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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/PV.147
19 January 1988

ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

VERBATIM RECORD OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVENTH MEETING

Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 30 November 1987, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)



INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE



The meeting was called to order at 10.30 a.m.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is meeting today in conformity with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977 to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

I have the pleasure of welcoming His Excellency Mr. Peter Florin, President of the General Assembly at its forty-second session, His Excellency Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, the Secretary-General, and His Excellency Mr. Kayak Kikuchi, President of the Security Council. It is my honour also to welcome His Excellency Mr. Eduardo Flier, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of India, and His Excellency Mr. Tyrone Fernando, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. In addition, I welcome Chairmen of United Nations committees and regional groups, representatives of Member States, intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements, representatives of non-governmental organizations, members of the press and all others present here today.

We shall now all stand and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives in the service of the cause of the Palestinian people.

The participants observed a minute of silence.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): We are greatly honoured by the presence of so many distinguished guests at this solemn meeting. In deciding in 1977 to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the General Assembly showed that it was mindful of the responsibility of the United Nations towards the Palestinian people and of the need to spare no effort to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, which is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the middle East. Today's meeting reaffirms the international community’s ongoing commitment to achieving that goal. It also provides an opportunity for us to reassess the situation and to reach out to Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals everywhere to mobilize increasing support for the Just cause of the Palestinian people.

This year, 1987, has marked several important anniversaries in the troubled history of the Palestinian peoples. It is now 40 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (11) calling for the partition of Palestine, 20 years since the occupation by Israeli forces of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and five years since the massacres at Sabra and Shatila. Those are but the most significant milestones in the history of the dispossession and exile of the Palestinians, which has resulted in an untold number of deaths, in violations of their human rights and the denial of their cultural, social and economic development.

It is clearly a primary duty of the international community to bring about a peaceful settlement of such situations of permanent conflict and continued injustice against an entire people, which not only represent a constant threat to peace and security in the region but also undermine the credibility of our Organization.

During the past year, the growing tension and violence in the area, and particularly the intensification of the Israeli "iron fist” policy in the occupied territories, have led the Committee an the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to bring the policies and practices of the occupying Power repeatedly to the attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council as being in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. The Committee has also been gravely concerned by the violence directed against Palestinians in refugee camps, for whom the United Nations has a special responsibility.

The Committee has repeatedly warned that tension and violence in the area will continue to prevail so long as the Palestinians are denied their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly the right to self-determination without external interference, to national independence and sovereignty, to return to homes and property, and to establish their own independent State in Palestine - and so long as the Palestinian and other territories remain occupied. Today's meeting attests to the growing preoccupation with which the international community views the situation and to its determination to contribute to a speedy solution.

The Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, since its establishment in 1976, has continued to strive for the attainment and exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and United Nations resolutions. Its recommendations have achieved near consensus in the General Assembly, although they have remained unimplemented because of the opposition of a permanent member of the Security Council.

Four years ago the General Assembly adopted its resolution 38/58 C, laying down the guiding principles for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine through the convening of the international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices and with the participation on an equal footing of the permanent members of the Security Council, the parties directly concerned and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). That and subsequent resolutions were endorsed by overwhelming majorities. Our Committee has consistently held that the conference is the most comprehensive and widely accepted proposal and that its convening would constitute a major contribution by the United Nations towards the achievement of a just and lasting solution.

Unfortunately as we all know, it has not yet been possible to obtain the agreement of all parties to that proposal. In making the convening of the conference its highest priority in its programme of work for the past several years, the Committee has sought to mobilize the greatest possible support for this objective at all levels of the international community while at the same time urging States which have thus far rejected the idea to reconsider their position. The deteriorating situation in the occupied territories has made it very clear, however that renewed efforts should be made by all concerned to overcome this impasse. The Committee has therefore reiterated its earnest appeal to the Security Council to take positive action on its recommendations as well as on the proposal to convene the international peace conference.

In this regard, the Committee has noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General intends to pursue his efforts for the convening of the conference. I should like to take this opportunity once again to congratulate the Secretary-General on his tireless search for ways to bring about a peaceful settlement of this question. We firmly hope that this continuing quest will bear fruit before it is too late.

For its part, the Committee remains determined to continue to do its utmost to promote better knowledge and understanding of the just cause of the Palestinian people and of the united Nations recommendations for its solution, and to mobilize at all levels the international support essential for implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Today, on the fortieth anniversary of the partition of Palestine, we should all pledge to intensify our efforts, individually and collectively, until a solution is finally achieved and until the Palestinian people has recovered its inalienable rights.

I call now on His Excellency Mr. Peter Florin, President of the General Assembly at its forty-second session.

Mr. FWRIN (German Democratic Republic), President of the General Assembly (interpretation from Russian): It is an honour for me to address this special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in observance of the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Recognizing the need to strengthen and consolidate international support for the Palestinian people, the General Assembly, in its resolution 32/40,8, requested that 29 November be annually observed as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In commemorating this occasion today, we are renewing our pledge to the Palestinian people that their just demands and aspirations will continue to be supported by the international community.

As is known, 40 years ago, on 29 November 1947, the General Assembly provided in its resolution 181 (11) for the establishment of two States in Palestine. Only one has come into being the Arab State has not yet been established. Most Palestinians continue to live under occupation, with deprivation and insecurity of life and property their lot, or in exile in refugee camps under conditions of extreme tension and poverty.

The General Assembly has determined that the question of Palestine is at the core of the conflict in the Middle East, and that no lasting peace in the region will be possible until the Palestinian people can realize its inalienable rights. The Assembly has outlined the main elements of such a solution. These include the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to return to its homeland, and to an independent State of its own the right of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate on an equal footing with other parties concerned in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East, the withdrawal of Israel from all territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem; and acknowledgement of and respect General Assembly) for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

In its continual efforts to promote a just and lasting solution to the problem of Palestine and the Middle East, the General Assembly has for the past four years endorsed the call for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East in conformity with the provisions of resolution 38/58 C. I think it is encouraging to note from the report of the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly and the Security Council on 7 May 1987 that, in contrast with the experience of recent years, none of the Security Council members opposes in principle the idea of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and that in recent months there have been indications of greater flexibility in attitudes towards the negotiating process. As was stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 13 November 1987 there are still some serious obstacles to convening the conference. Removing those obstacles by dialogue and negotiations should be an important task for the international community.

It is hoped that the proposed conference, in conformity with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions, will be convened as soon as possible; that hope was reflected in many statements made during last week's debate in the plenary Assembly. As a practical step to that end the establishment of a preparatory committee with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties involved is of particular importance.

The international community is grateful to the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts and intensified contacts with the parties, and I wish him success in his endeavours in the future. It is encouraging to see increased momentum and interest and the part of the international community as a whole in favour of an international peace conference on the Middle East. In response to those sentiments, the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has exerted every effort to bring about the early convening of the proposed international pence conference; all United Nations seminars and symposiums and international meetings of non-governmental organizations have recognized and urged international action to that end.

I wish warmly to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman for their continuing efforts to promote the solution of the problem of Palestine in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. The observance of this Day will certainly inspire hope in the minds and hearts of the Palestinians and convey to them once again that the United Nations remains committed to their just cause and to the realization of their inalienable rights. I take this opportunity to extend to the Chairman and the Committee my beat wishes for the success of their important endeavour.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I next invite the Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, to address the meeting.

The SECRETARY-GENERAL (interpretation from French): Today’s observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in implementation of the mandate of the General Assembly, is symbolic of the great importance which the United Nations attaches to the question of Palestine and of its determination to achieve a just and lasting settlement based on full recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Recent violent and tragic incidents in the area underscore the continuing tension and the urgent necessity of reaching a settlement of this complex and difficult problem. I have been particularly distressed by the loss of innocent civilian lives. There is no doubt that the current stalemate is contrary to the interests of all the parties concerned and that it has dangerous implications. It prolongs the unacceptable plight of the Palestinian people, it encourages resort to extremism and it threatens a wider conflagration. The continuing impasse also hampers economic development, social stability and promotion of human rights.

Following the adoption in December 1983 of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, which spelled out the guidelines for the international peace conference an the Middle Past, there has been increased international interest in the convening of such a conference. Unfortunately, in spite of my efforts in that regard it has not yet proved possible to obtain the agreement of all the parties to the principle of a conference. Their positions remain apart on a number of issues of procedure and substance.

