Question of Palestine home
Department of Public Information
31 December 1965
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE MIDDLE EAST
THE PALESTINE QUESTION
No aspects of the Palestine question were brought before the Security Council for its consideration during 1965. However, the parties to the General Armistice Agreements informed the Council from time to time of incidents which they considered to be important violations of the Armistice Agreements.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM ISRAEL AND JORDAN
On 26 January 1965, in a letter to the Secretary-General, Jordan said that Israel authorities had committed provocative military acts in the Mount Scopus area in Jerusalem. In view of the dangerous and explosive situation arising from the Israel violations, Jordan requested that immediate inspection of Israel positions in the area should be carried out through a special representative of the Secretary- General.
On 1 March, Israel alleged that a recent series of acts of sabotage or attempted sabotage in Israel territory had been perpetrated by persons crossing the Armistice Demarcation Line from Jordan. It was held that, under the Armistice Agreement, the Government of Jordan must accept full responsibility for those acts.
In connexion with the Israel complaint of 1 March, Jordan stated on 8 March that investigations carried out by United Nations observers had produced no evidence that there had been any infiltrators entering Israel from Jordan territory.
On 1 March, Jordan maintained that preparations by Israel authorities to review a military parade in the city of Jerusalem and to show their military equipment and heavy arms was in violation of the Armistice Agreement and of the Security Council resolution of 11 April 1961.
In a further communication dated 15 March, Jordan said that an Israel "Independence Day" military parade in Jerusalem would be contrary to the verbal assurance which Jordan had received from Ralph J. Bunche, to the effect that the parade would be held at Tel Aviv. However, it now seemed that the Israel authorities were planning to hold a "symbolic military parade" in Jerusalem, as well as in Tel Aviv. Should this take place, Jordan held, then Israel would definitely be exposing the situation in the Holy City to grave repercussions.
On 15 March, referring to the mission of the Secretary-General's representative, Jordan stated that in spite of the good efforts of the Secretary-General, Israel authorities had resumed their acts of aggression in the Latrun area in violation of the Jordan-Israel Armistice Agreement and had refused to comply with the decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commission (MAC) in this respect.
On 27 May, Israel drew attention to renewed acts of violence and sabotage committed by armed groups penetrating into Israel from Jordanian territory and asserted that, although its allegations of acts of sabotage on 2 and 4 March had been confirmed by the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission in a statement of 16 March, such incidents had not ceased.
On 28 May, Jordan complained that on 27 May Israel army units had attacked houses, a factory and fuel stations in Jordan, leaving four civilians killed and seven wounded. Although Israel had sought to blame Jordan for having provoked that aggression, Jordan denied most emphatically any knowledge of or responsibility for the occurrence of alleged acts of sabotage inside Israel-held territory. On 16 June, Jordan informed the Security Council that the Mixed Armistice Commission had found, in connexion with this incident, that the Israel forces had crossed the Armistice Demarcation Line into Jordan and that the raid had resulted in the death of two men and three children and the wounding of two adults and three children.
In another communication, dated 28 May, Jordan informed the Council that orders had been issued to the Jordanian armed forces to repel with the "utmost severity and determination" any new Israel act of aggression.
On 1 June, Israel said that on 31 May Jordanian army posts had opened fire from the Old City of Jerusalem across the Armistice Demarcation Line into Israel territory, killing two civilians and wounding four. There had been no firing from the Israel side. In the same connexion, Israel informed the Council on 1 July that on 28 June the Mixed Armistice Commission had justly upheld the Israel complaint by deciding that the shooting had been a gross violation of the General Armistice Agreement and condemning Jordan for it. On 7 July, Jordan charged that the Israel letter had misrepresented the decision of the Mixed Armistice Commission, which had confirmed that the shooting had been started by Israel military forces.
On 4 June, Israel informed the Council of two incidents on 1 June, the first by saboteurs from across the Lebanese border and the other by infiltrators from across the Jordan border. In reply, Jordan denied the Israel allegation and stated that it had complained to the Mixed Armistice Commission, which had found that Israel had fired shots on the walls of Jerusalem and on Jordan army posts. (For Lebanon's reply, see below.)
On 1 November, Jordan complained that a fully-equipped detachment of the Israel regular army had escorted 24 tractors into no-man's land in the Latrun sector on 30 October. The United Nations authorities had requested an immediate withdrawal of the Israel forces from the area, but instead reinforcements had been called in.
