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2. The Middle East problem including the Palestinian question
The meeting was called to order at 4.35 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sharaf (Jordan), Mr. Allaf (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Khaddoumi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took places at the Security Council table. Mr. Rahal (Algeria), Mr. Grozev (Bulgaria), Mr. Alarcon (Cuba), Mr. Smid (Czechoslovakia), Mr. Ashtal (Democratic Yemen), Mr. Florin (German Democratic Republic), Mrs. Jeanne Martin Cisse (Guinea), Mr. Hollai (Hungary), Mr. Jaipal (India), Mr. Al-Shaikhly (Iraq), Mr. Bisnara (Kuwait), Mr. El Hassen (Mauritania), Mr. Zaimi (Morocco), Mr. Jaroszek (Poland), Mr. Jamal (Qatar), Mr. Baroody (Saudi Arabia}, Mr. Medani (Sudan), Mr. Driss (Tunisia), Mr. Ghobash (United Arab Emirates), Mr. Sallam (Yemen Arab Republic) and Mr. Petric (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
2. The PRESIDENT: The Security Council will now continue its examination of the question on its agenda. Since our last meeting on 22 January, members of the Council have been engaged in informal consultations on the text of a draft resolution [S/11940] which has now been formally submitted by the delegations of Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Panama, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania. I understand that the representative of Pakistan wishes to make a statement in introduction of this draft resolution, and accordingly I now call on him to speak.
3. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): On behalf of the delegations of Benin, Guyana, Panama, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as my own, I submit to the Council for its consideration draft resolution S/11940. The draft resolution is the result of two weeks of informal consultations within groups of interested countries, and thereafter between the sponsors and the remaining members of the Council. It is evident that it does not reflect in full the position of any particular group, or even of the sponsors, whose collective position was set out in an earlier working paper. However, it has the merit of reflecting a much wider consensus of views, and for this we are grateful to those members of the Council who helped the sponsors to give the text its present shape and form. I speak for all of them in conveying our thanks in particular to the representatives of France and Japan for their specific suggestions, and to those of China, Italy, the Libyan Arab Republic, Sweden and the Soviet Union for their general observations and advice.
4. We do not expect the draft resolution that is before the Council to prove entirely satisfactory to the parties directly concerned or otherwise involved. Some would have preferred a more forthright statement of the Council's assessment of the situation and more clear-cut provisions for implementing its decisions. Others would apparently prefer to leave matters clouded in some degree of ambiguity, in the belief that such ambiguity can help to obtain the agreement of all concerned to a generally acceptable settlement. We understand that the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East will require a process of consultation, discussion and negotiation and that the Council should not itself undertake that task. What the Council can do is lay down the essential elements for an over-all settlement.
5. That was what the Council attempted to do when, nearly nine years ago, it adopted resolution 242 (1967) and again, after the war of October 1973, resolution 338 (1973), which, recalling the earlier resolution, called for the immediate implementation of that resolution in all its parts. A number of speakers in the present debate have laid considerable stress on the importance of those resolutions as providing a framework for the Middle East settlement. They have asserted that any decision taken at the current session should not override or supplant those resolutions. While taking note of their concern, we should like to say the following. In the first place, in the period between the adoption of resolution 242 (1967) and the outbreak of the October war, a period of some six years, not even a beginning was made towards implementing the settlement visualized in the resolution. Serious and earnest efforts were indeed made to that end, but they proved infructuous. We all know the history of the Jarring mission and the fate of the Rogers plan, among others. The language of the resolution itself was used by one of the parties, namely, Israel, to frustrate every effort at peace-making.
6. In the second place, resolution 242 (1967) suffers from a serious lacuna in that it speaks only of a "refugee problem" and says not a word about the problem of Palestine which was the origin of the Arab-Israeli conflict and remains the root cause and core of the Middle East question today. Statements made around this table in the course of the current debate show that there is unanimity in the Council on that point. We are gratified to note that there is virtual unanimity also to the effect that the earlier resolutions of the Council need to be supplemented. The draft that is before the Council is intended to repair the deficiency and give a sense of direction and impetus to the search for peace.
7. I now come to the draft resolution itself. It is based on three fundamental assumptions concerning the kind of settlement which would be just to all and would therefore endure. In the first place, the problem of Palestinian identity must be plainly and squarely faced. In this context, let me say that the presence of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) here is a matter of particular satisfaction to my delegation and should be welcomed by all those who have expressed the view that the problem of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East conflict and must be resolved. It does no good to go on pretending that the Palestinian people do not exist as a national entity, entitled to all the rights and attributes which such status confers and which were in fact taken away from them in the aftermath of the partition of Palestine Nor is it for outsiders to decide how and in what form and manner the Palestinians should exercise their national rights. The United Nations recognized the right of the Palestinians to have a State of their own at the same time as it sanctioned the establishment of a Jewish State on Palestinian soil. The United Nations also acknowledged that Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return to the homes and properties which they had had to abandon and, if they chose not to return, to receive adequate compensation.
8. The second element is that Israel must withdraw from the territories it occupied in the war of June 1967 in other words, from the remaining portions of the Sinai and the Golan Heights, from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and from Arab Jerusalem. On this matter the draft resolution reaffirms in its preamble the principle enunciated in the preamble of resolution 242 (1967), a principle which is fundamental to the whole concept of the rule of law on the international plane on which the United Nations is based, namely, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by threat or by use of force. The relevant operative paragraph of the draft resolution makes it clear that the only tenable application of this principle is that Israel must withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war. Countries may, in the exercise of their sovereignty and in conditions of complete freedom from coercion, agree between themselves over territorial arrangements. The situation is quite different when a country has seized the territory of another through war. The notion that the United Nations has implicitly sanctioned or should become a party to arrangements which would enable Israel to retain at will portions of territories acquired by the use of force is totally repugnant to the Charter of the United Nations, finds no sanction in international law and practice and is unjustified by the spirit and a plain reading of resolution 242 (1967). Every State has the right to take such measures as it considers appropriate to ensure and defend the security of its lawful borders. To suggest that a State has the right to extend its borders in the search for security is to give licence to international predacity. The United Nations can under no circumstances countenance, much less become a party to, an attempt to guarantee the security of one country at the expense of the territories of others.
9. Lastly, not in order of importance or even of chronology but in terms of political logic, arrangements and provisions must be made to create conditions in which all States in the region, including the Palestine State, can live together in peace and reciprocal respect for one another's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.
10. With these explanations I commend this draft" resolution on behalf of its six sponsors to all members of the Council and to those directly interested parties which have participated in the present debate. We are sorry that Israel stayed away from the debate and has instead been crying havoc all over and hurling defiance against the alleged bias and dictation of the United Nations. In truth it is Israel which is maintaining, by the use of force, and wishes to be left alone to continue, its occupation of the territories of Arab neighbours. Persistence in this policy of tone and diktat can only, breed more violence, engender further bitterness and make ever more remote the prospect of the peace and co-operation which the Israeli Government professes to be seeking and which all the peoples of the Middle East desire and need. The settlement envisaged in the draft offers ah alternative to such a policy. In putting it forward, we wish in no way to interfere with the existing process and mechanisms of peace-making, bat on the contrary hope that the peace effort will be resumed with the aim now of reaching a comprehensive and over-all settlement. The draft provides a basis on which such an effort can be made, negotiations held and mediation succeed. We hope that it will receive the approval of all members, for it embodies a reality which cannot be negated and a balance of rights and obligations on which peace can be built and viable relations evolve in the Middle East.
11. The PRESIDENT: The floor is now open for discussion of the draft resolution.
12. Mr. RICHARD (United Kingdom): My delegation has made clear from the outset of this debate the importance which we attach to maintaining the principles and the provisions of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which have established the basic principles for a settlement in the Middle East and a framework within which negotiations towards a settlement should take place. My Government considers that inclusion in the draft resolution now before us of a reaffirmation of those two resolutions is an essential element if this text is to provide a real contribution towards the progress of the negotiations which we all wish to promote.
13. My Government has therefore instructed me to the following amendment to draft resolution), which I think has been submitted in English members of the Council. I am sorry that there has not been sufficient time so far to have the amendment translated into the other working languages. I trust that this omission has not occasioned too great an inconvenience.
14. The amendment would be to include a new paragraph 3 in the draft resolution which 1 read as follows:
“3. Reaffirms the principles and provisions of Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and declares nothing in the foregoing provisions of the resolution supersedes them." [S/11942.]
15. Having listened to the many important and contributions which have been made in this debate, we feel it is clear that resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) are still accepted as valid by the majority, although not all, of the members of the Security Council. I very much hope, therefore, that the Council will be able to vote in favour of this amendment and thus provide that degree of balance in the draft resolution which my delegation regards as essential.
16. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): I cannot say that I am surprised at the amendment just introduced by Mr. Richard of the United Kingdom, because a little while earlier he informed me of his intention. I am a little bit astonished, I must say.
17. As I said in the statement which I just made on behalf of the six sponsors of the draft resolution, the text was drafted with the express purpose of giving satisfaction to those members who had expressed concern to us about the precise implications of the adoption of this draft resolution with regard to the earlier resolutions—not merely resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973); there are many other resolutions on the subject of the Middle East and of Palestine. We thought that we had given satisfaction on that score. It seems, however, that the United Kingdom considers that a more formal affirmation is necessary. In view of the fact that the text which I have just submitted to the Council is the result of consultation not merely among its sponsors, but also between them and a number of other representatives and groups, it is not really possible for me, even speaking only for my delegation, to react to the amendment at this point.
18. Mr. President, I should like to suggest that a little time might be allowed for the necessary consultations and I would propose, if there is no objection, that we might suspend this meeting for perhaps an hour so that we can hold those consultations.
19. The PRESIDENT: The representative of Pakistan has proposed that we suspend the meeting for one hour. As there is no objection, I shall suspend the meeting now.
The meeting was suspended at 5 p.m. and resumed at 7.10 p.m.
20. The PRESIDENT: Members of the Council have before them draft resolution S/11940, submitted by the delegations of Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Panama, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania, as already introduced by the representative of Pakistan. Members also have before them an amendment contained in document S/11942 submitted by the delegation of the United Kingdom, as introduced by the representative of the United Kingdom.
21. In accordance with the usual practice and the rules of procedure, the Council will, of course, proceed to vote first on the amendment presented by the delegation of the United Kingdom. Does any member wish to explain his vote on the amendment before the voting?
22. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): The United States has made clear that its responsibility in the Middle East is such that it is required, even if it stands alone, to preserve the framework for negotiations established in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
23. Far from preserving that framework, the draft resolution before us would commence its destruction. It proposes a fundamental and irremediable diminish-merit of the circumstances of one of the parties. Fundamental rights are elided, equitable entitlements are impaired and fundamental expectations are of a sudden enshrouded in doubt. These rights, these entitlements and these expectations were incorporated in resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and it is our feeling that this case is so clear that it would be inappropriate, however unintentionally, it would be incompatible for the same document to alter these rights, entitlements and expectations and at the same time seek to reaffirm them. In that circumstance, the United States will abstain on the amendment of the United Kingdom.
24. Mr. de GUIRINGAUD (France) (interpretation from French): On 14 January last [1872nd meeting], my delegation stressed its attachment to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). That being the case, I shall vote in favour of the United Kingdom amendment, which reaffirms those resolutions.
25. As I indicated at that time, the object of this debate should be to complement and to complete those texts, so that in the search for a settlement in the Middle East all aspects of the situation would 'be taken into account, whether those resulting from the conflict of 1967 or those concerning the legitimate right of the Palestinian people, as of all other peoples, to an independent State.
26. The draft resolution submitted by six members of the Security Council which reflects this objective and which does in fact round out resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) leads my delegation to feel that there is no contradiction between that text and the United Kingdom amendment which throws light on the context in which our work must be done. And therefore, I repeat, my delegation will vote in favour of that amendment.