I firmly believe that the search for a negotiating process under United Nations-auspices in which all parties would participate, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, must be sustained by all means.

While a number of obstacles must still be overcome, I am determined to continue my efforts towards a comprehensive settlement which will meet the aspirations of all the inhabitants of the region. There is a wide measure of agreement that such a comprehensive settlement should include the following elements withdrawal of Israeli forces from Arab territories occupied since June 19671 acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries and a just solution of the Palestinian problem based on recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian peoples, including the right of self-determination. In this regard, the question of Jerusalem remains of primary-importance.

Forty years have passed since the question of Palestine was first brought to the United Nations. Yet despite this long-standing United Nations involvement and despite the numerous resolutions adopted by both the Security Council and the General Assembly, the people of the region have been subjected to endless suffering and five major wars. At the core of this conflict lies the plight of the Palestinian people, most of whom now live under occupation or in exile. Many of them, especially those living in the refugee camps, face conditions of extreme hardship and insecurity.

The United Nations continues to do all it can to assist the Palestinian people. Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has provided shelter, food and, especially, medical and essential educational services to Palestine refugees, who now number more than 2 million. Other united Nations agencies also provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in accordance with their respective mandates and in co-operation with the PNA, and Arab host countries. In this connection, particular mention should be made of the capital and technical assistance programme under way in the West Bank and the Gaza strip through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It remains the primary responsibility of the United Nations to strive for a Solution of the Palestinian question, all the difficulties in the way notwithstanding. Discouragement must not deflect us from our obligation to persevere in the search for a negotiated peace in the middle East, a peace which will ensure justice for all people in the region and put and end once and for all to the violence and frustration which have persisted for nearly two generations. Ever since I was first appointed Secretary-General I have been strongly committed to the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem, and I have been exploring ways of achieving such a settlement. I shall continue to do so in the future.

I am deeply conscious, Mr. Chairman, of the untiring efforts being made by the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under your very able and wise leadership, in order to achieve a just solution to the question of Palestine. I should like to take this opportunity, Sir, to wish you and the Committee all success in your most important endeavours.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): We wish to reiterate our thanks to the Secretary-General for his untiring efforts to bring about the triumph of the just cause of the Palestinian people.

I call next on the President of the Security Council, His Excellency Mr. Kiyoaki Kikuchi of Japan, President of the Security Council (interpretation from French): Let me first thank the Committee an the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the invitation extended to the current President of the Security Council to participate in this special meeting hold to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

This annual occasion serves to mark the importance the international community attaches to a just solution of the Palestinian problem. We fully recognize that such a solution would prove to be a decisive element in the achievement of a negotiated, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.

We are all well aware that the situation in the Middle East and the stability of the region have major implications for the peace and security of the entire world. Despite the seriousness of the challenge and despite the great and continuing efforts that have been made to find a just and lasting solution to the problem, the situation in the Middle East continues to be one of the most intractable issues facing the international community.

The Security Council has been closely associated with these efforts. it has been called upon many times to direct its urgent attention to the repeated crises engendered by the conflict, and to their consequences. in doing so, the Council has always been aware of the importance of the Palestinian dimension of the Problem and of its relevance in the search for a Just and lasting solution.

Guided by its responsibilities under the Charter, the Security Council will continue its efforts to seek a just and lasting peace In the Middle East for the benefit of all parties concerned, including the Palestinian people.

Before concluding I should like to express the appreciation of members of the Security Council for the work carried out by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under the firm guidance of Ambassador Massamba Sarre of Senegal.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call next on the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO), Mr. Zehdi Labib Terzi, who wishes to read out a message from His Excellency Mr. Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.

Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)) (interpretation from Arabic): I wish today to read out a message to this Committee and its Chairman from Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (LOW) and Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian revolution. The message reads as follows:

"I should like to express my deepest thanks for your kind initiation to me to participate in the Committee's commemoration of the international Day of Solidarity with the Arab Palestinian people in its struggle to gain its rights. In the name of our people, of my brother members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and on my own behalf I should like to express to you, Ambassador Massamba Sarre, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to all its members and to all other representatives and States, the highest appreciation of the PLO, the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, for the Committee's unswerving principled position of support and solidarity in favour of the just struggle of our people to regain their inalienable national rights, including their right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Holy Jerusalem as its capital.

"I would also like to acclaim that position of solidarity, which embodies the principles of the United Nations and its Charter and which calls for support of the struggle of the peoples for their redemption from the yoke of colonialism and subjugation, a position forcefully re-emphasized by the General Assembly in resolution 40/61 of 1985.

"Allow me here to underline for you the respect and appreciation of our people for all the activities and work carried out by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, as well as for the Unit on Palestine in the United Nations, for all the acts of solidarity with the Just struggle of our people. We are sure that those activities have had an effective role in explaining the justice of our cause and in positively contributing to explaining it to world public opinion.

"On this occasion I should like also to express my deepest appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Javier Perez de Cuellar, and to his assistants, for their lofty work at the head of the international Organization, despite all the difficulties they are confronting. I wish them all good health, strength and success in their important role in defence of the United Nations Charter, in ensuring universal respect for it and in carrying out its principles to establish peace, security and stability in the world and justice and equality among nations.

"The Committee's commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People assumes a special importance. It coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (11) on the partition of Palestine. It is that resolution that was adopted under the pressures exerted by a few countries with colonialist interests headed by the United States of America, in order to create a Zionist entity, an entity which the colonialist States wanted to be a basis for continuous aggression against the peoples of the area and with which they wanted to confront the liberation movements in the region.

"The United States of America was not content with that resolution. It went further and abetted the Zionist entity in its occupation of all the Palestinian lands and its dissatisfaction with what the United Nations resolution had given it in the partition agreement with regard to the Palestinian lands assigned for the establishment of the Zionist entity, Israel. In spite of all that Israel is the State that rejects United Nations resolutions and refuses to implement them notwithstanding the fact that it was established by a. United Nations resolution, namely, the resolution regarding the partition of Palatine, the homeland of the Palestinians.

The Committee in commemoration is also being held only a few weeks away from the seventieth anniversary of the proclamation of the Balfour Declaration, which. inaugurated the advent of the colonialist conspiracy that has supported and planned the Zionist onslaught against our country at the expense of the rights of our people in the territory of their homeland.

"It also, corms at a time when two decades have passed since the aggression of 1967, in which Israel completed the occupation of the whole territory of Palestine and other areas belonging to the Arab States bordering Palestine.

"This year, we are forcefully reminded of those outstanding landmarks in the chain of colonialist conspiracies against our people and their inalienable rights we are also reminded of the intensifying international solidarity with our people's cause and right to enjoy their constant inalienable rights. That support also expresses a wider perception of the dangers inherent in continuing to ignore the rights of our people. it re-emphasizes, through this commemoration, one basic fact, namely, that the United Nations is the natural place for the protection of the rights of oppressed peoples and for support of all liberation movements in the world to enable them to gain independence.

"The organization has adopted various resolutions in the General Assembly and the Security Council in support of the constant and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people out of its belief in the justice of their cause. Each year the members of the United Nations increasingly express their firm belief in the need to establish an independent Palestinian State as a reaffirmation of our people's right to self-determination. One wonders why that has not yet been done, especially since the partition resolution of 1947 was created at this international organization.

“We should not lose time in looking for reasons. The United States of America, which claim to be concerned for peace and security in the world and for human rights, is the State that practices all kinds of terrorism and bias and that gives unlimited support to Israel, supplying it with all forms of modern lethal weapons and all kinds of political, diplomatic, informational, financial and economic support. Furthermore, it encourages Israel to continue to challenge the will of the international community as well as to continue to ignore the rights of our people and to occupy the Palestinian and other Arab territories.

"Encouraged by continued American support, the climax which has been reached with the signature of the treaty of strategic alliance, Israel daily escalates its violations and increases its disregard for international resolutions. The Palestinian people in their occupied homeland face an ever-increasing campaign of rancour and savagery implemented through the policy of State terrorism adopted and carried out by Israel to perpetuate its occupation of the Palestinian land and drive our people from their homeland.