In reply, Israel on 2 November said that the Jordanian account of recent border incidents in the Latrun area did not reflect the true facts. Ever since the Armistice Agreement of 1949, farmers from the neighbouring villages on both sides had been cultivating fields situated within no-man's land in the Latrun area. Israel stated further that these incidents were being dealt with through the Armistice machinery.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM ISRAEL AND LEBANON
On 15 June, Lebanon, in reply to the Israel letter of 4 June (see above), said that no evidence had been found to substantiate the allegations that saboteurs had crossed the Lebanese border into Israel and that this had been confirmed by investigations carried out by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
On 11 November, Lebanon asserted that, during the night of 28-29 October, Israel armed forces in uniform had penetrated into Lebanese territory and carried out acts of sabotage in two different places; this had been confirmed by United Nations observers. These acts of aggression, Lebanon stated, constituted a serious and specific violation of the Armistice Agreement and were creating a dangerous threat to peace in the region.
In reply, Israel said on 19 November that its action on the night of 28-29 October had been preceded by three acts of sabotage perpetrated against Israel border villages on 2 June, 26-27 August and 27 October. Israel's action had been taken to impress upon all concerned the extreme gravity with which its Government viewed the continuation of these sabotage activities, and the imperative need to put a stop to them.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM ISRAEL AND SYRIA
On 17 March, Israel drew the attention of the Security Council to what it described as the tense and dangerous situation which had developed during the previous two weeks on the Israel-Syrian border, in the vicinity of the village of Almagor. Israel asserted that Syrian authorities had resumed the practice of opening fire upon peaceful Israel civilian activities in the border area. It reminded the Council that, in connexion with similar incidents, Syria had complained that Israel was cultivating Arab-owned land in the demilitarized zone, but that contention had been rejected as far back as 1957 as a result of a United Nations investigation on the spot.
In reply, Syria on 19 March drew attention to the increasing aggressive activities of Israel along the whole Armistice Demarcation Line in general, and the demilitarized zone in particular. In a subsequent communication dated 25 May, Syria complained of a further series of aggressive acts committed by Israel on the Syrian borders and on the Armistice Demarcation Line.
On 28 May, Syria said that as a result of the investigation of an incident of 13 May, the Chairman of the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission (ISMAC) had stated that there had been no evidence of any Syrian fire and that the target of Israel fire had been equipment and civilians well inside Syrian territory. Concerning the incident of 22 May, a complaint had been lodged with ISMAC.
On 30 September, Syria transmitted to the Secretary-General a memorandum from the Palestine Liberation Organization relating to a mob attack against the Arab population in Ramleh, alleged to have taken place on 22 August 1965.
In reply, Israel said on 13 October that in publicly condemning the outbreak the Prime Minister of Israel had affirmed that all citizens were assured of equal rights and protection under the laws of Israel, and that this would be rigidly enforced by the authorities.
REPORT OF CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
In its twenty-third progress report covering the period from 1 May 1964 to 23 December 1965, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine stated that it could make no progress in finding a practical means, acceptable to the parties concerned, for assisting in achieving a final settlement of the questions outstanding between them, nor could it report progress in its effort to assist in finding a means for implementing paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. The Commission, it will be remembered, had been instructed by the Assembly to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and payment of compensation.
The Commission noted that it continued to be deeply concerned about the intractable nature of the differences between the parties concerned and in particular with the plight of the refugees. It assured Member States that it would endeavour to intensify its efforts in accordance with the wishes of the General Assembly as expressed in resolution 2052 (XX) of 15 December 1965. (See below, p. 224.)
In connexion with its technical activities, the Commission reported that some accomplishments had been made in related areas, such as the release of Arab refugee bank accounts blocked in Israel, the transfer of safe deposit and safe custody items, and the Commission's programme for the identification and valuation of Arab refugee immovable property holdings Israel. In addition, in dealing with individual inquiries, the Commission had been able to correlate completely its records with the statements of individuals concerning their property holdings, a fact which encouraged it to hope that its files of identification in general correctly recorded individual property holdings.
S/6163, S/6209. Letters of 26 January and 1 March 1965 from Jordan.
S/6208. Letter of 1 March 1965 from Israel.
S/6220 and Corr.l, S/6232, S/6235. Letters of 8 and 15 March 1965 from Jordan.
S/6387. Letter of 27 May 1965 from Israel.
