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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/PAL/65
1 August 1980


Committee on Rights of
Palestinian People
55th Meeting (AM)

PALESTINIAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE CONSIDERS RESOLUTIONS
ADOPTED BY EMERGENCY SPECIAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People this morning considered the two resolutions adopted on the question of Palestine at the seventh emergency special session, held from 22 to 29 July.

In this connection, the Chairman of the Committee, Falilou Kane (Senegal), recalled that the emergency session had "expressed its deep concern that the critical situation prevailing in Palestine and the Middle East seriously threatens international peace and security in the region and the world at large. It was also evident", he said, "that the continued denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was contrary to the very principles on which the United Nations was founded."

The Committee decided to contact the Secretary-General as soon as he returned to New York to determine what his plans were for implementation of the resolutions adopted at the session.

The general resolution on the question (document A/ES-7/L.1/Rev.1) requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee, to take "the necessary measures towards the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 59 to 72 of the report of the Committee to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine".

In the report of the Commiittee to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session (document A/34/31), basic guidelines and considerations were laid down, including the call for the Palestinians to be enabled to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. It states that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must participate on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts on the Middle East held under United Nations auspices and that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, thus no solution could be envisaged which did not take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Concerning the resolution relating to the work of the Committee on this question (document A/ES-7/L.2/Rev.2), the Committee decided that perhaps it should refer the question to a task force which could make appropriate suggestions.

Among other things, that resolution requested the Committee to study the reasons for the refusal of Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976, in which the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations of the Committee contained in its report to the Assembly at its thirty-first session, and the numerous resolutons demanding the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to submit the study to the Assembly. In addition, the Assembly requested the Committee to report on the progress of the study at its 1980 regular session.

In this connection, following a brief discussion on the resolutions, the Chairman noted that over the years the negative vote on this question had been diminishing. The negative vote of the Europeans had now become an abstention and he hoped that they would soon be able to cast a positive vote.

Also this morning, the Committee heard a report from the Chief of the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, Yogaray Yogasundram, concerning the second United Nations Seminar on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to be held in Vienna from 25 to 29 August. He reported that the arrangements for the seminar were well under way and that 17 experts had accepted invitations to attend. He hoped that two more experts would accept. A list of Committee delegates to attend the seminar should now be drawn up.

In this regard, the Chairman noted that due to the budget, the Committee would be limited to sending four representatives.

On another matter, at the suggestion of the observer of PLO, the Chairman said the Committee could send letters to the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and to the International Red Cross to draw attention to the deaths of prisoners held in Israeli prisons.

The Chairman also said the Committee could send a letter to the Permanent Representative of Venezuela commending his country for its decision to withdraw its embassy from Jerusalem and to re-establish it in Tel Aviv. This was commendable in view of Israel's recent decision regarding the Holy City.

Finally, this morning, the Chairman said he would send to the President of the Security Council a letter reminding the Council of resolution 476. That resolution was stil being violated by Israel, he said, most recently by its voting a few days ago permanently to locate the capital in Jerusalem.

Committee's Agenda

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met this morning to evaluate the results of the seventh emergency special session, held at Headquarters from 22 to 29 July, and to discuss the upcoming second United Nations seminar on "The Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" to be held from 25 to 29 August at the Vienna International Conference Centre. The Committee decided earlier that four such
seminars should be organized during the biennium 1980-1981. Invitations to attend the upcoming seminar have been sent to all Governments and to various academicians and others interested in the question of Palestine.

In discussing the seventh emergency special session, the Committee will take up the two resolutions adopted.

According to one of those draft resolutions (document A/ES-7/L.1/Rev.1), the Assembly reaffirmed that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be established in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant United Nations resolutions without the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and without the achievement of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine.

The Assembly requested the Security Council, in the event of non-compliance by Israel with the present resolution, to convene in order to consider the situation and the adoption of effective measures under Chapter VII of the Charter.