"In this connection we have witnessed in recent years an extremely dangerous escalation because of the implementation of the following Israeli policies: the confiscation of Palestinian land, the establishment of Settlements in those lands the confiscation of water resources and the annexation of Arab Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. In addition, Israel continues to commit the crime of destroying Palestinian economic institutions and infrastructures and of liquidating academic, social, cultural and health institutions, as well as to escalate its policy of oppression and violation of Palestinian human rights and to intensify its campaigns of mass punishment, its destruction of homes, detention, deportation, curfew and acts of random killing of our people by the bullets of the Israeli occupation army soldiers and gangs of armed settlers. All this is taking place within the framework of a rancorous racist and fascist policy and under the protection of the ruling military establishment in Israel.

"The continuation of such unlimited support by the United States of America for Israel is responsible for Israel's expansionist policies. Following the signing of the Camp David accords, which some imagined would bring peace, Israel occupied Lebanon and settled in that country's southern part, despite unanimously adopted Security Council resolutions calling for its immediate and unconditional withdrawal from fraternal Lebanon.

"In addition, Israel continues its barbaric air raids against the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, practices acts of naval piracy off Lebanese shores and has sea-jacked a number of commercial ships, including their cargoes of foodstuffs, medicines and construction and building materials. Israel has also raided the Iraqi nuclear reactor and the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO) at Hamman Ash-Shat in Tunisia.

"In the face of those terrorist practices, our Palestinian people stand courageously and steadfastly, continuing their resistance to the occupation in every form and by every means, and reaffirming their resolution to wrench their inalienable right of return, to self-determination and to establish their independent State in accordance with international legality and on the basis of United Nations resolutions. The continuous and escalating uprising of the masses of our people in the face of the Israeli occupation of our occupied territories and our people's total commitment to the Palestine Liberation Organization affirm the vitality and resolution of our people to continue their struggle with all means and methods to liberate themselves from the yoke of occupation and to achieve their national independence.

"Our people, while waging their battle and their fateful struggle, and armed with a deep belief in their final victory and in the international solidarity with their cause and rights - of which today's commemoration is an outstanding example - believe at the same time that their struggle is an indivisible part of the total human struggle to liberate itself from the yoke of colonialism, Zionism, racism and exploitation in all its forms. it is also a fundamental part of the yearnings and aspirations of the peoples of our globe for peace, progress and prosperity.

"The choices of our people have therefore always been entwined and in harmony with the spirit of the choices of the international community. Despite all challenges, our people insist on carrying the olive branch in one hand and in the other the gun of the revolutionary and the freedom-fighter in order to protect that olive branch. Hence, our Palestine National Council, which met early this year in Algiers, adopted a resolution in which it reaffirmed the importance of convening an effective international conference for peace in the Middle East within the framework of the United Nations and under its auspices, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and the parties concerned in the conflict, including the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, an equal footing with the other parties.

"That formula was given great impetus through the strong support given it by resolutions adopted by such regional organizations as the League of Arab States, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the organization of African Unity, the socialist States, the countries of the European Economic Community and other friendly States.

"In the face of this surge of international support for the formula of convening the conference the United States of America and Israel have adopted a position of unmasked and open challenge, aiming by various means to obstruct the convening of such an international conference and insisting on maintaining the hotbeds of tension, an perpetuating occupation and on attempting to by-pass the conference by unilateral settlements and deals that ignore and disregard the rights of our people, which are the quintessence of a just, comprehensive and durable peace, and by unilateral settlements and deals that serve only to perpetuate the occupation and aggression and to threaten world peace.

"The United States of America insists on challenging the international will and the whole of international society. It also continues to treat recklessly both the United Nations and the agreements concluded with it.

Following the United States Administration's decision to close down the Palestine Information Office in Washington and in spite of its contradiction of United States laws, we hear today of a new attempt in the United States Congress to close down the office of the PLO Mission to the United Nations, which is protected by the conventions of the international Organization and its agreements with the United States of America.

"Thus, the United States of America is not content with the support it extends to Israel's policies of expansion and terrorism but today wants the representatives of five million people, the Palestinian people, to vanish from the United Nations - our people who have contributed and still contribute to the enrichment of human civilization and support its peaceful march. The United States of America forgets that it is a responsible State and that it is committed to the United Nations Charter, which calls for support for the peoples of the world in attaining their right to self-determination and in maintaining their independence and territorial integrity and their right to live in freedom and peace. it is ignoring the right of United Nations Members, including the representatives of the PLO, an observer-member, to be in the area assigned them, the area in which the United Nations is located.

"Once more, the United States of America is attempting to offer up the representatives of the Palestinian people as a sacrifice to its decisions and its terrorist aggressive policies biased in favour of Israel, which is occupying the land of the Palestinian people.

"As a fighter for peace and freedom I appeal to every Member of the United Nations to come to the defence of the international Organization in order to put an end to this scheme to harm the prestige of the United Nations and to bring back the days of colonialism. Its success would represent a dangerous precedent threatening other Members and peoples with blackmail- It is an omen of the great danger created by the forces of hegemony, exploitation, racial discrimination and Zionism, threatening our international society and its conventions.

"Despite all that the people of Palestine will continue steadfastly to struggle by all methods and means not only to regain their own legitimate national rights but also on behalf of all oppressed peoples. Our people will courageously confront all attempts by the United States of America and Israel to practice international terrorism. The will of our people will not be affected. On the contrary, it will gain strength and force to liberate them from the occupation, imprisonment and detention that are; being imposed upon them.

"Our people will be faithful to the principles and ideals for which they began their struggle side by side with all honourable and freedom-loving peoples the world over, stretching out their hands in support of the oppressed peoples of the. world.

"They will continue to support the heroic people of South Africa who are fighting against the Pretoria regime for their freedom and for the liquidation of racism and racial discrimination. Our people will continue to support the steadfast people of Namibia in their struggle to gain independence, under the leadership of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), their sole, authentic representative. our people will continue to support the peoples of the African front-line States which are defending their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the continual acts of aggression perpetrated by the racist Pretoria regime, the twin of the Zionist Tel Aviv regime. We will also continue our support for and our solidarity with the peoples of South and Central America, whether in Nicaragua or in El Salvador or elsewhere, who are fighting for their freedom and to maintain their sovereignty, security and national independence.

"Our world today is living on a dangerous nuclear volcano because of nuclear armament, which is increasing and escalating and threatening humanity with annihilation through error or intentional insanity. In spite of the peaceful calls made by the Soviet union for detente, for a halt to nuclear testing, the destruction of nuclear armaments and long- and medium-range nuclear missiles, the United States of America continues in its policy of nuclear armament, in addition to its insistence on the "star-wars project, disdainful of the destiny of humanity and its future. In the name of the Palestinian people, I would welcome any agreement between the two super-Powers to limit the nuclear danger and the proliferation of all kinds of nuclear Armaments.

"At the same time that our world is facing the nuclear danger the peoples of the third world, in particular, are facing other imminent dangers, namely, the worsening economic problems manipulated and exacerbated by the conditions of indebtedness and the international banks, including the international Bank and the interests an those debts. Such unjust financial, economic and monopolistic policies have greatly burdened our peoples of the third world and the developing countries in a manner unprecedented in ancient or contemporary history. And this is not all in addition, the American . policy of monopoly is exerting its insane influence and gambling with the existing economic and financial systems in the world and, through that, the riches of the developing and poor peoples who are the majority in this world. The .at requires forthwith the creation of a new economic order far from monopoly and the colonialist mentality and incapable of sucking the riches and even the blood of the peoples.

"The Iraqi-Iranian war, which has lasted for so long and is now in its eighth year, should and must stop. There is no other way than the implementation of Security Council resolution 598.(1987) in all its provisions and in sequence. I appeal to the Iranian leadership to accept it, especially since Iraq has done so and has accepted as well all the Islamic and non-aligned peaceful initiatives in order to save lives and in the best interests of the Iranian and the Iraqi peoples and the peoples of the third world. The only beneficiaries of a continuance of that war, which has begun to whole area, are the imperialist forces and Israel. The events of the American-Israeli arms shipments in Iran-gate have proved the American-Israeli collusion for the perpetuation of that destructive war. The United States of America makes aggressive wars and creates their causes. It participates in them covertly and sometimes overtly. Then it claims that it works for peace and for human rights while practicing terrorism and supporting the two racist regimes of South Africa and Israel.

"In the name of the people of Palestine I thank the Committee for all the sincere endeavours it has made in support of the just struggle of our people. I thank it for the achievements it has made in support of the realization of the constant and inalienable national rights of our militant Palestinian people. I thank the United Nations and its Secretary-General for their good efforts to establish the foundations of just peace in the Middle East.

