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Agenda item 108:
Question of Palestine (concluded) 1059
2. I now call on those representatives who have indicated a wish to speak in explanation of vote before the vote is taken on the draft resolutions before us
3. Mr. ORTIZ DE ROZAS (Argentina) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Argentina would like to explain its vote, at the same time stressing its full awareness of the importance of achieving a suitable and fair solution to the problem of Palestine. We speak with the clear conscience of those who, from the time when this question was first considered, have maintained an even-handed and constructive attitude, guided by the single purpose of consolidating peace and harmonious coexistence among all the peoples of the Middle East.
4. In 1947, when speaking in the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, the permanent representative of my country at that time, Mr. Jose Arce, explained Argentina's position, which opposed the Plan of Partition on the grounds that it ran counter to the letter and the spirit of the Charter. Argentina then considered that the General Assembly was not empowered to impose such a decision, which had all the earmarks of a true measure of arbitrary force. In a prophetic spirit, which the passage of time has unfortunately confirmed, he foresaw the manifold consequences it was likely to produce, warning that if the proposed step was taken, it would be to sow the seeds of a serious conflict, instead of ensuring peace, the first and most important obligation of the United Nations.1
5. Without hesitation, Argentina held that the only -- I repeat, the only -- legal solution, the only one consonant with the Charter of the United Nations, was to allow for and respect the self-determination of the people of Palestine, in other words, to guarantee the equal exercise of that right by both the Arabs and the Jews who inhabited the Palestinian Territory under the British Mandate.
6. I do not need to point out that, unfortunately, the General Assembly followed a different course. Nor do I need to recall that that course, from 1947 to the present time, has been marked by disturbances and bloodshed, which, far from leading to peace, have turned the Middle East into the most explosive and dangerous region in the whole world.
7. Now is not the time to say who is to blame or who is responsible. For better or worse, the history of the past 27 years is irreversible, and confronts us with new and ineluctible realities. We must work with them and find suitable solutions for them if we wish to avoid another tragic error similar to that committed by the General Assembly in 1947.
8. One of those realities is unquestionably the people of Palestine. That people, despoiled of its rights -- paradoxically enough by this very Organization -- chased from its homes, and subjected for years to humiliating treatment, today is once again making its presence felt in the international system, and claiming that justice should be rendered to its cause. To satisfy its legitimate aspirations is a basic and indispensable prerequisite for any solution to the problem of the Middle East.
9. The other reality is called Israel, whose origin as a State originated in a decision of the General Assembly, but which as a Jewish people had inhabited the region for centuries, long before national entities and the concepts of sovereignty and independence had appeared in the world.
10. The birth of the State of Israel was promoted and supported by many States in this Assembly, and principally by the two super-Powers. Since then it has so vigorously consolidated its national existence that to deny it, or to speculate about its possible end, would be illusory.
11. Thus the two protagonists in this tragic situation must each have a full understanding of both realities. The Palestinian people has a full right to self-determination and to lay its foundations as a sovereign and independent State, but not at the cost of Israel's rights. Israel, in turn, has every right to continue to exist as a free and independent State, but not at the cost of the rights of the Palestinians or of the other Arab countries surrounding it. The course open, therefore, is a negotiated and peaceful solution that will reconcile all legitimate aspirations.
12. That must be most strongly emphasized, because we cannot rule out the possibility that one or the other party might be tempted to resort to force to achieve their aims. The Middle East has aldready witnessed four tragic wars. Our overriding obligation, in accordance with the Charter and with the aims that led to the creation of the United Nations, is to avoid, by all means within our grasp, the outbreak of a fifth war, which might have unforeseen consequences.
13. Without a negotiated peace there will be no lasting solution. If the fortunes of war are the only arbiter, the conqueror of today may very easily become the vanquished of tomorrow. No side can rejoice in its victory because all victories will be ephemeral, even though they may mean a few years of superior military strength.
14. To achieve the just and lasting peace that we support there must be, in addition to the acceptance of the realities to which I have alluded, a withdrawal by Israel, as we have repeatedly stated, from all -- I repeat, all -- occupied Arab territories. In other words, it must withdraw to its original frontiers. Within those frontiers it must be recognized and guaranteed the right to security and to peaceful coexistence in an international instrument to which all of its neighbours are parties.
15. The decisions of the United Nations on Jerusalem must be implemented and respected. Jerusalem is the Holy City, venerated by Christians, Jews and Moslems, a corpus separatum, which should be under international administration.
16. The two super-Powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, bear a very special responsibility in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This derives not so much from the interests and influences that both have developed within the region over the years, but rather from the even more serious fact that it was owing to their concurrence in 1947 that this problem arose. With the resolute cooperation of the two super-Powers and a minimum of good will from the parties directly involved, peace in the Middle East might well be within our grasp.
17. Argentina will vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.741 because in strict justice it constitutes due reparation by the United Nations to the Palestinian people and recognition of its inalienable rights. Our vote is in no way intended to place the rights of the State of Israel in doubt.
18. With regard to draft resolution A/L.742, which was distributed late last night, the delegation of Argentina has as yet not received instructions and will not participate in the vote on it.
19. Mrs. BROOKS-RANDOLPH (Liberia): The sponsors of draft resolution A/L.741 have seen fit to eliminate from the present text the words " since 1947", which were part of the original text.
20. While it still has some misgivings regarding the wording of the present draft, particularly operative paragraph 2, the delegation of Liberia nevertheless interprets it to mean that the basic principles embodied in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) still stand.
21. The delegation of Liberia supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the State of Israel to exist peaceably as separate entities. We believe the draft resolution lays the groundwork for self-determination or independence for the Palestinian people with a view to both the State of Israel and a Palestinian State existing within recognized and secure boundaries in the area.
22. On that understanding. the delegation of Liberia will support draft resolution A/L.741.
23. As regards draft resolution A/L.742, the Liberian delegation finds no difficulty in supporting observer status at the United Nations for the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO]. It will therefore cast its vote in favour of that text.
24. Mr. RAMPHUL (Mauritius): I deplore the fact that draft resolutions A/L.741 and A/L.742 were circulated and introduced only this morning while we are expected to vote on them this afternoon. That has resulted in great embarrassment for my delegation in that communication between New York and Port Louis being what it is, it has been impossible for me to advise and receive specific instructions from my Government. Therefore, l shall personally assume full responsibility for the votes I shall cast this afternoon and they will be subject to ratification by my Government at an appropriate time.
25. Secondly, I wish to reiterate the position of Mauritius -- namely, that Israel has a right to exist in peace within secure and recognized boudaries. As a loyal Member of the United Nations, we firmly support the mandatory Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which was adopted on the initiative of the United Kingdom. We regret that a technical interpretation of the English language made it difficult for the parties directly concerned to agree and therefore implement that historic resolution.
26. I have no intention of lecturing this august Assembly on equity as opposed to common law, or on the interpretation of deeds and statutes or mandatory resolutions of the Security Council, which are so often violated by the very members who adopt them. However, I may perhaps mention that it is a well-known maxim of equity that delay defeats justice.
27. 1 am confident that my colleague and friend of the United Kingdom, Mr. Ivor Richard, the eminent Queen's Counsel, will agree with that principle.
28. I say this because we are today celebrating the seventh anniversary of resolution 242 (1967) and yet the injustice to the Palestinians continues. We regret that reference to that resolution is not made in draft resolution A/L.741.
29. We also support Security Council resolution 338 (1973) and at the same time maintain that only the PLO can participate and speak on behalf of the Palestinians. This position is in accordance with our past positions and our firm belief in the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine as well as in the principle of self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
30. At the beginning of this debate on the question of Palestine, Yasser Arafat told us of his dream of creating a State on the West Bank of the Jordan where Christians, Jews and Muslims could live in peace and harmony.
31. I am neither a Christian nor a Jew nor a Muslim. I am a Hindu by birth and upbringing, though not necessarily a practising one. I was brought up in the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, a book sacred to all Hindus. One of the first lessons of that sacred book is that when an injustice is being committed we must explore all peaceful avenues to find a remedy. But when all the peaceful avenues have been explored in vain, then it is not only the right but the duty of men to use violence, if necessary, to remedy the wrong.
32. Mahatma Gandhi, universally known for his policy of non-violence, believed in this principle of the Bhagavad-Gita. Let us hope, therefore that all the peaceful avenues have not yet been explored.
33. With these explanations and with a sincere belief that it is not the intention of anyone, organization or State, to erase Israel from the post-war map of the world, and that all will respect the existence, the sovereignty and the integrity of Israel as a State, I propose to vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.741, which has been sponsored, among others, by two very friendly and neighbouring States of Mauritius: Madagascar and India.
34. Regarding draft resolution A/L.742, I appreciate that the granting to the PLO of observer status at the United Nations may have some serious implications which might tend to change the character of our Organization. On the other hand, Mauritius supported the participation of the PLO in the deliberations of international conferences. We actively supported observer status for the PLO at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea held at Caracas earlier this year. I shall, therefore, keep an open mind, listen to other speakers and vote according to my reason, however limited, and to my conscience -- and I do have one -- at the appropriate time.
35. Mr. FRAZAO (Brazil): The Brazilian delegation has followed with the closest attention the debates that have taken place in this plenary Assembly on the question of Palestine, and informed the Brazilian Government accordingly.
36. A first reading of the draft resolution raised doubts on the extent and scope of some of its provisions. Unfortunately, the official text of draft resolution A/L.741 was circulated only last night. This circumstance did not allow my delegation sufficient time to obtain from the Brazilian Government the necessary instructions on a matter of such importance.
37. For these reasons Brazil will not take part in the vote on that draft resolution. May I add that, as evidenced by its intervention in the general debate and by its vote in this plenary Assembly, Brazil has unmistakably favoured the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including its rights to self-determination and sovereignty. Brazil also shares the view that the full exercise of those rights by the Palestinian people constitutes a necessary condition for the establishment of a just and lasting peace.
38. Mr. ARVESEN (Norway): Through its resolutions 242 (1967) of November 1967 and 338 (1973) of October 1973 the Security Council has laid down the guidelines for a just and comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. We find it of the utmost importance that the United Nations organs, be it the General Assembly or the Security Council, in dealing with the Middle East conflict, avoid any move that might tend to upset the balance of these two resolutions which are fundamental in relation to the work for peace in the Middle East.
