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General Assembly

22 March 1951

Original: English



(For the period from 25 January - 10 March 1951)

1. The work of the Conciliation Commission since its return from United Nations Headquarters to the Middle East has been actuated by resolution 394 (V) adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 1950.** This resolution recalls the concern of the United Nations for the settlement of all questions on which the parties have not reached agreement, and instructs the Commission to establish an office which, under the direction of the Commission, shall make the necessary arrangements for the assessment and payment of compensation to Arab refugees, work out such arrangements as may be practicable for the implementation of the other objectives of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and continue negotiations towards safeguarding the rights, property and interests of the refugees.

2. The Commission believes that this resolution of the General Assembly marks a new phase in its work, a phase in which it must progress from general discussions to the seeking and, in certain cases, the putting into operation of practical measures, towards a liquidation of the refugee problem. This concept is fully in line with the opinion expressed by the Commission in its supplementary report of 23 October 1950** to the Secretary-General that of all the problems raised by this [Palestine] crisis, the refugee question is the one demanding the most urgent solution*.

3. At a meeting held in Beirut on 25 January 1951, the Commission established the Office provided for in the General Assembly resolution of 14 December 1950. At the suggestion of the Commission, Mr. Holger Anderson, of Denmark, was later appointed the Head of the Office. He is expected to take up his duties in Jerusalem at the beginning of May. As the Office is to work under its direction, the Commission, on 5 February 1951, requested its General Committee to formulate, for consideration by the Commission, a proposed policy for the Refugee Office.

4. The Commission also decided that the members of its Committee of Experts on Compensation, established on 9 October 1950, shall form the nucleus of the staff for the Office and that, pending the arrival of Mr. Andersen, factual studies shall be undertaken, especially in the field of compensation. These studies have already commenced.

5. In the light of the instructions given by the General Assembly to the Commission in resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, and to the Relief and Works Agency in resolution 393 (V) of 2 December 1950, the Commission has been fully aware of the importance of the closest possible collaboration between the two bodies. Several meeting have been held with the Director and Advisory Commission of the Relief and Works Agency, both in Beirut and in Jerusalem and agreement has been reached between the two bodies as to their respective tasks in relation to the problems of reintegration, repatriation and the payment of compensation. Arrangements have also been made for close and continuing liaison between the two organizations on the working level.

6. During the month of February the members of the Commission resumed contact with representatives of the Governments of Israel and of the Arab States in order to ascertain their views concerning the recent resolutions of the General Assembly. The Arab representatives reaffirmed the prime importance which they attach to the question of the Arab refugees, and declared their readiness to examine any plans which will be submitted to them in accordance with the resolutions adopted at the fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Arab Governments as well as the Government of Israel expressed their readiness to co-operate with the Commission and its Refugee Office.

7. The Commission has also resumed work on another question involving the interests of the refugees - the problem of blocked accounts. It is continuing its endeavours, in consultation with the parties concerned, to safeguard the rights of the refugees whose accounts with banks in Israel have been frozen as a result of the events of 1984.

8. By the resolution of 14 December 1950, the General Assembly urged the governments and authorities concerned to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the Conciliation Commission or directly, with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them. The Commission continues to bear in mind that general mandate. It believes that every positive result obtained in specific aspects of the refugee problem will bring it nearer to the fulfilment of that task.


* For the most recent reports, see documents A/1367 and A/1367/Add.1.
** See document A/1367/Add.1.

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Neuvièmes rapport sur l’évolution de la situation (25 Janvier - 10 Mars 1951) Français