"Every day that passes without making tangible progress to realize those rights means more pain and more suffering for our people, who are experiencing the plights of their destitution and the decades-long disregard for their rights. it also means an aggravation of the situation of tension and war in our region, the consequences and direct threats of which will not spare the rest of the world.

"The Committee's commemoration of this International Day Of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is in itself an endeavour to achieve international peace. There will be no just peace without our people's attainment of their rights and regaining their freedom and national independence.

"Let us strengthen our united struggle in the interest of the rights of the oppressed peoples. Let us strengthen our struggle to help our Arab Palestinian people to live like other peoples, free and master in an independent free Palestinian land.

"Revolution until victory."

The message is dated Tunis, 29 November 1987, and signed by Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the Palestinian Revolution.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I would ask the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO) to convey our thanks and gratitude to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, who have other commitments, are obliged to withdraw. I thank them again for having been kind enough to he present on this international Day of solidarity with the Palestinian People. I now call upon Mr. Eduardo Faleiro, Minister of State of the Government of India.

Mr. FALEIRO India): At the outset I should like to express my gratitude to the committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the invitation extended to me to participate in this special meeting held to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"I have the honour to read out a Special message sent by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for the present occasion:

"Despite their long and valiant struggle the Palestinian people remain deprived of their legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination and to a State of their own. There cannot be durable peace in the Middle East as long as the Just aspirations of the Palestinian people are not realized.

"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I reiterate the firm and continued support of the Government and of the people of India for the cause of the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The struggle of the people of Palestine has always been considered by the People of India as being a part of the wider movement against colonial rule and oppression. Ever since the beginning of our freedom movement, support to the Palestinian cause has been a consistent part of India's foreign policy. It is indeed a tragedy that In spite of their arduous and long struggle the brave Palestinian People remain without a homeland of their own.

There is almost universal recognition that the question of Palestine is at the very core of the Middle East problem, so long as the just aspirations of the Palestinian People to self-determination are not achieved the Middle East region will not have lasting peace. The people of Palestine have demonstrated, by their heroism and bravery, that they will never give up their just struggle, however heavy the odds against them and however great the sacrifices they may be called Upon to make. It is the duty of all of us to support those indomitable people in their efforts to bring the unfinished revolution to conclusion and victory. We are confident that the Palestinian people, led by the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO), will triumph and take their rightful place in the comity of nations.

I take this opportunity to convey my fraternal greetings to His Excellency Farouk Khadoumi, head of the Political Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation organization and, through him, to His Excellency Chairman Yasser Arafat, whose very Inspiring message has just been read out by the Permanent Representative of the PLO to the United Nations.

"The observance of the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is not just an annual ritual. This day symbolizes our determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinian brothers. it symbolizes our faith in the Palestinian people in the occupied territories who, against all kinds of repression, have kept the torch of freedom burning. This Day marks our conviction that their efforts and those of Palestinians around the world will not be in vain.

"I take this opportunity to emphasize that delays in seeking a comprehensive and just solution to this problem can only escalate tension and turmoil in the Middle East. A just and lasting solution must include the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Palestinian people and the setting up of an independent State of Palestine. Israel must withdraw from all Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by it since 1967, including Jerusalem.

"We continue to believe that the international peace conference on the Middle East remains the most feasible framework for a solution of the Middle East problem. The Secretary-General has made special efforts to promote the convening of that conference. We have noted the cautious optimism in his report on the unfolding developments of the past year. He has stated the growing international consensus in favour of the early convening of a conference. We support his efforts.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the important role played by you, Mr. Chairman, and by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in efforts to find a just solution to the question of Palestine. I pledge India's full support, as a member of this important Committee, in sparing no effort to work alongside other members in the pursuit of this very important common objective.

History has shown that a just cause will triumph, no matter how long and arduous the struggle may be. We have no doubt in our minds and we are confident that the Palestinian cause will achieve complete success. Towards this we pledge our unconditional and total support.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I would ask the representative of India to convey our thanks and gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Rajiv Gandhi for his message expressing India's commitment to the just cause of the Palestinian people. The Committee's last seminar and symposium was held at New Delhi thanks to the initiative of the Indian Government.

I now call upon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.

Mr. FERNANDO (Sri Lanka): I have the honour to read out a message from His Excellency J. R. Jayewardena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The message reads as follows:

"On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Sri Lanka joins other members of the international community in reaffirming its solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“Over the decades many resolutions on Palestine have been adopted by the United Nations, the Movement of Mon-Aligned Countries and other international bodies. But despite all the efforts at national and international levels the plight of more than 4 million displaced Palestinians continues, with no apparent prospect of any solution to their problem. The Palestine problem remains a challenge to our will and capacity to bring about a better world characterized by peace and justice for all.

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in an occasion on which the international community must rededicate itself to the task of promoting a solution to the Palestine problem. We In Sri Lanka give full and unequivocal support to the just struggle of the Palestinian people to assert their right to self-determination and to return to their homeland. We continue in our full support for the only true representative of the Palestinian people, namely the Palestine Liberation Organization. we reiterate our commitment to support all action aimed at solving the Pales tine problem and the promotion of peace in the Middle East."

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I would ask the representative of Sri Lanka to convey to his President. Our gratitude and thanks. I now call upon the Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence- to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

Mr. TADESSE (Ethiopia), Chairman, Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples: This International Day of Solidarity symbolizes the commitment of the United Nations to the Palestinian cause and its reaffirmation of a fundamental responsibility to seek a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problem. This meeting also emphasizes once again the recognition by the international community that no durable solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict can be found outside a just solution of the Palestinian problem. Indeed a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East crisis cannot possibly be conceived without the effective involvement and participation of the Palestinian people and their representative, the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO).

The Organization must accordingly work diligently for the creation of all the conditions which are indispensable for a just and lasting peace in the area. Those include the realization of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State the right of all States in the area to an independent existence and a strict observance of the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force.

To that end the General Assembly, in resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, set out in no uncertain terms the course of action to be taken, namely the convocation of an international peace conference on the Middle East. It is encouraging to note in that connection that a growing measure of support exists for the convening of such a conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, to serve as a negotiating basis towards a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. We are particularly grateful to the Secretary-General for his intensified efforts in this regard, which will no doubt enhance the prospect for agreement on the part of all concerned.

The encroachment by Israel upon Arab territory over the past two decades, its armed aggression and other repressive measures against the people of Palestine must not be permitted to continue with impunity. An end must be put, without any further delay, to the suffering of the people in the area who have over the past four decades lived through incessant acts of violence and bloodshed. Given the Committee of 24) necessary will and commitment of all concerned, and assisted by the continued endeavour of the Secretary-General, I am confident that the day is in sight for the people of Palestine to exercise freely their inherent rights, including their inalienable right to self-determination, as we advance a step closer to a comprehensive settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

The Special Committee of 24 attaches great significance to the mobilization of international opinion towards the attainment of the objectives of the United Nations on the question of-self-determination for all peoples under alien or colonial domination.

We are profoundly aware of the power of an-alert and informed world public opinion in the struggle against injustice, oppression and alien and colonial domination. I am confident therefore that our meeting today will serve not only as reminder for the Organization that it must redouble its efforts in the finding of just solution to the question of Palestine but also as a clear-message to the world at large in solidarity with and in support of the cause of the Palestinian People. In so doing we shall he serving the cause of justice and peace.

Before concluding I should like to acknowledge with appreciation the very important work carried out by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People under the outstanding and dedicated leadership of Ambassador Sarre of Senegal.

In keeping with. the relevant decisions of the General Assembly, it is incumbent upon all of us to work closely and to co-operate fully with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the discharge of its tasks, to enable the Palestinian people to decide their destiny in accordance with their own aspirations and wishes. Only then will the injustice imposed upon them for so long be brought to an end and the special obligation assumed by the United Nations in 1947 finally be fulfilled.

The CHAIRMAN interpretation from French): I now call on the President of the United Nations Council for Namibia, Mr. Peter Dingy Suez of Zambia.

