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        General Assembly
10 November 1998

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Official Records

Third Committee
Summary record of the 23rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on 23 October 1998, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Hachani ......................................................................(Tunisia)


Agenda item 108: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination*

Agenda item 109: Right of peoples to self-determination*

* Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.

The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.

Agenda item 108: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (A/53/18, 255, 256, 269 and 305; A/C.3/53/2)

Agenda item 109: Right of peoples to self-determination (A/53/131-S/1998/435, A/53/205-S/1998/711, A/53/280 and A/53/338)

1. Mr. Glèlè Ahanhanzo (Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance), ...


16. Turning to agenda item 109, she said that, while the international community had seen the end of apartheid and the advent of democracy in South Africa, there were still 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories which could not fully exercise their right to self-determination. In keeping with the special attention which it accorded to the right to self-determination, the Commission on Human Rights had adopted two resolutions at its most recent session on the situation in occupied Palestine and on Western Sahara.


23. Mr. Yu Wenzhe (China) ...


26. With regard to the Middle East, he declared that the early settlement of the Palestinian question in a just and reasonable manner, including the Palestinian’s right to self-determination, was the key to lasting peace and stability. Negotiations to that end were not only in the best interests of the Arab and Israeli peoples but would also contribute to peace and stability in the world. He hoped that the parties concerned, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and fully respecting agreements already reached, further guided by the principle of land for peace, would adopt flexible and pragmatic positions in order to move the peace talks forward.


67. Mr. Kanju (Pakistan), speaking on item 109, said that the right to self-determination was one of the most important human rights and the foundation of the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. Since its inception, the United Nations had played a commendable role in the struggle of peoples to realize their right to self-determination from foreign and colonial occupation. The validity of that principle was reflected in the tremendous increase in the membership in the United Nations over the years. The realization of that right in South Africa, Namibia, and elsewhere had greatly enhanced the prestige of the Organization. Pakistan hoped that the ongoing efforts for a peaceful solution in the Middle East would culminate in a lasting peace on the basis of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.


The meeting rose at 12.20 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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