S/6390, S/6391. Letters of 28 May 1965 from Jordan.
, and Corr.1, S/6414. Letters of
June 1965 from Israel.
S/6415, S/6446. Letters of 4 and 16 June 1965 from Jordan.
S/6492. Letter of 1 July 1965 from Israel.
S/6508, S/6852, S/6854. Letters of 7 July and 1 November 1965 from Jordan.
S/6866. Letter of 2 November 1965 from Israel.
S/6444. Letter of 15 June 1965 from Lebanon.
S/6898. Letter of 11 November 1965 from Lebanon.
S/6956. Letter of 19 November 1965 from Israel.
S/6243. Letter of 17 March from Israel.
S/6248, S/6382, S/6392, S/6731. Letters of 19 March, 25 and 28 May and 30 September 1965 from Syria.
S/6780. Letter of 13 October 1965 from Israel.
A/6002. Report of Security Council to General Assembly, Chapter 5 D.
REPORT OF PALESTINE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
A/6225. Twenty-third report of United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (for period 1 May 1964-23 December 1965).
UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE
A report on the organization and functioning of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Middle East was prepared in 1965 by the Secretary-General for the twentieth session of the General Assembly.
The report covered developments from 1 August 1964 to 31 July 1965. Noting that UNEF had continued to serve as a stabilizing influence in maintaining peace in the Gaza/Sinai area, the report described UNEF's function of guarding and patrolling along the Armistice Demarcation Line in the Gaza Strip and the International Frontier in the Sinai Peninsula.
The total number of violations of the Armistice Demarcation Line and the International Frontier had shown a slight increase from the previous year, and some incidents had been relatively more serious, it added. Air violations had continued to cause concern, both because of their increasing frequency and their deeper penetration.
There was no significant change in the general operational functions of UNEF in spite of further reductions in the strength of certain contingents of the Force, it was reported. The total strength of UNEF, as at 31 July 1965, was 4,582, national contingents being supplied by Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
Cost estimates for the maintenance of UNEF were also submitted to the General Assembly by the Secretary-General (see pp. 684-89 below).
On 21 December 1965, the Assembly, without adopting a formal resolution, took note of the Secretary-General's report to its twentieth session, as well as the report he had submitted in 1964 to its nineteenth session. Because of the special circumstances prevailing at the nineteenth session, the Assembly had not been able to consider the 1964 report. The Assembly also, in adopting resolution 2115 (XX) of 21 December 1965, approved appropriations for the maintenance of the Force (see pp. 688-89 below for text of resolution).
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--20TH SESSION
Plenary Meeting 1407.
A/5736 and Corr.1, A./5919. United Nations Emergency Force. Reports of Secretary-General to 19th and 20th Assembly session. (See also pp. 685-86.)
ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
During 1965, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to provide assistance to the more than 1,300,000 Arab refugees registered with the Agency in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Gaza Strip. This assistance comprised relief and health services, as well as education and vocational training.
ACTIVITIES IN 1965
In a report prepared for the twentieth (1965) session of the General Assembly, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA described the financial and other problems faced by the Agency and made certain proposals concerning rectification of relief rolls and future operations (see below). The report also gave an account of Agency operations during the year, as follows:
During 1965, the number of refugees registered with UNRWA rose by 37,468, bringing the total, as at 31 December 1965, to 1,300,117. There were 697,658 refugees registered in Jordan, 301,879 in the Gaza Strip, 162,499 in Lebanon and 138,081 in Syria.
. UNRWA distributed basic dry rations to some 67 per cent of the registered refugees, or 873,123 persons as at 31 December 1965. This was a reduction of 3,175 persons during the year. These rations provided each refugee with an average of 1,500 calories per day in summer and 1,600 in winter. Supplementary feeding and milk distribution programmes furnished extra nourishment for children, pregnant and nursing women, tuberculosis patients and others vulnerable to malnutrition.
Approximately 39 per cent (508,042) of the refugees were registered in UNRWA's 54 refugee camps. The others had found accommodation, often no better than that in the camps, in cities, towns and villages.
There were no major epidemics among the refugees during 1965, and health records remained satisfactory. Health care was provided in 123 locations through clinics or mobile health teams operated or subsidized by UNRWA; 1,850 hospital beds were maintained or subsidized.