Mr.ZUZX (Zambia), President of the United Nations Council for Namibia. Throughout history conflicts have afflicted mankind in varying degrees, and most of them have been caused by disputes over land. Whereas man has sometimes managed through mediation to end such conflicts, in many cases collective efforts to restore peace have yielded no result. The question of Palestine is one of those issues that have for a long time now eluded our collective efforts to find a just and lasting solution. It is therefore an honour and a great privilege for me, as President of the United Nations Council for Namibia, to join in this solemn observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. indeed, I thank you, Sir, and your Committee for affording me this opportunity to express the Council's solidarity with the dispossessed and struggling masses and oppressed of Palestine.

I reiterate the appreciation of the Council for Namibia of the valuable work which the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People carries out, under the wise and dedicated chairmanship of Ambassador Sarre of Senegal.

It is fitting on this solemn occasion to recall that the General Assembly's decision to create two separate States in Palestine, a Jewish State and a Palestinian State, has not been fulfilled in total. While a Jewish State known as Israel exists, Palestinians have no homeland. They have been displaced from their land and now live in diaspora as refugees and in some cases under Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. This unfortunate situation has brought about tension and conflicts in the Middle East. We in the Council for Namibia firmly believe that unless the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence are fully realized the Middle East conflicts will continue for a long time, for it is a fact that the question of Palestine is the core of the Middle East conflicts. It is one of the most pressing items on the United Nations agenda'.

We in the Council for Namibia wish to reiterate that Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which, inter alia, provides for the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and property, offers the beat chance of a peaceful solution to this vexing problem. The Palestinian people must be allowed to return to their homeland in dignity, so that a process for determining their own destiny may start.

The final documents of the Summits of the League of Arab States at Fez, in Morocco, in 1982 and Amman, Jordan, in 1987 provide additional elements for resolving the Middle East conflict. We call on Israel scrupulously to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and to withdraw from all occupied land as a first step towards the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people. In this regard, I reiterate the Council's belief that in order to have a chance to establish mutual trust and confidence Israel should accept unconditionally the idea of holding an international peace conference on the Middle East, at which the Nations Council for Namibia) parties to the conflict would participate on an equal footing. we believe that both the United States and the Soviet Union should participate in such a conference.

Israel should realize that it is in its own interest that this problem be resolved peacefully. Continued armed attacks on its neighbours will not solve the problem. There is no doubt that if the question of Palestine is addressed fully, Israel can peacefully co-exist with all its Arab neighbours within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.

There are striking similarities between the situation in the Middle East and that of Namibia. Both issues have been on the agenda of the United Nations since its inception. Indeed, on these issues the United Nations has drawn up blueprints for a lasting solution. Yet, despite the international consensus in favour of the oppressed, both issues are far from resolution. Both represent failed collective efforts by the United Nations to intervene successfully in matters involving a threat to international peace and security. Ordinary people the world over must now question the credibility of the United Nations as a guarantor of peace and freedom in the world today.

We the Member States of the United Nations have an inescapable responsibility to ensure that the rights of all peoples to self-determination and independence are fully realized without further delays. We have a responsibility to restore the fading credibility of the United Nations and thus contribute to the goal of the preservation of international peace and security. We must rededicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the letter and spirit of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. I believe that the rights of the Palestinian people are sacrosanct and as such they must be realized sooner rather than later to avoid further bloodshed and suffering.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid, Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko, Permanent Representative of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid on this solemn occasion of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People the Special Committee against Apartheid joins the rest of the international community in reiterating its dedication to, and expressing unequivocal support for, the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain the exercise of their legitimate rights. We wish to express our unequivocal support for the struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian people's sole legitimate representative, for self-determination and statehood.

This meeting should help focus attention on the continuing fight of the Palestinian people and the imperative need urgently to reach a just and permanent solution to the problem. The denial of the right of self-determination is the common root cause of the suffering of both the people of Palestine and the black people of South Africa. The problems of both Palestine and apartheid have long been before the United Nations and have caused the gravest concern to the .international community. It is high time the United Nations took effective action to remedy these situations. The Palestinian people should be enabled to return to their homes and establish their own independent State.

The Palestinian problem is the core of the Middle East conflict. It is 40 years since the matter was first brought before the United Nations for consideration, and 20 years since Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The plight of the entire Palestinian people in diaspora, in the refugee camps, in the occupied territories, should be ended with a just and lasting solution that entails the exercise of their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and a return to their homes in order to achieve a peaceful solution of the problem, the central position and importance of the role of the authentic representative of the Palestinian people the Palestine Liberation Organization should be borne in mind. Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories is essential. No land can be obtained by brute force. The General Assembly has said that the main elements of a solution include the right of all States to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independent statehood.

In the present circumstances there seem to be no better way to a peaceful solution than a negotiating process through an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Regrettably, the recommendations of your Committee, Mr. Chairman, which have been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly, have not been implemented because of the opposition of certain permanent members of the Security Council. Incidentally, the opponents of those recommendations are the same States that have all along prevented the Security Council from imposing comprehensive mandatory sanctions against the apartheid regime under Chapter VII of the Charter.

It is encouraging, however, that the extraordinary Arab Summit conference held in Amman from 8 to 11 November this year supported the convening of the international peace conference under United Nations auspices and with the participation an equal footing of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation organization and the permanent members of the Security Council.

I appeal to the international community to extend all possible moral, diplomatic and material support to the struggling people of Palestine. At the same time, I pay tribute to the Committee and to you personally, Mr. Chairman, a great diplomat, for the excellent work carried out to mobilize public opinion and international support for the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. We in the Special Committee against Apartheid pledge you our full co-operation.

I should also like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts in the search for a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, one taking fully into account the rights of the Palestinians.

I should now like to read out the following message from the Foreign Minister of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mr. Vladimir Kravets, addressed to you, Sir.(spoke in Russian) on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People we wish to convey our deep appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its commitment to carrying out the crucial tasks mandated to it by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

"For four decades the Arab people of Palestine, forcibly deprived of its homeland, has had to suffer the deprivations of exile and live under the oppression of foreign occupation. It still continues to be the victim of aggression, brutal terror and repression. The plight of the Palestinian people calls for immediate action to protect and exercise its legitimate inalienable rights.

"The Palestinian issue is at the core of the critical conflict situation in the Middle East, which poses a serious threat to international peace and security. The United Nations is duty-bound to provide all possible assistance in its just solution.

It is time to intensify action-oriented international efforts to settle comprehensively the Middle East conflict on the basis of the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied since 196.7 and the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including its right to self-determination and the creation of an independent State of its own.

"A genuine and just settlement and lasting peace in the region can be achieved only through collective efforts. Of great significance for the attainment of these objectives is early convening of the plenipotentiary conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the united Nations with all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation organization and the permanent members of the Security Council, participating in it on an equal footing. in the consensus broadly developing in the world in favour of such a conference we see the results of the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

"The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic reaffirms its solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation organization, its sole legitimate representative, for its freedom and independence.

"We assure you Sir, that the Committee's persistent efforts to promote full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights will always have the support of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Vissanka Wijewardanei, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.

Mr. WIJEWARDANEI (Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Special Committee to investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. On behalf of my two colleagues an the Special Committee to investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population Of the Occupied Territories, and on my own behalf, I an delivering this short message on the occasion of the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Since it was established in December 1968, arising from the 1967 hostilities and territorial occupation by Israel, the Special Committee has prepared and submitted a total of 19 reports to the General Assembly, and has attempted in those reports to provide as accurate a description of the situation of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied territories as is possible on the basis of the evidence gathered by it.

As in previous years, the Government of Israel has persisted in its lack of co-operation with the Special Committee. The Special Committee has constantly been denied the opportunity of visiting the occupied territories. It has nevertheless endeavoured to carry out its mandate by reflecting in its report a composite picture of the reality of life in the occupied territories as it affects the human rights of the civilian population.

On the basis of the information and evidence before it, the Special Committee has reached the conclusion that the climate of tension and violence which pervades the occupied territories shows no sign of abatement on the contrary, it seems to be reaching a climax coinciding with the twentieth year of occupation.

The unrelenting determination on the part of the Israeli authorities in implementing the so-called iron-fist policy and that of Israeli settlers in imposing their will an the civilian population have resulted in the aggravation of the many form of harassment and humiliation devised against the Arab population. This harassment takes varied forms, from arrest and administrative detention orders against civilians to intensified recourse to illegal practices such as collective punishment of innocent victim through destruction of their houses and arbitrary measures of expulsion and deportation used for obvious political reasons.