27. Mr. SAITO (Japan): Permit me to make a few remarks on the proposed amendment of the representative of the United Kingdom. It is a fundamental position of my Government that Council resolution 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) should be reaffirmed when we consider the Middle East problem including Palestinian question. At the same time, the draft resolution before us is an achievement produced by the efforts of many Council members and is the result of a delicate compromise. Considering this situation and the importance of the amendment, my delegation needs instruction from its Government. However because of the lack of time for us to get in contact with our Government to receive instructions, my delegation cannot but abstain and is unable to indicate its definite position on the proposed amendment if it is put to the vote, since voting on it seems to be the general wish of the Security Council.
28. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): As the representative of the Soviet Union, I entirely share the view that was expressed by the representative of Pakistan, Mr. Akhund, regarding the United Kingdom amendment. He used two English words, "surprised" and "astonished", and he very properly characterized the situation with regard to the introduction of this amendment. During the numerous consultations among the members of the Security Council, the representative of the United Kingdom offered no amendments, no changes to be made in the text of the draft resolution of the six sponsors which has now been put into its final form and officially submitted by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of the group of sponsors in document S/11940. The text had been agreed among the members of the Council, with the participation of the representative of the United Kingdom and without any objections on his part.
29. We all know that the main purpose of the lengthy discussion on the Middle East problem in the Security Council, which lasted several days, and which also included the question of Palestine, was to create favourable conditions for speeding up a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. The only recognized forum for this endeavour as we all know, is the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. A new and constructive Security Council decision was something that an overwhelming majority requested both the majority of the Council and the majority of those who participated in the discussion of this matter in the Council. The negation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) was not at all involved, nor was the negation of any resolutions which have been formally adopted by the General Assembly on the Middle East or on Palestine. On the contrary, many of the participants in the discussion of this question referred to those resolutions and requested that the Security Council should continue along the very path that was indicated by the General Assembly in its decisions on the Palestine question. In doing so, many of the speakers stressed that what was involved were new, additional constructive Council decisions which would not be detrimental to the earlier ones.
30. What is the main substance of such new and constructive decisions? In the view of the over-whelming majority of the participants in the discussion of it would be the recognition of the inalienable national rights of the people of Palestine, and this found its reflection in the draft resolution of the six sponsors. It is, if you wish, the very quintessence of this draft resolution.
31. The representative of the United Kingdom himself, in speaking before the Council in the discussion of the Middle East question and the Palestine problem, spoke in favour of the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people, and to remind him of this I shall now read out a part of his statement in the Council. Here are the very words he used: "In any final settlement in the Middle East a way must be found to take account of the political rights of the Palestinian people and to enable them to express their national identity." [1873rd meeting, para. 69.] In another passage of his statement the representative of the United Kingdom said that "we must recognize the fundamental importance of the Palestinian problem and take account of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people." [Ibid., para. 76.]
32. After such observations in the official statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom in the Security Council and in view of the absence of any objections on his part during the consultations among members of the Council held this morning at which there was final agreement on the text of the draft resolution of the six sponsors on the settlement of the Middle East question, the general view of the members of the Council was that the delegation of the United Kingdom not only did not object to the recognition of the political rights of the people of Palestine but, on the contrary, was supporting those rights. The unexpected amendment submitted by Mr. Richard indicates the exact opposite. He now wants the Security Council to give, as it were, carte blanche to Israel and to its protectors and also after the adoption of the new draft resolution, if it is not killed by somebody's veto, to treat the Palestinian problem only as a problem of refugees and not as a central Political problem in the settlement in the Middle East, as was demanded by the overwhelming majority of the participants in the discussion of this matter in the Security Council.
33. It is for this reason that I have to stress again that it is impossible not to agree with the observations by the representative of Pakistan, who said that the introduction of this amendment certainly creates a Very astonishing impression. Therefore there are reasons to regard this action of the representative of the United Kingdom as a direct attempt to undermine the draft resolution which was agreed on in the consultations held today by the members of the Security Council. The adoption of such an amendment would introduce ambiguity and confusion into the substance of the new draft resolution, if, I repeat, it is by any chance adopted by the Council. By this action Israel and its protectors will be allowed to sabotage the implementation of this new draft resolution too, as was indeed done with regard to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) add 338 (1973). Therefore it is not difficult to realize what is the concealed meaning and the main aim of this amendment. Therefore, the delegation of the Soviet Union will not be able to give its support to it.
34. Mr. VINCI (Italy): At this stage of our deliberations I shall confine myself to stating that my delegation supports and will vote in favour of the amendment submitted by the delegation of the United Kingdom. Speaking on behalf of the Italian delegation on 19 January [1876th meeting], I had already advocated a clear reaffirmation of the validity of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The adoption of this amendment is therefore considered an important and determining factor in the final position which my delegation will take on draft resolution S/11940.
35. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): First of all, I regret that our British colleague submitted this amendment at the last moment. I think that is not fair for the Council or for the sponsors of the draft resolution. This draft resolution was prepared after long negotiations and the sponsors deployed every possible effort to take into account the position of all the other members of the Council. They even introduced the provisions and the language of resolution 242 (1967). I shall not question the intention of the representative of the United Kingdom, but I think the submission of his amendment will have the result of delaying the work of the Council.
36. The position of my delegation concerning resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973; has been reiterated many times, during the last session of the General Assembly and also during the present debate in the Security Council. We are convinced that those resolutions have been bypassed by events and developments both inside and outside the United Nations. They are irrelevant as a framework for any just and lasting solution to the Middle East question. General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX) reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, 3376 (XXX), proposing the means designed to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their national rights, and 3379 (XXX), condemning Zionism as a racist movement, reflect the profound changes and developments in the attitude of the United Nations and of international public opinion and call for a review of the entire question and the methods of dealing with it. For that reason, our delegation intends to vote against the amendment in document S/l1942.
37. Mr. RICHARD (United Kingdom): I take the floor for a second time only to answer the tissue of misrepresentations that we have heard from the representative of the Soviet Union. He can throw his arms out as often as he likes; it does not in fact alter the truth. He knows, and everybody sitting around this table who was present during the consultations knows, that it is totally untrue and grossly misleading of him to suggest that this was a draft resolution which was agreed to in the course of consultations. Of course it was not. If it had been an agreed draft resolution it would have been adopted by consensus and there would have been no need to have had it submitted in this way and there would have been no need for a vote. He knows that to be untrue and yet he deliberately comes along and says this to the Security Council and indeed to all those who see fit to listen to our deliberations. Why does he do it, Mr. President?
38. Time after time we sit here listening to the representative of the Soviet Union. When his pencil goes up I draw breath to see which misrepresentation is to come first. I listen with enormous interest to hear which position of which Government is about to be distorted out of recognition. I have a great affection for the representative of the Soviet Union. I wish he had the same affection for the truth as I have for him.
39. I shall say only two words about the amendment although, since the representative of the Soviet Union did me the honour of referring to one of my speeches, perhaps I should do him the honour of referring to the speech he just made. He said the negation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) was not involved in the draft resolution submitted by the non-aligned members of the Council. That may or not be true. If in fact it is true, what is the insuperable objection of the representative of the Soviet Union to reaffirming the resolution which he has just told us has not been negated by the draft resolution that is in front of us this evening? Why should it not go in? It would seem a point of sensible clarification which could go into that draft resolution.
40. As for whether what I have submitted today is in any sense or any shape or form different from my attitude throughout this debate I shall just quote one sentence—although I realize it is an imposition to read one's own speeches to the Council twice—from the statement I made in this debate on 15 January. In speaking of the principles of a settlement, I said the following:
41. The sponsors of the draft resolution are in ways in a dilemma. If in fact it does not touch resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), what is the object to putting my amendment in? If it does in fact touch resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), then perhaps some of the fears that some of us may have express in the past about this draft resolution might seem to have some justification. I therefore—I hope in a sober mood, certainly in a more sober mood than that displayed by my colleague from the Soviet Union I trust—really would commend this amendment to the Security Council this evening.
42. Mr. AKHUND (Pakistan): It was a pleasure to listen to Mr. Richard, and to listen to him twice was a double pleasure. He was addressing the representative of the Soviet Union, but we could not help overhearing him.
43. I think I might take a few moments to explain the position of Pakistan on this particular matter. When I spoke last I was speaking in a sense as spokesman for the sponsors of the draft resolution. The delegation of Pakistan finds no great problem with resolution 242 (1967), or for that matter with resolution 338 (1973), or for that matter with any of the other resolutions that were adopted years and years and years ago to deal with the question we are considering today. Our only complaint is that none of those resolutions have moved the dispute towards a settlement.
44. I am not of course ignoring the relatively limited moves that have been made, but none the less we are pretty much where we were in 1967. That having been said, we do not regard the resolutions that have been mentioned or any previous resolutions—resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and so on-as having become null and void. We do not believe that the adoption of the draft resolution before us in its present form will in any way supersede those, resolutions.
45. We are asked in the amendment to reaffirm two resolutions of all those that have been adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly—those: two have been singled out—and we are asked to declare that nothing in the foregoing provisions of this resolution supersedes them. Supersedes what? principles and provisions of resolution 242 (1967).
46. I would recommend that Mr. Richard read again the wording of the draft resolution that we have put before the Council. What are the principles and provisions of resolution 242 (1967)? "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict". We are familiar with the argument that has gone on for ever over this particular formulation. Then it continues: "Termination of all claims of states) of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries".
47. We have all that. We have reproduced the language, the heart and kernel of resolution 242 (1967), in our draft resolution, and we have done so with the aim of—as I said earlier this afternoon—meeting the views that were put to us in order that at this crucial juncture, when for the first time the Security Council has turned its eyes to the problem which is at the heart of the Middle East conflict, and when for the first time it has taken it up, there should be the widest possible consensus. Yet we are asked at the last minute to consider an amendment. I agree entirely with the representative of France that there is no contradiction between this amendment and what is stated in the draft resolution. Nevertheless, we have worked on this text to give it a certain balance. It may not be an agreed draft resolution; but it is a text which reflects, not the position of the sponsors because the sponsors had, as members know, originally put forward a very different working paper—but the broad consensus of views of the majority of members. We have put this forward and yet we are asked to adopt an amendment which, in my view, frankly is not merely regrettable but unnecessary. Its adoption will add nothing what-soever to our text in terms of the framework. I should like the representative of the United Kingdom to consider what its rejection by the Security Council might imply.
48. The representative of the United States spoke of "rights", "entitlements" and "expectations". It is necessary to remember that both sides have rights, both sides have entitlements and both sides have expectations—and they have been waiting for decades for the fulfilment of their rights, for the recognition of their entitlements and their expectations. We think that in our draft resolution we have provided for the legitimate rights and expectations of all the parties.
49. We shall, with very great regret, not be able to support the amendment proposed by the delegation of the United Kingdom, not because we are opposed to its substance, but because we consider that it is not relevant at this juncture.
50. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The irritation and the one of voice of the United Kingdom representative in his reaction to my observations on his amendment shows that my criticism was correct. No parliamentarian witticism of the United Kingdom representative could conceal the real meaning and purpose of this amendment: to undermine the new and constructive decision of the Security Council. That is his aim and, therefore. no matter how much he is irritated. I cannot give a different assessment of his amendment.
51. And, against, much of what 1 wished to say has been said by :he representative of Pakistan, but I wanted to stress that during the consultations the United Kingdom did not introduce any amendment, and everybody had the impression that silence was a sign of agreement. I therefore felt it was necessary to disclose the substance of his amendment. And, indeed, the substance of the amendment is that, instead of a recognition of the legitimate, inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, there is again an effort to reduce the Palestinian problem to one of refugees. That is the substance of the amendment. Every member of the Security Council has to face the question: Does he recognize the inalienable political rights of the Palestinian people or not? Such is the conclusion that emerges from the discussion of this matter in the Security Council, and that is why it is unnecessary to take refuge behind former decisions and reject this pressing political question of principle.