39. Norway has consistently supported Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) as a basis for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It is our view that such a peace must be built on the following main principles.
40. Firstly, the acquisition of territories by force cannot be accepted. This is a basic principle of the Charter of the United Nations. Any changes to or adjustments of borders can only be effected as an agreed result of peaceful negotiations.
41. Secondly, all States in the area must have the right to live within secure and recognized boundaries. This principle, which is laid down in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), is essential to any peace settlement and must be retained intact.
42. Thirdly, a just solution must be found for the Palestinians. The Norwegian Government has for several years now recognized the fact that no lasting peace can be achieved in the Middle East unless the legitimate interests and rights of the Palestinians are taken into due consideration.
43. In conformity with the last principle, Norway voted for General Assembly resolution 3210 (XXIX), which gave the PLO an opportunity to explain its views in the debate on Palestine in the General Assembly. We consider it essential that the Palestinians be engaged in the political dialogue aiming at an overall peaceful solution to the problems of the Middle East.
44. As to the draft resolution before us in document A/L.741, it is the view of my Government that it leaves out a very important element, which was contained in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), and that is, the right of all States in the Middle East to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. We will, therefore, have to vote against draft resolution A/L.741.
45. We agree that an over-all peaceful solution must give the Palestinians the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination. This, however, must not in any way undermine or threaten Israel's right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. A full recognition of this right for all parties concerned is a pre-condition for any progress towards a lasting peace settlement in the Middle East.
46. U LWIN (Burma): We are happy to have had the opportunity afforded by the present debate on the question of Palestine to obtain a clearer understanding of this question in its true perspective. In this connexion, I should like to reiterate Burma's policy in the Middle East conflict, which has consistently been based on Security Council resolution 242 (1967), and we continue to hold the view that the implementation of that resolution, as called for subsequently in Security Council resolution 338 (1973) still provides a sound basis for the achievement of a just and lasting settlement.
47. It is my privilege to say that we in Burma have always had heartfelt sympathies for the Palestinian people, which is amply borne out by our votes in favour of General Assembly resolutions 2628 (XXV) and 2949 (XXVII). We therefore support the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, and believe that without due regard for their rights and interests there will be no lasting peace settlement.
48. Against that background, the Burmese delegation will support the two draft resolutions, A/L.741 and A/L.742, now before the General Assembly.
49. Mr. RICHARD (United Kingdom): I should like to make an explanation of vote in connexion with draft resolution A/L.742 on the proposed granting of permanent observer status to the PLO. My delegation will cast a negative vote on this draft resolution, and I should like to explain briefly the reasons why we find that necessary.
50. May I make it clear, first of all, that the position we are taking on this draft resolution has nothing at all to do with our views on the substance of the question of Palestine. I set out those views in the speech which I made the other day in the course of our general debate on that item. Those views have not changed; they are neither affected by, nor do they affect, the question we are now considering.
51. That question, as we see it, turns in essence on the nature of the United Nations itself. This Organization was originally conceived, and up till now has always been regarded, as an Organization of sovereign, independent States. Only States may be Members of the United Nations.
52. Consistently with that position, the status of permanent observers has also hitherto been confined to non-member States such as Switzerland or the Vatican, and to regional organizations of States, such as the Organization of African Unity [OAU] and, most recently, the European Economic Community [EEC] and the Council for Mutual Economic Asssitance.
53. The draft resolution which we are now going to vote on will, as we see it, alter all that. If adopted it would give to the PLO what is in effect the status of a permanent observer here. The PLO, whatever view one may take of it in political terms, is not the government of an existing State; it has not been recognized by anybody as the government of a State; it does not purport to be one.
54. Moreover, the draft resolution goes further than this Assembly has ever thought it right to go before even as regards States and organizations of States. Not merely does it permit the PLO to participate in the proceedings of the General Assembly but it also gives it the right to take part in the proceedings of all United Nations conferences, and indeed virtually instructs the specialized agencies to follow a similar course.
55. In every respect, therefore, except the right formally to submit proposals and to vote, the PLO is being treated as though it were a Member State of the United Nations.
56. As I have said, this seems to my delegation to be a fundamental departure from our practice, and to bring into question the nature of the United Nations as it has hitherto been accepted.
57. For those reasons, the United Kingdom will vote against that draft resolution.
58. Mr. KAUFMANN (Netherlands): After many years of debate, and after successive tragic wars, the General Assembly is dealing with a question deeply affecting the situation in the Middle East and the vital position of the parties concerned. The problem is entitled the "Question of Palestine'', but it cannot be denied that what is basically at stake is the question of war or peace in the region.
59. There can be no solution to the conflict in the Middle East without full respect for all the parties involved. The Palestinians are a principle party to the conflict, and so is the State of Israel, a sovereign Member of the United Nations. Equally, there can be no solution to the conflict without solving the question of the Palestinian people. I wish to recall that the Netherlands Government has on many occasions stated that the political aspirations of the Palestinians should be recognized and should be given form and substance in the framework and as an essential element of a comprehensive settlement. For this reason my Government has welcomed a renewed discussion of the question of Palestine in the United Nations.
60. In the view of the Netherlands Government, and for that matter in the view of the nine Governments of EEC, as reflected in their statement of 6 November 1973,2 Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) should form the basis of a just and lasting peace settlement.
61. In fact, the year that has just elapsed since the tragic and costly October war gave us hope that we were finally on the road to such a lasting peace. I refer to the respective withdrawal agreements under the supervision of the United Nations,3 and I refer to the Geneva talks during which, after years of complete breakdown in communications, some of the principal parties at long last sat together to discuss the future.
62. Nothing which this General Assembly might decide upon should in any way frustrate those encouraging developments or in any way prejudge the final outcome of the talks.
63. Unfortunately, the draft resolution now before us in document A/L.741 does not, in the view of the Netherlands Government, contribute to the solution of the basic conflict. It addresses itself directly to certain elements of the question of Palestine but does not incorporate at the same time other elements which are essential for a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict.
64. I repeat that Security Council resolution 242 (1967) must be the point of departure for such a settlement. It should therefore have been unequivocally recalled and endorsed in the draft resolution. Resolution 242 (1967) is essential because it contains, apart from the important principle of withdrawal of Israel armed forces from occupied territories, the principle of respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and its right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, free from threats or acts of force. That principle is applicable to every State in the area, it is applicable to the State of Israel. Unless that principle and the expressed recognition of the rights of Israel as a State in the region are reaffirmed in the draft resolution, my Government cannot support it..
65. The draft resolution's main thrust and purpose is rightly concerned with the status and the rights of the Palestinians. As stated in paragraph 3 (IV) of the declaration of 6 November 1973 of the nine EEC countries, "in the establishment of a just and lasting peace account must be taken of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians."2
66. However, the manner in which the rights of the Palestinian people are defined in the draft resolution does not take into account the existence and the rights of the State of Israel in accordance with resolution 242 (1967). There can be no doubt that the Palestinians are fully entitled to pursue their rights and vital interests, but in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations these rights and interests must be pursued by peaceful means only.
67. To sum up, my Government, aware of the vital need for peace in the Middle East, and all the implications thereof, has most seriously and earnestly considered draft resolution A/L.741. We must regretfully conclude that it does not strike the essential balance between the rights of all the parties to the conflict concerned, and it cannot therefore, in our view, contribute to a settlement of the conflict. My delegation will consequently have to abstain when the draft resolution is put to the vote.
68. Finally, on behalf of my Government, I wish strongly to endorse the pressing appeal made a few days ago by the Secretary-General to all the Governments concerned to avoid any action which may lead to new hostilities and to exercise the restraint through which alone we may reach the goal that all desire, a just peace in the Middle East.
69. Mr. PANYARACHUN (Thailand): I should like to explain my delegation's position on draft resolution A/L. 741.
70. Of all the problems confronting the United Nations none has a longer history of tragic suffering and political complexity than the question of Palestine. For far too long the Palestinian people and the peoples of other States in the Middle East have endured hardship and injustices. We in Thailand have long held sympathetic views on the plight of the Palestinians, not only as refugees but also as people entitled to national independence and sovereignty.
71. At the same time, while we recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, we must take into full account also the legitimate rights of other peoples and existing States in the Middle East region. The State of Israel, with which my Government maintains friendly relations, is a fact of life, irrespective of whether or not one agrees with the circumstances of its birth. We are dealing not with the past but with the present and the future. Peaceful coexistence is the essential requisite for a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.
72. In our view, that element is incorporated, together with others of no less importance, m Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which continues to have the support of the Government of Thailand.
73. Our vote in support of draft resolution A/L.741 must be interpreted in the light of the explanation I have just given on behalf of my delegation.
74. Mr. SEIGNORET (Trinidad and Tobago): For many years my Government has made resolution 242 (1967), adopted by the Security Council on 22 November 1967, the basis of its policy of supporting the efforts of the international community to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. My delegation has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied Arab territories. Equally, we have called for the termination of all claims of States of belligerency and for respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area, and of course, their right to live in peace within clear and recognized boundaries. free from threat or acts of force.
75. As has been repeatedly pointed out on this rostrum during the course of the debate on this item, this resolution was deficient, in our view, in so far as it touched only the humanitarian aspect of the Palestine question. It remained silent on the more fundamental and important aspect -- the just political needs and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
76. The action taken by the General Assembly, first by inscribing the item "Question of Palestine" on its agenda, and later by inviting the PLO to participate in the plenary meetings of the General Assembly, has gone a long way to correct that deficiency.
77. Draft resolution A/L.741 contains a number of principles which my delegation endorses. My delegation will vote in favour of it. We vote in favour of the draft resolution because we are convinced that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved or can be achieved unless the legitimate aims and aspirations of the Palestinian people are satisfied. We support the Palestinian people in their just demand for full respect for and realization of their inalienable rights to national independence, to self-determination and sovereignty. We shall also vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.742.