Furthermore, the civilian population has put up with the continuing deterioration of their living conditions, while economic pressure is persistently exerted on workers and farmers. At the same time, limitations are being placed On the exercise of basic freedom such as freedom of movement, expression and association. The situation regarding education in the occupied territories has been particularly devastating and is marked by tragic events leading to the death of students, the frequent closing of educational institutions and severe repression against teachers and students.

The general climate of tension and repression, marked by a noticeable increase in the frequency and intensity of daily incidents, is also evident in prisons, where detainees, subjected to various form of ill-treatment, have often resorted to widespread hunger strikes to protest against the conditions of their detention.

The Israeli policy of settlement and physical annexation of the occupied territories continues to be ruthlessly implemented, causing the forcible expropriation of Palestinian lands, which causes Palestinians to leave their homeland to join the several hundred thousand Palestinians who have been denied by the Israeli authorities the fundamental right to return to their homeland.

In concluding this short but harrowing narrative, I should like to join my colleagues in reiterating our strong appeal to the international community to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian civilian population by adopting measures to alleviate their burden and providing adequate safeguards for the realization of their long-denied fundamental rights and freedoms.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I, call next on Mr. Isack Mudenge, Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe, who will speak on behalf of the current Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

Mr. MUDENGE (Zimbabwe): I have the honour to read out the following message from the Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

"Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the bringing of the question of Palestine before the United Nations. Four decades ago, through the adoption by the General Assembly of its resolution 181 (11), popularly known as the partition resolution, the United Nations assumed a moral responsibility to ensure a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question, which the international community has come to recognize as the core of the Middle East crisis.

“We in the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries have undertaken to give our full support to the Palestinian people in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland and the recovery of their inalienable rights. The realization by the Palestinians of their inalienable rights is indispensable to the solution of the crisis in the Middle East. The United Nations has on numerous occasions reaffirmed those rights, which include the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes, from which they have been displaced and uprooted, their right to self-determination without foreign intervention, and their right to establish their own independent and sovereign State an their national territory in conformity with the principles of the Charter and pertinent resolutions of the United Nations. The attainment of those rights can be possible only after Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.

"The situation facing the Palestinians in refugee camps in the areas of armed conflict resulting from Israel's invasion and occupation of Lebanese territory is a cause for grave concern. The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has devoted particular attention to developments in those areas. Following the sudden deterioration of the situation in and around the refugee camps at the end of last year, we made an appeal to the parties concerned to exercise restraint and end the siege that had been imposed on the camps, and we urged the Secretary-General to use his good offices to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to the besieged camps. We command the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA) and other United Nations agencies for the important work they are undertaking to alleviate the plight of Palestinians.

“However, there remains a pressing need to provide guarantees to protect the safety of Palestinian refugees in the face of continuing Israeli raids and atrocities against the refugee camps. As the presence of Palestinians in refugee camps is a consequence of the non-implementation of General Assembly resolution 181 (11), whose anniversary we are observing the United Nations has the responsibility to provide guarantees for the protection of those refugees.

"At their eighth summit Conference, held at Harare in September 1986, the non-aligned countries were convinced that attempts at partial solutions confined only to some aspects of the Middle East problem while excluding others can only lead to further complications and the deterioration of the situation. They stressed the urgent need to organize an international peace conference on the Middle East in conformity with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of December 1983 in order to achieve a just and comprehensive solution to the problem. We believe that such a conference, convened under the aegis of the United Nations, is the beat way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

“That is why we welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly last year of its resolution 41/43 D, which, inter alia, calls for the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council with the participation of all its permanent members as a means to undertake practical steps to convene the conference. The Non-Aligned Movement has committed itself to rendering full support to all efforts to carry forward the preparatory work for the convening of the international peace conference. The Movement's Committee of Nine on Palestine met at the ministerial level four times this year - in Georgetown, Guyana, in Harare, In Pyongyang and in New York - to review developments in the Middle East and to consider ways and means of hastening the setting in motion of the preparatory process for the peace conference. It also met several times at the ambassadorial level.

The Committee of Nine is determined to render the Secretary-General all the assistance it can in his very important consultations with the parties involved in the Middle East problem. His special effort needs the support of the whole international community, which to a large extent has already accepted the concept of a peace conference. Despite the difficulties and obstacles facing the Secretary-General, the United Nations cannot afford to grow weary and give up, for the Organization has an obligation to ensure the attainment by the Palestinians of their inalienable rights. A further determined effort should be made to find a way of moving forward.

"We wish in this occasion to reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestinian people and to renew our firm commitment to supporting the PLO, the sole legitimate, authentic representative of the Palestinian people. We wish also to reaffirm the principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal and external affairs of the Palestinian people and the right of the PLO to free and independent decision-making.

"As the whole international community focuses its attention an the preparations necessary for the convening of the international peace conference on the Middle East we wish to emphasize that the PLO alone has the full right to represent the Palestinian people, and we reaffirm the right of the PLO to participate on an independent and equal footing in all endeavours, international conferences and activities whose objective is to ensure respect for and the attainment of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

"In that context, we are gravely perturbed at the closure of the Palestine Liberation organization office in Washington and present pressure directed at the organization's Mission to the United Nations".

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call next on Mr. Timon Sam Mangwazu of Malawi, current Chairman of the Group of African States at the United Nations.

Mr. MANGWAZU (Malawi): I have the honour on behalf of the African Group to address this special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

For 30 years now, the Palestinian people have been subjected to innumerable indignities, torture and deprivation of their inalienable rights and their self-determination. Because of these and other conditions, the Palestinians are Group of African States) scattered all over the Middle East as refugees under conditions that are extremely difficult to say the least.

Africa understands what it means to be a people under foreign rule, and worse still to be without a homeland. It is natural, therefore, that we should view the Plight of the Palestinian people with great seriousness and sympathy. We do not believe that the situation, in which the Palestinians live helps create a situation in which there can be peaceful coexistence in the Middle East between the Arabs and the Israelis. The Palestinian people have the right to a homeland and to self-determination, just as Israel has that right.

We strongly believe that without finding a solution to the problem of the Palestinian people there can be no solution to the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis. Unfortunately, the occupation of Arab territories by Israel in 1967. and the illegal activities. undertaken by Israel in those territories are causing extreme anxiety. The international community has recently stated its views in that regard loud and clear, during the General Assembly debate on agenda item 38, on the question of Palestine. It is our sincere hope that Israel has taken note of the views expressed by Member States of the United Nations.

The African Group cannot but be sympathetic to the Palestinian people in their unacceptable situation. It is our hope that sooner rather than later they will be free and able to exercise their inalienable rights in their own homeland.

In expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people, we would like to be positive, but in being positive it is crucial that we be honest. It will not do to pay lip-service to the need to find a peaceful solution to the problems of the Palestinian people, there ought to be an honest intention to enter into serious negotiations in a spirit of give and taken on both sides of the negotiating table. Otherwise regimentation will continue to create stalemate.

The General Assembly has endorsed the idea of holding an international peace conference on the problem of Palestine and the Middle East. We strongly believe that all parties concerned should participate in the conference. However, we are aware of the need to resolve the many existing problem on the holding of the conference. It is our sincere hope that the negotiations will start without undue delay so as to make it possible for the international peace conference to be held soon. We appreciate the good work of the Secretary-General to the this end in encouraging the parties concerned to agree to the holding of, and to their participation in, the international peace conference.

We noted with interest that other countries are Providing economic assistance to the Palestinians and are opening their markets to agricultural and other products from Palestinians. That assistance should be encouraged and ought to be emulated by other countries able to provide competitive and lucrative prices for products from the Palestinians.

“We also wish to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the good work your Committee is doing; we thank you personally for the excellent leadership you are providing in the interest of the Palestinian people.

Palestinians require support from all peace-loving countries of the world. We of the African Group wish to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people on this Day and always.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call next on the current Chairman of the Group of Arab States, His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Salem Basendwah Of Yemen.

Mr. BASENDWAH (Yemen) (interpretation from Arabic). it is a special honour for me to speak on behalf of the Group of Arab States on this important occasion. Our participation is based on our fraternal relations with the Palestinian people and our absolute belief in the right of all colonized peoples to regain their homelands and achieve self-determination, freedom and independence.

We are grateful to the Committee for having convened this important meeting) we wish also to thank all the champions of Palestine world-wide, especially the Secretary-General and the Chairman and other members of the Committee an the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

We are gathered here to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This is a very special gathering for we embody international solidarity with and support for the struggle being waged by the Palestinian people.

