Question of Palestine home
5 December 1994
Summary record of the 7th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 17 October 1994, at 10 a .m.
Mr. Cisse ....................................................................(Senegal)
AGENDA ITEM 93: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (
AGENDA ITEM 94: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (
The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.
AGENDA ITEM 93: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued)
(A/49/18, A/49/287-S/1994/894, A/49/403, 404, 464 and 499)
AGENDA ITEM 94: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued) (A/49/271, A/49/287-S/1994/894, A/49/312, 331, 362, 381 and 402)
(Observer for Palestine) said that agenda items 93 and 94 deserved the full attention of the international community, because peace, stability and democracy throughout the world were being threatened by countless forms of racism and discrimination and the denial and violation of human rights - a phenomenon which contradicted the principles of the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various human rights covenants and conventions. However, the institution of a non-racial, democratic society in South Africa gave humanity hope that all forms of discrimination and oppression might one day be eliminated.
16. The right to self-determination, which was defined in the Charter, had been reaffirmed as a fundamental right in other instruments of international law, most recently in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (part I, para. 2), which had been adopted in June 1993.
17. The peace process in the Middle East had led to mutual recognition between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel and the signing by both parties of a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, which explicitly recognized the Palestinians as a people, with a distinct representative. There was therefore no reason for anyone not to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as a matter of principle. That right could be exercised within the existing peace process, and its recognition did not prevent either party from pursuing its preferences with regard to the outcome of the process.
18. Her organization believed strongly that the international community and the General Assembly should uphold the Charter, international law and international humanitarian law. It therefore hoped that the draft resolution reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination on the basis of the principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments of international law, which it planned to submit to members of the Committee, would be adopted by consensus.
36. Finally, although the signing by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States, which represented the realization by the peoples of those countries of the right to self-determination, were welcome developments, the continued threats to the security of Kuwait and the whole Middle East region were cause for concern.
Mr. BEN AMOR
(Tunisia) said that the world had recently witnessed two felicitous events: the dismantling of the institutionalized form of racism which had constituted the apartheid system in South Africa and, secondly, the positive developments in the situation in the Middle East with the signature of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in September 1993. In that connection, Tunisia pointed out that, under the leadership of its President, it had always actively worked to promote the efforts to achieve peace between the two parties in the Middle East conflict. In the context of the peace process, it had also hosted two multilateral negotiation sessions and was now proposing to host a third.
(United States of America) ...
69. The Middle East was finally on a path towards lasting peace, thanks to the efforts of successive United States administrations but also, and above all, to the courage and foresight of Israeli and Arab leaders. Only that day, Israel and Jordan had announced progress towards resolving border and water issues.
70. In the context of agenda item 94, the General Assembly could no longer content itself with a rambling resolution, consisting of numerous paragraphs concerning unrelated parts of the world. It was time to bring the references to the Middle East, in any resolution that was adopted, into line with reality and to permit consensus adoption of a balanced and constructive text. The Organization’s credibility with the parties currently engaged in earnest negotiation of the issues which continued to divide them was at stake. Her delegation could not accept a General Assembly resolution that prejudged the outcome of the Middle East negotiations. The discussion on that question should support, and not undermine, the ongoing process of peace negotiations.
71. All delegations should join in recognizing the historic importance of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The Committee should not allow old habits to prevent it from adjusting to new realities; it should agree on a text that supported the efforts of the parties to work out their differences in a spirit of respect and cooperation.
The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m