middle East because, as the President of Mexico stated here on 7 October last:
"A recent fact-finding trip through the Middle East has served to strengthen my conviction that there can be no firm foundation for peace in that area of the world without an over-all agreement that will cover the departure of troops from all occupied territories, guarantee the borders of the States in the area, and accord historic recognition to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Such an agreement necessarily should, and has to be achieved within the framework of the United Nations, which is the objective hope of the world . . ." [2377th meeting para. 63.]
123. In our view, that can be achieved only through strict compliance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
124. Mr. RYDBECKT (Sweden): The Swedish Government supports the (participation of the PLO in negotiations on the Middles-East under the auspices of the United Nations. Thus we are basically in agreement with the purpose of draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l, which the Assembly has just adopted. Sweden, notwithstanding, had to abstain from voting on that draft resolution. The reason for this is that it is based exclusively on General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of last year. In the view of my Government, resolution 3236 (XXIX) lacks the fundamental prerequisite of a confirmation of Israel's rights. I would add that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), in the view of my Government, remain the basis for any just settlement of the Middle East problem.
125. Mr. KARHILO (Finland): My delegation voted (in favour of draft resolution A/L.768/Rev. 1 and Add. 1. We did so because we consider it important that the PLO be represented in those bodies which deal with questions of vital importance to the Palestinian people. Our vote does not constitute any change in our position to General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), on which we abstained from voting last year.
126. My delegation abstained from voting on draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l. In our opinion, that draft resolution did not reflect in a proper manner the principles and purposes of Security Council resolution 242 (1967), including the principles concerning secure and recognized boundaries for Israel and recognition of the rights of the Palestinians.
127. Mr. ARNELLO (Chile}, (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Chile would like to place I clearly on record the reasons for its vote on the draft resolutions adopted this morning.
128. Chile wishes to discharge its duty in this General Assembly, which means co-operating in the cause of f peace and in the efforts honestly undertaken to attain it and thus to provide the peoples of the Middle East with peace and tranquillity.
129. It was in that spirit that the Minister for External [Relations of Chile put before this Assembly the essential points of a policy that would achieve peace, tranquillity and respect for justice in that area of the world: respect for the right to self-determination and national sovereignty of the Palestinian people; the return of the occupied territories; and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in the area, within secure and recognized boundaries [2376th meeting, paras. 251-252].
130. In keeping with those purposes, the delegation of Chile felt that draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l, which essentially contains the original Proposal by Egypt, seeks realistic ways and means of continuing peace negotiations. Aside from the reservations that some of its provisions might call for, it thus contributes to facilitating an appropriate solution to the Palestine problem. We therefore voted in favour of the draft resolution.
131. We were, however, unable to support draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l. We abstained on that draft resolution because we believed it did not meet all the conditions the present situation requires and which are essential to the success of these complex, delicate and important negotiations.
132. Mr. UPADHYAY (Nepal): My delegation is fully convinced that no meaningful solution of the Middle East problem can be found without the participation of the PLO. It is evident that the alternative to dialogue is confrontation, and that is too ghastly to contemplate, but no dialogue can be complete and fruitful without the participation of the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. My delegation is aware of the tragedies and the untold sufferings undergone by the Palestinian people for almost three decades. It is now time that their legitimate rights were recognized forthwith and past injustices rectified.
133. With that end in view, my delegation supported draft resolutions A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l, just adopted by this Assembly.
134. My delegation further reiterates our consistent support for Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which we believe provide an adequate framework for a just and lasting solution of the Middle East problem. Israel must withdraw from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, a step which we believe is a sine qua non for the solution of the Middle East problem. We recognize the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination but at the same time we cannot ignore the political reality obtaining in the area. Israel has existed as a State for almost three decades now. It would be a great mistake to ignore that reality. In no case will my delegation agree to the dismemberment of a Member State of the United Nations; therefore our support for the draft resolutions should be understood in that light. And the rights of the Palestinian people should in no way preclude the rights of Israel to exist within secure and/recognized boundaries.
135. Mr. PANYARACHUN (Thailand): My delegation voted for both the draft resolutions, A/L.768/ Rev.l and Add.l and A/L.770 and Add.l, which have just been adopted by the General Assembly. I should like to qualify our support for the draft resolutions with the following explanation.