Further, it reaffirmed the principle of the inadmissability of the acquisition of territory by force, expressed its opposition to all policies aimed at the ressettlement of the Palestinians outside their homeland, and decided to adjourn the seventh emergency special session temporarily and authorize the President of the latest regular session of the General Assembly to resume its meetings upon request from Member States.

By adopting the other resolution (document A/ES-7/L.2/Rev.1), as amended, the Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to study the reasons for the refusal of Israel to comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976, in which the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations of the Committee contained in its report to the Assembly at its thirty-first session and the numerous resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and submit the study to the Assembly.

It also requested the Committee on Palestianian Rights to report on the progress of its study to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session.

The Committee first turned this morning to consideration of the two resolutions adopted at the emergency special session.

The Chairman, M. FALILOU KANE (Senegal), recalled that the session had expressed concern that the critical situation in Palestine and the Middle East seriously threatened international peace and security. It was also evident, he said, that the continued denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was contrary to the principle on which the United Nations was founded. It was unthinkable that the Palestinian people was not able to benefit from their inalienable rights.

He then drew attention to the resolution contained in L.1/Rev.1, operative paragraph 11, which states: "Requests and authorizes the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to take the necessary measures towards the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 59 to 72 of the report of the Committee to the General Assembly at its thirty- first session as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine."

He said he believed the paragraph needed to be considered by the Committee because it was a new mandate conferred upon the Committee. (The report of the Committee is contained in document A/31/35.)

As for the second resolution contained in L.2/Rev.1, he said operative paragraph 2 required immediate action and decision by the Committee. It reads as follows: "Expresses great appreciation for the studies on the various aspects of the question of Palestine published by the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and requests the Committee to study thoroughly the reasons for the refusal of Israel to comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 31/20 of 24 November 1976, in which the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations of the Committee contained in its report to the Assembly at its thirty-first session, and the numerous resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to submit the study to the Assembly."

He said the paragraphs in the two resolutions required immediate consideration by the Committee.

ZEHDI TERZI, the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the Committee had been asked to co-operate with the Secretary-General in carrying out the best measures needed to fulfil the first resolution. On the other resolution, he said, the task force should meet soon to establish broad lines of approach in order to quickly report back to the full Committee.

ABDERRAOUF OUNAIES (Tunisia) stressed the appeal made to the Secretary-General that ways be found to implement the resolution as called for in the draft contained in L.1/Rev.1.

He hoped the decision of Venezuela on Jerusalem in July would be followed by other countries. He recalled operative paragraph 9 in L.1/Rev.1 which demanded that Israel comply with United Nations resolutions relevant to the historic character of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular Security Council resolution 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980.

The CHAIRMAN said the Assembly had been able to add operative paragraph 9 to the draft even though there had been efforts to stop it. However, the majority won. It was unthinkable that a paragraph of that type not be included in the draft.

Regarding the two resolutions, he said he would undertake an initiative. As soon as the Secretary-General returned to New York, he would contact him to determine what his plans were to implement the resolutions.

As for the implementation of the second resolution, he said, as had been suggested, the Committee might refer the question to a task force which could make appropriate suggestions.

EMMANUEL C. FARRUGIA (Malta) said his nation considered the recent emergency special session of the General Assembly a "feather in the cap" of the Committee.

Although support of 75 per cent of Member States on the resolutions had been impressive, it had showed no substantial gain over past votes, he said. He observed that four Mediterranean nations had supported the resolutions, but that other European States had abstained. Some nations which had not participated in the vote could be eventually brought to support the Committee's goals, he believed. He felt assured that the "cushion" of 30 or so States to whom Israel owed its continued ability to remain intransigent could be eroded, and the Committee should direct itself towards considering how that erosion could be accomplished.