78. The Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago are deeply concerned that the Middle East has for so long been in the grip of tension which has produced four major conflicts and innumerable lesser ones. The history of that part of the world confirms that no decision can endure which ignores the rights of peoples, particularly when the aggrieved people has the will and the determination not to accept deprivation of its rights. But a situation that has so long a history of hostile populations ranged one against the other demands the highest level of understanding and good judgement to ensure that the correction of one set of wrongs is not sought by remedies which lead a people, any people, to feel they have grounds to reject the remedies.
79. In supporting the draft resolution, therefore, my delegation wishes to make it clear that it sees in it a major contribution to the process of bringing about change by which all States in the area, including Israel and the Palestinian State created in accordance with the wishes of the Palestinian people will live in peace with mutual respect for their Sovereignty, territorial integrity and national independence.
80. We are aware that parties to a conflict often see results in terms of victor and vanquished. We hope that that will not be the case on this occasion. The United Nations has a clear responsibility to help create conditions which will minimize antagonisms that could result from positive decisions taken to deal with the problems involved.
81. The people of that area have already been sorely tried, and those who have been living as refugees have carried the added burden of seeming to be forgotten by the rest of the world. In solidarity with them we express the hope that the debate which has taken place in this Hall and the resolutions we are about to adopt will lead -- accepting that readjustment will, unfortunately, be painful -- to a period of tranquillity and stability for the enjoyment of all the people of all the States of the area.
82. Mr. WALDRON-RAMSEY (Barbados): The delegation of Barbados has been instructed to return to this podium and explain its vote on the two draft resolutions before the current session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine. I shall proceed to do so, following the strict instructions, with respect, in the first instance, to draft resolution A/L.742, which deals with the question of observer status for the PLO.
83. The delegation of Barbados has a certain fastidiousness about the constitutionality and the practices of this General Assembly and its procedures. Because of that, we find the draft resolution before us in document A/L.742 deficient in its drafting in order to encompass the intention which one suspects its proposers purport to intend. We feel, for instance, that in operative paragraph 1, which "Invites the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer", should really read: "Invites the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the sessions and work of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine and other issues touching and concerning the Middle East". For we do believe, as was indicated in my major statement yesterday, that on matters touching and concerning Palestine the PLO, the designated agent of the Palestinian people, ought to have the right to participate in any such discussion in their capacity as an observer.
84. But, as one of my colleagues who came to this rostrum before me indicated, the people of Palestine is a people without a State. What troubles my delegation in this draft resolution is that it would seek to ascribe the personality and the attributes of statehood to the PLO. It is an organization, it is an agency, it is the designee of a people, but it is certainly not a State. However, the intention is good, as my Government sees it, and since my Government holds very strictly to the view that the canons of natural justice must indicate, and always indicate, that the principal participants to a dispute must have the right to participate in any discussion surrounding that dispute, then my Government instructs me -- and I am agreed with those instructions -- to vote for this draft resolution.
85. Now, we are somewhat in trouble with regard to draft resolution A/L.741. My Government agrees with nearly all of the preambular paragraphs, but when we come to operative paragraph I and operative paragraph 5 we have some doubt as to the real intentions of the authors of this draft resolution.
86. You will note from your text, Sir, that operative paragraph I reads: "Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine...". My Government is a government of jurists; easily 95 per cent are jurists, and they start therefore from an "is" position as distinct from an "ought" position. They know that the Palestinian people exists as a people, but I was instructed only a few moments ago by overseas telephone to inquire, where is Palestine? I was unable to inform my Minister that my geography was up to date. We have difficulties about this. If Palestine does not exist, what do the sponsors really mean by "the Palestinian people in Palestine"? I have been instructed to find out from my colleagues, who are old friends, whether by that they mean the geopolitical, more comprehensive entity known as Palestine, which I suppose would encompass the West Bank -- and some of us would push it further and say the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but my delegation has no view on this, or does it really mean that geopolitical area which is now occupied by the State of Israel?
87. If it means the State of Israel, then my delegation, on its intructions is in tremendous difficulty because, as will be recalled from my speech yesterday, we insist that the State of Israel, as it is, has the right to exist just as we insist that the Palestinian people have the right to have a State, and that both States should exist side by side in peace and as good neighbours, each recognizing the other and each agreeing that the other is entitled to secure and recognized boundaries.
88. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) (from the floor): Point of order.
89. Mr. WALDRON-RAMSEY (Barbados): I am quite prepared to yield to my colleague, the representative of Saudi Arabia. l am in your hands, Mr. President, but I see you indicate that I should proceed, and, although I mean no disrespect to my distinguished and venerable colleague, l will conclude my statement, which will take another minute or two. I am reciting my instructions and indicating the manner in which I am instructed to vote.
90. Operative paragraph 2 creates some problems for us in the same vein of thought as operative paragraph I. We accept that the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property is a valid one, but when we ask the General Assembly to call for their return, the question is, their return where, at this point in time, and to what, at this point in time? It will be recalled that we feel that a peace conference ought to be able to determine between the principal parties what ought to happen in this area in order to provide for both the Palestinian people and the Israelis' conditions of life as distinct national personalities.
91. Then, in operative paragraph 5, we read that the General Assembly "Further recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations". Why do we say "by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter"? Do these mean two different things, or do they mean one and the same thing? If we want these rights to be regained in accordance with the principles of the Charter why do we not say "regain its rights by those means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations"? This is a suggestion we thought we would make to the sponsors.
92. Then we feel that -- and again this follows the general point of our statement yesterday -- somewhere in this text, it being conceded that this is the principal draft resolution, the sponsoring Powers ought to be~ saying that the General Assembly reaffirms the right of all States in the area to dwell within secure and recognized boundaries. In that way we would be putting in no novel consideration; this is a consideration which has been with us and was first enunciated in the Security Council in 1967 and reaffirmed by the Council itself in 1973.
93. Since we recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to independence and sovereignty and to a restoration of their homes and property, but because we have difficulties about the language of this text and the real intentions of the sponsors, my delegation is instructed to abstain on draft resolution A/L.741.
94. That is how we shall vote.
95. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I wish to appeal to the Assembly to see that our discussions proceed in an orderly manner so as to ensure a fruitful and effective discussion on such an important problem. At the same time I should like to thank my friend the representative of Saudi Arabia for his kind co-operation, and I now call on him on a point of order.
96. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): You may rest assured, Mr. President, that I do not want to create an incident, and would not have insisted on a point of order had I not felt that the previous speaker, Mr. Waldron-Ramsey, whom I have known for many years, should receive an answer not by way of right of reply, because he said that his explanation of vote was predicated on whether there is a Palestine. He is an educated young man, I have known him for many years. He should not have been allowed to say that, as some of the Zionists claim, there is no such thing as Palestine. He should have known. How can there be a Palestinian people without a geographical entity? He should have known that by Palestine we mean that geographical entity which was defined by the League of Nations in the Covenant and placed under a British Mandate. It is confusing the issue to say there is no Palestine. Those people who are jurists should have coached him so that he would not confuse the issue and say what others among the Zionists have said, at one time at least, that there exist no Palestinian people and no Palestinian land. 97. This should not have been permitted. Not that he does not have the right to express what he wants, but he should not negate that there was a geographical entity, a juridical entity in so far as the League of Nations was concerned, delimited with boundaries placed unjustly -- we all of us, when I was young, said "unjustly" -- under a British Mandate. And he has the nerve to say: ''We do not know how to vote because there is no such thing as Palestine".
98. In concluding I should like to ask you now, Mr. President, to allow me, should the need arise, to exercise my right of reply later to anything that may be said by this gentleman sitting here in the seat of Israel, because he also might say -- without referring to Mr. Waldron-Ramsey -- "What is Palestine?"
99. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I call on the representative of Israel on a point of order.
100. Mr. TEKOAH (Israel): I have asked for the floor simply to express complete agreement with the statement made by the representative of Saudi Arabia.
101. Indeed, as he correctly pointed out, confirming my first and only statement thus far in the debate on the question of Palestine, Palestine is, was geographically, historically the area placed by the League of Nations under the British Mandate, including what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Israel. This is precisely what we have been saying all along. This is precisely what we continue to say. In that area of Palestine, there are today two sovereign independent States: the Palestinian Arab State of Jordan and the Jewish State of Israel. And so it shall be: two separate independent States -- Israel and the Palestinian State of Jordan, in accordance with the words of the representative of Saudi Arabia.
102. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I should like to call on the representative of Jordan.
103. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan): I come to the rostrum to say primarily that I failed to see the point of order in the statement of the Israeli representative. We are at this stage explaining our votes before the vote, and I understand that that procedure requires all representatives to be restricted at this stage to that exercise.
104. However, as the representative of Israel found it fit to procrastinate and to try to delay the vote on the substantive issue, it is my right, I think, to point out again that the issue before us is not one of semantics. We are faced with the concrete issue of the rights, aspirations and grievances of the Palestinian Arab people -- those who were forced out of their homes in Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Acre and Beersheba in 1947-1948 -- and of the rights of the Arab Palestinian people who are at the moment under occupation in Hebron, in Nablus, in Jenin, in Tul Karm. It is a clearly defined area and these are clearly defined rights. In other words, Palestine is what at this moment has been replaced by Israel and by Israel extension and occupation, with the exception of the Golan Heights and Sinai. This is what we are talking about, and I suppose, Mr. President, that you and all representatives agree with me that we must proceed to the vote on the substantive issue in seriousness and delay any comments to a later stage.
105. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): Does the representative of Saudi Arabia still wish to speak on a point of order? I call on him.
106. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia): The vote will not be affected by any points of order or further explanations. Everybody has received his instructions or some, like my colleague from Mauritius, have assumed the responsibility.
107. However, I must tell that gentleman who sits there behind the sign of Israel that perhaps even before he was born I visited Jaffa, Palestine- I visited Haifa, Palestine; I visited Ramle, Palestine. I do not care what arrangements were made by Mr. Churchill and the Zionists at that time, or what they did not agree on. Sovereignty lies in the people. In 1919 only 7 or 8 per cent of the population was Jewish; the rest were indigenous. Forget that they are Arabs -- they were Palestinian. And there would not have been any so-called terrorism -- since I consider that, like everybody else, they were fending for their homeland -- had they not, deplorably, had to resort to violence because the Zionists resorted to violence. But there was a Palestine that extended from southern Lebanon to the Sinai -- not only geographically, not only juridically, but also in population. And for your information, gentlemen -- ask someone who is a contemporary of those tragedies of the 1920s -- let me tell you that the EEF stamps that were used by the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force were overprinted with the word "Falasteen" in Arabic. Then came the English "Palestine", sandwiched in the middle, and then in Hebrew, to propitiate those...