136. First, both draft resolutions reaffirmed General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) which recognized the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In this connexion, the delegation of Thailand explained its support for that resolution at the time of its adoption as follows:
"Of all the problems confronting the United Nations none has a longer history of tragic suffering and political complexity than the question of Palestine. For far too long the Palestinian people and the peoples of other States in the Middle East have endured hardship and injustices. We in Thailand have long held sympathetic views on the plight of the Palestinians, not only as refugees but also as people entitled to national independence and sovereignty.
"At the same time, while we recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, we must take into full account also the legitimate rights of other peoples and existing States in the Middle East region. The State of Israel, with which my Government maintains friendly relations, is a fact of life, irrespective of whether or not one agrees with the circumstances of its birth. We are dealing not with the past but with the present and the future. Peaceful coexistence is the essential requisite for a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.
"In our view that element is incorporated, together with others of no less importance, in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which continues to have the support of the Government of Thailand."9
137. Secondly, in regard to draft resolution A/L.768/Rev.l and Add.l, while my delegation concurs fully with the formulation that the participation of the Palestinian people on an equal footing with other parties is essential in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East, we are convinced also that the participation of the State of Israel on the same basis is equally an essential element in any efforts or deliberations aimed at the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Any attempt or plan to exclude the representatives of Israel from such forums, now or in the future, would in our view be unrealistic and counterproductive.
138. Thirdly, in casting our vote for the establishment of a committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, provided for in draft resolution A/L.770 and Add.l, we reiterate the firm position of our Government that the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the right of Israel to exist as a State within recognized borders are not and never can be mutually exclusive.
139. On the question of the mandate of the proposed committee, my delegation agrees with operative paragraph 4, in that the committee will have power only to consider and make recommendations and that it will not be able by itself to exercise any powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations. Our acceptance of the establishment of the committee cannot therefore prejudge our position on its recommendations, nor can we prejudge the outcome of the deliberations of the committee, which will be examined with due objectivity.
140. Mr. HERZOG (Israel) The two votes which have been taken are illustrative of the utter incongruity of this Assembly, which has not only continued its policy of passing resolutions which have no prospect of being honoured because they are unreal, but has also now begun to indulge in the very counter-productive exercise of voting in a manner which sets one United Nations organ against the other.
141. These two resolutions are utterly unacceptable to my Government. The Government of Israel has unequivocally defined its position regarding the PLO. This so-called organization, which is the umbrella organization for a number of terrorist groups bent by their Covenant on the destruction of the State of Israel, and which is far from representing the Arabs of Palestinian origin, has no right to participate in any consultations or negotiations on matters of peace.
142. I can only repeat that my country will not in any circumstances sit down and negotiate with the representative of a body which in principle rejects compromise as a basis for solving international problems, and which avowedly sees, as the only solution to the Middle East problem, the destruction of Israel, not to mention the destruction of other societies m the region as well.
143. I emphasize once again that, while we reject the PLO as an interlocutor, we recognize the existence of a Palestinian Arab problem which, as our Minister for Foreign Affairs pointed out to this Assembly [2368th meeting], will find its proper solution when an Arab change of heart as regards its attitude to the State of Israel will allow the necessary progress towards a peaceful settlement to take place.
144. The adoption of these resolutions is a tragical blow to the peace effort mechanism in our region, and Member States of the Organization who voted for them will bear the responsibility for the dire consequences which may emerge. These two one-sided resolutions, drafted by Arab delegations, make no mention of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967)and 338 (1973), and make no mention of the Geneva Conference, as if the General Assembly could ignore the resolutions of the Security Council as well as the existing international mechanisms which have brought about in the course of the year the signature of significant agreement between Israel and Egypt. Moreover, in the face of this development so generally welcomed, the PLO has pursued its terrorist activities and has done everything possible to sabotage the negotiations between Israel and Egypt and the agreement arrived at between them.
145. Not a single hint of compromise or tendency in this direction can be discerned in the positions taken by the PLO, whether the official statements by its representatives at this Assembly are followed or those at meetings with the press, in which their representative has stated bluntly that he consider even Tel Aviv as occupied territory. It should obvious that the adoption of resolutions which manifestly intended to be in the nature of a ditkatby the PLO must gravely compromise the cause of negotiation and peace.
146. The two resolutions adopted by this Assembly can now create an impasse. The Government Israel, in the exercise of its rights, rejects such recomendations of the General Assembly. It will participate in any negotiation with the so-called PLO and will not co-operate in any manner within the framework of resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 323 (XXIX) or within the framework of the resolution just adopted.
