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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
A/AC.183/SR.173
4 December 1990

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 173rd MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 28 November 1990, at 10 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. ALARCON DE QUESADA (Cuba)

CONTENTS

Adoption of the agenda

Draft resolutions on the question of Palestine

Other matters




This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.


The meeting was called to order at 10.50 a.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The agenda was adopted.

DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

2. The CHAIRMAN introduced three draft resolutions on the question of Palestine that would be submitted to the General Assembly once they were approved by the Committee. The draft resolutions, identified by the letters A, B and C, had been drafted during consultations between the Bureau of the Committee and the Secretariat. The draft resolutions referred to the work of the Committee, of the Division for Palestinian Rights and of the Department of Public Information, respectively. Their purpose was to allow for a continuation of the programme of work envisaged in the programme budget for 1990-1991, approved by the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session. The three draft resolutions closely followed the wording of parts A, B and C of General Assembly resolution 44/41, to which minor changes had been made in order to bring them up to date. In addition, paragraph 4 of draft resolution A included a reference to the need to mobilize public opinion in Europe and North America.

3. In paragraph 2 (b) of draft resolution C, a specific reference to the "Palestinian people" had been added in order to bring the text in line with the wording of other resolutions. In paragraph 2 (c), the wording had been changed in order to give the Department of Public Information greater flexibility in the allocation of resources. In paragraph 2 (d), the words "and promote" had been added after the words "to organize", in order to open up new possibilities for journalists, and the words "including to the occupied territories" had also been added.

4. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to approve draft resolutions A, B and C.

5. It was so decided.

6. Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Malta), Rapporteur, suggested that the statement on the financial implications of draft resolution A should include a paragraph to the effect that, with reference to standards of travel and related arrangements, the Committee had stressed that members of the Committee serving on delegations to conferences, meetings and seminars organized by the Committee were to be accorded the status of officials on special assignment for the Committee to promote the aims and objectives of the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly.

7. The CHAIRMAN said that the Secretary would take note of the suggestion made by the Rapporteur.

8. The CHAIRMAN invited the Observer for Palestine to introduce two other draft resolutions, one concerning the uprising (intifadah) of the Palestinian people, and the other concerning the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

9. Mr. MANSOUR (Observer for Palestine), introducing the draft resolutions, recalled that prior to the forty-fourth session, the resolution on the intifadah had been dealt with in connection with the item on Israeli practices in the occupied territories. At the forty-fourth session, however, it had been considered under the item on the question of Palestine; that would also be the case at the present session. The draft resolution on the intifadah was similar to General Assembly resolution 44/2, with the following minor changes to bring the text up to date: in the fourth preambular paragraph, reference was made to the recent Israeli violence which had taken place on 8 October 1990 at the Al-Haram Al-Shareef in Jerusalem, and in the seventh preambular paragraph, the reference to the report of the Secretary-General had been changed to the plural, since there was now more than one report. The rest of the draft resolution remained the same as the one adopted at the forty-fourth session.

10. The draft resolution on the International Peace Conference on the Middle East was also similar to the one adopted at the forty-fourth session, namely General Assembly resolution 44/42, with the following changes: in the first preambular paragraph, the date had been changed to 12 November 1990, and in the second preambular paragraph, the year had been changed to 1990. In that regard, however, he wished to mention that there was some question about the date on which the chairman of the observer delegation of Palestine would be able to address the General Assembly, inasmuch as the Government of the United States of America had not yet granted him a visa. The reference to his statement could accordingly not be finalized until the exact date was known.

11. He hoped that the General Assembly would adopt the two draft resolutions by an overwhelming majority, as had been the case at the forty-fourth session.

12. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to approve the two draft resolutions introduced by the Observer for Palestine.

13. It was so decided.

14. The CHAIRMAN recalled that the draft resolutions which had just been approved by the Committee would be submitted to the General Assembly. He invited all members of the Committee to become sponsors of the draft resolutions; delegations wishing to do so should contact the Secretariat.

OTHER MATTERS

15. Mr. MANSOUR (Observer for Palestine) said he wished to inform the Committee of the problems that had been encountered by the delegation of Palestine in connection with its plans to participate in the work of the General Assembly. The Palestine delegation, composed of three members and headed by Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, had not been able to obtain entry visas, even though the request to the United States Government had been made, following the normal procedures, on 29 October. The issue had been raised with the Secretary-General and the Legal Counsel, without any positive results or even a clarification as to the reasons for the denial of the visas. Such action on the part of the Government of the host country was clearly an obstruction of the work of the General Assembly, and would make it impossible for the Palestine delegation to participate in the activities scheduled for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, which was only one day away.

16. In the view of his delegation, action by the General Assembly was required. The Arab Group was meeting at that moment, with a view to submitting to the General Assembly a draft resolution protesting the hostile action by the United States Government, which prevented the Palestine delegation from exercising its rights under the Headquarters Agreement, and proposing a change in the date for initiation of the debate on the question of Palestine, in order to allow time for the Palestine delegation to obtain the visas and arrive at Headquarters.

17. Recalling the situation which had arisen during the forty-third session, when Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, had been refused a visa, he said he hoped that not only the Committee but all member States would express their support for the Palestine delegation as they had done at that time. His delegation was sending a letter to the Secretary-General, the text of which would be circulated later in the day, protesting the hostile action of the host country Government against the Palestinian people and leadership and its obstruction of the work of the General Assembly.

18. With regard to the other activities scheduled for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, his delegation hoped that they would take place as scheduled.

19. Turning to the question of the situation in the occupied territories, especially after the recent massacre in Jerusalem, he said that a draft resolution had been before the Security Council for more than a week, but it had not yet been put to a vote. He believed that the Security Council had waited too long, and that it should vote on the draft resolution immediately. The President of the Council should not continue to ignore the request of the sponsors and of the Palestine delegation for an immediate vote on the draft resolution.

20. He also wished to inform members that discussions concerning the draft resolution on the report of the Credentials Committee had been concluded, and that the Arab Group planned to introduce an amendment which would consist of the addition of the words "on the understanding that the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not relate to or cover the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Arab Golan", after the words "Approves the report of the Credentials Committee". The Arab Group had met with the regional groups during the past week, and would be meeting later in the day with the Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement to seek support for that amendment, which would be submitted after the General Assembly had completed its debate on the question of Palestine. He hoped that all members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would support the amendment, which represented a positive development in the strategy for dealing with the question of Palestine.

21. Mr. JAIN (India) said it would be very helpful if the draft resolution being prepared by the Arab Group could be circulated as soon as possible, in order to allow time for delegations to transmit it to their Governments for instructions. His delegation had supported General Assembly resolution 43/48, on the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, which had dealt with the failure by the host country to approve the granting of the entry visa requested for Mr. Arafat.

22. Mr. MANSOUR (Observer for Palestine), responding to the suggestion made by the representative of India, explained that the Arab Group was meeting at that moment, and that once they had agreed on a text, it would be circulated to all delegations. He hoped that it would be available by noon or early afternoon.

23. Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Malta) suggested that the Committee should appeal to the Secretary-General to exercise his good offices with the authorities of the host country in order to ensure that the representatives of Palestine would be able to participate in the work of the General Assembly.

24. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee agreed to the proposal made by the representative of Malta, in which case he, as Acting Chairman of the Committee, would address a letter to the Secretary-General requesting him to exercise his good offices with the authorities of the host country.

25. It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 11.30 a.m.




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