108. The representative of Israel says "And then 'Israel' in Hebrew." No, to the best of my recollection it also was "Palestine", but whatever it was it was in Hebrew to propitiate those European Zionists who had brought pressure to bear since the days of Balfour, who manipulated the votes in this host country and in Western Europe. And that is why Western Europe is still to a large extent under the thumb of Zionists. They are quaking, being afraid to vote against the Rothschilds, the Melchetts and the Oppenheimers in South Africa.
109. Palestine exists; nobody can take Palestine from the map.
110. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): The Assembly will now proceed to vote. First I shall put to the vote draft resolution A/L.741. A roll-call vote has been requested.
A vote was taken by roll call.
Somalia, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Democratic Yemen, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Khmer Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone.
Against: United States of America, Bolivia, Chile. Costa Rica. Iceland. Israel. Nicaragua, Norway.
Abstaining: Swaziland, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Canada. Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany (Federal Republic of), Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore.
The draft resolution was adopted by 89 votes to 8, with 37 abstentions (resolution 3236 (XXIX)).
111. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall now put to the vote draft resolution A/L.742.
A recorded vote was taken.
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dahomey, Democratic Yemen, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast Jordan, Kenya, Khmer Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.
Against: Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany (Federal Republic of), Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. United States of America.
Abstaining: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Colombia, France, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Laos, Malawi, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Uruguay.
The draft resolution was adopted by 95 votes to 17, with 19 abstentions (resolution 3237 (XXIX)).
112. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from French): I shall now call upon representatives wishing to speak in explanation of vote after the vote.
113. Mr. TEKOAH (Israel): Inscribed at the portals to the United Nations, the prophet Isaiah's admonition reads: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation". Today, the General Assembly is helping lift up a sword against the very nation which brought that message to the world.
114. These are sad days for the United Nations. These are days of degradation and disgrace, of surrender and humiliation for the international community.
115. They began when the General Assembly, having decided after the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games to consider measures to combat terrorism, capitulated to the murder organization responsible for the massacre. They continued when Yasser Arafat, responsible for that massacre and for many others, appeared on this rostrum with a gun in his holster, was received in a spectacle which made a mockery of the Charter, and defiantly reaffirmed that the PLO's objective is the destruction of a Member State. Then came the President's unprecedented initiative of muzzling freedom of speech. Thereafter the debate turned into a monotonous monologue of falsehood and distortion, of hostility and fanaticism interrupted only on rare occasions by a voice of reason.
116. One PLO supporter after another denied the Jewish people's right to life and independence, negated its national identity and its history. One after another disparaged the people of Israel by trying to present it as a stranger in its own homeland.
117. Even Islam's holy book, the Koran itself, states, with reference to the Jewish people, "Enter, O my people, the Holy Land which God hath assigned for you". However, nothing seems sacred to the PLO murderers and their followers. They derided the truth as mendacity, right as wrong. To them, savagery is praiseworthy, defence against atrocities condemnable. Terror against civilians is acceptable, but a State's protection of its citizens is terrorism. The murder of Jewish children and the destruction of the Jewish State is called liberation. Zionism, the Jewish people's national liberation movement, is calumnied as evil. Verily, the debate often appeared like a Sodom and Gomorrah of ideals and values.
118. Even while it was proceeding, Israeli civilians were being murdered in Beit Shean by PLO agents.
119. It was not always like that.
120. On 3 January 1919, an agreement was signed by Emir Feisal, head of the Arab national liberation movement and of the Arab nation's revolt against Ottoman rule, and by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing the Zionist movement. The agreement provided for "all necessary measures to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine".
121. In a letter written on 3 March 1919 to Mr. Felix Frankfurter, a prominent American Zionist and United States Supreme Court Justice, Emir Feisal declared:
123. Of all the peoples represented in the United Nations, the Jewish nation is one of the most ancient. Its struggle for survival, for self-determination and independence is probably the oldest and most tenacious in history.
124. It is a strife not of 50 or 100 years, as that of most nations represented here, but of two millenia. The Jewish people was unable to carry on this struggle solely in its own homeland as others could. It had to wage it in all the lands among which it was dispersed after having been conquered by the Roman Empire.
125. It did not resist the oppression and domination of one Power, as most newly-independent nations have, but fought back the despotism and discrimination and racism of many.
126. The Jewish struggle -- Zionism -- was an inspiration to numerous other peoples. The late President Nasser of Egypt himself found it appropriate to include in his book The Philosophy of the Revolution the following passage:
" 'The subject which Gamal Abdul Nasser always talked about with me', he [Cohen] wrote, 'was the struggle of Israel against the English, and how we organized the underground resistance movement against them in Palestine, and how we were able to muster world public opinion behind us in our struggle against them.
128. Yet these facts have been wilfully ignored or distorted by the PLO supporters. To them a murder organization dedicated to slaughter and to the destruction of a people's independence constitutes the embodiment of liberty.
129. Liberation should inspire and elevate. It should restore human rights and human dignity. It should bring happiness and creation. It should be rebirth and life. Thus it is with individuals and thus it is with nations.
130. The names of Washington, Garibaldi, Gandhi, Senghor, Kaunda or the Maquis and other partisans of the Second World War are enshrined in the history and the glory of national liberation struggles. Only arrogant effrontery can mention Arafat and the PLO in the same category. Neither by its objectives nor by its methods can the PLO be classified as a liberation movement.
131. Almost every national struggle has known the use of force. No liberation movement, however, has used force indiscriminately; none has deliberately directed acts of violence against innocent civilians; none has engaged exclusively in premeditated murder Off Guiltless children, women and men.
132. Almost all liberation struggles have at one stage or another resorted to arms. However, the targets have generally been of a military nature. Sometimes there might be incidental civilian casualties. Sometimes an individual civilian might have been purposely assassinated, but this occurred usually when the person was a political figure engaged in the suppression of the liberation movement.
133. Arafat and the PLO, on the other hand, have concentrated entirely on murder for murder's sake. Their targets have never been military targets. They have always planned and carried out attacks on civilians only. They have always chosen the most savage method and the most innocent and defenceless target. Massacres of school children have been their specialty; the hijacking and blowing-up of civil airliners their favourite. The killing of helpless persons in their homes, of defenceless passengers at air terminals, of sportsmen in Olympic Games, of diplomats at Embassy receptions has become synonymous with the names of Arafat and the PLO.
134. Only PLO thugs could stoop to drinking in public the blood of Jordan's Prime Minister Wasfi Tal after killing him on a Cairo Street. Only a PLO leader could have said to a correspondent ''It does not matter whether they kill women or children, as long as they kill Jews". Only Arafat's agents could slaughter children by shooting them one by one in the head, as in Ma'alot. Only one other movement ever practiced such savagery -- the Nazis. The PLO murderers are their heirs in method and in objective.
135. Every national liberation movement strives to free its own people from the colonial yoke. No liberation movement aims at subjugating another people and depriving it of its national rights. The PLO's avowed goal is, however, to destroy the Jewish State and to wrest from the Jewish people its liberty and its independence. Again, only the Nazis denied to the Jewish people the rights of all nations. Only the Nazis refused to recognize that the Jewish people was equal with others. Arafat and the PLO hold the same view. The only right that the PLO is prepared to grant Jews is to live as an oppressed minority in one more Arab State.
136. This very morning, the Wall Street Journal carried an interview with Farouk Al-Kaddumi, head of the PLO's political department and chief of its delegation here, which reads as follows:
" 'We would get the support of the Soviet Union and China', he added."
138. The Arab nation has attained its rights in 20 independent States. There is a Yemen and a Democratic Yemen. There is a Qatar and a Bahrain, an Oman and a Kuwait and the Emirates -- all of them of the same tongue, culture, religion and history. And they dare to challenge the rights of Israel with its distinctive civilization and history -- Israel, the only Jewish State, the State of the oldest nation in the region.
139. The orgy of hatred and abuse now reaching its climax must raise grave questions about the future destiny of our Organization. By trampling in the dust
its own Charter, by submitting itself to violence and savagery, by hailing lawlessness, inhumanity and hypocrisy, the United Nations has plunged into an abyss from which there is no exit. Just as the demise of the League of Nations began when it bowed to force and aggression, so the sun appears to have set on the United Nations when so many in this debate joined in worshipping the Moloch of murder and international banditry.
140. This will not affect Israel. The Jewish people has learned over the ages not to be submerged by iniquity and decadence. Throughout history, the Jewish people and, since its independence, the State of Israel have known how to defend their rights and uphold their ideals without much support from others. We have never had any qualms or regrets about remaining faithful to our values, even when few were with us. We always understood that strength lies in quality, and not in numbers. Justice stands by itself. Truth speaks for itself.
141. The resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are products of iniquity and decadence. They have been initiated by the PLO. They reflect the PLO views. They encourage the PLO to pursue its goals and methods, which are contrary to the United Nations Charter, to international law and morality. They deal another grievous blow to the peace-making efforts in the Middle East, in which Israel has placed its hope and trust -- efforts intended also to bring about satisfaction of the needs of Palestinians.
142. These resolutions have obtained the usual mechanical majority, but those who reject them will add strength to the cause of peace. History has proved, time and again, that it is the few who are right that prevail in the end. The Bible says: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil". Israel will not follow the multitude. It will treat the resolutions for what they are and deserve to be: utterly contemptible and devoid of legal and moral worth.
143. Israel will not follow the multitude. It will not be deterred from its course. All it has done and achieved in the struggle for independence, in the defence of its heritage, its freedom, and its sovereignty, in the construction and development of its homeland, in the ingathering of its exiled and oppressed brethren, has been the fruit of the Jewish people's resolve, unity and tenacity maintained despite the ill wishes and designs of its enemies. Not resolutions expressing the belligerent views of Israel's opponents, but Israel's determination to safeguard its rights fortified by the understanding and solidarity of people of good will everywhere, have shaped the realities of the situation.