147. I can only conclude by deploring a situation which has been created whereby the General Assembly, blithely ignoring the situation and the developments in the area, injects new and unacceptable elements and thereby guarantees that its recommendations become devoid of any moral or practical basis. This is but part of the disintegration of this Organization, in which extreme elements have taken control and are contributing so actively.
148. For our part, in declaring the Government of Israel's intention of ignoring these resolutions, I reconfirm its readiness to move towards a peaceful settlement in the area within the broad framework of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the resultant mechanism thereby created in Geneva. We shall likewise continue to honour agreements entered into within this framework.
149. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The PLO was not able to participate in the explanations of vote, not having participated in the vote itself. However, its representative has asked to speak, I think in order to express their gratitude at the end of the -week's debate and also to reiterate their position. At its twenty-ninth session, the Assembly deemed it appropriate to allow the representative of the PLO to speak. In line with the wish of the Assembly last year, therefore, I believe I am empowered to call on the representative of the PLO for a brief statement.
150. Mr. KADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization interpretation from Arabic): With the termination of the general debate on the question of Palestine land the completion of the voting on the two draft resolutions submitted by our colleagues here, I should like to take the opportunity to express our deep appreciation of and gratitude for the efforts exerted to f consolidate the rights of our people and the great support shown for our just struggle.
151. The people of Palestine, in their long, unceasing struggle, will never forget the brotherly and friendly attitude of all the countries which have supported us, in application of their principles and ideals. We confirm that we shall continue to exert every effort to secure the support of those who have not yet given it to us, by increasing and strengthening our contacts with them and explaining to them the scope of our cause and the slogans and flags under which we fight. We feel sure that time is always on the side of the struggling peoples and their just causes. Our belief in victory will not be shaken; it grows day by day, as aggression and invasion become increasingly isolated.
152. This session and the twenty-ninth session have constituted a turning point in the history of this international Organization; its universality and credibility pave increased. The results achieved are a reflection of the international march against imperialism, colonialism and backward racist beliefs, foremost among which is Zionism. As this progressive policy gains momentum, the hopes that the peoples place in this f Organization will increase, because it will provide a means of achieving peace and justice and eliminating violence and tension from the world.
153. Perhaps of all the peoples struggling for liberation, freedom and independence the people of Palestine is the one most desirous of achieving peace and of living in security and stability, after all the bitter years in which they have lived in exile or in their occupied land, suffering oppression and fighting for a natural, free life such as other peoples throughout the world enjoy. We struggle and fight, not for the sake of struggling and fighting but to achieve noble and legitimate aspirations and objectives, for a secure and peaceful life in which there will be no oppression, repression or aggression, and for a democratic, free society in which social justice will prevail.
154. The attitude of this General Assembly and the stand it has taken make us more anxious than ever to continue to hold firmly on to the olive branch in our hands hoping that the valleys and hills of our country will be protected thereby so that peace may reign over Palestine, the land of peace. We shall continue our legitimate struggle on all fronts—political, economic, cultural and military—in order to deter the enemies of freedom, peace and justice whose intentions have now been revealed and who have no alternative but to give in to the logic of the age in this last quarter of the twentieth century.
155. We have spent many days in the Assembly, during which we have listened to all that has been said here, whether in this forum or in the corridors of this international Organization, just as the Assembly has listened to our opinions and ideas and our proposed solutions; and we feel sure that this dialogue between us will deepen our conception and under standing of the question of Palestine and that it will also pave the way towards the achievement of peace and justice.
156. We shall leave today with new hopes, which have been reaffirmed by historic decisions denouncing and condemning racism and aggression and supporting the struggle against them in favour of democracy and right and justice. These resolutions were no surprise to us; we had expected them in view of our objective understanding of the movement of history, which always goes forward in spite of the impediments and obstacles that may be placed along its path by imperialism and colonialism.
157. Our people in exile and in the occupied lands, which looked forward to this session and placed its hopes in it and in its resolutions, will remember these days in its history with great pride and with appreciation for this great international support, which will form the basic corner-stone of our struggle.
158. Israel was set up by a resolution of this international Organization adopted by a very small majority, and now the PLO, after the long uninterrupted struggle of the Palestinian people, is championed by the over whelming majority, which ensures our victory and the establishment of our secular democratic State, a fact that remains to be implemented by the Organization.