They have been tireless in that struggle for the right to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State in its sacred homeland and under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Today’s meeting is intended to remind the international community of the tragedy of the Palestinian people, which has endured too such for too long; it has waited too long for a just solution. It is intended also to remind peoples and States that we must continue to condemn Israel, which is responsible for the calamities that have befallen the heroic Palestinian people.

We are commemorating this International Day of Solidarity barely five days after last Wednesday's attack by the heroic fedayeen against the Israeli army camp: that is no accident. It showed that Israel cannot guarantee its security by force alone; that is an illusion believed only by Israel itself. That courageous, daring act showed that the will of an undaunted people will result in the exercise of that People's inalienable rights, and that the only road to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East inevitably leads through a just solution to the Palestinian problem guaranteeing the Palestinians their legitimate right to their homeland, to self-determination and to build an independent State on Palestinian soil.

The Israeli soldiers fled in the face of the attacks by the heroic Palestinian heroes of the fedayeen, proving that justice will finally win out over injustice. Thus far, the Israeli authorities have been able to usurp Palestine by chasing out its inhabitants and by promoting massive immigration by Jewish settlers. They have relied on blind military force, massacres, exile dispersion. But their temporary success has not eliminated the Palestinian identity, and it cannot overcome the courageous struggle of that heroic people.

The arrogance engendered by armed force and by the unlimited support given Israel by the United States has thus far convinced Israeli leaders that high-handed rejection of a just and lasting peace can win out. That is a challenge to the Palestinian people, to the entire United Nations and to all who cherish freedom and justice.

“The new road to a solution to the Middle East and Palestinian problems was laid out clearly in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, which sets the guidelines for an international peace conference on the Middle East. But the arrogant Israelis, filled with a sense of their own strength, continue stubbornly to reject the conference they are betting on military force to achieve a peace to their own liking. They have not read their history carefully. The lessons of history will teach them to return to reason.

Israel must abandon its settlements. It cannot rely solely on support from imperialist States. In its resolution 38/58 C the General Assembly blazed the trail to a historic rendezvous which we must not fail to keep. The Israeli authorities must not let this occasion pass, or there will never be peace. The valiant Palestinian people remain under the leadership of their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); they will fight valiantly to the end. It is Israel that will be conquered, along with all those that assist it, all who are enemies of the people, all who are enemies of peace.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French). I call next on Mr. Karim Ebrahim Al-Shakar of Bahrain, current Chairman of the Group of Asian States.

Mr. AL-SERKAR (Bahrain) (interpretation from Arabic): It gives me great pleasure, in my capacity as Chairman of the Group of Asian States at the United Nations for this month, to address this special meeting, when the international community is solemnly commemorating the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. on behalf of the Asian Group, Mr. Chairman, I extend to you and the other members of the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People our gratitude for your tireless efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Arab people of Palestine.

The Asian countries share the international community's solidarity, based on the principles of the Charter and the universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the Palestinian people in their just struggle. Bahrain has consistently been conscientious in this respect, and the Asian countries have always voted in favour of United Nations resolutions condemning the continued Israeli occupation of Palestine and other Arab territories and the inhuman Israeli practices in those territories, particularly in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are still under occupation. The Asian countries have stated their support for the Palestinian people in many forums: our activities have included serving as host to many seminars held under the auspices of various United Nations bodies with a view to mobilizing world public opinion in support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

The Asian Group has always stated its profound belief that the core of the Middle East conflict is the question of Palestine, which has been on the, agenda of this Organization for over four decades. The essence of that question is the attainment by the Palestinian people of their legitimate national rights, including the right to sovereignty in Palestine, to return to their homeland, and to self-determination. The Group has also indicated on many occasions that the only way to attain that goal in through the achievement of a comprehensive, Just and lasting peace based on the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

Therefore the Asian countries supported the call for the holding of an international peace conference on the middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, in which all concerned parties should participate on an equal footing, including the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO), the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the non-permanent members of the Security Council.

The Asian countries have also expressed their deep and constant commitment to the Palestinian issue and, in view of the continuous deterioration of the situation in the occupied Arab territories and the region in general as a result of the intransigence of Israel in rejecting all United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine, they reiterate their position in support of the holding of an international pence conference under United Nations auspices in accordance with the provisions of the various relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.

The United Nations has spared no effort to end the injustices that have been suffered by the Palestinian people for over 40 years now. The position it has taken gives us satisfaction. The General Assembly and the Security Council, in addition to other international bodies, each according to its responsibilities, and in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, have adopted various resolutions again stressing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land by force. Those resolutions also call for the unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. It is regrettable that Israel is instead intent on adopting its *iron fist" policy through the displacement of the Palestinian people and the obliteration of its national identity in contradiction of all relevant United Nations resolutions and in violation of all norms of international law and fundamental human rights.

The majority of the countries of the world have on various occasions condemned the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and other occupied Arab territories. Israel has been condemned because it is violating international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations through, inter alia, collective punishment, deportation and the destruction of houses and water resources all intended to force the Arab Palestinians-to leave their land so that Israel my achieve all its ambitions vis-à-vis the judaization of the occupied territories and other Arab countries.

International awareness of the violations and total denial of Palestinian rights by the Israeli occupying forces, as well as the fact-that lack of a comprehensive and just solution of the question of Palestine will always jeopardize international peace and security, led to the establishment in 1975 of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The international community's commemoration of the International Day of solidarity with the Palestinian People is proof of the efforts of the United Nations to gain universal recognition of and full support for the inalienable rights of that people.

In today’s world separation and discrimination cannot be accepted. The Middle East region cannot contain the dangers of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Therefore on this solemn occasion, which this year coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Arab land, we urge the international community to shoulder its responsibilities regarding this just cause and intensify its efforts aimed at ending the plight of the Palestinian people through working diligently for the holding of the international peace conference on the Middle East in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, so that peace may become a reality in that sensitive part of the world and the credibility of our Organization may be restored. That concludes my statement in my capacity as Chairman of the Asian Group for November. I now wish to read out the text of a message addressed to you, Mr. Chairman, by His Excellency the Emir of Bahrain on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 30 November 1981:

"In the name of God:

"The Palestinian issue has been occupying the interest of the world for many years. The United Nations has not seen an issue which has captured the attention of the world more than that of the Palestinian people. Since the beginning of the plight of this people in 1948, this issue has been on the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations year after year without achieving any tangible progress in finding a just solution that would ensure the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.

"The United Nations has adopted various resolutions supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination and choice of national leadership. While recognition by the countries of the world of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and of the national rights of its people - approved by all international norms and, in particular, the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - is increasing, Israel is heightening its arrogance and increasing its acts of aggression against the Palestinian people in occupied Arab territories.

"The position of Bahrain regarding this just, humane issue has been expressed in all international forums. Here we again reaffirm our complete solidarity with the Arab Palestinian people and its legitimate struggle and endeavours to preserve its national identity and ensure its rights.

"Bahrain has consistently supported the efforts made to find a peaceful, just and comprehensive solution to this problem in order to redress the situation. on this basis, we support the convening of the international peace conference, which enjoys the support of all countries calling for a peaceful settlement of this issue, which will be realized only through full recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arab people, including its right to establish an independent State on its national soil under the leadership of the PLO, its sole, legitimate representative.

"The United Nations, now commemorating this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, bears a special responsibility vis-à-vis that struggling people. It Is therefore called upon to implement its numerous relevant resolutions designed to put an and to the inhumane Israeli practices against the Palestinian people and aggressive Israeli expansionist policies based on the usurpation of land, deportation of the indigenous population through terrorism and suppression - resolutions supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinians who for more than 20 years have remained under the yoke of occupation.

"I take this opportunity to express, on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Bahrain, deep appreciation for the sincere efforts of the Special Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to render assistance to that people in its struggle to achieve its rights, to restore its land and to live in peace, security and stability."

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank Mr. Karin Ebrahim Al-Shakar for the statement he has made as Chairman of the Group of Asian States and as representative of the Emir of Bahrain, to whom we wish to convey our gratitude.

I now invite Mr. Noworyta, Chairman of the Group of Eastern European States to make a statement.

Mr. NOWORYTA (Poland): On behalf of the Group of Eastern European States and in my capacity as its Chairman, I should like to express our gratitude for the invitation to address the Committee on this important occasion of the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. may I use this opportunity to extend to you, Sir, our Group's appreciation of the important work of the Committee an the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to promote the cause of the Palestinian people and to enable that people to exercise its rights.