52. Th PRESIDENT: Since no other member wishes to explain his vote before the vote on it, I should like, in my capacity as representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, to explain very briefly the Tanzanian position on the United Kingdom amendment.
53. My delegation regrets that it will abstain in the vote on the amendment submitted by the delegation of the United Kingdom for reasons which I believe should be obvious to all members of the Council. In the first place, the draft resolution sponsored by six delegations, including the Tanzanian delegation, is the result of intensive negotiations and many compromises. The representative of Japan was absolutely right when he called it "a delicate compromise". As it is, it represents the balance of all considerations and legitimate rights of all the parties to the conflict, as well as the concerns of all the members of the Council. To accept the amendment proposed by the representative of the United Kingdom would certainly create unnecessary difficulties for many of those who have already been able to accept the draft resolution as it is.
54. Furthermore, we believe that, while embodying the essential contents of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the draft resolution sponsored by six delegations is an improvement on those two previous resolutions, not only because it is much clearer, but also because it addresses itself seriously to the Palestinian question.
55. I should like also to add that the Tanzanian delegation shares the preoccupations and the disappointments voiced by the representative of Pakistan, and to state that, by introducing his amendment at this eleventh hour, the representative of the United Kingdom has made our task much more difficult. We particularly regret this since, as I said earlier and as was rightly pointed out by the representative of Japan, the text before us is the product of a delicate compromise which was worked out after serious and protracted efforts. For those reasons, the Tanzanian delegation will not be able to vote for the United Kingdom amendment.
56. And now, as PRESIDENT, I shall put to the vote the amendments, submitted by the United Kingdom document S/11942, to draft resolution S/11940 submitted by Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Panama, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
In favour: France, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Against: China, Libyan Arab Republic.
Abstaining: Benin, Guyana, Japan, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America.
The result of the vote was 4 in favour, 2 against, and 9 abstentions.
The amendment was not adopted, having failed to obtain the affirmative votes of nine members.
57. The PRESIDENT: The Council will now proceed to the voting on draft resolution S/11940. I call on those representatives who wish to explain their votes at this stage.
58. Mr. HUANG Hua (China) (translation from Chinese): During the general debate on the Middle East question in the Security Council, the representatives of many countries expressed in their speeches profound condolences on the passing away of Premier Chou En-lai. We have already conveyed their deepest sentiments to the Chinese Government and people and to the bereaved family. Allow me, in the name of the Chinese delegation, to express once again our heartfelt thanks to them for the kind sympathy they have extended to the Chinese Government and people.
59. The Chinese Government and people have always firmly supported the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggle to regain their national rights and recover their lost territories, firmly condemned the Israeli Zionist aggression and firmly opposed and condemned the super-Powers for their contention and expansion in the Middle East. We have always maintained that the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people must be restored and that Israel must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories. Basing ourselves on this position, we voted in favour of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX). We are also in favour of the relevant affirmation of the national rights of the Palestinian people in draft resolution S/l1940. We appreciate the efforts that have been made in this respect by the sponsors.
60. However, it must be pointed out that the reference to the relevant United Nations resolutions and international conferences on the Middle East contained the draft resolution has an implication which may be interpreted as covering Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the Geneva Conference based on those two resolutions. Meanwhile the draft resolution also says "to guarantee... the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries".
61. In fact, in the present Middle East situation the prevailing task of urgency is the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian people Before the achievement of this basic objective, the above provisions of the draft resolution may be used by Israeli Zionism to create pretexts for its policy of aggression and expansion and by the super-Powers to continue to maintain the situation of "no war, no peace" in the Middle East which was single-handedly created by them. In view of the foregoing, the Chinese delegation has decided not to participate in the voting on draft resolution S/11940.
62. Mr. RICHARD (United Kingdom): When I spoke in the Council on 15 January [1873rd meeting] I pointed out that this debate offered a great opportunity to move the negotiations for a Middle East settlement forward, but that it also conferred upon us the responsibility not to imperil the very negotiations we were trying to help. I reminded the Council then that of the three main elements or requirements for a settlement—which have, I may add, been acknowledged by almost every member of the Council who has spoken in this debate-two formed the basic principles of resolution 242 (1967) which, together with resolution 338 (1973), had become established as a widely accepted foundation for a settlement.
63. I added, however, that my Government had recognized, like many other Governments, that these resolutions were deficient in that they did not take account of the third element—the essential part which Palestinian interests must play in any settlement. I therefore suggested that the Council should recognize that third principle: the need to take account of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to express their national identity. But I added that this should be done in a way which supplemented but did not supplant Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and I warned that my Government would oppose any attempt to alter or detract from those resolutions.
64. The purpose of resolution 242 (1967) was to provide a framework in which negotiations leading to a settlement could take place. The draft resolution recognizes that the Council is not a forum in which those negotiations should take place, and we must, I think, be careful in what we do here today to avoid putting the negotiators into a strait-jacket and closing doors which might otherwise remain open. All of us here recognize, as we have all had this experience here, that in undertaking a negotiation there must be possibilities for movement within that negotiation. It will not help the negotiating process, in our view, to spell out in detail the various possibilities inherent in the terms of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). As sponsors of resolution 242 (1967)—a resolution which, we believe, has a substantial and continuing contribution to make to the solution of the Middle East problem—we have always been careful not to express any interpretation of the wording of particular parts of that resolution.
65. My Government therefore has reservations about certain aspects of paragraphs 1 and 4 of the present draft resolution, which, we fear, could have a restricting effect. It was our hope that, by making it plain that the present draft resolution did not supersede resolution 242 (1967), we would have been able to overcome those doubts. Since the amendment which we proposed this afternoon has not been adopted, my delegation will, to its regret, abstain on the draft resolution now before us.
66. In conclusion, I should like to make this plea. We believe that a great deal of progress has been made over the last few days in bringing positions together and in narrowing differences. What is needed now is surely a willingness to look forward to the future. The need for a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East, and especially a just settlement of the Palestinian problem remains urgent. The responsibility of the Security Council to assist and promote the negotiations towards a settlement remains just as important. The need for the parties—and this means ail the parties—to re-examine their policies and attitudes and to look for some way of reconciling their differences in a spirit of compromise, without which no agreement can be reached, remains no less. My Government for its part remains determined to do whatever it can wherever and whenever we may be asked to help this process and to help to bring about 'he just and lasting settlement in the Middle East which we all so earnestly desire.
67. The PRESIDENT: I shall now put to the vote the draft resolution of Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Panama, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania which is before the Security Council in document S/11940.
In favour: Benin, France, Guyana, Japan, Pakistan, Panama, Romania, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Republic of Tanzania.
Against: United States of America.
Abstaining: Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
69. The SECRETARY-GENERAL: The important debate which has occupied the Security Council for the past two weeks has highlighted both the main elements of the Middle East problem and the extreme difficulty of reconciling these elements. The debate has in particular emphasized the Palestinian dimension of this problem. At the same time, there has been a reaffirmation of the right of every State in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.
70. I feel that it is my duty to express the general and growing anxiety in the international community at large at the very great difficulties which are being experienced in making progress towards a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem. It is generally recognized that stagnation and stalemate can only lead to further frustration, and that continued frustration will unavoidably lead to further violence. Such is the nature of the Middle East problem that there is a widespread awareness that the consequences of further conflicts in the Middle East will have very serious repercussions in a far broader sphere.
71. It is absolutely vital that efforts to find a way forward continue, no matter how great or insurmountable the obstacles to a peaceful settlement may now appear. I therefore appeal most earnestly to all of the parties concerned to persist in these efforts, and I shall remain in close contact with them to this end as well as with the Co-Chairmen of the Peace Conference on the Middle East.
72. The United Nations has been intimately involved in the Middle East question for more than a quarter of a century. Many of its Members have made great efforts during that time, both within the framework of the Organization and outside it, to assist in the search for a settlement of this immensely difficult and important problem. The stakes in the Middle East question are now perhaps higher than ever, and we shall soon be facing new deadlines which, in the absence of progress towards a settlement, can only bring on a new situation of crisis. Not only all of the parties involved but the world as a whole has a vital interest in a just and lasting settlement of this problem. I very much hope, therefore, that further constructive steps will quickly follow the debate which is now concluding.
73. The PRESIDENT: I thank the Secretary-General for his statement. I shall now call on those representatives who have asked to speak after the vote.
74. Mr. MOYNIHAN (United States of America): The United States ha& not lightly cast a negative vote against the draft resolution that was before us. We voted "no" only after long and conscientious consideration and with the realization that we must keep foremost in mind a greater goal beyond this Council chamber. I want to make clear our reasons for voting as we did, and the seriousness with which my Government first weighed the views expressed in this debate. As witness to our intent and purpose, the United States Department of State at this moment is releasing a statement that more completely sets out United States views on where this debate has left us in our search for a Middle East peace.
75. Briefly to state that position: we concluded that our responsibility to seek further progress towards an over-all peace settlement in the Middle East required us, even if we stood alone, to preserve the framework for negotiations established in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The provisions that were before us were such that we considered the negotiating framework would have been altered in ways that would have been seriously harmful to the future of the peace-making process. We understand the reasons behind many of the ideas that have been presented here and we are not closing the door to the introduction into the negotiating process of considerations that have not yet been addressed. Rather, we wish to emphasize that it is better to go forward with the agreed basis that does exist, to utilize it to the best of our ability, and to see it evolve in a manner that will make it more useful, rather than running the risk of destroying it.
76. On 19 January [1876th meeting], I made before the Council a short statement of the United States position on changes to the agreed framework for negotiation. I said then that changes imposed, whatever the intentions and with whatever justification but nevertheless imposed, would not work. That is a point that I would like to make again today. The United States negative vote on the draft resolution was not based on antipathy to the aspirations of Palestinians, but rather on the conviction that the passage of that draft resolution would not ameliorate their condition or be the most effective way of addressing the long neglected problem of their future in the context of an over-all settlement. It is not a question of whether but of how to make progress to the goal we all profess.
77. On behalf of the United States, I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your statesmanship and leader-ship, which have piloted us all through important and far-ranging deliberations. I wish to congratulate all members who have spoken here for the thoughtfulness and measured tones of their positions. Surely this approach is constructive and helpful to the parties that must soon proceed to negotiation of all the issues before them—to matters of pruedure, the question of additional participation, and the matters of substance such as withdrawal from occupied territories, the right of all States in the area to live within secure and recognized borders, and reciprocal obligations of the parties to live in peace with one another.
78. When we first began our deliberations the United States made it clear that we wished to avoid confrontation and to produce positive results to aid in the search for peace. Many, we know, will be disappointed that we do not have a resolution to use and refer to, but for our part let me say that we have none the less profited from the various views that have been expressed and we have increased our understanding of the enormous complexities before us all. Armed with the positive suggestions that have been made, fortified by the seriousness and concern of all who have participated, the United States pledges to you all and to the United Nations itself that we will persevere in the search for peace, that we will make use of the framework for negotiation that has been preserved, and that we will do our best. We need the co-operation of you all to make these efforts succeed. I hope you will join us and help us in this quest, and as it recommences; for the United States it is a matter of special import to know that we have the unfailing and determined efforts of the Secretary-General with us in this matter.