At the beginning of the 1965-66 academic year, 181,347 refugee children were enrolled in the 430 schools operated jointly by UNRWA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A further 60,250 attended Government or private schools, most of them with grants-in-aid from UNRWA. Some 610 outstanding refugee students were granted university scholarships by UNRWA. The UNRWA-UNESCO Institute of Education expanded its programme of in-service training for UNRWA teachers; more than 1,500 were enrolled in the Institute's course at the end of 1965.
UNRWA continued to offer training to young refugees in its own training centres and through grants to other institutions. The training programme has a total capacity of some 3,500 trainees. More than 1,450 young men and women received diplomas in 1965. Increased emphasis was laid on further training abroad for the graduates, and some 165 went to Europe for a year of training and on-the-job experience.
The welfare programme included a number of activities in the field of community development, including the operation of youth activities centres, adult crafts training courses, and a women's activities programme. UNRWA also continued to give assistance to individual cases of extreme hardship and to some handicapped refugees. Used clothing, collected by voluntary agencies and shipped to the Middle East at UNRWA's expense, was distributed to refugees in need.
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In the special circumstances prevailing during the nineteenth (1964) session, it will be recalled, the General Assembly did not discuss the annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for the year 1963-64. It did, however, extend the mandate of the Agency, due to expire on 30 June 1965, for another year.
/ At the twentieth session, the Assembly considered the Agency's 1964 and 1965 reports, referring them to its Special Political Committee, which devoted 27 meetings to discussions of the issues raised therein.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER-GENERAL
In his 1965 report to the Assembly, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA reiterated the theme of his previous report--that the international community was confronted with a long-term problem of providing for the needs of the Palestine refugees, and that, without a political solution as envisaged in the General Assembly's resolution (194 (III)) on 11 December 1948,
/ the plight of the refugees was likely to continue for a period to which a time limit could not be fixed at present. He added that the feelings of the refugees, which had been described in previous reports, remained unchanged. From their standpoint, a nation had been obliterated and a population arbitrarily deprived of its birthright. The refugees considered the United Nations responsible for their lot and for extending assistance to them until a solution could be found to their problem. Their emotions, if anything, had increased with the additional focus provided for their feelings by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which came into being in June 1964. The Commissioner-General believed that the refugee problem had not grown any less complex or less dangerous to the peace and stability of the region.
He went on to say that the financial stress under which the Agency operated had increased sharply, resulting in deficits which had grown from $0.5 million in 1963 to an estimated $2.5 million in 1965 and $4.2 million in 1966. This growing imbalance was largely the result of increased expenditure on education for an expanding school population and of a decrease in income from governmental sources. The imbalance could not continue, he stressed, since it would rapidly result in insolvency and perhaps in the collapse of the whole structure of the Agency's services, with disastrous consequences for the refugees and serious social and political repercussions in the host countries.
The Commissioner-General said that the issue could not be met on the administrative level and he urged the General Assembly to seek all possible means of providing the Agency with additional funds to enable the continuance of the present services. If adequate funds could not be provided, the Commissioner-General asked the General Assembly to direct him as to how to deal with the situation which would result.
As to rectification of the ration rolls, the Commissioner-General said the problem was not primarily a matter of budgetary savings but one of equity among the refugees and of the integrity of the Agency in discharging the mandate given to it by the General Assembly. A number of proposals had been made to the host Governments, but agreement on implementation had not been reached. The Commissioner-General pointed out that the proposed criteria of eligibility would limit an extension of eligibility, subject to need, to the third generation of refugees (that is, to children of persons who were themselves born after 14 May 1948), and that this proposal implied an undertaking by the Commissioner-General to do all in his power to bring home to the international community the urgent needs of a further group of claimants for relief comprising frontier villagers who had lost their income but not their homes, some Bedouin tribes, and certain other categories of persons. The Commissioner-General felt that, subject to the availability of funds to continue services at the present levels, which would meet a condition expressed by the host Governments, and subject to any directions which the General Assembly might give him, he ought to take the opportunity afforded through these proposals to rectify the ration rolls.
In conclusion, the Commissioner-General urged that any extension of the Agency's mandate should be for a reasonably long period, such as five years, and recommended that the Assembly seek all possible means of providing the Agency with additional funds. He particularly sought the Assembly's advice on the following points: (
) Did the General Assembly wish the Agency to continue the present strictly limited programme of assistance to Palestine Arab refugees at existing standards and levels? (
) Were Governments prepared to furnish the necessary funds to carry out this programme? and (
) If the Assembly believed that it might not be possible to secure sufficient funds for this purpose, what general guidelines would it propose that the Commissioner-General should follow to prevent the insolvency and collapse of the Agency?
