Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


28 November 1995


Addresses Palestinian Rights Committee On International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People

Following is the text of the statement made by the President of the General Assembly, Diogo Freitas do Amaral (Portugal) in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, on 29 November, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people:

May I first of all express to you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People my appreciation for having been invited to take part in this important observance.

Recognizing the need to strengthen and consolidate international support for the Palestinian people, the General Assembly by its resolution 32/40 B requested the annual observance of 29 November, the anniversary of the adoption of resolution 181 (II), which partitioned Palestine, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The designation of this special day reaffirms the General Assembly's conviction that the attainment of political, economic and social justice by the Palestinian people is essential to the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

As we meet on this occasion, we are pleased to note the progress that has been made in the peace process on the question of Palestine despite delays and acts of violence that include the most tragic assassination of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, whose life was stolen, for he was deeply committed with the same peace process we commend today. We underline in particular the signing by the parties on 28 September 1995 of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, providing for further withdrawals of Israeli forces and the extension of responsibilities of the Palestinian Authority to parts of the West Bank, as well as for Palestinian elections. We have been greatly encouraged by the fact that Israel has begun its withdrawal in a timely manner, that a number of prisoners have been released and that the elections are now scheduled to take place in late January. These developments augur well for a solution to this long-standing conflict. Both parties are therefore to be commended for their courageous progress towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and the establishment of peaceful relations between their peoples.

In welcoming this positive evolution, we urge the parties to continue to display the necessary political will and good faith to bring the peace process to full fruition. It would be tragic if a resurgence of violence were to jeopardize the peace process now under way.

The United Nations should continue to play a role in mobilizing the needed assistance in order to establish solid foundations for peace and in promoting dialogue and confidence-building measures necessary to dissipate the hostility and mistrust which continue to alienate the peoples of the region. It should also continue to promote, in the interest of world peace and security, the peace process between all the parties to the conflict.

This Committee, under your dedicated leadership, Mr. Chairman, has done much to focus the world's attention on the fundamental aspects of the question of Palestine. It must be particularly satisfying for you to see that progress has been made towards realizing the aspirations of the Palestinian people. Your task, however, is far from finished. A number of issues that are basic to the conflict and of great concern to many Member States remain to be negotiated, and the Palestinian people need the support and solidarity of the international community in enabling them to establish an effective administration. I know your Committee is keen to continue to make a concrete contribution to international endeavours in support of the peace process, and I wish you all success in your future activities.

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