The CHAIRMAN then read the results of various votes over the years on this question. There had been irregularities, but the negative votes were diminishing. The opposition encountered was decreasing. The Europeans in the Venice Declaration had said they agreed that the Palestinians must attain their rights. From a negative vote in the past on this question, the Europeans were now abstaining. Perhaps at the next session they would find a way to cast a positive vote.

Mr. TERZI (PLO) said PLO considered the recent emergency session extremely important, in part because of the great number of Ministers who had chosen to attend. The margin of support for PLO had now increased to 16 to 1, which was the largest yet obtained.

It was historically inevitable that Israel would be isolated, he said. Thus, it was not the "intention" of PLO to isolate anyone.

HANS-GEORG SCHLEICHER (German Democratic Republic) said his delegation considered the emergency session useful and constructive.

By adopting resolution L.1, the session had helped contribute to a peaceful solution of the Middle East issue. Israel and its "main ally" had run into "deeper isolation". The implementation of resolution L.2 would make the Committee still more effective.

Seminars Discussed

The Committee then turned to its item on the second United Nations Seminar on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to be held in Vienna from 25-29 August.

The CHAIRMAN said the first seminar had been held in Arusha a few days before the emergency special session and a report would be submitted to the Committee. The seminar was a success in every way. If there was one discordant note, he would have liked it if there had been more participants from the host country, including students.

Steps could be taken to ask the Austrian Government to participate in the second seminar.

YOGARAJ YOGASUNDRAM, Chief of the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, said the arrangements for the seminar were well in hand. He said 17 experts had accepted and he hoped to add two more to the list. Now the list of delegations needed to be firmed up.

The CHAIRMAN said the budget limited the Committee to sending four delegations to the seminar.

The item brought up by the Tunisian representative should be considered, he said. Soon there would be an Islamic Group meeting on the question of Jerusalem. He also said that he would send a letter to the President of the Security Council reminding him of resolution 476, which was still being violated by Israel, most recently by that nation's vote on Jerusalem a few days ago.

Mr. TERZI (PLO) said the Israelis in a prison in the desert had committed some atrocious crimes killing the detainees. This was in The New York Times. He suggested that perhaps the Committee should send a letter to the Committee on Human Rights, the President of the Security Council and the International Red Cross seeking further details and condemning those acts.

HAZEM NUSEIBEH (Jordan) said he wished to endorse the PLO suggestion. He noted that the news media had reported considerably on the "atrocity" referred to.

The CHAIRMAN said the Committee could send letters to the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and the International Red Cross to draw attention to the death of those prisoners in Israeli prisons. He suggested the Committee also send a letter to the Permanent Representative of Venezuela. The decision taken by Venezuela, though surprising, was important. That it had decided to close its embassy in Jerusalem and install it in Tel Aviv should be commended.

The CHAIRMAN said the Committee might send a mission to those countries which had or planned to have embassies in Jerusalem, drawing to their attention the difficulties of the presence of embassies in Jerusalem.

MAMADOU KANE (Mauritania) agreed with the Chairman's proposal to send a mission of the Committee to those countries which had or planned embassies in Jerusalem. The Chairman of the Committee or a member of the Committee should go and should leave soon on that mission.

ABDERRAOUF OUNAIES (Tunisia) said the Committee had to take a position on the subject of Israeli non-compliance with United Nations resolutions. Diplomatic representatives in Jerusalem, he went on, gave a sort of "passive" legitimacy and support to Israeli policy. The Committee's study on Israeli non-compliance therefore should be linked with the question of the embassies. Active measures had to be taken to encourage States to remove their embassies from Jerusalem.

The CHAIRMAN then said he would report in future on his contacts with the Latin American countries, which now constituted the majority of nations retaining embassies in Jerusalem.

A. COSKUN KIRCA (Turkey) said he wished to emphasize Turkey's concern for the "sacred city of Al-Quds". He also wished to demonstrate the eternal support Turkey extended to the Palestinian people.

FERENC SOMOGYI (Hungary) said his delegation would continue to do its best to contribute to the successful work of the Committee.



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