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE
In a letter dated 15 October 1965, the representatives of Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Republic and Yemen requested the Special Political Committee to grant a hearing to a delegation of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" (PLO). On 20 October, the Committee adopted a draft resolution, proposed by Costa Rica and El Salvador, whereby it decided to authorize the persons constituting the delegation of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" to speak in the Committee and to make such statements as they deemed necessary, without such authorization implying recognition of the PLO.
The representative of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" stated that the Arab people of Palestine wanted to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to live in freedom in their homes, and the right offered them in General Assembly resolution 194 (III), paragraph 11.
/ The establishment of the "Palestine Liberation Organization" was an expression of the Palestinian Arabs' determination to continue the struggle for those rights, which had been taken away from them by British colonialists and Zionists and by the United Nations. Although the Organization had the support of the Arab Governments, it had not been established by them but was a unanimous manifestation of the vitality and the spirit of the people of Palestine themselves in dealing with their problem.
On 27 October the Committee, without adopting a resolution, decided to approve a proposal made by Honduras, whereby it acceded to the request of "The Palestine Arab Delegation" to be heard by the Committee during the discussion of the item.
The representatives of "The Palestine Arab Delegation" stated that the land and property occupied by Israel belonged legally to the refugees. It was the duty of the United Nations to place such property under a United Nations Custodian pending the solution of the Palestine problem, and to pay the income thereof to the lawful owners. The real issue before the Committee was the Palestine question, of which the refugee problem was no more than an offshoot and could not be solved independently. The cause of the Palestine Arabs rested on the doctrine of non-recognition. Under the principles of international law the United Nations and its Member States should not recognize the Zionist regime, which was the fruit of aggression and conquest.
The Committee also received a memorandum from the four UNRWA host Governments--Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Republic--containing their observations on the Commissioner-General's 1965 report. It stressed their view that the relief of Palestine refugees was an obligation devolving on the United Nations and that any move to relieve the United Nations of these responsibilities could not be condoned. The services provided by UNRWA, they maintained, had reached an irreducible minimum; any curtailment of them would not only result in grave harm to the refugees but would threaten the peace and stability of the Near East.
During the debate, the representatives of Syria and Iraq, in particular, emphasized that the uprooting and dispersal of the refugees placed a unique responsibility on the United Nations to undo a wrong committed in its name. The Palestine problem, they said, had not been settled, either legally or morally, in 1948. Israel as now constituted represented a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions. In treating the whole question as though it were a conflict between Israel and the Arab States, Israel hoped to obliterate the entity of Palestine. The General Assembly should place the responsibility for the expulsion of the refugees on Israel and should take action to secure full implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III).
By resolution 273 (III) of 11 May 1949,
/ under which Israel was admitted to membership in the United Nations, these spokesmen argued, the General Assembly had established a direct connexion between the admission of Israel and the implementation of resolution 194 (III). Algeria asserted that unless steps were taken to right the wrong which had been done, Algeria and all peace-loving forces would be on the side of the Palestinian Arabs if they decided to exercise their rights to recover their homeland by whatever means might prove necessary. It was proposed by Kuwait that pending the return of the refugees to their homeland, the United Nations should appoint a custodian to ensure that the proceeds of their properties in Palestine would be returned to the rightful owners.
The representative of Israel stated that though the underlying political issues could only be solved by a negotiated agreement between the Arab Governments and the Government of Israel, the economic absorption of the refugees would solve the humanitarian problem with which UNRWA was concerned. His Government entirely rejected the proposal to appoint a custodian of Arab refugee property in Israel, on the grounds that such a proposal was incompatible with the sovereignty and laws of any Member State. Israel was ready to participate in an over-all solution of the refugee problem by paying compensation for Arab properties confiscated in areas of Mandated Palestine which remained under Arab rule, or properties in other Arab lands from which Jewish refugees had come to Israel.
On the subject of assistance to the third generation of refugees, Israel felt that each country must assume the responsibility of taking care of children born on its soil, with the help, if necessary, of the United Nations. With regard to the Palestine Liberation Organization, the names of the refugees in its army should be struck from UNRWA's rolls; the Palestine Liberation Organization was committed to renewed military struggle and thus confronted the Agency with the paradox of United Nations funds being used to provide rations for refugees recruited for armed action against a Member State. Israel, however, supported the extension of the Mandate of UNRWA and was in full agreement with the imperative need to rectify the relief rolls.
