Question of Palestine home
Economic and Social Council
23 March 1999
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 3rd MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 23 March 1999, at 3 p.m.
: Mrs. ANDERSON (Ireland)
STATEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN
ORGANIZATION OF THE WORK OF THE SESSION (continued)
REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION
This record is subject to correction.
The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.
THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (agenda item 5) (E/CN.4/1999/10 and 11; E/CN.4/1999/NGO/32, 58 and 59)
(Sudan), referring to the fact that a number of United Nations resolutions affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to have an independent state of their own, said that those resolutions required the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories occupied since 1967.
(Bangladesh) said that to deny any nation the right to self-determination was to do violence to fundamental human values. Throughout history, the Palestinians had been a people and a nation, but they were still being denied the basic right to self-determination. Their lamentable plight was well known, and its key cause was the act of occupation. If such a gross injustice were allowed to continue, it would be a sad commentary on the times and a serious challenge to the credibility of the Commission. Bangladesh had always endorsed the call for a separate state for the Palestinian people in their homeland, on the basis of the simple idea that every human being must be allowed a life of dignity in freedom and the enjoyment of the full spectrum of civic choices.
(Observer for Palestine) said that over a period of more than 30 years, the Commission had been calling on the Government of Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory. As its many resolutions made clear, Israel's military occupation was
serious obstacle hindering the Palestinian people's exercise of their right to self-determination. The Commission had even stated that the achievement of a just, permanent and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region was organically and fundamentally linked to the exercise of that right.
101. Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territory not only hindered the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination but also constituted a grave and constant breach of the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, not to mention resolutions of the Commission, the General Assembly and the Security Council.
102. Israel's disregard for the peace process fell within the framework of its overall disregard for international legitimacy and its refusal to abide by its international commitments. Israel's concept of peace was based on the usurpation of others' land, the confiscation of the Palestinian people's rights and of security for Israel rather than peace for all the peoples of the region.
(Observer for Algeria) said that the fate of the Palestinian people was one of the most striking examples of the denial of the right to self-determination. The attitude of the Israeli authorities, was the main factor blocking a peace process which had been welcomed and supported by the international community as a whole. Even more serious was the fact that the Israeli administration had embarked upon a series of measures to create new settlements, seal off territories, demolish Palestinian homes and threaten new annexations of territory.
108. The hopes raised by the Accords of October 1998 had foundered in the face of Israel's intransigence and repeated repudiation of its commitments under the pretext of unjustified security considerations. Israel's security could not be guaranteed at the expense of the rights of the other peoples of the region; it was indissociable from the security of the region as a whole. The General Assembly and the Commission itself had every year called upon Israel to meet its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law and to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m