144. Thus it shall continue to be. At no time has the people of Israel felt more certain of the justice of its cause than now. At no time has it been more steadfast and more united in warding off the assault of the forces of darkness than today. Israel looks to the future with confidence strengthened by its past and inspired by the ideals it has always cherished
145. Mr. TABOR (Denmark): The General Assembly has just adopted draft resolution A/L.741. Denmark was not able to support that draft resolution. In not agreeing to the text, my country was adhering to a policy it has consistently followed throughout the years on this grave and tragic conflict. Fundamentally, that policy is based upon resolution 242 (1967), which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council in 1967 and in the formulation of which my country took an active part, and which was reaffirmed only last year by Security Council resolution 338 (1973).
146. We have, moreover, fully recognized the evolution that has taken place over the past years in relation to that aspect of the Middle Eastern conflict that is under particular consideration today -- namely, the rights of the Palestinians.
147. In the European context, my country participated last year in the EEC declaration which clearly recognizes, in paragraph 3 (iv), that:
149. Without going into further details regarding the text, I wish more generally to emphasize that the United Nations, in essence, is to us a world Organization committed to maintaining international peace and security and that its primary tools in the exercise of that duty are negotiation, mediation and conciliation. To us, it is important to strengthen the Organization in the applications of such peaceful means. We continue to believe that it is by such means that the United Nations can lend its original and essential contribution to breaking the vicious circle of violence.
150. The Danish Government maintains cordial relations with all the countries in the Middle Eastern area, and we deeply deplore the fact that despite all the efforts in the search for a peaceful solution, the situation remains critical.
151. It is our hope and expectation that, despite the division in the vote today, all parties will stand ready to participate in constructive efforts with a view finally to bringing the conflict under control and leading the area to that just and lasting peace it has so long awaited.
152. Mr. BOATEN (Ghana): My delegation voted in favour of draft resolution A/L.741 on the question of Palestine in recognition of the reality that the Palesinian issue goes beyond that of a mere refugee problem. By adopting that draft resolution, this Organization has for the first time recognized that reality.
153. The Middle East issue, of which the Palestine question forms an essential part, has for many years constituted a threat to world peace and security. No one can forget how near we came to a more dangerous extension of the issue in the course of the fresh hostilities that broke out in that region in October last year. Fortunately, good judgement and statesmanship averted a situation which had all the potential of a dangerous explosion. We cannot be sure that that good judgement and statesmanship will always prevail. That is why my delegation considers that all efforts should be made as a matter of urgency to solve the Middle East issue, and that is why it has welcomed all genuine efforts directed to that end.
154. Our support for draft resolution A/L.741 reflects our belief that there cannot be a solution to the Middle East issue until the Palestinian question has been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. In his statement in this forum during the general debate at this session, the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs of Ghana said
"If there is any lesson to be drawn from the spiral of violence in the Middle East, it is that the claims of the parties to the conflict touch the very life and spirit of their peoples. Thus, my delegation believes that no lasting solution can be found without addressing ourselves seriously to the Palestinian question." [2258th meeting, para. 107.]
155. That the Palestinian Arabs have certain rights no one can deny. My delegation considers it the responsibility of this Organization to do everything possible to ensure that they are enabled to enjoy those rights, as an essential element in the solution of the Middle East issue.
156. My delegation gave its support to draft resolution A/L.742 because we believe that the most logical modus vivendi in the circumstances, and one which is likely to lead to an acceptable solution to the Middle East issue, is to involve all concerned in our efforts to seek such a solution. Our position is, however, contingent on other elements that we consider essential to finding a peaceful solution to the issue.
157. In the first place, we maintain that whatever proposals we make to enable the Palestinian Arabs to enjoy the rights that have been denied to them for over 25 years should be without prejudice to the rights of every State or group of States in that region.
158. Secondly, such proposals should fully recognize the right of every State in the region to live in peace, and should give assurance of security and territorial integrity to all, without exception.
159. We maintain that position because we believe that it is the only one that fully accords with the realities of the situation in the region. Any other position, we believe, will introduce fresh complexities and make the resolution of the issue even more intractable.
160. Mr. KARHILO (Finland): My delegation has voted in favour of draft resolution A/L.742 as a logical consequence of the stand which we have taken in other contexts. I should, however, state here our understanding of the observer status which has now been granted to the PLO: that is, that it Will follow the practice established in the instances referred to in the preambular paragraphs of draft resolution A/L.742.
161. As will be recalled, the Finnish delegation supported the inclusion of the item on the question of Palestine in the agenda of this session of the General Assembly. Likewise, we supported the invitation to the PLO to participate in this debate, because we considered it important that the PLO should have the opportunity to express its views on the matter, which is of direct concern to the Palestinians. My delegation considers it useful that the Assembly has now carried out a wide-ranging discussion on the question of Palestine. It is our sincere hope that the possibility has thus been enhanced for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and for one which takes into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.
162. The Finnish delegation abstained in the vote on draft resolution A/L.741 because that draft did not contain any reference to the rights of all States in the region, including Israel, to live in peace and security without the threat of force. Furthermore, the draft resolution could also be interpreted as permitting the use of force. While abstaining on that draft resolution, Finland wants once more to reaffirm its stand in favour of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.
163. I wish today to refer again to the statement in December 1973 by the President of the Republic of Finland, when he said:
165. On 11 November of this year, the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Dr. Bruno Kreisky, spoke to this Assembly and in his address made specific reference, from the Austrian point of view, to the participation of representatives of the PLO in the present debate [2279th meeting, para. 26]. My delegation did not therefore participate in the debate which was concluded yesterday, but does find it appropriate, now, to put before the General Assembly some of the considerations which have guided our votes on the two draft resolutions just adopted.
166. I might recall, first, that my delegation voted in favour of the resolution adopted on 14 October [resolution 3210 (XXIX)], inviting representatives of the Palestinian people to take part in the Assembly's debate on the question of Palestine. We did so in the firm belief that all parties involved in the question of Palestine should be given the opportunity to express their views, in their own voices, from this forum. The debate, in the view of my delegation, has proved its usefulness, as it permitted the full discussion of the problem of the Middle East in general, as well as of one particular essential aspect, which has been largely disregarded in the past: the legitimate rights and the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
167. The recognition of these rights and aspirations the realization that they will have to be taken into account in any lasting and just settlement of the problem, has emerged as the common denominator of this debate. It has been generally admitted that it will not be sufficient to treat the Palestine question as one primarily concerned with refugees, as a humanitarian question only, but that it must be treated as one involving the political aspirations of a people.
168. It has, furthermore, become evident that the authoritative voice of the Palestinian people will have to be linked to the international process of negotiation and dialogue, which is indispensable in order to achieve a lasting settlement, as war and violence should be once and for all discarded as viable alternatives. In this peaceful process, the Palestinian people must find its rightful place, as the Palestinians, in the unanimous opinion of all States, are central to the Middle East conflict, and any attempts to ignore this could only worsen the situation. There can therefore be no settlement without the full involvement of all peoples of the region.
169. The resolution just adopted by this Assembly reflects many of the considerations I have just outlined but it does not contain all the elements which, in our view, should have been included. The resolution, as we see it, constitutes a first effort to define, in the context of the United Nations, the rights of the Palestinian people. At the same time, however, we must remind ourselves that the rights and aspirations of any people must not be permitted to infringe upon the rights and aspirations of other peoples, particularly its neighbours. This, in the context of the Middle East, applies in particular to the rights of the State and the people of Israel to exist and to live in peace, within secure and recognized boundaries, as a sovereign and independent nation.
170. The resolution just adopted has thus to be seen against the background and in the framework of these considerations and of all previous resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, and in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), to which my Government remains in particular firmly attached.
171. If Austria reserves an equal measure of respect and understanding for the rights and interests of all parties in the area, this is nothing else but the outcome of our basic attitude towards the peoples of the region, an attitude summed up recently by Chancellor Kreisky in this very Hall when he referred to remarks made by him during the recent visit to Vienna of the Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mr. Al Ayoubi. Mr. Kreisky said:
173. In the past, violence and acts of terrorism often seemed to be motivated by the absence of other means of political expression. Freedom to use the wide possibilities of this Organization for the expression of views should put a definite term to those methods and those means which the Charter of the United Nations proscribes for the pursuance of political objectives among nations. Thus it is our hope that this will be the meaning and this will be the understanding of the decision the Assembly has taken, and that thus the chances of universal acceptance of peaceful means by all parties to the conflict can be increased.
174. Mr. SAITO (Japan): My delegation abstained in the voting on the draft resolutions contained in documents A/L.741 and A/L.742.
175. Regarding draft resolution A/L.741, as I stated here on 18 November [2289th meeting], the Government of Japan has consistently held that the recognition of equal rights and self-determination for the Palestinian people is indispensable for just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Recognition of the right of Palestinians to return to their homes is also indispensable. My delegation is therefore in full agreement with the principles and the spirit of the resolution. Its abstention should not, in any way whatsoever, be construed as a negative position regarding these principles.
176. At the same time, my Government has always held that Security Council resolution 242 (1967) states the basic principles for peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem. My delegation believes that a resolution of the General Assembly such as the present resolution, which will have the greatest significance for the future settlement of the Middle East problem, should contain a reaffirmation of resolution 242 (1967). We understand the difficulties that some of the supporters of the present resolution had in this connexion and we appreciate also the efforts of many delegations to make it more balanced. But, as the proposal stands, we consider that it lacks one of the essential elements for a just settlement, and therefore we abstained.
177. Sir Laurence McINTYRE (Australia): My delegation abstained on both draft resolutions that have just been put to the vote on the question of Palestine.
178. I think it will be clear from the statement I made here yesterday [2294th meeting, paras. 120-128] why Australia has not found it possible to support draft resolution A/L.741. It is not so much what is contained in the draft resolution as what is lacking in it that has led my delegation to abstain.
