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Source: Department of Public Information
31 December 1963
YEARBOOK
OF THE
UNITED NATIONS
1963


OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK




QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MIDDLE EAST

THE PALESTINE QUESTION


SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION OF COMPLAINTS BY ISRAEL AND SYRIA

Following a series of incidents along the Israel-Syria armistice demarcation line on 19 to 20 August 1963, Israel and Syria both complained to the Security Council requesting it to meet urgently.

In its request, in a letter dated 20 August, Israel declared that on 19 August three unarmed members of an Israel agricultural settlement at Almagor, in Galilee, while returning home from work in their fields, had been ambushed and attacked at close quarters by a group of Syrian soldiers; two of the farmers were shot down and murdered. The third fled, after having been pursued and fired upon. The entire incident, it was alleged, took place well within Israel territory.

The representative of Israel added that this incident was the gravest in a lengthy series of Syrian border attacks. He also cited the abduction, on 13 July, of six civilians from an excursion boat on Lake Tiberias.

On 21 August, Israel also transmitted to the Security Council a list of 98 incidents in which fire was directed from Syria into Israel; these were alleged to have occurred since December 1962.

On 21 August, in its request for a Security Council meeting, Syria declared that on 20 August an Israel force, estimated at 15 armoured cars, opened fire on advanced Syrian positions from the Israel settlement of Al-Dardara, within the demilitarized zone. Syrian forces returned the fire but the Israel force continued to shell Syrian positions, creating a situation threatening the peace and security of the region.

The complaints were considered by the Security Council at seven meetings held between 23 August and 3 September. The representatives of Israel and Syria, who were not members of the Council, were invited to take part in the Council's discussion, without the right to vote.

In his opening statement in the debate, on 23 August, the representative of Israel said his Government was calling for action by the Council in the belief that the time had come to condemn Syria's persistent violation of the Armistice Agreement and the United Nations Charter. He rejected Syria's charge that 15 Israel military units had been deployed in the demilitarized zone, the firing having been initiated from Syrian positions in the vicinity.

Israel, he went on, was determined to keep the borders quiet, but at the same time it could not abdicate its responsibility for ensuring the integrity of its borders and protecting the lives of its citizens.

The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic denied that the Syrian authorities had been responsible for the alleged killing of Israeli farmers. In view of the nature of the terrain, it was impossible for Syrian soldiers to have come upon the territory mentioned by Israel. The basic reason for the tension in the area, he said, was that Israel had consistently refused to respect the status of the demilitarized zone as defined in the Armistice Agreement; while presenting complaints to the Mixed Armistice Commission, Israel had declined to participate in the work of that Commission, which, it claimed, was not competent to deal with matters touching upon the demilitarized zone.

At the same meeting, the Secretary-General informed the Council that the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) had obtained the agreement of both parties to a simultaneous investigation of the defensive areas on both sides by UNTSO observers and that both parties had responded favourably to the Chief of Staff's appeal to observe the cease-fire. The Secretary-General asked the two Governments to exert every possible precaution to ensure that the cease-fire would be fully observed and to prevent the occurrence of any further incidents.

At its next meeting, on 28 August, the Council had before it a report by the Chief of Staff of UNTSO dealing with the alleged incidents in and near the demilitarized zone and presenting various measures and proposals to ease tensions and restore tranquillity in the area.

The Secretary-General informed the Council that in general the cease-fire was being observed. No evidence of a military build-up on either side had been found in the demilitarized zone, nor of any build-up or concentration by either side in the defensive areas in excess of the military strength permissible under the General Armistice Agreement.

In his report, the Chief of Staff of UNTSO pointed out that the problem of the use of lands in the demilitarized zone had long been a cause of friction between the parties. Both parties, he said, had expressed their willingness in principle to fix the limits of the use of land in the southern sector of the demilitarized zone.

With regard to the Almagor incident, he reported that the origin of the firing could not be determined, but investigation had established that the attack had taken place within Israel territory. With regard to the Syrian complaint, United Nations investigators had been unable to determine conclusively whether the firing was started by Israelis.

In proposing measures to alleviate tension and restore tranquillity in the area, the Chief of Staff urged that the parties meet again within the Mixed Armistice Commission machinery as a step towards a fuller implementation of the Armistice Agreement. He also stressed the need for United Nations military observers to enjoy complete and unrestricted freedom of movement, particularly in the demilitarized zone. He considered that an early exchange of prisoners held in Syria and Israel would help in relieving tension.

During the course of the debate which ensued in the Council, a joint draft resolution was put forward by the United Kingdom and the United States. By this, the Council would, among other things: (1) condemn the wanton murder at Almagor in Israel territory of two Israeli citizens on 19 August; (2) call Syria's attention to the evidence to the effect that those responsible for the killings appeared to have entered Israel territory from the direction of the Jordan River; (3) note with satisfaction that, although there was an exchange of fire, there was no substantial show of force in the demilitarized zone on 20 August; (4) appeal to the parties to co-operate in the early exchange of prisoners; and (5) note that the Chief of Staff had proposed certain measures to alleviate tensions and restore tranquillity in the area. The Council would also call upon the parties to offer to the Chief of Staff all possible cooperation in that regard in conformity with the General Armistice Agreement and would ask the Secretary-General to report to the Council by the end of the year on the progress made with regard to the measures proposed by the Chief of Staff.