The representative of Togo said that the final solution to the problem might be accomplished in a number of stages: the refugees should give an assurance that they intended, after their return home, to integrate themselves in the economic life of Israel; the Arab States should recognize the sovereign State of Israel; efforts should be made to reduce tension between the opposing parties; and negotiations should be arranged to study ways of implementing the relevant General Assembly resolutions.
Cyprus suggested that one step towards solving the financial difficulties of UNRWA could be to pay the refugees the income derived from their property on the basis of the actual income currently receivable from the property or on a percentage basis of its capital.
The representative of the United States said that there could be no question of abandoning the refugees or liquidating the organization for refugee relief. He called on all members of the United Nations to face up to their humanitarian responsibilities: UNRWA's financial plight should be eased through common effort. With regard to third-generation refugees, the United States felt that the Agency's first task was to take care of the refugees already on its rolls or now eligible for inscription. As a practical matter, it was unrealistic to advocate the inclusion of third-generation refugees when the Agency had been obliged to place a ceiling on the number of second-generation children receiving rations. The United States believed that UNRWA should ensure that no rations were issued to refugees receiving military training under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization; it was inadmissible for a United Nations agency to support an organization apparently dedicated to the destruction of a Member State.
The representative of the USSR said that the situation of the Palestine refugees was not to be regarded merely as a violation of the fundamental principles of law and justice but as a source of grave international tension. The United Nations had taken a firm stand, particularly in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and year after year since then it had adopted resolutions reaffirming the right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homeland and to receive compensation. But during those 17 years the Assembly's decisions had been sabotaged. The problem of the Arab refugees, he stressed, was the result of imperialist policy in the Near East. Israel, continuing to flout the Assembly's resolutions and to disregard its obligations under the Charter, was not acting in isolation but was supported by other States seeking to use the problem of the Palestine refugees to exert pressure on the countries of the area and to maintain a source of international tension in those countries.
Virtually all Members of the Committee praised the work done by UNRWA and its Commissioner-General. There was also wide agreement that all countries should increase their voluntary contributions to UNRWA.
ADOPTI0N OF RESOLUTION
Two draft resolutions were submitted to the Special Political Committee. By the first of these, introduced by the United States, the General Assembly would note with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees had not been effected, that no substantial progress had been made in the programme for reintegrating the refugees and that their situation, therefore, continued to be a matter of serious concern. The Assembly would also direct attention to the critical financial position of the Agency; note with regret that contributions to the Agency thus far had not been sufficient to enable it to cover its essential budget requirements; call upon all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous effort possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency; direct the Commissioner-General to take such measures, including rectification of the relief rolls, as to assure the most equitable distribution of relief based on need and would invite the full co-operation of the Governments concerned; call upon the United Nations Conciliation Commission to continue its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III); and decide to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 1969.
By the second draft resolution, submitted by Afghanistan and Malaysia, the General Assembly would: request the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps to have a Custodian appointed to protect and administer Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to receive income derived therefrom, and request the Custodian to report to the Assembly at its twenty-first session on the fulfilment of his tasks.
Before the Committee voted on the two draft resolutions, Pakistan and Somalia submitted amendments to the United States draft resolution. These amendments proposed the insertion of four preambular paragraphs whereby the General Assembly would: express the conviction that no just solution of the refugee problem could be achieved without full respect for their rights; consider that necessary action should be taken to ensure the full restoration of those rights; express deep concern with the situation of the refugees and note the Commissioner-General's statement that the longing of the refugees to return to their homes remained unabated. In their operative part, the amendments would, among other things, deplore Israel's continued refusal to implement paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and urge it not to obstruct any further such implementation; and call for the distribution of relief based on need in accordance with the proposals contained in the report of the Commissioner-General.
Israel also submitted amendments to the United States draft resolution by which the General Assembly would recall that in paragraph 5 of resolution 194 (III) it had called upon the Governments concerned to seek agreement by negotiations with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them, and that in paragraph 3 of resolution 512 (VI)
/ it had considered that the Governments concerned had the primary responsibility for settling such differences. The Israel amendments also provided for the insertion of two new operative paragraphs, whereby the Assembly would deplore the continued refusal of Arab Governments concerned to enter into negotiations for an agreed solution and would appeal to Governments concerned to undertake direct negotiations, with a view to their finding an agreed solution for the refugee problem.