179. As regards draft resolution A/L.742, my delegation, even though we had had some forecast of its possible content a few days ago, had been given to expect until late last evening that it was unlikely to be presented to the Assembly and brought to a vote. In the short time that we have been able to consider it and discuss it with our authorities in Canberra we have only been able to conclude that it would have the Assembly give the PLO status and privileges as an observer that exceed those accorded to fully independent States that are not members of the United Nations but have long been recognized as observers, and this we would regard as unwarranted. I say this without prejudice to the intention of the Australian Government to take account in the future of the unanimous decision of the heads of Government of Arab States at Rabat4 that the PLO should speak for the Palestinians and the view of the majority in this General Assembly that the PLO should be associated in appropriate ways with United Nations activities.
180. Mr. DATCU (Romania) (interpretation from French): The Romanian delegation would like to explain its vote on draft resolution A/L.741.
181. The Romanian delegation voted in favour of this draft resolution, bearing in mind the necessity of resolving the Palestinian problem as the condition for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This also implied the right of the Palestinian people to achieve its own independent and sovereign State.
182. Secondly, the Romanian delegation wanted to stress by its vote the necessity of a political settlement in the Middle East which will bring about a complete settlement of the conflict, including the Palestinian problem, just as it also wanted to emphasize the need to recognize the PLO as an active participant in all negotiations, including those at Geneva.
183. In once again setting forth its view regarding a just and stable solution to the Middle East conflict, the Romanian Government declares that it is absolutely necessary for the Israeli troops to leave the Arab territories occupied by force since 1967, just as it is necessary to recognize the right to existence, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States and all the peoples of that region.
184. The Romanian Government expresses the hope that new efforts will be made to resolve the conflict in the Middle East through negotiations. At the same time, it feels that the United Nations must undertake intensive action and do everything in its power to achieve the desired aim of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
185. Mr. ZAVALA URRIOLAGOITIA (Bolivia) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Bolivia believes that everything done in our Organization to bring about a stable and lasting peace in the afflicted area of the Middle East deserves our fullest support. However, for this very reason, the steps to this end should be the object of profound and deep meditation and reflection. We should, at the outset, rid ourselves of passion and invoke the spirit and the letter of the United Nations Charter.
186. My delegation considers that the draft resolutions submitted by a large number of States do not coincide with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, which exhorts us always to respect the sovereignty and the right to existence of other States, to practise tolerance and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security. These principles do not altogether coincide with the spirit that animated draft resolutions A/L.741 and A/L.742.
187. The Government of my country, as indicated on 7 October in the statement to the Assembly made by the Minister for External Affairs of Bolivia, General Alberto Guzman Soriano,
189. Any new element introduced without having first exhausted the possibilities of implementing the above-mentioned Security Council resolutions is not only contrary to the spirit and the principles of the United Nations, but could also create conflict between the powers of the General Assembly and those of the Security Council, whose prerogatives and functions are clearly defined by the Charter, particularly in Article 12, paragraph 1.
190. It seems that there are currents of opinion that would divert our Organization from the paths of prudent negotiation, aimed more at conciliation than confrontation in the search for peace, that were devised for it by its founders. My delegation would not do anything to endorse or strengthen such trends.
191. My delegation was, accordingly, obliged to vote against the draft resolutions in question, much to its regret, but that does not imply any lack of regard for the legitimate interests of the people of Palestine, but rather represents a reaffirmation of our total adherence to and support of Security Council resolution 242 (1967), whose balance and justness we believe should be our shield and our support.
192. Mr. UPADHYAY (Nepal): My delegation abstained in the vote on draft resolution A/L.741, although not because of apathy or indifference to the problem of Palestine. We have always believed, and we continue to hold that belief, that no just and lasting solution of the Middle East problem can be achieved without consideration of the problem of the Palestinian people.
193. My delegation is in complete agreement with most of the provisions of the resolution that has just been adopted. However, my delegation had to abstain on it, in keeping with the position of our Government that any one-sided resolution that does not take into account the legitimate rights and interests of all the States and the peoples in the region cannot contribute to a lasting solution of the problem.
194. The resolution that has been adopted does not say anything about Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which my Government has considered to be the only just and realistic basis for solving the problem.
195. My delegation holds the view that efforts should be made for further negotiation on the basis and in recognition of the basic principles outlined in resolution 242 (1967) and other relevant resolutions.
196. While we fully agree with and subscribe to the doctrine of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, at the same time we reaffirm that every State has the right to exist in peace within secure and defined boundaries -- including the State of Israel. The Palestine problem should and can only be resolved within the comprehensive framework of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and other relevant resolutions.
197. We are aware of the suffering and agony of the Palestinian people and recognize its legitimate rights, but we are also convinced that one injustice should not be redressed by another injustice. Emotion should not be allowed to overrun reason in a manner that only breeds greater hatred, suspicion and violence.
198. My delegation voted in favour of draft resolution A/L.742 inviting the PLO to participate in the capacity of observer in the work of the General Assembly and other international conferences convened under the auspices of the General Assembly. My delegation cast that affirmative vote in the belief that the PLO is a principal party in the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East. It was also in that belief that our delegation supported the resolution that invited the PLO to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly this year.
199. Mr. ALEMAN (Ecuador) (interpretation from Spanish): My delegation abstained in the voting on draft resolution A/L.741 on the question of Palestine, which has just been adopted by the General Assembly. We did this for the simple reason that it does not make any reference to the rights of another of the interested parties in this matter, the State of Israel, with which my country maintains diplomatic relations.
200. Ecuador believes that the existence of the State of Israel is a reality that should be taken into account in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. On the other hand, it is absolutely necessary, in accordance with the compulsory and binding principles of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force enshrined in the United Nations Charter -- to which my country gives its unwavering support -- that Israel should proceed to withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories.
201. Finally, laying emphasis on a principle that Ecuador has always defended and advocated as one of the basic norms of its international policy, I should like to state the firm support of my Government for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national sovereignty and independence.
202. Mr. INGVARSSON (Iceland): The Icelandic delegation would like to explain very briefly why it found it necessary to vote against draft resolution A/L.741. This attitude must not in any way be interpreted as a denial of the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. Our negative vote on that draft resolution is founded on the belief that any United Nations resolution on the question of Palestine should include reference not only to the rights and interests of the Palestinians, but also to those of all the people in the area. It is our opinion that the point of departure for any solution of the Middle East problem must be Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). We feel strongly that the sovereign rights of all States in the area, including those of Israel, to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, must be accepted. Since draft resolution A/L.741, which has just been adopted by the Assembly, leaves out that essential element which we feel is basic to the whole question, we found it appropriate to cast a negative vote.
203. Mr. TSHERING (Bhutan): The delegation of Bhutan has just voted in favour of draft resolutions A/L.741 and A/L.742. In doing so, my delegation has been motivated by the concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights and, in particular, its right to self-determination, which continues to constitute a violation of United Nations principles, a challenge to the aims of the non-aligned countries, and a grave threat to peace. We believe that the rights of the Palestinian people must be restored with a view to bringing a. durable peace to the area. It is the hope for peace embodied in Security Council resolution 242 (1967) which we believe still provides a good basis for peace in the Middle East, so that the reality in the area is recognized and all the States, including Israel, can live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.
204. Mr. RAE (Canada): The declaration by the Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada, the Honourable Allan MacEachen, made in this forum on 20 November [2293rd meeting, paras. 203-213], stands as the statement of the whole Canadian policy on this question. A vote by Canada for or against draft resolution A/L.741 would not have been consistent with that total policy.
205. In the circumstances, the Canadian delegation had no choice but to abstain on that draft resolution. Canada cannot support a resolution that ignores the existence of the State of Israel and its role as an essential party in any search for an eventual negotiated peace settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute. In that context, the resolution makes no reference to the principles enunciated in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which Canada continues to believe provides a valid and available framework for such a settlement. Furthermore, there is no mention of the requirement for negotiations among the parties directly involved in this dispute, as called for by Security Council resolution 338 (1973), which Canada believes is the only way in which the Arab-Israeli conflict can eventually be resolved.
206. As was confirmed by its statement to the Assembly on 20 November, Canada is fully in accord with the view that any enduring peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute must take account of the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians, and in that spirit Canada supports the right of the Palestinian people to be heard and to participate in negotiations involving their destiny. Canada will not oppose any legitimate step intended to ensure that a full voice is allowed to the Palestinian people. However, Canada continues to believe that the question of how the Palestinians are to be represented in such negotiations remains to be decided by the parties themselves. It follows that Canada cannot associate itself with the granting by the United Nations to any organization or group of a status tantamount to that granted to sovereign States.
207. As a result of those considerations, and on the basis of the statement of Canadian policy made during this debate, Canada abstained on draft resolution A/L.741.
208. In respect of draft resolution A/L.742, the effect of that resolution, as we see it, would be to grant the PLO a status in the United Nations hitherto accorded only to sovereign States or to associations of sovereign States. To grant the status of observer to the PLO would be contrary to long-established practice in the United Nations and, indeed, inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.
209. As a result, Canada was obliged to vote against draft resolution A/L.742.
210. Mr. KENNEDY (Ireland): From the beginning of this debate, the delegation of Ireland has wished to bring a constructive and positive contribution to our deliberations. On 14 October, Ireland voted in favour of hearing the PLO because, as we said at the time, the organization's status as spokesman of the Palestinians is accepted by virtually all Arab States.
211. In the light of the fourth paragraph of the positive statement of 6 November 1973 by the nine members of EEC,2 we in the Irish delegation are committed to the view that account must be taken of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in the interest of establishing a just and durable peace. That constructive view has informed our whole approach to this debate.
212. Accordingly, we would have wished, if possible, to bring a positive vote to the resolutions before us today. But I regret to say that the lack of balance in draft resolution A/L.741 made it impossible for us to cast a positive vote. In our view, that resolution does not contain those essential elements we regard as indispensable if we are to take account of the realities of the situation in the Middle East. We particularly regret that the resolution does not contain an express reference to the many important resolutions the General Assembly and the Security Council have adopted in the past in relation to the Middle East, especially Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which we regard as the keystone to a just and durable settlement in the area.
213. In addition, it would seem to us necessary to make it quite clear in the resolution that a just and durable peace must be sought in the framework of a settlement which respects the territorial integrity and political-independence of all the States in the region, including Israel.