79. Mr. de GUIRINGAUD (France) (interpretation from French): As I recalled in my explanation of vote a few moments ago on the United Kingdom amendment, as far as France is concerned the efforts of the Security Council in the course of the present debate should have been aimed at ensuring that all aspects of the question of the Middle East be taken into account in the search for a settlement. The draft resolution put before the Council by six of its members—to whom I wish to express our appreciation for the wise and responsible way in which they have carried out their task of conciliation—did meet the objectives that my delegation had proposed for this debate. It was thus that we voted in its favour, it being understood that, as far as we were concerned, this draft resolution had to complement resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which set the principles for a settlement and point to the way in which it might be found. That was the reason why my delegation voted in favour of the United Kingdom amendment, which stressed this aspect of complementing the other resolutions. I regret the fact that that amendment was not adopted, but in our minds it merely stated what was implicit in the six-Power draft resolution, which in its last preambular paragraph does formally refer to the resolutions of the Council, without excluding any. It is because it is in this way that we read the text of the draft resolution that, despite the rejection of the United Kingdom amendment, I voted in favour of it. I must deplore the fact that this draft resolution, which was the result of lengthy consultation, also failed to be adopted by the Council.
80. With regard to the draft resolution proposed by of die Council, I should like to , that, as far as the question of the return contained in paragraph 1 (b) is concerned, we believe this to be a subsidiary aspect of the question, since the text already in paragraph 1 (a) affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State in Palestine. Furthermore, in accordance with the terms of paragraph 2, the modalities have to be decided upon and taken into full account in all international efforts made within the framework of the United Nations. But the efforts of the Security Council, as I also said on 14 January [1872nd meeting], should be directed towards giving a new impetus to peace, and again we can only regret the rejection of this draft resolution, which we termed realistic and equitable, as proposed to us.
81. However, we do not believe that this has been a sterile or vain debate. In the many statements made in the Council, the framework for a just and stable solution for the Middle East has become clearer. It calls for a reaffirmation of the facts as contained in resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), namely, the need to evacuate the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and to recognize the right to existence of all States of the region within recognized and secure boundaries and in full safety. It also implies a new affirmation which we consider to be essential, namely, the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State. Thus, even if it is not contained in a text that the members of the Security Council could unanimously support, all parties to the settlement should hereafter take this into account.
82. Mr. SAITO (Japan): Mr. President, first of all, my delegation wishes to express its appreciation for the efforts made by you and by the representatives of non-aligned and other States members of the Council in formulating the draft resolution on which we have just voted. I should like also to express the gratitude and appreciation of my delegation to the Secretary-General for his insistent and untiring efforts in the cause of peace in the Middle East. It is not an exaggeration to say that without such contributions the Council could not have had such a balanced and constructive Proposal, which obtained the support of nine members of the Council.
83. My delegation has observed also that in this process the Council has been guided by good sense and a spirit of compromise. The reason for this is that the delegations that have participated in Council meetings are greatly concerned about the situation in the Middle East.
84. My delegation voted for the draft resolution because we found that, as was clearly confirmed by statement of the the representative of Pakistan, who reduced the draft resolution, it was not intended to Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), supplement them, and that it also upheld the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, rights which were not set forth in the two resolutions to which I have referred. Despite the Council's efforts, the draft resolution has failed of adoption. However, it is the judgement of my delegation that although no resolution has been adopted the fact that many members of the Security Council agreed on a formula aimed at solving the problem of the Middle East is in itself a point of departure for future discussions.
85. Faced with the grave situation in the area, my delegation appeals to the parties concerned to make every effort to seek the early achievement of a just and durable settlement of the Middle East problem, including the Palestinian question. For this purpose it is the view of my delegation that the Peace Conference should be reconvened in the very near future to work for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the area with the participation of all parties concerned.
86. Mr. MALIK (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. President, first of all I should like to express my gratitude to you personally as President of the Security Council, and also to the members of the Council who prepared the draft resolution. I want to thank them for their strenuous efforts in trying to work out a concrete text so that the Council could adopt a resolution which would contribute to speeding up the achievement of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.
87. The delegation of the Soviet Union cannot fail to express its deepest regret that, because of the negative vote cast by one of the permanent members of the Security Council, the United States of America, the draft resolution, on such an important question as the situation in the Middle East, which was sup-ported by a majority, was not adopted by the Security Council. It should be stressed first that the draft resolution to a considerable degree reflected the position which was expressed by the members of the Security Council and also by many States Members of the United Nations not members of the Council in the course of several days of discussion of the Middle East problem, including the question of Palestine. A particularly important aspect of this discussion was the general recognition, with a few exceptions, of the qualitatively new character of the Palestinian problem. A considerable majority of the members of the Council and the overwhelming majority of the Member States non-members of the Council recognized and stressed that the Palestinian question was an essential political problem in the settlement of the Middle East question. That just position found its reflection also in the draft resolution.
88. The majority of the members of the Council and the representatives of more than 20 Member States non-members of the Council very clearly and definitely stated that it was necessary to recognize and ensure the implementation of the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine. That was the main theme which ran through all the discussions in the Council on the question under consideration.
89. The second important aspect was that the over-whelming majority of the Member States, members and non-members of the Council—12 out of 15 members of the Council—spoke out in favour of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the occupied Arab territories. That just position found its reflection in the draft resolution, which was killed by the United States veto. Thus the discussion in the Council of the problem of the Middle East has confirmed again that the majority of the Members of the United Nations, members and non-members of the Security Council, believe that without an equitable solution of the Palestinian problem on the basis of respect for the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and without the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the occupied Arab territories, genuine peace in the Middle East is impossible.
90. It is necessary to draw attention also to yet another very important aspect of the discussion of the Middle East problem by the Council. A majority of the members of the Council who took part in the discussion spoke out with considerable conviction and stressed the need for the continuation of consistent efforts on the part of the world community and the United Nations to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East so that the hotbed of threats of war in that region might be liquidated. This general view was also expressed by the Secretary-General in his statement before the Security Council.
91. In this connexion many of the participants in the discussion have also recognized that the Security Council cannot work out a peace treaty on a Middle East settlement and that the concrete working out of the individual elements and of the whole structure of the settlement should be carried out by the international forum which was set up for that purpose, namely, the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.
92. The majority of the participants in the debate have recognized and stressed the need for the participation in the Peace Conference of all the parties directly concerned, including the participation, on an equal footing, of the PLO. In this context it is important to stress again that it is precisely the Geneva Peace Conference which provides already existing international machinery for holding negotiations aimed at a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and the forum where a just and equitable settlement of the Middle East crisis can and must be achieved.
93. All these positions which I have just indicated were supported not only by the majority of the States members of the Council, but also by the delegations of more than 20 States Members of the United Nations which took part in the discussion in the Council of the Middle East question, including the Palestinian problem. In this connexion it should be pointed out that those positions are based on the views of the overwhelming majority of the Member States which were expressed at the sessions of the General Assembly and which were incorporated in its resolutions.
94. What conclusion can be drawn from all this? The main political conclusion from the discussion of the Middle East problem in the Security Council is to be found in the fact that those who have prevented the taking of a just decision by the Security Council, a decision aimed at speeding up the achievement of peace in the Middle East with the equal participation of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, have assumed a very heavy responsibility before the Security Council, the General Assembly and the whole of the world community.
95. Those who have torpedoed the adoption of the draft resolution have again demonstrated before the United Nations and before the eyes of the world their support of the expansionist and aggressive policies of the leaders of Israel, who, in violation of the principles of the United Nations on the non-acquisition of foreign territory by force, for many years now have been illegally occupying the Arab territories they have seized. In this context, it is impossible not to point also to the very important fact that, as a result of a long and thorough discussion of the Middle East problem in the Council, it has been clearly revealed before the eyes of the world that Israel and those who support it have become completely isolated internationally.
96. However, let them not triumph, those who have placed obstacles in the path of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and in the path of the implementation of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, those who hope by such methods to perpetuate the occupation of foreign territories seized by the aggressor.
97. The discussion in the Security Council of the Middle East problem has again confirmed the correct-ness of the line taken by the Soviet Union and the overwhelming majority of the States Members of the United Nations, with the aim of achieving a comprehensive political settlement of the problem of the Middle East. Furthermore, the need to satisfy the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including its right to create its own State, has been recognized and confirmed. It has been recognized and it has been very clearly stated that recognition of the legitimate and inalienable national rights of the Palestinians is one of the central issues, in a Middle East settlement, without the solution of which the establishment of a stable peace in that region is not possible.
98. It is high time Israel and its protectors understood that all this cannot be simply cancelled out,12 either by a boycott of the Security Council by Israel or by a negative vote in the Council itself. Israel, pursuing its aim of disguising its unjustified position of non-participation in the discussion of the Middle East problem in the Security Council, refers to the non-recognition of Israel by the PLO. Such an approach should be rejected with determination. For it is necessary to consider this question in a different light and specifically to ask whether the Palestinian Arabs can adopt any other attitude towards Israel than the one they have adopted, when Israel and its protectors continue to ignore the inalienable national rights of the Palestinians and to deny their right to set up a national State and home of their own. Let Israel state officially that it recognizes the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and that it agrees to the creation of its national State.
99. In conclusion, I must emphasize that the peoples of the Arab countries and the Arab people of Palestine and its natural friends and allies, represented by the socialist, non-aligned and all peace-loving States, will continue; as before, their ceaseless struggle to achieve a just and stable peace in the Middle East, the triumph of the principles of reason and justice and the recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people; and this struggle will certainly be crowned with access.
100. Mr. DATCU (Romania) (interpretation from French): Speaking on 16 January in the Security Council [1875th meeting], the delegation of Romania expressed the hope that our present work would result in a resolution which would as soon as possible make available means whereby the conflict might be resolved through negotiations. At the moment, my delegation would like to express its deep regret over the fact that the draft resolution submitted by six members of Council, including Romania, although supported by majority failed of adoption because of the negative vote cast by the delegation of the United States. Our regret is all the greater since we know that it was a balanced and constructive draft resolution, prepared a full awareness of our responsibility to peace and with deliberate care to safeguard the interests of Peoples and all States of the Middle East. In fact, the sponsors of the draft resolution, and more specifically you, Mr. President, and our colleagues from Pakistan and Panama, Mr. Akhund and Mr. Boyd, all very carefully took pains to consult all members of the Council and particularly all parties to the conflict present at the debate.
101. As far as the eleventh-hour amendment submitted by our colleague of the United Kingdom is concerned, delegation had to abstain in the vote out not because we would challenge resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), but because the amendment
was so worded that its adoption would disturb the balance that had been so painstakingly achieved in the ex-Power draft resolution after such careful and exdous negotiations.
102. We feel that the fact that the United Kingdom amendment was rejected does not mean that the Security Council has disavowed those resolutions. It merely means that the Council did not feel that it was appropriate to include the United Kingdom amendment in that draft resolution which you, Mr. President, and the representative "of Japan had defined as "a delicate compromise".
103. I should like to add—and I wish to stress this—that my delegation nevertheless shares the views already expressed by other delegations that the Security Council has held a significant, revealing and useful debate. The PLO has been given an opportunity to express its views and has enriched the debate by its contribution. The participation of the PLO in this debate on an equal footing has been a most positive milestone in the efforts of the Security Council to solve the problems of this conflict. Other parties to the conflict—Egypt, the Syrian Arab Republic and Jordan—have also put forward ideas and reasonable suggestions in order to foster the process of establishing peace in the Middle East. This debate has confirmed the opinion held generally here in the United Nations and everywhere throughout the world that the Palestine question is at the very heart of the Middle East conflict, that the Palestinian people is a major part to the conflict and that it is therefore necessary that the problem flowing from this be examined with the participation of the PLO. It has also been most convincingly brought out that in any diplomatic effort to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East the national rights of the Palestinian people must be recognized and taken into account, namely, the right to self-determination including the right to constitute its own independent State. The necessity for all parties concerned to intensify their efforts so that negotiations leading to a political settlement of the problems of the Middle East can be renewed was also stressed.