The International Day of Solidarity serves to remind the international community of the plight of the Palestinian people and also to mobilize international opinion towards taking action to enable that people to recover and fully exercise its legitimate rights. on this solemn occasion I would like to reiterate our solidarity with, and firm support for, the Palestinian people led by its sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in its struggle for the attainment of its inalienable national rights. We would also like to assure them of our resolve to work relentlessly towards finding a solution to the question of Palestine.

“It is generally recognized that the question of Palestine is the underlying cause of the Middle East conflict. Despite the continuing efforts of the international community to find a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, that objective has not been attained and the fate of the Palestinian people continues to cause great concern throughout the world. We are concerned at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of illegal measures taken by the Israel authorities, which only heighten tensions in the region and present serious obstacles to international action for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. In the absence of such a solution, the violence will continue with serious consequences not only for the region but also for international peace and security the world over.

The basis for solution of the question of Palestine and, at the same time, of the Middle East conflict, is to be found in the relevant United Nations resolutions. They provide for the full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right to return, the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to create its own independent State in Palestine, as well as the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, while providing guarantees for the independence and sovereignty of all the States of the region.

Ever since the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 38/58 C, support has been growing for the convening of the international peace conference on the Middle East as the only practical approach to advance the prospects of a Middle East settlement. A number of proposals to advance the search for a peaceful settlement have been put forward, inter alia the Soviet Union's proposals of 29 July 1984 on a Middle East settlement and proposals of other socialist countries, the Arab Peace Plan of Fez and the Final Declaration of the Summit meeting held at Amman offer important guidelines for the work of the conference.

The Member States of the Eastern European Group voice their support for the establishment of a preparatory committee, within the framework of the security Council, with the participation of the permanent members, as called for by General Assembly resolution 41/43 D, as a means to undertake practical steps aimed at the convening of the conference and support for the efforts of the Secretary-General with a view to the convening of the conference.

We share the conviction expressed in the aforementioned resolution that the convening of the Conference will constitute a major contribution by the United Nations towards the realization of a just solution to the question of Palestine conducive to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The member States of the Eastern European Group view the results of the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held in April 1987 at Algiers, as a significant contribution to the achievement of a just solution to the question of Palestine. They welcome, in particular, the unequivocal support of the Palestine Liberation Organization for the convening of the international peace conference on the Middle East.

As is indicated by the Secretary-General in his report on the work of the Organization, unfortunately, it has not yet proved possible to obtain the agreement of all the parties to the principle of an international conference, and this has hindered his efforts to make Progress in the preparations for a conference. Therefore, additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments are urgently needed in order to convene the conference without further delay. The member States of the Eastern European Group encourage the Secretary-General to pursue his efforts in search of a comprehensive settlement in the framework of the international conference under United Nations auspices, in which all parties would participate. We will continue to support all endeavours by the United Nations towards a solution of the question of Palestine. I am sure that the special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to commemorate the international Day of solidarity with the Palestinian People will provide new stimuli to redouble international efforts to solve this issue.

I shall now read out a message from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Polish People's Republic, Mr. Marian Orzechowski:

"Your Excellency, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I would like to convey the feelings of solidarity and support of the Polish People's Republic for the struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights.

"Poland consistently stands for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and independence, for the lasting Settlement of the Middle East conflict by convening the international conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of all interested parties including the recognized representatives of the Palestinian people.

We actively co-operate with the efforts of the United Nations for the restoration in the Middle East of just and lasting Peace, which would guarantee the security and stability of all the states and peoples of the region. I extend appreciation of the important work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the Chairman of the Group of Eastern European States for his statement and especially for the message from his Minister for Foreign Affairs. I now invite Mr. Victor Beauge, Chairman of the Group of Latin American States, to make a statement.

Mr. BEAUGE (Argentina) (interpretation from Spanish). I have the honour to participate in this observance of the International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People on behalf of the States members of the Latin American and Caribbean Group for the purpose of emphasizing the special importance the region attaches to the struggle the Palestinian people is waging to achieve recognition by the international community of the full exercise of its legitimate and inalienable rights. Today, as in the past, the question of Palestine is the core of the situation in the Middle East. More than 35 years have passed since that question became one of the most urgent and delicate matters with which the United Nations has had to deal. During those long years we have witnessed numerous diplomatic initiatives which regrettably have not resulted in the settlement of the Palestinian problem. The way opened up by those initiatives should now lead the international community to redouble its efforts so that peace may be established once and for all in that turbulent region.

The just and final solution to which we all aspire has been outlined in numerous resolutions of both the General Assembly and the Security Council. It includes express recognition of the Palestine peoples legitimate right to national self-determination and independence its right to set up 4 national State, and the right of all the States of the region to exist in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. The convening of a peace conference under United Nations auspices, which has almost total support should receive our immediate attention. That conference should become the appropriate mechanism for the attainment of the objective we have sought for so many years.

“On this day I cannot fail to mention the important work being done by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. That Committee, under the intelligent guidance of Ambassador Massamba Sarre of Senegal, deserves the special gratitude of all the countries of our region.

I should like to end my statement by reaffirming the commitment of the Latin American and the Caribbean region to a peaceful and just settlement of the Palestine question with the participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has a historic role to play in the attainment of peace in the Middle East.

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Abulhasan, who will make a statement on behalf of the Chairman of the organization of the Islamic Conference, His Highness the Emir of Kuwait.

Mr. ABULHASAN (Kuwait),(interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour and pleasure to read out a message from His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait and Chairman of the Fifth Summit Conference of the organization of the Islamic Conferences, on the occasion of the international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Peoples.

"In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.”

"It gives me great pleasure to address to you this message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I wish to send you and all the distinguished participants on this occasion out greetings and our best wishes and to express support for that afflicted people and its inalienable rights, including its right to self-determination in the land of its ancestors.

"The tragedy of Palestine has been going on for 40 years without a just solution. The tragedy persists, crying out for solution by the international community as represented by the United Nations, but though this cause is just it has not yet received the support it deserves. All that we have sow is the adoption of resolutions that have not been effectively implemented. This state of affairs serves the designs of the invaders, who wish the cause to die through the passage of time and procrastination.

"In fact, the question has not been dealt with seriously due to the influence of those Powers which have been misleading and distorting facts.

The injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people is unprecedented in the history of the world. It is the most tragic situation of our time. Therefore it is the duty of all countries that love peace and justice to extend support to the many who are suffering oppression and struggling for justice and peace.

“Those who are supporting the oppressors are acting in a manner contrary to human conscience and the principles of freedom - the very principles they have always advocated.

“In view of the challenge and Israel's arbitrary practices, it in the collective duty of all countries that love peace, freedom and justice to condemn those practices, which are based on racial hatred. Moreover, the international community, as represented by the United Nations, and particularly the great Powers, should insist that Israel desist from such practices and should seek a speedy solution of this problem, which has existed for so many years.

'Those practices and actions are intended to liquidate the question of Palestine and to compel the Arab people of Palestine to leave its homeland. The occupiers have resorted to all kinds of oppression and suppression and have created difficult conditions, suppressed freedoms, detained members of the population, closed educational institutions, including universities, and prevented the people from protesting. The occupiers are also shamelessly embarking on the building of settlements and are expropriating land and demolishing houses. What is move, they are imposing restrictions on Palestinian family reunions. They refuse to accept any peace initiative, including the idea of an International peace conference.

"All those practices are violations of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They run counter to the norms and principles of international law. Some of then are directed at the Arab-Islamic presence in Palestine - for instance, the continued excavations around Al-Aqsa mosque and the profanation of holy places.

"Moreover, they are trying to besiege Jerusalem by constructing high-rise buildings in order to suffocate Jerusalem as a symbol of the Arab-Islamic presence in the land of Palestine, a presence that has lasted note than 14 centuries in a city so dear to Muslims throughout the world.

"We hope that ultimately this question will be resolved justly and peacefully. Therefore we emphasize the importance of holding an international peace conference to overcome the present impasse, to establish peace and to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, so that the whole region can enjoy peace, stability and tranquillity."

The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank Mr. Abulhasan for the important Statement he has just read us and I ask him to convey our thanks to the Emir of Kuwait.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.



This record is subject to correction.

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