214. It is for those reasons that Ireland, together with all its partners in EEC, abstained in the vote on draft resolution A/L.741.
215. On the second draft resolution before us -- on the issue of observer status for the PLO [A/L.742] -- Ireland did not find it possible to give its support because of an important issue of principle. Observer status has in the past been granted by this Organization only to sovereign States or to associations of States such as EEC and OAU. To go beyond that would, we feel, create a new situation and a new precedent, which could open the Organization to practical difficulties. However important the PLO is, it would not, in our view, be possible to accord it the same status as that of a State at this stage.
216. It was because we found it undesirable to go further than our Organization has gone in the past that we felt in duty bound not to vote for this draft resolution. As the General Assembly will have noted, we voted in the same manner as a very large majority of our partners in EEC with whom we share the preoccupations we have just expressed.
217. In conclusion, may I express the hope that despite the lack of unanimity in the votes cast today, all parties in the area will seek a just and lasting settlement through peaceful means in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter, and the relevant resolutions of our Organization.
218. Baron VON WECHMAR (Federal Republic of Germany): My delegation would like to explain its vote on the two resolutions that have just been adopted.
219. With regard to draft resolution A/L.741, on which we abstained, it seems evident to us that its text is not balanced because no reference is made to the realities of the situation as they present themselves today in the Middle East. We deem such a reference indispensable.
220. On the one hand, we hold that the draft resolution should have expressly mentioned all the resolutions the General Assembly and the Security Council have adopted on the matter of the Middle East, including Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967. On the other hand, we feel it was necessary to stipulate that a just and lasting peace should be found within the framework of a settlement which respects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of all States in the region as well as the right of those States to live in peace within their recognized boundaries. This applies not least to Israel.
221. Without these qualifications my delegation had to abstain on a text the adoption of which will, in our view, complicate even more a settlement of the Middle East question all of us are so much in search of.
222. With regard to draft resolution A/L.742, we have voted against it for the following reasons. This resolution on the observer status of the PLO aims at bringing into closer relationship with the United Nations an organization which is not a State and which cannot be assimilated to a State. It is also intended to establish this relationship on a permanent basis. In this connexion it is necessary to recall the fact that our Organization in its main structure is an organization of States; its Members are States and it should, in principle, deal with States or other organizations or associations of States, that is, with intergovernmental organizations.
223. The institution of an observer -- which is, incidentally, not foreseen by the Charter of the United Nations -- is a practical means of bringing closer to the world Organization States which have not yet become members, or of associating intergovernmental organizations with the United Nations. We are aware of the fact that it may be appropriate to bring certain organizations which are not intergovernmental organizations into closer contact with the activities normally reserved to States. International conferences on specific topics of a more technical character provide examples where participation of representatives of such organizations may prove useful to a certain extent.
224. We are of the opinion, however, that movements such as the PLO should be associated with the work of government representatives only in exceptional cases and, in principle, on an ad hoc basis. We consider that in particular, an association to the United Nations as such should be limited to the discussion of specific items and as a rule take place only in the Committees of the General Assembly
225. With regard to international conferences, in particular those under the auspices of the United Nations, we believe that the question of participation should be decided in each individual case. The practice followed by the United Nations so far reflected these considerations. A departure from that practice would set a precedent which might prove detrimental to our Organization.
226. Mr. GIAMBRUNO (Uruguay) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Uruguay would like to substantiate its abstention on draft resolutions A/L.741 and A/L.742.
227. As regards draft resolution A/L.741, in our opinion it is not sufficiently clear and constructive in so far as peace in the Middle East is concerned. We have expressed our support of the aspirations of the Palestinian people to the affirmation of their legitimate rights. We believe, as was stated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of my country in the general debate this year [2240th meeting, para. 38], that it will not be possible to regulate the complicated situation in the Middle East without recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people to a national site.
228. But the draft resolution is not sufficiently clear regarding the rights of the other countries of the area and, in particular, does not give the necessary security regarding the recognition of those rights.
229. Uruguay does not want recognition of the legitimate aspirations of one people to mean the denial of those aspirations for other peoples, in this case, the people of Israel, whose right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries would be an essential element, which is not contained in the draft. And, what is more serious, in our opinion this is an element that none of the sponsors has tried to clarify for us.
230. We have serious doubts that the draft resolution will help to lead the way to negotiations which should be conducted of necessity if the situation in the Middle East is to be definitively resolved.
231. We should have preferred a different text which, without losing vigour in affirming the aspirations that have been so forgotten and disregarded in regard to the Palestinian people, would also contribute and contain elements of equity and concord.
232. On the other hand, Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which has been a hope and an important step forward for all the countries here, has been left aside, despite the fact that, in our opinion, it is of inestimable legal value.
233. Concerning draft resolution A/L.742, my delegation expresses its doubts regarding the legal regularity of this invitation and the recognition involved therein.
234. Mr. LONGERSTAEY (Belgium) (interpretation from French): My delegation had to abstain on draft resolution A/L.741. Certainly, the general debate that is concluding today has been a first contribution to a recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, not least because its representatives have been invited to participate in it.
235. However, Belgium feels that the draft resolution as submitted to the vote of the Assembly does not take into consideration all the other elements which should be included if we are to reach an equitable and lasting solution of the Middle East crisis. In particular, my delegation feels that the resolution should have taken into account the territorial integrity and independence of all the States of the region, including the State of Israel, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.
236. In the absence of these elements, my delegation had to abstain. Together with its partners in EEC, my country hereby states its willingness at all times to make a positive contribution to a solution of the Middle East crisis.
237. Concerning draft resolution A/L.742, my delegation voted against that draft resolution. The status of observer in the United Nations is reserved to States and to regional organizations. My delegation considers that the adoption of that resolution is an innovation of, at the least, debatable value.
238. Mr. INGLES (Philippines): Our vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.741 not only stems from our traditional stand to uphold the principle of self-determination but also flows as a consequence of our sponsorship of the resolution adopted by this Assembly to invite the PLO to participate in our deliberations on the Palestine question as the principal party in that question.
239. Indeed, there appears to be a consensus in this Assembly that there could not be any just or lasting settlement in the Middle East which did not take into account the lawful rights of the Palestine people, including the right of self-determination. The only objection that has been raised is to the effect that the draft resolution does not include any provision recognizing the existence of Israel, or of its right to be secure as an independent and sovereign State, or that the proposed resolution does not mention Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
240. However, recognition of the existence or security of Israel, or the observance of Security Council resolutions, is implicit in the draft resolution, which repeats in two preambular paragraphs and in operative paragraphs 5 and 6 observance of the purposes and principles of the Charter. Indeed, the United Nations Charter is the basis and leitmotiv, so to speak, of draft resolution A/L.741.
241. Suffice it to mention some of the basic principles of the Charter, namely, the principle of sovereign equality of all its Members, the fulfilment in good faith of the obligations of membership under the Charter, the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and the interdiction of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
242. Needless to say, compliance with decisions of the Security Council not only is a mandatory obligation but is essential if the principle of pacific settlement of disputes is to be maintained. Draft resolution A/L.741, as adopted, therefore cannot be interpreted in any way as violating the Charter of the United Nations or relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
243. Let me now explain the reasons for our affirmative vote on draft resolution A/L.742. At the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, held at Caracas from 20 June to 29 August of this year, the Philippine delegation supported the resolution to invite the PLO to participate as an observer in that Conference because it was a liberation movement recognized by the League of Arab States -- in other words, by the regional organization concerned. In the Sixth Committee, the Philippine delegation also voted to invite liberation movements recognized by OAU and/ or the League of Arab States, in their respective regions, to participate as observers in the United Nations Conference on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations, to be held at Vienna early in 1975. In the Third Committee, the Philippines also supported the attendance of the PLO in the Conference of the International Women's Year, to be held in Mexico in 1975, as included among the liberation organizations recognized by OAU and/or the League of Arab States, in their respective regions, to attend the Conference as observers in accordance with United Nations practice.
244. In this Assembly, the Philippines sponsored the invitation to the PLO to participate in the debate on this item as an organization recognized by the League of Arab States as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestine people.
245. Our vote in favour of draft resolution A/L.742 to give observer status to the PLO is based on the same fundamental premise that it is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestine people, as recognized by the regional organization to which Palestine belongs, and in whose area it is situated.
246. Mr. ARVESEN (Norway): Norway voted for resolution 3210 (XXIX), inviting representatives of the PLO to participate in the debate on the question of Palestine. This was in accordance with the well-known position of my Government, which is to give representatives of the peoples concerned the opportunity to express their views on matters of direct interest to them.
247. Draft resolution A/L.742, however, contains an invitation to the PLO to participate as an observer in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly. This is actually tantamount to granting the PLO permanent observer status with the United Nations -- a status that has so far been reserved for independent and sovereign States only. The resolution thus involves important principles related to the rules, regulations, and practice of the United Nations. Consequently, my Government had to vote against that resolution.
248. Mr. KASEMSRI (Thailand): My delegation has already explained its affirmative vote on draft resolution A/L.741. I should now like to explain the vote of my delegation on draft resolution A/L.742, which has just been adopted by this Assembly.
249. The delegation of Thailand has consistently supported the earlier resolutions of United Nations bodies and organs to invite the PLO, among other movements recognized by OAU and/or the League of Arab States in their respective regions, to participate as an observer in international conferences dealing with global issues of vital importance to all mankind. We are prepared to continue to give our sympathetic consideration on a case-by-case basis to any similar proposal.
250. However, my delegation notes the difference in draft resolution A/L.742, in that the invitation would in all cases be extended, regardless of the nature substance or scope of the issues involved, and irrespective of whether they are of concern, directly or otherwise, to the invitee, provided only that the international conferences are convened under the auspices of the General Assembly or other organs of the United Nations. That is why my delegation abstained on the said draft resolution. Nevertheless, my delegation is prepared to continue to consider similar requests on their merit in the appropriate forums in which they are made.
251. Mr. ROSSIDES (Cyprus): My delegation made its position clear on this subject in my statement in the General Assembly yesterday. Therefore, I have to make clear our position in voting on this resolution. In my statement yesterday I said:
253. Looking at the resolutions we have voted for there is nothing which is not consistent with what I said yesterday and with what was the position taken by almost all the delegations here. Taking the vital part, the preambular paragraphs read:
"Recalling its relevant resolutions which affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.'