104. This debate, which is now drawing to a close, underscores the need further to intensify the efforts within the United Nations and significantly to increase the support of the Organization and of the Security Council in the search for a solution of the Middle East conflict. We believe that the responsibility of the Council regarding peace in that region has not ended. On the contrary, so long as a just and lasting peace has not been established, the Council must continue actively to examine the Middle East problem.
105. Similarly, we are convinced that now more than ever the Secretary-General, as the representative of the Organization and the element representing the continuity of the Organization's activities, should be encouraged to launch further efforts for peace in the Middle East. We believe that the parties to the conflict should take further advantage of the possibilities available through the good offices of the Secretary-General to start negotiations. My delegation would like to welcome the statement made here a few moments ago by the Secretary-General.
106. Although these meetings have not culminated in the adoption of a solution—which was our ardent desire—we are nevertheless convinced that it is possible peacefully and by negotiations to solve the complex problem of the situation in the Middle East. The Romanian Government considers that, in order to achieve a political settlement in the Middle East, it is necessary that, in accordance with resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), Israel withdraw its troops from all the territories occupied during the 1967 war; that .the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to constitute its own independent State, be recognized; and that a just and lasting peace be established that will ensure the existence, territorial integrity and the right to free and independent development of all States of the region, including the Palestinian State to be created and the State of Israel.
107. In conclusion, I should like to say that Romania intends to continue contributing in the future to the search for practical solutions aimed at fostering and intensifying the process of establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
108. Mr. BOYD (Panama) (interpretation from Spanish): For a just and lasting peace to be established in the Middle East, resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) must be strengthened. That will allow the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable national rights, including that of establishing an independent State in Palestine within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations. Many new crises could be avoided by the just and timely recognition of the national rights of the Palestinians to return to their own homeland and to establish an independent State in Palestine in accordance with the terms of the resolutions on this subject.
109. The Panamanian delegation has worked arduously during the last fortnight, with a sincere desire to see the debate on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question culminate in a balanced resolution acceptable to the parties to the conflict and at the same time interpreted by the world as a major constructive effort by this major body of the United Nations duly to channel the peace negotiations for that sorely beset region of the world. We believed that the draft resolution which we sponsored with the delegations of Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Romania and the United Republic of Tanzania, which was rejected, offered mutual concessions and embodied the terms that would complement the basic resolutions on this subject, and that it could therefore be accepted by the parties concerned and the members of the Security Council.
110. However, that was not the case. We are concerned at having failed, because to maintain the status quo regarding the acute and fundamental problems of the Middle East is willingly or unwillingly to allow situations of force to prevail, which will inevitably lead to new warlike incidents.
111. The draft resolution co-sponsored by Panama suggested global solutions to the problem and was a most balanced document. The day on which the Palestinians establish an independent State in Palestine—one respecting the right of Israel and other States of the region to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries—will be the day when the peace which now seems so elusive will have a better chance of being brought about and strengthened.
112. In the statements which we made on 12 and 19 January [1870th and 1876th meetings], we gave the substantive reasons that led us as Latin Americans to call for the reconciliation for which we yearn between the Arab countries and Israel—important groupings of mankind with which Panama has very close and special ties of affection and friendship which we should like to see maintained.
113. The sole option now left to us at the end of this debate is to urge on all those that might contribute to a prompt renewal of negotiations at the so-called Geneva Peace Conference to do so and to see that those efforts be resumed as soon as possible, aware that the world will be able to appreciate whatever is done to ensure peace in the Middle East. They can, I know, count on the unflagging co-operation of the Secretary-General and the goodwill of members of the Security Council.
114. Mr. RYDBECK (Sweden): In my statement on 14 January [1872nd meeting] in the Council debate on the present agenda item I emphasized my Government's view that the basis for our deliberations must, first and foremost, be the two Security Council resolutions, 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The principles embodied in these documents are still fully valid, and we must not do anything that may change or weaken those principles.
115. Without referring expressly to resolutions 242 (1967) or 338 (1973), the draft resolution which was put forward by the six members of the Council and on which we have just voted does, in my Government's view, contain the most important elements of these resolutions, in particular the reaffirmation by the Council of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. This passage thus again reaffirms the principle of the secure existence of Israel and all other States in the Middle East.
116. Another important feature of the draft resolution is that it contains the necessary complement to the previous decisions by the Council, that is, the reference to the national rights of the Palestinians and their right to self-determination. The solution of this problem is a basic prerequisite for a just settlement of the conflict in the Middle East.
117. Notwithstanding the fact that the draft resolution contains these important, positive elements, my delegation, to its great regret, found itself unable to vote for it. The reason for this is that the United Kingdom amendment, for which we voted, unfortunately failed of adoption. This failure of the Council to include an explicit preference for resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) could, in the view of my Government, cast doubt as to the compatability of the draft resolution before us with the basic Security Council texts in question. The uncertainty thus created with regard to how the draft resolution should be interpreted forced my delegation to abstain.
118. In the Council's debate my delegation has emphasized that we consider it a matter of great importance that the Council should be able to arrive at decisions that could receive broad support. I regret tint it has not been possible to obtain broad support. TVs is not due to any lack of efforts on your part, Mr. President, or on the part of the sponsors. My delegation expresses its warm thanks to you and to the sponsors for your patience and untiring efforts. While it is thus regrettable that no resolution could be adopted, this does not mean, in our view, that this debate has not had its value. On the contrary, we consider this debate most constructive and useful.
119. As to the draft resolution, I wish to repeat that in our view it contains several essential elements which would form part of an over-all solution. I refer, in particular, to the paragraph dealing with the rights of the Palestinian people to exercise its self-determination. I want to reiterate that the Swedish Government gives its full support to this principle. We would express the hope that the Council will eventually be able to reach a decision endorsing this rightful aim and that that decision will command the broad support which is necessary to achieve meaningful results. Only in his way will it be possible to realize the aim that we are all urgently seeking, that is, the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
120. Earlier in this debate my delegation emphatically that the status quo does not give peace. Time not work for peace. The peoples, the Governments must want and then work for such changes as will lead to agreements, and we appeal to all parties actively to seek such agreements. The in the area must finally have the opportunity without the constant threat of violence, terror and war. My delegation therefore wants to associate itself whole-heartedly with the appeal just made by the Secretary-General. We owe it to him to acknowledge gratefully once again the untiring efforts that he has devoted to the solution of the problems of the Middle East the years. We also owe to him our fullest for his continued activities in this matter. We attach great importance, and indeed a great hope, to the role that the Secretary-General, with his great experience and skill, can play in the contribution towards the solution that we all fervently desire.
121. Mr. VINCI (Italy): On 19 January (1876th " I had the opportunity to state the position of the Italian delegation on this highly important issue, namely, the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question. I do not wish, however, in explaining the vote I have just cast on behalf of the Italian delegation, to refer myself simply to that statement. We would not be doing justice to all the participants in the debate. We could even appear as being ungrateful to the sponsors of the draft resolution, who have tried very hard in order to meet the views of the other members of the Council. On the contrary, we have listened very carefully to all the speakers, and we have examined with the greatest attention all the information and opinions provided during the debate and in the intensive consultations which have followed, practically until a little time ago. We certainly appreciate the many and significant improvements introduced in the original text, as will appear from what I shall say later in my statement.
122. And I can assure all the participants in the debate, as well as the six sponsors of the draft resolution, that in taking its final decision the Italian Government did so after having duly and very earnestly considered all the elements I have just mentioned. I sincerely hope that from what I will say next that everyone will be able to understand the reason why my delegation has been unable to support the present draft resolution, much as we would have wished to do so fully, as I indicated in supporting and announcing our vote in favour of the amendment proposed by the representative of the United Kingdom.
123. Let me now recapitulate what we had in mind from the beginning of our deliberations and the opinion we hold on the texts which were put to the vote. The main objective that Italy has consistently pursued is .a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East. In this connexion, our position, as repeatedly stated, is that such a settlement must be based on the following points: the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied in June 1967; the recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people, to whom a homeland cannot be further denied; and respect of the sovereignty, the political independence and the territorial integrity within secure and recognized boundaries of all the States in the area. Our stand is inspired by the principles stated by the Security Council itself, that is, in resolution 242 (1967) and subsequently recalled by resolution 338 (1973), which has established a framework for negotiations within which it has already been possible to achieve encouraging results.
124. In the draft resolution that has been submitted to us, we do not fail to see a positive aspect to the extent that it tends to supplement the contents of the resolutions. I have just mentioned with a dutiful acknowledgement of the political reality—and not only the human one—of the problem, a political reality we have long underlined, of the Palestinian people. This people rightly aspires, in our view, to the establishment of a national State. From this angle the draft resolution is, therefore, to be commended to general consent, and for my delegation I would point out that we share its inspiration and its general scope.
125. However, this same draft resolution, which shows such an appreciable and commendable effort by the non-aligned members of the Council and other countries, still contains some formulations which raise a number of questions. We feel that some paragraphs are open to uncertain interpretations similar to those which have in the past made more difficult the peace-making process. In particular, from a technical and legal point of view, the importance of which can hardly be underestimated, we must take note once again of the omission of any specific reference to resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). What is also missing, in our view, is some clearer wording having the effect of giving new momentum to the negotiating process.
126. In conclusion, we believe that if there is a meaning all of us here—and mainly the absent—should draw from this constructive and illuminating debate, which has gone on for two weeks and in depth, it can be construed as follows: a clear indication that what is needed is a quick resumption of the negotiating process and a growing acknowledgement that any attempt to deny to the Palestinian people the right to the expression of their national identity, since it would miss a main feature of the negotiations, would be bound to obstruct the efforts towards peace, efforts which, on the contrary, we should like to see speeded up. Italy for its part is ready to contribute by all means to these efforts. In particular my country is prepared, together with our partners in the European Community, to work out proposals for an adequate system of international guarantees, which appear to us to be the necessary complement of an over-all peace settlement.
127. Mr. PAQUI (Benin) (interpretation from French): In accepting the responsibility of participating as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, the Revolutionary Military Government of the People's Republic of Benin set as its target to do all in its power to contribute to the search for any solution that would lead to the strengthening of peace and international security and to make positive an constructive suggestions to help in the search for and the establishment of peace in the world. It was from that approach that the delegation of Benin worked, together with its other colleagues, and gave its sup-port to all the compromise formulas, as far as they did not betray the fundamental national revolutionary options and mission.
128. The work we have undertaken since 12 January has given my delegation the chance to show its desire to cooperate, because, as the entire world knows, the Middle East is the region where more than ever before the peace of the world is at present threatened. Benin, when taking an active part in the preparation of the last version which was acceptable to all us the draft resolution we have just considered, with hope and confidence after hearing the all the parties, including those that are absent. Together with other colleagues, Benin has tried to reconcile the divergent views and hoped to make a modest contribution to the establishment of peace in that troubled and torn region of the world.
129. While keeping the substance of the original text which, as a majority of the Council recognize, admitted the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence within a State that should have borders defined in accordant with other existing States, the co-sponsors accepted all the suggested modifications and the majority of the constructive proposals made so that some of the errors of the past could be redressed and at the end of our work the Security Council could pride itself on having at least broken the log-jam and opened a freeway to all future efforts to establish in the Middle East a just and stable peace. But certain members of the Council preferred it to be otherwise, because by an irony they feel that this body in charge of maintaining international peace and security is not the one to draw the lines that should be followed in order to achieve peace in the Middle East. Now we have to break up without a decision of the Council, which is most regrettable. However, the delegation of Benin does not feel frustrated or discouraged, because we have the satisfaction of knowing that we have fulfilled out duty. Our conscience is clear because of the work we have done, and we leave it to history and the world community to judge our work.
