Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


10 June 2003


(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 10 June (UN Information Service) -- The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the occupied territories will visit Egypt, Jordan and Syria from 13 to 24 June.

The Committee plans to hold hearings in Cairo from 14 to 16 June; in Amman from 17 to 20 June, and in Damascus from 21 to 23 June.

Since its establishment in December 1968, the Special Committee has repeatedly been denied cooperation by the Government of Israel or access to the occupied territories.  The Committee has nonetheless benefited from the cooperation and information provided by representatives from the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.  The information gathered during these hearings, from witnesses having first-hand and recent experience of the human rights situation in the occupied territories, and from governmental representatives, is taken into account in the Special Committee's reports to the General Assembly.  Information appearing in the Israeli press and the Arab press published in the occupied territories is also made available to the Committee.  The Committee formulates conclusions containing its evaluation of the situation as well as recommendations.

The Special Committee was established by General Assembly resolution 2443 (XXIII).  It is composed of three Member States:  Sri Lanka (Chairman), Senegal and Malaysia.  Sri Lanka is currently represented by C. Mahendran, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York.  Senegal is represented by Ousmane Camara, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations Office at Geneva.  Ambassador Camara will not participate at this session of the Committee and will be represented by the Second Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations at Geneva, Momar Gueye.  Malaysia is represented by Rastam Mohd Isa, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York.

The Special Committee's mandate was renewed for an additional year on 11 December 2002 by General Assembly resolution 57/124.  The findings of the Special Committee are contained in its report to the General Assembly; document A/57/207 of 16 September 2002.

The territories to be considered as occupied territories for the purposes of the Special Committee’s mandate currently are the occupied Syrian Arab Golan, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.

* *** *
For information media - not an official record