About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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38. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia), referring to paragraph 7 of document A/AC.183/1984/WP.2, concerning the invitation of parliamentarians in particular to the African regional seminar, asked whether the Division already had a list of participants who were not
39. The CHAIRMAN said that so far only experts with an academic background had participated in the seminars. However, in 1984 the political element had taken on greater importance and it had therefore been suggested that parliamentarians should also be invited, in accordance with the regional distribution indicated in the document in question.
40. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, in his view, there was no contradiction whatsoever between the status of an expert and that of a parliamentarian. On the contrary, parliamentarians could contribute their experience and their knowledge of the matter to the debate, and a number of the people on the list had academic experience in addition to being politically active. He endorsed the Chairman's view that what the parliamentarians had to offer to the Seminar represented a step forward from a solely academic approach and would make an excellent contribution to the search for a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem.
41. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) suggested that a distinction should be made in paragraph 7 in order to make it clear that the invitation was being extended both to experts and to parliamentarians. There were many parliamentarians, particularly in the African developing countries, who were interested in the question of Palestine, even though they might not be experts in the strict sense.
42. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that he regarded as desirable the
participation of a new sector that would unquestionably have an impact on the decision- making process of Governments and generate interest in the question of Palestine among the public. He believed that the distinction between academic experts and parliamentarians was somewhat arbitrary and that the latter could help to place the question of Palestine in a wider political context, since at the current stage it was not details or specialized knowledge that was required but, rather, politicians who could influence their electorate.
43. The number of participants should be increased, regardless of any financial implications there might be, and a certain balance should also be struck between the representation of Africa, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. He accepted the term "African Seminar", although the nature of the topic in question would appear to indicate that it was a Europeo-African seminar.
44. Miss KUNADI (India) supported the view expressed by previous speakers that participation by parliamentarians in the Seminar would help to highlight the question of Palestine in their respective countries. Since her delegation had received an invitation from the Secretary-General addressed to the Government of India, on behalf of the Committee, to participate in the Seminar, she wished to know what type of participation in the meeting was expected of Member States.
45. The CHAIRMAN, responding to the remark made by the Observer for Egypt, said that financial constraints would make it necessary to limit to 20 the number of participants invited and that when the list had been drawn up account had been taken of various elements and an endeavour had been made to achieve the greatest balance possible. However, the Committee would be extremely gratified if other countries were to send representatives.
46. Replying to a question posed by Mr. Lakhouit (Observer for Morocco) concerning the procedure to be followed in drawing up the list of African experts, he said that it was for the African countries to select those experts and suggested that first and foremost the States members of the Committee and, if there was still room, other African countries should participate.
47. Lastly, he wished to ask whether the Committee wished to adopt the proposals set forth in the working paper before it.
48. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the title of topic (iv) on page 2 should read "Paths to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace".
49. The CHAIRMAN, referring to a proposal put forward by Mr. Burayzat (Observer for Jordan), suggested that the Committee should continue with consideration of the working paper at its following meeting.
50. It was so decided.
REPORT BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION ON THE
JOURNALISTS' ENCOUNTER HELD AT VIENNA FROM 4 TO 7 JUNE
51. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) said that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 E, the Department of Public Information had held the first European regional encounter for journalists at the Vienna International Centre, with the assistance of the United Nations Information Service in Vienna. The purpose of the encounter had been to promote among representatives of the media a better understanding of the question of Palestine, by facilitating contacts with prominent experts on the subject, as well as a candid and brief discussion of the various aspects of the Palestinian problem.
52. Twenty high-level journalists, who had been nominated by the Information Centres of the Department of Public Information in Europe had been selected for participation in the encounter. An endeavour had been made to see that the largest area possible of the continent was covered as a result of the selection process and that at the same time a balance was achieved between press, radio and television representatives. Approximately 15 journalists from the United Nations press corps in Vienna had also attended.
53. In the course of the encounter a review had been made of the historical background of the question of Palestine, the relationship between the United Nations and the question of Palestine, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the problem. Furthermore, films on the question of Palestine and Palestinian refugees produced by the United Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East had been shown.
54. In general terms, the encounter had been a great success, since a wide range of subjects and aspects of the Palestinian question had been considered. Participating journalists had shown great interest in the subject and the discussions and had been unanimous in believing that the debate had been extremely useful and that such activities should be held more often. United Nations publications and resolutions on the question of Palestine, including the latest resolution on the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine, which had been adopted by the Commission on Human Rights at its fortieth session, had been distributed to participants.
55. At the end of the encounter, journalists had been asked to make remarks and suggestions on future public-information activities in the field in question. A number of them had suggested that the United Nations Department of Public Information should hold national meetings, particularly in Western Europe, with a view to providing the largest number possible of journalists in the region with an opportunity to meet experts on the question of Palestine.
56. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that he wished to express his gratitude to the Department of Public Information and that he hoped that similar encounters would soon be held on other continents. Furthermore, the showing of films on the Palestinians in the course of the meetings seemed to be extremely useful, since visual images had a greater impact than information transmitted verbally. Such resources should also be used at future meetings.
57. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that it was hoped that the Department of Information would provide copies of press cuttings of the articles published by the journalists after attending the encounter, with a view to completing the evaluation of the effectiveness of the meeting.
58. The CHAIRMAN said that he wished to thank the Department of Public Information for the report submitted and to encourage it to continue its work and to hold more meetings of the same type, taking account of the comments made, with a view to giving an increasing volume of publicity to the question of Palestine.