130. It would be superfluous to stress that, despite the decision that was just adopted on a constructive text, the key to any solution to the crisis in the Middle East is the solution of the Palestinian problem, as the overwhelming majority of the members of the Security Council have stressed in their statements. Therefore, we should not hope to solve the problem of the Middle East by selecting deliberate aspects and overlooking and ignoring some of the essential components. My delegation is convinced that you do not have to be a genius to recognize that, even if by a miracle Israel were to withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since the war of 1967, peace would thereupon be re-established in the region. It could not be so until the Palestinian problem was also solved, and it must always be considered a type of epiphenomenon. After nine years of stagnation, one would have to be wearing blinkers not to under-stand that there can be no true and lasting solution in the region until the Palestinian people has granted its homeland and as long as it is still forced to lead a nomadic existence.
131. However, to reject the present draft resolution because it is contended that it would replace previous resolutions, particularly resolutions 242 (1967) 338 (1973), would be to exaggerate, as the majority of the members of the Council have recognized. If it is true that those resolutions do constitute the basis for negotiations on the crisis of the Middle East, it is no less true that they contain certain flaws that the Security Council should correct if it wishes to help in the solution of the crisis of the Middle East. We know, for example, that the weakness of resolution 242 (1967) lies, inter alia, in regarding the problem of Palestinians as a problem of refugees. The majority of the members of the Council have agreed that that problem is a highly political one.
132. That being the case, what would be more reasonable and what would be more just than to try to correct this weakness? That is what Benin and the other co-sponsors have been trying to bear in mind in the course of the negotiations, because justice and equity dictate that at least the land reserved for the Palestinians after the adoption of the famous General Assembly resolution 181 (II) that led to-the partition in 1947 should be restored to them. The draft resolution, which was just supported by an overwhelming majority of the members of the Council and yet will not be a document of the Council because of the veto, by recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as well as its right to constitute a State, only wanted to invite the Council once again to study the very act of the birth of the State of Israel in order to find a solution to the crisis and to force Israel to be content with what was granted it and to render unto the Palestinians that which was granted them.
133. Among the arguments advanced to block that draft resolution was the wish not to do anything that would alter the chances of the negotiator. The delegation of Benin considers that if we do not want to play the ostrich, if we want to negotiate in an objective manner, then we must tell each of the parties exactly that it must do and, particularly if it is a State that refuses to recognize a reality which is obvious to the r«t of the world, that it is wrong in trying to over- and ignore the basic element in the crisis, namely, the Palestinian question. Without being expert in Political science, we can quite easily understand, after a calm and objective analysis, that the system of negotiation is blocked and that it will run the risk of being blocked as long as there is an unrealistic altitude adopted whereby the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination and independence is not recognized.
134. Furthermore, contrary to what was stated in a widely distributed American periodical, the draft resolution co-sponsored by Benin was not a challenge
to a giant. On the contrary, it was intended to help the giant and to help resolution 242 (1967) by introducing the necessary corrections that are called for in 1976. Therefore it was a realistic and useful draft resolution. But alas, others did not judge likewise.
135. History will decide in future whether the or the giant were right. History will say whether or not the solution to the crisis of the Middle East has to pass by way of the specific attention which will be given to the solution of the Palestinian problem.
136. The delegation of Benin dares to hope that that truth will not be long in coming. The Palestinian people, fighting to have their rights recognized have waited, and I trust that they will be able to wait, because they have faith and confidence in their objectives, and nothing can stifle that trust and confidence. It is for that reason that my delegation believes that we must not await a new outbreak of war in the zone before we accept and understand this intangible fact, and we endorse the appeal made a few moments ago by the Secretary-General.
137. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Republic): The draft resolution introduced by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of the sponsors and contained in document S/11940 includes several very important positive points acceptable to my delegation. I refer in particular to the following points:
—First, the recognition of the political status of the Palestinian people and of the PLO as the authentic representative of the people of Palestine;
—Secondly, the recognition that the question of Palestine is the core and the origin of the conflict in the Middle East;
—Thirdly, the condemnation of the Zionist aggression by deploring Israel's persistence in its occupation of the Arab territories;
—Fourthly, the reaffirmation of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to establish an independent and sovereign State in Palestine.
138. My delegation would like to express on this occasion its gratitude and appreciation to you, Mr. President, and to our brothers the representatives of Benin, Guyana, Pakistan, Panama and Romania, for their sincere and indefatigable efforts in preparing this draft resolution after careful and delicate negotiations. However, the delegation of the Libyan Arab Republic did not participate in the vote on the draft resolution because it employed the language of and was based in part on the principles of resolution 242 (1967).
139. The position of my delegation concerning resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) has been reiterated many times in the General Assembly and in the Security Council. Those two resolutions have been bypassed, as I said earlier, by events and developments both inside and outside the United Nations. They are irrelevant as a framework for any just and lasting solution to the Middle East problem and to the Palestinian question. In fact, General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX) reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, along with resolution 3376 (XXX) proposing means designed to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their national rights and resolution 3379 (XXX) condemning zionism as a racist movement, reflect profound and important changes and developments in the attitude of the United Nations and in international public opinion. Logically those resolutions call for a review of the entire question and of the method of dealing with it.
140. I should also like to stress the fact that even this mild text prepared after long discussions and in a spirit of compromise failed to be adopted by the Council because of the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council. That means because of the veto of the protectors and allies of the Zionist aggressive entity. These facts reaffirm my earlier statement made during this debate that the unjust and unlimited United States commitment to the Zionists constitutes the main obstacle to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
141. Finally, I should like to stress the fact that, in our opinion, by its vote on the British amendment, and by refusing specific reference to resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Security Council considers that those resolutions are no longer valid as a practical and realistic framework for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In fact, the negative vote on the British amendment sealed the fate of resolution 242 (1967). It is a kind of coup de grace for these ill-fated, ambiguous and irrelevant resolutions.
142. The PRESIDENT: No other member of the Council wishes to speak, but before I call on those delegations which have been invited to participate in the discussion and which have expressed a wish to address the Council, I should like, in my capacity as representative of the UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, to make a statement subsequent to the voting that has taken place in the Council.
143. It is indeed regrettable that the Security Council has not been able to adopt any resolution on the problem, for a unique opportunity has been lost thereby which could have been used at least to make a start in changing the dangerous trend of events in the Middle East. It is nevertheless the firm opinion of the Tanzanian delegation that the meetings of the Security Council this month on the problem before it have been extremely fruitful in many ways.
144. In the course of the debate the Council has heard a fairly good number of statements, including especially that of the representative of the PLO. In those statements, all of which were serious, one could not fail to note the overwhelming affirmation of certain pertinent Charter principles, in particular the inadmissibility of forcible territorial acquisitions and the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as well as the right of all States to exist in sovereignty and territorial integrity. But most significant, of course, was the affirmation by most speakers of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians for it was the first time in 30 years that the Security Council had focused its attention on this question. From resolution on resolution, it is now overwhelmingly clear that the vast majority of the community is of the view that no lasting solution can be arrived at in the Middle East unless and until the Palestinian question, the root cause of the whole problem, has been adequately settled.
145. The draft resolution which, regrettably, has not been adopted by the Council owing to a negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council is, and will continue to be, an important and serious attempt at a meaningful search for a just, peaceful an* lasting solution. We continue to believe that the adoption of that draft resolution would have created the necessary favourable, and indeed indispensable conditions for promoting the momentum towards genuine and serious negotiations for peace and justice in the area.
146. The draft resolution, submitted by four non-aligned members and two other non-permanent members of the Council, was the result of long hours of negotiations and reflects all the basic concerns on the question. It contains the elements in resolution 242 (1967) as well as those in resolution 338 (1973), and on those aspects it is definitely clearer and less equivocal than its predecessors. Above all, unlike resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), it tackles the very underlying cause of the problem: the question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. If it had been adopted and followed by future efforts in the search for peace, it would certainly have ensured that the negotiations focused on the crucial and decisive issues. It is also our belief that those negotiations would have been rendered easier. We continue to hope, however, that in spite of the failure to adopt that draft resolution, the elements contained in it will not be lost from sight in future efforts.
147. We are confident that the Security Council will not give up, but will soon make another attempt at agreeing on a resolution of this kind. Needless to say, I have no doubt that in such future attempts the Security Council will continue to receive the outstanding and unreserved assistance of the Secretary-General, whose own contribution in the current consideration of the problem has been singularly important.
148. As PRESIDENT of the Council, I shall now call on those delegations which have been invited to participate in our discussions and which have expressed a wish to address the Council before it concludes its consideration of the item on its agenda. I call on the representative of Egypt.
149. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): At the outset of this long debate on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question, in which the PLO has participated fully, there was hope that the Council's work would culminate in a resolution recognizing the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. By recognizing those rights and calling for the participation of the PLO in the Geneva Peace Conference, such a resolution would have added a necessary, indeed a vital element, in the search for a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem.
150. Many delegations, realizing the importance of the question being discussed by the Council, requested the right to express their views during the debate. This debate has proved to be of great value in many respects, and I am confident that the significance of what was stated by the vast majority will not go unnoticed. The merit of the debate is that it focused on the new realities of the problem by stressing the necessity of recognizing the national rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it demonstrated very clearly that the recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people is considered by the over-whelming majority of Member States to be of fundamental importance for any settlement in the Middle East to be just and lasting.
151. Speaker after speaker has stressed this recognition. The Palestinian people, like all other peoples in whose name the Charter of the United Nations was written, have rights that are of the utmost importance to all. To view the question of Palestinian people simply in humanitarian terms, as a mere refugee problem, has proved to be the single most costly mistake in all past efforts intended to achieve a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. History bears witness to that very fact.
152. Thus, it is with a deep sense of regret and puzzlement that we take note of the fact that the draft resolution recognizing the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and supported by the majority of the members of the Council was rejected by the United States of America. In casting its veto, the United States will most certainly neither infringe upon the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people nor change the fact that the Palestinian question is the core of the Middle East problem. Such a negative vote will only cause delay and hinder the processes for arriving at a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
153. From the start of this debate, the Security Council had before it an important opportunity to add a further positive contribution to the various efforts aimed at achieving a just solution, by agreeing unanimously on a resolution to the effect that a Permanent and just peace in the Middle East must be based on the achievement by the Palestinian people of their national rights. Had the Council been enabled to act, it would have been simply redressing the Middle East equation, not by detracting anything but, on the contrary, by adding a vital prerequisite for a just and lasting peace in the area.
154. The draft resolution just vetoed would have affirmed, inter alia, that the Palestinian people should be enabled to exercise their inalienable national rights of self-determination, including their right to establish an independent State in Palestine in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and this because of the Council's conviction that the question of Palestine is the core of the conflict in the Middle East. That being so, it is only natural that the PLO should take part in all efforts that could lead to such a settlement, including the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East held under the auspices of the United Nations, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX) adopted on 10 November 1975.
155. Egypt's point of view in connexion with the Council's debate was and is very clear. In my statement to the Council on 13 January, I said:
157. The majority view that has clearly evolved during the debate is that the recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people is of vital importance to any procedure devised to achieve a settlement. Security Council resolution 338 (1973) set out such a procedure whose success depends on how it can come to grips with the core of the problem it was created to solve.
158. The Security Council's inaction today with regard to the implementation of one of the main purposes of the Charter of the United Nations is most disturbing, for it is disturbing to contemplate a world so unbalanced and so immobilized. Let us hope that the history, of missed opportunities will not remain forever unheeded. Losing opportunity after opportunity will not gain time for Israel or for peace, for time is most obviously not in Israel's favour and Israel, in trying to play with time, is also playing with fire.
159. I believe that there is no need for me here to restate Egypt's position in detail, since I had the occasion to do so in my previous statement before the Council. However, in order to dispel any shadow of a doubt, I should like to reiterate the basic elements of our position: first, the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State of its own in accordance with its national right to self-determination; secondly, the total and complete withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied since 5 June 1967; and, thirdly, the reconvening of the Peace Conference at Geneva in the near future with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO on an equal footing with the other participants in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), in order to deal with the problem in all its aspects.
