Question of Palestine home
28 August 1998
28 August 1998
Item 113 (b) of the provisional agenda
Human rights questions: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms
Human rights and unilateral coercive measures
Report of the Secretary-General
II.Replies received from Governments
Islamic Republic of Iran
III. Entities having received a standing invitation to participate in the
sessions and work of the General Assembly
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 52/120 of 12 December 1997, entitled “Human rights and unilateral coercive measures”.
2. In that resolution, the General Assembly, recalling its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974 containing the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States; recognizing the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated character of all human rights and reaffirming the right to development as an integral part of all human rights; recalling that the World Conference on Human Rights called upon all States to refrain from any unilateral coercive measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that created obstacles to trade relations among States and impeded the full realization of all human rights; bearing in mind all the references to the question in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements and the Habitat Agenda; deeply concerned that unilateral coercive measures continued to be promulgated and implemented with all their extraterritorial effects,
, on the economic and social development of targeted countries and peoples and individuals under the jurisdiction of other States; and reaffirming the criteria of the Working Group on the Right to Development according to which unilateral coercive measures were one of the obstacles to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development:
• Urged all States to refrain from adopting or implementing any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, in particular those of a coercive nature with all their extraterritorial effects, which created obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding the full realization of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, in particular the right of individuals and peoples to development (para. 1);
• Rejected unilateral coercive measures with all their extraterritorial effects as tools for political or economic pressure against any country, in particular against developing countries, because of their negative effects on the realization of all the human rights of vast sectors of their populations, in particular children, women and the elderly (para. 2);
• Called upon Member States that had initiated such measures to commit themselves to their obligations and responsibilities arising from the international human rights instruments to which they were party by revoking such measures at the earliest time possible (para. 3);
• Reaffirmed, in that context, the right of all peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determined their political status and freely pursued their economic, social and cultural development (para. 4);
• Urged the Commission on Human Rights to take fully into account the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures, including enactment of national laws and their extraterritorial application, in its task concerning the implementation of the right to development (para. 5);
• Requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in discharging her functions relating to the promotion, realization and protection of the right to development, to give urgent consideration to the resolution in her annual report to the General Assembly (para. 6);
• Requested the Secretary-General to bring the resolution to the attention of all Member States, to seek their views and information on the implications and negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on their populations and to submit accordingly a report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-third session (para. 7);
• Decided to examine the question on a priority basis at its fifty-third session under the sub-item entitled “Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms” (para. 8).
3. In accordance with paragraph 7 of the resolution, the Secretary-General, in a note verbale dated 7 May 1998, and reminders thereto dated 30 June 1998, invited Member States to transmit information relevant to the subject matter.
4. As at 24 July 1998, replies were received from Cuba, Fiji, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Sudan, and from Palestine. Any additional replies will be compiled and submitted as addenda to the present report.
II. Replies received from Governments
III. Entities having received a standing invitation to participate in the sessions and work of the General Assembly
[7 July 1998]
1. The first resolution adopted by the General Assembly concerning the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination was resolution 181 (III) of 29 November 1947, in which the Assembly recognized the Palestinian people’s right to establish its Palestinian State, and called upon them to practise that right.
2. Between 1969 and 1983, the General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions all reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially its right to self-determination. Examples of those resolutions are:
• Resolution 2535 (XXIV) of 10 December 1969;
• Resolution 2628 (XXV) of 4 November 1970;
• Resolution 2649 (XXV) of 30 November 1970;
• Resolution 2672 (XXV) of 8 December 1970.
3. The General Assembly recognized once again the Palestinian right to self-determination, recalling it in the preamble to its resolution 2672 C (XXV) of 8 December 1970, bearing in mind as well the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in Articles 1 and 55 of the Charter of the United Nations, which had been reaffirmed in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. In the operative part of the same resolution, the Assembly recognized that the people of Palestine were entitled to equal rights and self-determination, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and declared that full respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was an indispensable element in the establishment of just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
4. Similar resolutions were subsequently adopted by the General Assembly, among them:
• Resolution 2787 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971;
• Resolution 2792 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971;
• Resolution 2955 (XXVII) of 12 December 1972;
• Resolution 2963 (XXVII) of 13 December 1972;
• Resolution 3070 (XXVIII) of 30 November 1973;
• Resolution 3089 (XXVIII) of 7 December 1973;
• Resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974;
• Resolution 3375 (XXX) of 10 November 1975;
• Resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, according to which (para. 3) a special Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was set up;
• Resolution ES-7/2, adopted on 29 July 1980, at the seventh emergency special session, in which the Assembly once again reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return and to self-determination without foreign intervention; its right to national independence and sovereignty; and its rights to establish its sovereign independent State. In paragraph 13 of the resolution, the Assembly requested the Security Council, in the event of Israel’s non-compliance with the resolution, to convene to consider the situation and the adoption of effective measures under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Yet the Security Council did not respond to the Assembly’s request because of the negative position of the United States of America and the threat on its part to resort to a veto against any draft resolution to that effect;
• Resolution 37/86 D of 10 December 1982, in which the Assembly, in paragraph 4, requested the Security Council to discharge its responsibilities under the Charter and recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian Arab people, including the right to establish its independent Arab State in Palestine. In paragraph 5, the Assembly reiterated its request that the Council take the necessary measures, in execution of the relevant United Nations resolutions, to implement the plan which,
, recommended that an independent Arab State should come into existence in Palestine. The Assembly furthermore requested the Secretary-General to report on the progress made in implementing the resolution, and yet the Council did not respond to the General Assembly’s request for the same reasons as indicated above.
5. The General Assembly has been reiterating these resolutions to this day in its subsequent resolutions.
6. The Palestinian people has been prevented from achieving self-determination as a result of the Israeli military occupation of all the Palestinian Territory, and also because it has been suffering under the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities which violate its national and human rights – at the forefront of which is its right to self-determination – through the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the expropriation of its lands, the establishment of Israeli settlements thereon, in addition to other practices which violate the principles of international public law as well as international humanitarian law. The Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly addressed these violations in its resolutions from its session in 1969 up to its fifty-fourth session.
7. The emphasis by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, through their reiterated resolutions, on the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination constitutes a fundamental condition for achieving a just and lasting peace in the region of the Middle East, means that as long as the Palestinian people is deprived of this right, the region will remain subject to wars and bloodshed. It also means that enabling the Palestinian people to practice this right depends upon the withdrawal of the Israeli military forces from the Palestinian Territories; it also depends upon totally putting an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, in accordance with the provisions of the definition of aggression as enunciated in the annex to General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, in which the Assembly affirmed that States should not use armed forces to deprive peoples of their right to self-determination, freedom and independence; that the territory of a State should not be the object of military occupation in contravention of the Charter of the United Nations; and that aggression and military occupation were crimes against international peace and security.
8. The international community and the United Nations should not remain silent in the face of a situation in which the Palestinian people is deprived of its right to self-determination. They should act in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular Articles 1 and 55 thereof, common article 1 of the two International Covenants on human rights, and the principle of the equal right and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Articles 1 and 55 of the Charter and reaffirmed in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations which was adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970.
agitem 110 (b)