Prior to the vote in the Committee, the representative of Israel said that his delegation had given consideration to the appeals which other members had made for the withdrawal of both Israel's amendments and the Pakistan-Somalia amendments, and it had accordingly decided not to press its own amendments to a vote.
The Pakistan-Somalia amendments were adopted by the Committee by a roll-call vote of 43 to 39, with 23 abstentions.
On 17 November, the Committee adopted the United States draft resolution, as amended, by a roll-call vote of 47 to 31, with 17 abstentions.
On the same day, the Afghanistan-Malaysia draft resolution was rejected by a roll-call vote of 38 to 34, with 23 abstentions.
In a plenary meeting on 15 December 1965, the representative of Nigeria introduced a draft resolution, which he described as representing the broadest possible basis of agreement, and asked that priority in voting be given to his draft.
The Nigerian draft, which was based on the resolution adopted by the Special Political Committee, omitted the four preambular paragraphs of that resolution originally contained in the Pakistan-Somalia amendments, as well as the proviso that the distribution of relief would be in accordance with the proposals contained in the report of the Commissioner-General.
The Nigerian draft resolution was adopted on 15 December by a roll-call vote of 91 in favour to 1 opposed, with 7 abstentions, as resolution 2052 (XX). The Assembly further decided it would take no action on the draft text recommended by the Special Political Committee.
By the terms of resolution 2052 (XX), the Assembly: noted with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) had not been effected, that no substantial progress had been made in the programme for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that their situation continued to be a matter of serious concern; expressed its appreciation for the work of UNRWA; directed attention to the Agency's critical financial condition; noted with regret that contributions to the Agency had not been sufficient to cover its essential budget requirements; urgently called upon Governments to contribute generously; directed the Commissioner-General to take such measures, including rectification of the relief rolls to assure, in cooperation with Governments concerned, the most equitable distribution of relief based on need; called upon the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to intensify its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and to report thereon not later than 1 October 1966; and extended the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 1969. (For full text of resolution, see DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES below.)
PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS FOR 1965
During the financial (calendar) year 1965, 45 countries and territories pledged the equivalent of $34,057,574 for UNRWA's activities. By 31 December 1965, the equivalent of $33,551,081 had been received in payment of these pledges.
PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNRWA
FOR YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 1965
(Showing equivalent in U.S. dollars of pledges
and contributions in cash, kind and services)
Government Pledge Received
Australia 201,600 201,600
Austria 10,000 10,000
Belgium 30,000 30,000
Canada 1,111,111 1,111,111
Ceylon 1,000 1,000
Cyprus 280 280
Denmark 114,733 78,533
Finland 11,352 11,352
France 234,870 234,870
Gaza Authorities 155,303 155,303
Republic of 503,145 503,145
Ghana 3,000 -
Greece 15,000 15,000
Holy See 1,000 1,000
India 21,008 -
Iran 6,000 -
Ireland 25,000 25,000
Italy 160,000 160,000
Jamaica 560 560
Japan 30,000 -
Jordan 105,320 105,320
Kuwait 220,000 -
Lebanon 33,496 33,496
Libya 20,000 20,000
Luxembourg 3,000 3,000
Malawi 140 140
Malaysia 1,500 1,500
Monaco 204 204
Morocco 19,763 19,763
Netherlands 174,354 160,731
New Zealand 140,000 140,000
Nigeria 5,000 -
Norway 70,000 70,000
Pakistan 20,964 20,964
Philippines 1,250 1,250
Saudi Arabia 297,778 297,778
Sweden 470,777 470,777
Switzerland 270,092 270,092
Syria 90,262 90,262
Tunisia 4,000 4,000
Turkey 8,000 -
United Arab Republic 246,712 246,712
United Kingdom 5,400,000 5,400,000
United States* 23,800,000 23,800,000
Total 34,057,574 33,551,081
*Pledge payable on a matching basis, not to exceed 70 per cent of contributions paid by all other Governments. The pledge for 1965 comprises half of the pledge for the fiscal year 1964-65 ($24,700,000) and half of the pledge for the fiscal year 1965-66 ($22,900,000).
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--20TH SESSION. Special Political Committee, meetings 432-437, 439-459.