160. We share the anxiety expressed today in the statement of the Secretary-General, and I am sure that all of us around this table and elsewhere will undoubtedly take due account of all that has emerged from the discussions, each drawing his own conclusion as to the meaning and implications of the debate rather than its result. Let us sincerely hope that such reassessment as may take place will not be counter productive but, on the contrary, will be of a kind which will open the road to peace and stability in the area.
161. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of Jordan, on whom I now call.
162. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): The result of the vote just taken bears little relation to what has happened in the last two weeks. The last two weeks have been a landmark in the development of the cause of justice in the Middle East. A new international awareness and a new understanding have emerged in the Security Council during these debates. A profound and irreversible change has taken place in the thinking of the international community regarding the rights of the Arab peoples, and particularly the Palestinian people, in the present conflict in the Middle East.
163. In spite of the result of this vote, the basis for any prospective just settlement to the conflict has profoundly changed. The former obsolete assumptions of how to bring about peace in the Middle East have evaporated. Everyone realizes now that peace cannot be a state of static tranquillity rooted in Israeli military superiority and continued suppression of Arab rights. No one ignores any more the centrality of the issue of Palestinian rights in the continuing conflict. No one genuinely believes that equivocation on the necessity of Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories can continue in any serious search for peace in the Middle East. While all realize that in any just and realistic settlement of the conflict there has to be a balance between the rights and obligations of all the parties, no one—perhaps not even the United States— continues to conceive of it as the same mechanical and one-sided balance of November 1967. No one—perhaps not even the United States—can continue to believe that a viable search for peace can address itself only to Israel's claims and ignore Arab and particularly Palestinian, rights.
164. The debate in the Security Council during the last two weeks has reflected a major and profound evolution in the thinking and positions of all continents and peoples on the issue of the Middle East Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe—in spite specific votes—have spoken strongly and positively in favour of justice for the Palestinians and the fellow Arabs. They have pronounced themselves strongly in favour of the principles of self-determination and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. In varying degrees and styles, they have condemned Israel's expansionism, chauvinism and intransigence.
165. They have supported the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. They have categorical), demanded the ending of Israeli occupation aggrandizement. So, in spite of the United State veto, the Security Council has taken a decision, and it is a strong and positive decision.
166. As an Arab country which has absorbed for nearly three decades much of the shock of the Palestinian tragedy and Palestinian trials and tribulations Jordan is gratified at this new success for the cause of justice in the Middle East. We extend our deep gratitude to all the States which have expressed their positive support for Arab rights and for the cause of justice. They have displayed a fundamental realization of the inseparable bonds unifying the struggle for justice, self-determination and freedom by all peoples in all continents.
167. Unfortunately, one major Power continues to display a lack of understanding and moral sensitivity far out of proportion to its global responsibility and influence. By casting a vote against a moderate and balanced draft resolution representing the irreducible minimum of recognition of the elements of right and justice in the Middle East question, the United States has destroyed a rare opportunity for opening the road to a revitalized peace process. The Arab parties were all here at the Security Council, advancing a reasonable case and expressing readiness for a just peace. It was not their fault that their adversary chose to avoid this forum of constructive peace process. The United States has made a historic mistake by missing this opportunity and by its insistence on maintaining the old and anachronistic framework for the establishment of peace which was drawn up in the wake of the Arab defeat of 1967.
168. There is no sanctity in that framework. Resolution 242 (1967) has no more and no less inherent value than other resolutions of the Security Council on the Middle East. Why should it, for example, have more value than nearly half a dozen resolutions on Jerusalem? In fact, resolution 242 (1967) lost in value time passed and no progress was made in the achievement of peace or a just settlement in the Middle East. The United States knows this very well as it has been closely associated with the agonizing process of attempting to implement resolution 242 (1967).
169. For the past nine years not one single step towards the implementation of resolution 242 (1967) has been made. The only steps, minor and partial, involving some movement resulted from the war of 1973 and not from the inherent, dynamic force of resolution 242 (1967). And it was again the long failure to break the stalemate that caused the war of 1973.
170. May I also recall that the war was again preceded by an Arab attempt in the summer of 1973 to bring the case of the failure to reach any results envisaged in resolution 242 (1967) to the attention of the Security Council, only to be frustrated by a United States veto.1/
171. We have been told to preserve the so-called agreed framework. What agreed framework? Who agrees to this presumed framework? All the Arab parties either believe or have now realized that the framework envisaged in 1967 is no longer adequate. Israel has not shown any respect for or enthusiasm about that framework during the last nine years. The United States, while technically not a party, cannot boast great achievements in the implementation of that framework. The so-called framework received during the last phase of the debate of the Security Council a peculiar form of support from the United Kingdom. A country that prides itself on its ability to accommodate with change and changing circumstances cannot justify such rigid attachment to an old and outdated formula. The balance assumed to have been the basis for resolution 242 (1967) was essentially preserved in the draft resolution just voted on. It only attempted to correct insufficiencies in resolution 242 (1967) and to take account of new realities. Therefore, the last-minute proposal of the United Kingdom, injecting as it did an element of confusion and divisiveness, can hardly be construed as a constructive contribution.
172. We have been asked to preserve the process for peace. Which process? There is no process. There is a stalemate. This is why the Arab parties have come to the Security Council. Nevertheless, this debate by the Council has been fruitful and forward-looking. A new framework for future peace in the Middle East has emerged. A new consensus is emerging in the world. Those who have not yet joined it will join it in the future. The Arabs have contributed to understanding of their case and cause. We are to our friends and to all those who have supported the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East.
173. You, Mr. President, deserve a special salute and much credit for your role of leadership and your wisdom and untiring efforts in the conduct of this debate and in negotiations which helped develop a new framework of thinking and action for future peace in the Middle East.
174. The PRESIDENT: I now call on the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.
175. Mr. ALLAF (Syrian Arab Republic): The vote just completed by the Security Council at the end of its two-week debate on the problem of the Middle East and the question of Palestine is an important land-mark in the history of the handling by the United Nations of these two tragic situations. In spite of last-minute manoeuvres and in spite of the inability of the Council to adopt the draft resolution proposed by six of its members because of the abuse, once more, by the United States of America of its right of veto, that draft resolution has gained the support of the democratic majority of the Council members. The draft resolution was the outcome of many days of lengthy and active consultations during which the sponsors exerted tireless efforts to accommodate the views of all parties in order to bring about a text that, short of entirely satisfying everyone, nevertheless constitutes a fair and valid basis for the realization of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
176. Morally, the draft resolution has been adopted. Eleven countries out of 15 representing the entire family of nations in the Security Council have, in fact, supported the draft resolution; the two non-participating members are no exception. They consider, in fact, that the draft resolution is too mild and they would have preferred a stronger affirmation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the Arab countries which are the victims of Israeli aggression. The tyrannous minority of one, who obstructed the adoption of such a fair and balanced draft resolution, cannot change the course of history, for the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people have now become recognized by every nation of the world, except, of course, the aggressor itself and the one super-Power which has chosen to isolate itself in its blind support of it.
177. Yet what is there in this draft resolution that leads any country, let alone a super-Power and permanent member of the Security Council, to cast a vote against it or even to abstain? Does any of its provisions contradict the Charter of the United Nations or any principle of international law? The essential paragraph in the draft resolution is paragraph 1, which is composed of four subparagraphs, forming as a whole the basic and balanced elements for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
178. Subparagraph (a) affirms that the Palestinian people should have the basic national rights recognized without exception for every one of the 144 peoples constituting the United Nations, as well as for the few remaining nations which are still outside the Organization either by their own choice or by pressure from the same tyrant minority. The right of every people to self-determination is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, in the first Article, and it is the backbone of the whole United Nations structure. To deny such a right amounts to a pure and simple rejection of the main principle on which all international relations are based. Unless we consider that the 3 million Palestinian human beings living inside and outside the occupied territories are mere phantoms, we have to recognize the existence of the Palestinian people.
179. If there exists a Palestinian people, such a people is entitled, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the most elementary principles of international law, to exercise its right to self-determination. The right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State in its homeland, Palestine, stems directly from its inalienable right of self-determination and is as clearly stipulated at the end of subparagraph (a) in full conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. It is ironic that the opposition to the right of the Palestinian people to establish a State on its homeland comes exclusively from that Zionist entity which owes its very existence as a State, according to the United Nations, to the very resolution of the General Assembly which partitioned the territory of Palestine into two States, an Arab State and a Jewish State, plus the internationalized city of Jerusalem. Israel's denial of the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State in Palestine would amount to a legal suicide, because it would be denying General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, embodying the Partition Plan for Palestine and constituting in fact the United Nations birth certificate of the Zionist entity.
180. What is more abhorrent is Israel's affirmation that it would never allow the creation of a third State between its own and Jordan, for this is the first instance in memorable history when a State claimed for itself a right of extraterritorial sovereignty beyond its borders. We have heard, of course, of the concept of territorial waters but never of the concept of territorial territory by which a State can dictate beyond its legal borders what should be or what should not be established. Obviously Israel cannot fool the world any more about the real designs behind such strange assertions, for it is becoming clearer than ever that what the Zionists are really after is pure and simple annexation of all or most of the occupied Arab territories. The creation of more Jewish settlements day after day, using various pretexts, on the Golan Heights and on the West Bank, as well as in other parts of the occupied Arab territories, is clear proof of Israel's policy of expansion.
181. Subparagraph (b) does not call for much argument in its support. The right of the Palestine people to return to their homes and property and if they choose not to do so, to receive adequate, compensation has been recognized by the Unit Nations since the first days of the Palestinian traced in General Assembly resolution 194 (III), of 11 December 1948. The same right has since been repeatedly confirmed year after year by the General Assembly, strangely enough, always under the sponsorship of none other than the United States delegation.
182. Subparagraph (c) is also very clear. It does not need explanation. It says in 13 words what could be equally convincingly said in 13 huge books, and that is that what was occupied by force must be completely returned. The occupation of Arab territories is continued act of aggression according to the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law. The principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by the threat or use of force is indivisible, and all territories thus occupied must be completely returned. It is really distressing to see a very small minority of Security Council permanent members, who are supposed to be the first defenders of the provisions of the Charter and the rule of law, resort instead to intentional ambiguities and acrobatics in semantics in order to camouflage their blind sup-port for the expansionist aggressor. Otherwise how can such great Powers as the United States or the United Kingdom explain their betrayal of the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations by failing to support a resolution which merely calls for the withdrawal of the aggressor from the territories it has occupied by force and by aggression, or how can they be opposed to recognition of the national rights of an uprooted people which has been the victim of aggression and injustice for nearly three decades?
183. I do not think I need to go into details in regard to subparagraph (d), for this subparagraph is supposed to meet the concern of those who insist on a so-called balance between the aggressor and the victim. Nevertheless, I cannot fail to refer to the term "secure and recognized boundaries" in that subparagraph, which copies faithfully the language of the often quoted but never implemented resolution 242 (1967). Here, as well as there, one is faced with the same element of intentional ambiguity. What do we mean by secure and recognized boundaries? The concept of security cannot be related to any element of geographical or strategic position or situation, because the term "secure boundaries" would then be nothing more than a veiled invitation to expansion and annexation. Any such interpretation is definitely and wholly out of the question and is completely rejected by the Charter and by the principles of international law. Boundaries can be secure only if they are recognized. They be recognized only if they are legal and not imposed by the force of aggression. The myth of geographic secure boundaries was completely shattered with many others during the 1973 October war liberation. Israel was at that time in full control of the Golan Heights in the north and of the Suez Canal in the south. Yet that strategic advantage did not prevent the Syrian and Egyptian armed forces from launching a successful attack against the aggressor and penetrating very deeply behind its lines.