159. I should like to offer our profound thanks to the Assembly for the support we have received, support that has by far exceeded that which we received last year. This is a source of great pride and satisfaction to us, and until we meet again at the next session we wish you and all the free and liberated peoples of the world greater victories along the path of progress, prosperity, freedom, justice and peace.
160. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I thought that we had come to the end of this morning's meeting, but the representative of Saudi Arabia has asked to be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply. Normally the right of reply is exercised at the end of the day, but the representative of Saudi Arabia insists on exercising the right of reply now since we are closing the debate on this item. I am prepared to allow the representative of Saudi Arabia to speak in exercise of his right of reply, although in most international assemblies it is not customary to reply to an explanation of vote since that might reopen the debate.
161. I count on his understanding, but in view of the late hour I would very much appreciate it if his exercise of his right of reply is just that and that it will be very brief.
162. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) Mr. President, in order to correct any impression you may have formed to the effect that I was going to explain my vote, I should like to say that I know I am a sponsor of both resolutions and thus I did not ask to speak in explanation of our vote. On the other hand, I should like to bring to your attention the fact that, although the General Assembly has decided that the right of reply should be exercised at the end of the day, the Palestine question has been disposed of by the vote on the two resolutions this morning. Therefore, this afternoon we will be dealing with the report of the Third Committee, which technically has nothing to do with the question of Palestine, although Zionism is mentioned in one of the draft resolutions of the Third Committee.
163. Therefore, in order to make it clear that I am not abusing the rights of any person by speaking, I must say that all that I am asking the President is to allow me to exercise my right of reply to what our colleague from Israel has just mentioned. Is that satisfactory to you, Mr. President?
164. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I ask the representative of Saudi Arabia to exercise his right of reply.
165. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): Let me tell Mr. Herzog from this podium, and every Zionist wherever he may be, that the Zionists do not represent all the Jews of the world. In fact, many Jews have shunned the Zionist movement since its inception. Zionism was and still is a European ideology, a European movement that was started by the late Mr. Herzl and that found acceptance with the Khazars who had been converted to Judaism in the eighth century A.D.
166. Likewise, as I have said before and will mention again as an example, the Free French, during the Second World War were recognized by the so-called Allies—by Britain, the United States, and all those who fought Germany—as representing France, although they did not represent the French people as a whole. So why should there be a double standard? The PLO is recognized as representing the Palestinian people as a whole, not only by the Arab States but by the majority of States Members of the United Nations. 167. The core of the Middle East question, the core of all this trouble is that under the Mandate the Palestinian people were denied their inalienable right to self-determination. What right did anybody have to keep them outside the pale of those who were ruled by colonial Powers in order to satisfy the late Arthur Balfour? The Zionists in England railroaded the United States into the First World War. Who has the right to say that the PLO does not represent the Palestinian people as a whole?
168. Be that as it may, I should like to address a few words from this podium to the Zionists to say that nobody hates the Jewish people. On the contrary, the Jewish people—especially those in our area—are our own brothers. Let this be known: it is a fact that Zionism used an old religion, Judaism, as a motivation for a political and economic end with which we take issue. This is not the first time that religion has been used for a political and economic end. I do not have to cite what I have already said in my last statement on this question [2390th and 2391st meetings], and what I have repeated since 1947 at Lake Success.
169. Let it be known that if Israel seeks acceptance in the Middle East—leave aside Palestine; not only in the Middle East, but in the whole Muslim world; and not only in the Muslim world, in the third world; not only in the third world, but wherever justice is recognized—the Israelis, if they are wise, will themselves stretch out their hands to the PLO and ask them to negotiate with Israel on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Failing that, sooner or later they, will disappear, if not by war then by assimilation, as did the Crusaders before them, as did many people before the Crusaders when they invaded that part of the world: as did the Greeks, as did the Romans, as did the Byzantines, as did the Seleucids, before them. They cannot survive as a nation, as a people, as Jews, unless they seek acceptance in their environment and live at peace with others.
2/ Agreement between Egypt and Israel, signed at Geneva on 4 September 1974. See Official Records of the Security Council, Thirtieth Year, Supplement for July, August and September 1975, document S/11818/Add.1
3/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth session, Plenary Meetings, 2246th meeting, paras. 74-88.
4/ Ibid., 2290th meeting, paras. 95-122.
5/ Ibid., 2293rd meeting, para. 206.
6/ Ibid., 2261st meeting, para. 12.
7/ Ibid., 2295th meeting, para. 226.
8/ Ibid., para. 227.
9/ Ibid., 2296th meeting, paras. 70-72.