Committee of General Assembly for Announcement of Voluntary Contributions, meeting 2. Plenary Meeting 1395.
A/5813, A/6013 and Corr.1. Reports of Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East (UNRWA) for periods 1 July 1963-30 June 1964 and 1 July 1964-30 June 1965.
A/SPC/103. Statement by Commissioner-General of UNRWA on 11 October 1965, meeting 432.
A/SPC/104. Letter of 15 October 1965 from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Republic and Yemen requesting hearing for delegation of Palestine Liberation Organization.
A/SPC/105. Letter of 18 October from Chairman of "Palestine Arab Delegation" requesting hearing.
A/SPC/106. Observations of Governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and United Arab Republic on report of Commissioner-General of UNRWA (A/6013).
A/SPC/L.112 and Rev.1. Costa Rica and El Salvador: draft resolution and revision, adopted unanimously by Special Political Committee on 20 October 1965, meeting 435.
A/SPC/L.113. United States: draft resolution, as amended by Pakistan and Somalia, adopted by Special Political Committee on 17 November 1965, meeting 459, by roll-call vote of 47 to 31, with 17 abstentions as follows:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dahomey, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Finland, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Israel, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Upper Volta.
Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Ceylon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Zambia.
A/SPC/L.114. Pakistan and Somalia: amendments to United States resolution, A/SPC/L.113.
A/SPC/L.115. Israel: amendments to United States draft resolution, A/SPC/L.113.
A/SPC/L.116. Afghanistan and Malaysia: draft resolution, rejected by Special Political Committee on 17 November 1965, meeting 459, by roll-call vote of 34 to 38, with 23 abstentions as follows:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Byelorussian SSR, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, Yemen, Yugoslavia.
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Gabon, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Paraguay, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Upper Volta, Uruguay.
Burma, Cameroon, Ceylon, China, Colombia, Dahomey, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama Peru, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela, Zambia.
A/6115 and Corr.1. Report of Special Political Committee.
A/L.474. Nigeria: draft resolution.
RESOLUTION 2052 (XX), as submitted by Nigeria, A/L.474, adopted by Assembly on
15 December 1965, meeting 1395, by roll-call vote of 91 to 1, with 7 abstentions as follows:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chad, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland. India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Arab Republic, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
Burma, Burundi, Laos, Madagascar, Portugal, Sierra Leone, South Africa.
The representatives of Kuwait and Colombia subsequently informed the Secretariat that, if they had been present during the vote, they would have voted in favour of the draft resolution.
"The General Assembly,
its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, 393 (V) and 394 (V) of 2 and 14 December 1950, 512 (VI) and 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952, 614 (VII) of 6 November 1952, 720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, 818 (IX) of 4 December 1954, 916 (X) of 3 December 1955, 1018 (XI) of 28 February 1957, 1191 (XII) of 12 December 1957, 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958, 1456 (XIV) of 9 December 1959, 1604 (XV) of 21 April 1961, 1725 (XVI) of 20 December 1961, 1856 (XVII) of 20 December 1962, 1912 (XVIII) of 3 December 1963 and 2002 (XIX) of 10 February 1965,
the annual reports of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the periods from 1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964 and from 1 July 1964 to 30 June 1965,
. Notes with deep regret
that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern;
. Expresses its thanks
to the Commissioner-General and the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for their continued faithful efforts to provide essential services for the Palestine refugees, and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees;
. Directs attention
to the critical financial position of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as outlined in the Commissioner-General's report;
. Notes with regret
that contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East have not thus far been sufficient to enable the Agency to cover its essential budget requirements;
all Governments as a matter of urgency to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, particularly in the light of the budgetary deficit projected in the Commissioner-General's report;
the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to take such measures, including rectification of the relief rolls--a problem which has been and continues to be of major concern to the General Assembly--as to assure, in co-operation with the Government concerned, the most equitable distribution of relief based on need;
. Calls upon
the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to intensify its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and to report thereon as appropriate and not later than 1 October 1966;
to extend until 30 June 1969, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East."
/ See Y.U.N., 1961, p. 155.
/ Paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) provided, among other things that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property. ..."
/ See Y.U.N., 1964, pp. 179-80.
/ See Y.U.N., 1948-49, p. 175.
Paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) provided, among other things that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property. ..."
/ See Y.U.N., 1948-49, p. 405, for text of resolution.
/ See Y.U.N., 1951, p. 309, for text of resolution 512 (VI).