184. In any event; the relevant reference in resolution 242 (1967), as well as in subparagraph (d) of the draft resolution which was vetoed today, speaks clearly of secure and recognized boundaries for all States in the area. But what might constitute secure boundaries for one State could at the same time constitute insecure boundaries for another. How then are we to decide which State's security has priority? The only security any State can have lies in its legality and in its respect for international law and for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In this age of ultra-modern weapons and sophisticated missiles it is difficult to see how any boundaries can be secure on the basis of territorial considerations.
185. It is really regrettable to see one of the two greatest super-Powers dedicating its influence and its policy to the service of the aggressor. People long ago began to wonder who is really conducting the foreign policy of the United States of America. Is it President Ford or Mr. Rabin? Who decides about the action of the United States delegation? Is it Mr. Kissinger or Mr. Allon? This same question arises equally in relation to the question of who implements the policy of the United States in the United Nations. Is it Mr. Moynihan or Mr. Herzog? The New York Times of this morning gave a very timely answer to this last question. It said: "Mr. Rabin will be arriving in Washington at a time when Daniel Patrick Moynihan is serving as the Israeli voice in the United Nations Security Council."
186. Why is such a great Power as the United States of America behaving in this manner? The bitter fact is that the United States is only isolating itself. With a very small number of States it isolated itself in the Past in the General Assembly and it is now doing the same thing in the Security Council. The tyranny of this minority will not prevent the process of a just peace. A just and lasting peace is going to be realized and established. Every inch of the Arab occupied territory will be liberated and the heroic Palestinian people, sooner or later, will enjoy every single one of its national inalienable rights. The only loser will be the United States itself, which has proved once more that it is supported the aggressor and that it lacks any quality of fairness, any quality which would make it a neutral and acceptable mediator in the Middle East crisis.
187. Where do we go from here? The United Nations Requested to take completely into its hands the, efforts to establish a just and lasting peace in the region will help of the overwhelming majority of Member States. We believe that the Secretary-General has special and particular responsibilities in this connexion and that he has a moral mandate from the world public to undertake everything possible in his high office and within his competence, as he promised in his statement today, to generate a movement towards a just and lasting peace.
188. We believe that the debate which has been going on in the Security Council for two weeks has been a very important Council activity. The Syrian Arab Republic, which requested this debate, is very happy and satisfied to see that all who have taken part in the debates, and even those who have abstained in the voting on the draft resolution today, have reaffirmed the recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people and the necessity of Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories. The debate has established the foundation for efforts to create a just and lasting peace in the region. The recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people and the total withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all the occupied Arab territories have become the two basic elements which should be taken into account in any future efforts towards the creation of such a lasting and just peace.
189. We express to the Secretary-General our warm thanks for his timely statement, in which he drew the attention of the world public and the international family to the danger of the situation in the region, and in which he requested that the process towards peace should not be stopped. We also very warmly thank the six countries which sponsored the draft resolution and which exerted great efforts in order to reach a very fair and balanced draft resolution. We equally thank all those great countries from East and West that have proved their devotion and attachment to the principles of justice and peace by voting in favour of that draft resolution.
190. Mr. President, the conduct of the current debate under your presidency was a great honour and a source of pride for all the countries of the third world. We extend to you our deep gratitude and our greatest thanks for the efforts you have exerted in spite of many manoeuvres and of the obstacles which certain countries have tried to put in the way of a fruitful debate.
191. I should like also to thank the representative of the United Kingdom. By insisting on submitting his amendment, he in fact gave an opportunity to the overwhelming majority of the members of the Council to reaffirm their total rejection of the two resolutions, resolution 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as the sole basis for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region. As a result of that amendment, which was soundly defeated, the validity and the moral value of the vetoed draft resolution have only been enhanced.
192. I shall conclude my statement by quoting once more from my first statement on 13 January, at the beginning of this debate, in which I reaffirmed:
"Just and lasting peace can be realized only through a comprehensive settlement within the framework of the United Nations, taking into account all the elements and causes of the Middle East conflict—particularly the injustice, the grievances and the loss which have befallen the Palestinian people.
"If the Arab nation is seeking peace based on justice, it is because peace without justice is capitulation. As long as any part of the Arab territories remains under occupation and as long as any of the rights of the Palestinian people are still violated, there can be no justice, and hence there can be no peace." [1871st meeting, paras. 100 and 101.]
193. The PRESIDENT: The next speaker is the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on whom I now call.
194. Mr. KHADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization): We welcomed the opportunity extended to us by the Council to share in its discussions. Our willingness, to participate in the deliberations of the Council is both natural and imperative. The people of Palestine are the principal party to the conflict whose resolution the Council has been trying to effect. The Council's invitation to the PLO to share its views with the Council signified its recognition that the PLO, the representative of the people of Palestine, has an indispensable role to play in and contribution to make to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also signified the Council's recognition that previous international efforts undertaken without the participation of the PLO have run their course, indicating that any just settlement needs both new terms of reference and our participation. We therefore came with hope and confidence.
195. Over the past few days, the Council has listened to several representatives as they expressed the views of their respective Governments on the problem of Palestine and the national rights of the people of Palestine, for so long deliberately denied by the Israelis and their supporters. From the outset, racist Zionism and its sponsors embarked anxiously upon the task of transforming Palestine, both geographically and demographically, into an exclusively Jewish State. They tried to erase its name from the map; the people of Palestine were forcibly driven into exile and dispersion; our national institutions were crushed; our religious shrines were desecrated and our ancestral heritage in our Palestinian homeland was disfigured and distorted.
196. Yet, despite this Zionist onslaught and the injustices inflicted on us, we succeeded in surmounting the problems of dispersion and, more important, we confronted the Zionist challenges both on the national and the international levels. The most recent evidence of the efficacy and legitimacy of our national rights and struggle has been demonstrated during the current debate of the Council. Although the views expressed during the deliberations of the Council were not all identical in definition and phraseology, the majority of them converged on the following basic concepts and conclusions: first, that the PLO is the representative of the people of Palestine; secondly, that the people of Palestine are entitled to national self-determination and independence in their Palestinian homeland thirdly, that no peace and, hence, no just and durable solution of the Middle East crisis is feasible without the consent and participation of the PLO; and fourthly that Security Council resolution 242 (1967) is inadequate, since it failed to deal with either the question of Palestine or the national rights of the Palestinian people to independence and sovereignty. Our early diagnosis of the failure of resolution 242 (1967) to constitute a basis for settlement was thus vindicated by the almost unanimous recognition of its inadequacy on the part of the Council.
197. However, the United States Government chose to be singled out as being against the will and consensus of the Security Council, as expressed by African, Asian, European and Latin American representatives. The United States Government, which demonstrated this evening its prejudiced and unwavering support of Israel at the cost of impairing the effectiveness of the Council, can no longer claim that its step-by-step diplomacy will yield any productive results.
198. The United States Government, which professes to follow an even-handed policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, adamantly and defiantly believes that the one-sided denial by resolution 242 (1967) of our national existence and national rights is the only framework for negotiating a settlement. The United States Government, which poses as the mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict, is so much concerned with the stated needs and ambitions of one party that it totally and completely ignores the rights of the other party, even at the cost of endangering the process of peace for which we are fighting, in which we are genuinely interested and to which we are making a positive contribution.
199. The United States Government, which as early as 1947 voted in favour of a Palestinian Arab State, today shamelessly refuses to acknowledge the Palestinian right to independence and sovereignty and acts as the guardian of an expanded and expansionist Israel. The United States Government, which recognized our "rights" in the Security Council in May 1948, insists in 1976 on thinking and behaving counter-clockwise and reducing those "rights" to "interests", as though the struggle of peoples for freedom were regressive rather than progressive by nature, inspiration and outlook. The United States Government, which was instrumental in the creation and maintenance of Zionist colonialism and aggression and which is equally responsible for the continuing wars, bloodshed, misery and turmoil, is determined, it seems, to perpetuate this perilous situation in our region. The United States Government, which suffered heavy blows at the hands of the great peoples of Viet-Nam, Laos and Cambodia, should bring itself to understand that the will and the determination of peoples are always stronger than United States lethal and sophisticated weapons and the privileged position it abuses in the Security Council.
200. We believe that the Security Council's debate has served its purpose in the sense that it provided an historic opportunity for the PLO to spell out its views before this august body. Moreover, our experience has been enriched by the statements and messages of support from the representatives whose peoples share the feelings of the people of Palestine and whose Governments support the just struggle of the PLO. We are also confident that, through the deliberations of the Security Council, the world has become more aware of our just struggle. We also cannot fail to note that increasing sectors of American society are showing greater understanding of our rights and are expressing greater solidarity with our national liberation movement.
201. It is regrettable that the Council has been prevented by the tyranny of the veto from adopting a resolution affirming our national inalienable rights, comprising our repatriation, self-determination and independence in our Palestinian homeland. Our definition of our national rights, our irreducible minimum, comprises principles which are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and which have been specifically recognized and reaffirmed by the General Assembly. Veto or no veto, it goes without saying that our national rights in Palestine are inherent; they derive their validity neither from recognition by other Powers nor from resolutions. Moreover, our national rights are non-negotiable. Their implementation could not be negated by the veto cast in the Security Council by any Power. After all, we have come to the Council to persuade, not to bargain, to co-operate, not to capitulate, and to alert, not to subvert. Yes, I repeat: after all, we have come to the Council to persuade, not to bargain, to co-operate, lot to capitulate, and to alert, not to subvert. At best, we believe that the Security Council and the General Assembly could bring moral pressure to bear on Israel; but, as is evident from Israel's attitude towards the United Nations, its Charter and the Levant resolutions, a State that is predicated on an immoral basis cannot possibly be susceptible to moral considerations.
202. And now the British position, as expressed by the British representative, is a travesty of international behaviour and moral standards and codes. It was the British Government which committed the worst piece of treachery in the name of friendship when it promulgated the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It was the British Government which facilitated illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine at our expense. And it is now the British Government which remorselessly continues to probe the wounds it created when it betrayed its mandatory responsibility. It is high time we seriously considered this British position in the light of British interests in our Arab region. Needless to say, the only valid conclusion to be deduced from the defunct British amendment is that the Security Council refused to reaffirm resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
203. Where do we go from here? As you are fully aware, the PLO is a liberation movement engaged in combating—militarily, politically, economically and culturally—the Zionist occupation of our homeland. We take pride in the fact that our just aspirations and our armed struggle brought so much international support and recognition for the national rights of the people of Palestine and for the PLO. Freed from the most sinister attempt to deflect our struggle, we will intensify our efforts to prevent the Israelis from consolidating their control over our occupied lands.
204. We shall go back with a firmer conviction that ours is a long and drawn-out struggle against the Zionist-imperialist alliance. We shall go back confident as we have always been—that the Arab masses will further increase their moral and material support of our armed struggle. We shall go back with greater confidence in ourselves, our friends and our future.
205. However, I need not assure you that the successful consummation of the Palestinian struggle for national liberation is not entirely dependent on Security Council or General Assembly resolutions. The Security Council may have other opportunities to express a more affirmative and binding stand on this question. In this connexion the PLO will always be willing to contribute to the peace-making efforts of the Council while simultaneously engaged in its armed struggle to liberate Palestine.
206. We are particularly grateful to the Secretary-General for his unfailing efforts for the promotion of a just and durable solution of the Middle East crisis. We are also indebted to you, Mr. President, for the wisdom and dedication you have demonstrated in the course of our deliberations.
207. I should also not fail to address my concluding words to those countries which have genuinely and sincerely supported our just cause and our national rights during the debate. On behalf of the PLO, I extend to them, through their representatives, our deep appreciation and I assure them that with their support and our armed struggle victory is inevitable, for this is the logic of history and the destiny of all freedom fighters.
1/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-eight Year, 1735th meeting.