254. Then, it reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right to national independence, and reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.
255. None of these paragraphs is against the position taken by practically all the delegations in this Assembly and none is against the Charter. It is all in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and with what was stated in this General Assembly.
256. Now, the question arises -- and I think it was in the minds of some of the delegations, at least those which have abstained: does this affect the existence of the State of Israel, which is a reality that has been accepted and recognized in resolution 242 (1967) and subsequently admitted by the Arab States? Indeed, the statement made by the leader of the PLO was -- and I praised it -- very understanding in this situation, and there were indications in the statement that the PLO would recognize and that it does not deny the recognition of the State of Israel, which is a reality which may be called immutable under the circumstances. And I have made mention in my statement with due regard to immutable realities.
257. Therefore, I communicated today with the acting head of the PLO, and he told me very clearly that the PLO does not intend at all to affect the existence of the State of Israel, as provided in resolution 242 (1967). In these circumstances, I believe that, in voting for this resolution, we have voted exactly in line with the Charter, on a line which was taken by practically all the delegations in this Assembly, and on the line which was accepted repeatedly, and in resolution 242 (1967), by the Arab States in a positive and constructive approach to the problem.
258. Mr. PLAJA (Italy): The Italian delegation wishes to explain its vote on draft resolution A/L.742, stating first that it does not entail any change in its position on the substance of the question of Palestine as presented in my statement of 20 November [2292nd meeting, paras. 113-124]. It wants also to restate its belief that the participation in our debates of the PLO has been, and will be also in the future, important and useful for the most comprehensive examination by this Assembly of the issue at stake.
259. However, in relation to the granting of permament observer status, the well-established practice followed consistently until now by the United Nations responds, in the opinion of the Italian delegation, to criteria that maintain their validity on formal and substantive grounds. The question would have required more careful consideration, bearing in mind the nature of our Organization, which, in the Italian delegation's interpretation, seems to reserve special permanent status of the kind considered in document A/L.742 to States and organizations of States.
260. This does not affect the position Italy takes on the issue of participation of the PLO or any other liberation movement in a specific debate or conference according to a practice which has been followed in past cases. Italy's position in this respect will, in the future as in the past, be adopted on a consideration of the merits and circumstances of each particular case.
261. The PRESIDENT(interpretation from French): I should like now to inform the General Assembly that the delegation of the PLO wishes to address the Assembly, in accordance with the decision adopted on 14 October 1974 in resolution 3210 (XXIX) and in the context of our consideration of agenda item 108, examination of which we have not yet completed.
262. I should like to know the views of the General Assembly in regard to the desire of the PLO. Is there any objection to having the PLO address the General Assembly? As I hear no such objection, we can therefore ask the representative of the PLO to address the Assembly, and I invite him to do so.
263. Mr. AL-KADDUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization) (interpretation from Arabic): May I be permitted at the outset to express, in the name of our fighting and militant Palestinian people, our grateful appreciation to all those who have helped us to come to this international forum to participate in a serious and responsible search for an equitable solution to the Palestine question so that a lasting peace may be achieved that will dispel the nightmares of fear and insecurity. Our people, wherever they are dispersed in these historic moments, who inspire us with hope, express to you their profound thanks and high appreciation for the positions taken and the resolutions adopted by you, considering them a constructive step towards the restitution of their historic and national rights. Our Palestinian people, who have been deprived of the right to shape their own destinies and who have been kept outside this international forum for 25 years -- a period during which we have undergone the most severe trials in our history -- considers the invitation that you have addressed to us to come here after long absence as a sign of encouragement, restoring our confidence in this international institution and in its capacity to shoulder its responsibilities in enforcing right, justice and peace.
264. Despite all the wounds and sufferings of the past, we have come here with uplifted hearts, with minds open to all objective views, bearing in one hand the olive branch as a symbol of peace, and in the other the rifle of the fighter to protect our existence and our just cause. We have come here with the confidence of the fighter and with the hope of being able to live in security, in peace and in freedom. We have set forth to you in full frankness and sincerity our dreams and aspirations. We have extended our hand to all those who have shared our human and our national aims so that we may fight together in order to construct a State built on a single, fraternal society coexisting in complete legal equality as between rights and duties, protected from everything that could be a source of discrimination based on ideology, religion or national origin. We were perfectly aware, at the time when we set forth our views, of the obstacles and hindrances which could obstruct their realization. However, and as our brother Yasser Arafat has said, do we not have the right to dream? Palestine, this country of three monotheistic religions -- does it not deserve such a great dream? We have appealed for coexistence. The combat was forced upon us. We advocated participation in a single shared destiny for our future generations. We have met with death and extermination. We launched an appeal for an open democratic society. We have suffered expulsion and discrimination. We have been accused of terrorism despite all the ideas and thoughts that we stand for and despite all our struggle, which is the contrary of everything that has been alleged.
265. The valiant Arab resistance in Transjordan is met, on the part of the Israeli occupiers, with death and oppression -- irrefutable proof of the policies of the Zionist enemy who would ignore and oppress that people.
266. As to legitimate self-defence, the defence of the people and the fatherland, this is a duty which is an honour to every citizen and a legitimate right consecrated by international conventions and by the United Nations Charter itself.
267. Despite the evils done to us by certain people, particularly by those who consider themselves responsible for the fate of war and peace in the world, in ignorance of the most elementary and obvious realities, and continuing to give proof of their complete partiality to the logic of the enemy and his expansionist policy of settlement, we are indeed proud to find in this Hall friends and brothers and non-aligned people who have raised high the flag of justice and have assured to our cause everything that will make up for the wrongs done to us by others, and have inspired in us a greater hope for the future. Thus the olive branch is in our hand and will remain in our hand. They have not succeeded in tearing it away from us. Our confidence in the international community grows ever greater and becomes more and more profound. The isolation of Israel inside this Hall is but a reflection of its historic international isolation.
268. We have listened to all of the speakers who have spoken in this Hall. We have listened attentively to the minority who have spoken against us. We have listened to those who have done justice to us and to those who have shared in this triumph of justice.
269. This experience will be a tremendous source of assistance to us in planning our future policy.
270. That minority which, with Israel, rejects our dream of coexistence in a democratic society has asked us to recognize the facts of the present-day world. But it has offered us no solution. On the contrary, it has tried to exploit the various positions in order to serve Israel and its expansionist objectives.
271. Those who have tried to take our olive branch away from us have already tried to seize our rifles also. But they are making a grave mistake. Those who thought they would be able to gull us were not able to make the distinction between peace and surrender. We are for peace, an honourable and just peace. We adhere to our commitment. Those who wanted to transform this discussion of the question of Palestine into a discussion of greater security for the State of Israel must realize that there will never be peace in that area without justice, and there will never be justice without the recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.
272. Every oppressed people has the right to self-determination and national independence in its fatherland, without any foreign interference.
273. I must say in all frankness and objectivity that the continued existence of one and a half million Palestinians in refugee camps will mean continued tension in the area. Because of that, the Palestinians must return to their homes and their property. That is their legitimate right, a right that has been enshrined in the United Nations Charter and that has been confirmed today by the historic resolution adopted by the General Assembly.
274. Those are the bases for justice, the bases that will re-establish peace. They have been set forth here by our delegation, the delegation of the PLO. What has Israel offered to us? Its representative, who came to our land from a European country carrying the flag of conquest and colonization, has invited us to take Jordan as a fatherland instead of Palestine. That invitation is really very strange; it would transform conquest into international law, and make oppression and usurpation permissible. Israel has offered us death and dispersion; it has offered us destruction by napalm bombs. It has offered us bombardment from Phantoms, which it obtains as part of the assistance and encouragement furnished by the United States.
275. For that reason, we shall not lay down our rifles of revolution. We shall use them to reject death and destruction for our people, who have been exposed to the danger of extermination.
276. The PLO, the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, proclaims from this rostrum that it has come here with all the determination required to give the United Nations a historic opportunity to prove to all the peoples of the world that it is still able to play a role in strengthening peace and justice. That fact has been confirmed here today.
277. We hope that your hearts will remain open to our cause and to our struggle. We hope, too, that our stay here has contributed to making our position clear. We hope that we have presented to you a more positive approach to the facts of the struggle taking place in the land of Palestine.
278. Just as you want us to keep the olive branch in our hands, we want the olive branches in the emblem of the United Nations to become something more than a mere image without any content. We did not come here to reconcile terrorism with Zionist usurpation. We came here to bear witness to the historic difference between us and the Zionists. We regard diplomatic activities as a part of our activities on the battlefield. We know that our revolutionary practices and our accomplishments towards restoring peace and freedom are in conformity with the positive view of the international community with respect to our rights. That is why we consider that the increased support for our cause is primarily support for our struggle and encouragement to us to continue that just struggle.
279. We cannot leave this Hall without paying a tribute to those who have fallen in defence of the cause of justice, to all the citizens of the world who have committed themselves to putting into effect the principles of humanity, liberty and peace.
280. The PLO, like our Palestinian people, is happy to see the United Nations at its side today, supporting its cause, reaffirming its right to self-determination and independence on the soil of its forefathers.
281. We are pleased to thank all those who have spoken here on behalf of the cause of justice and peace and we state before this human community that the Palestinian people will always serve the cause of justice, peace, liberty and the right of peoples to self-determination.
282. I should like to thank particularly Mr. Kurt Waldheim, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the President of the General Assembly, our brother Abdelaziz Bouteflika, for the efforts they made in sponsoring this discussion, in facilitating our delegation's task and in making it possible for everyone to participate in the democratic dialogue which we have witnessed here.
2 Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1973, document S/11081. Also circulated under the symbol A/9288.
3 Egyptian-Israeli Agreement on Disengagement of Forces (Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, Supplement for January, February and March 1974, document S/11198. annex); and Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces (ibid., Supplement for April, May and June 1974, document S/11302/Add.l, annex 1).
4 Seventh Conference of Arab Heads of State, held at Rabat from 26 to 29 October 1974.