Later, a series of amendments to the joint draft were put forward by Morocco. The first amendment was to replace the clause to condemn the "wanton murder" by one to regret the death of two persons at Almagor on 19 August (instead of condemning the wanton murder of two Israeli citizens at Almagor in Israel territory on 19 August). The second amendment proposed the deletion of paragraph 2 of the joint text by which the Council would draw Syria's attention to evidence that those responsible for the killings appeared to have entered Israel territory from the direction of the Jordan River. The third Moroccan amendment called for replacement of the paragraph of the draft expressing satisfaction that there was no substantial show of force in the demilitarized zone on 20 August by an expression of regret that the Chief of Staff's report mentioned the presence of an armoured personnel carrier in the Israel defensive area in violation of the General Armistice Agreement. A final Moroccan amendment would have added a new paragraph to the text by which the Council would note with regret that since 1951 Israel had failed to co-operate with the Mixed Armistice Commission.

During the Council's debate, differing views on the complaints by Israel and Syria emerged. Several members found it difficult to apportion responsibility for the incidents, although all members, with the exception of Morocco and the USSR, endorsed the contention by Israel that the Almagor attack had been carried out by Syrians. Concern was expressed over the persistent violations of the General Armistice Agreement and a majority of speakers endorsed the proposals of the Chief of Staff for strengthening the truce machinery and for alleviating tension in the border area.

The Moroccan representative contended that the Chief of Staff's report had produced no material proof establishing the fact that Syrians had been responsible for the death of two Israeli farmers. The Council, he said, was confronted by an effort to make it take a decision that would "serve the cause of Israel and feed the anti-Arab propaganda machine on the international level." He hoped that this effort would be doomed to failure, as it would serve neither peace nor justice in an area where tension had become acute.

The United States spokesman said that the evidence cited in the Chief of Staff's report was admittedly circumstantial, but its implications were clear enough. He noted that difficulties on the
Syrian-Israel frontiers had broken out periodically, ever since the signing of the Armistice Agreement in 1948. The nature of the alleged violations of the Agreement varied somewhat from time to time, but the fundamental cause of the difficulties was always the same. It sprang from the failure of the two parties to live in peaceful - if armed - truce in accordance with the Armistice Agreement. The United States believed that the Chief of Staff would be able to strengthen UNTSO only if the two sides were willing to co-operate with him in his efforts. The United Nations peacekeeping organization, strengthened by such measures as the Chief of Staff was proposing, could prevent many of the kinds of incidents which both sides in the controversy were complaining about to the Security Council.

The vital role of the United Nations machinery in preventing violations of the General Armistice Agreement was stressed by the United Kingdom representative, who commended the measures suggested by the Chief of Staff, some of which were, perhaps, long overdue. He strongly urged the parties to co-operate with the Chief of Staff and with his teams in UNTSO in working out ways of making effective the measures he had outlined. The best way of preserving peace in the area was to enable UNTSO to operate as was originally intended under the General Armistice Agreement and he hoped that the Chief of Staff would soon be able to make known what progress had been made.

The representative of the USSR maintained that the Chief of Staff's report contained no convincing evidence to confirm Syria's guilt for the death of the two Israeli farmers. He noted that the incidents had not been dealt with in the Mixed Armistice Commission because of Israel's attitude towards that body. The Commission could have made an objective inquiry and could have proposed measures to eliminate the source of tension.

The USSR, he went on, considered that the joint United Kingdom-United States draft resolution contained one-sided accusations directed at Syria, not supported by facts, and that it was unacceptable in its present form. He supported the Moroccan amendments.

The Council voted on the proposals before it on 3 September. The Moroccan amendments, voted on as a whole, were rejected by a vote of 2 in favour to 0 against, with 9 abstentions. The United Kingdom-United States draft resolution received a vote of 8 in favour, 2 against, with 1 abstention, and was not adopted, one of the negative votes having been cast by a permanent member of the Security Council.

REPORT OF CONCITIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE

In its resolution 1856 (XVII), adopted on 20 December 1962,1/ the General Assembly, among other things, thanked the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for its efforts to find a way to achieve progress on the Palestine Arab refugee problem and asked it to continue its endeavours with the Member States directly concerned.

In its twenty-first progress report, covering the period from 8 December 1962 to 31 October 1963, the Commission said it had held several meetings early in 1963 to determine how it should proceed to carry out the Assembly's request. Taking into account the Commission's intensive efforts during 1962, the United States suggested that, as a member of the Commission, it might initiate a series of talks with the five Governments concerned - at a high level and without preconditions as to the eventual solution of the problem. The Commission agreed to such an approach and was kept generally informed of the progress of the talks. The United States subsequently informed the Commission that in its view the talks had been useful; all sides had shown good will, a desire to achieve progress on the refugee problem and a desire to continue the talks, which were not yet completed. The Commission expressed confidence that every effort would be made in the continuation of such talks to advance the wishes of the General Assembly.

With regard to the Commission's work on the valuation of individual parcels of Arab refugee property holdings in Israel, the land expert in charge of the Commission's Technical Office reported that substantive work on the programme had been largely completed and that statistical summaries would be completed by the end of 1963.

The processing of applications for the release of blocked bank accounts of refugees and absentee owners continued in accordance with established procedure.

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

On 11 March 1963, Syria complained to the Security Council of "the latest series of aggressive acts" committed by Israel along the entire length of the armistice lines and particularly along the eastern and northeastern shores of Lake Tiberias. In a note on 15 March, Israel denied the Syrian allegations, asserting that the underlying purpose of the Syrian letter was to cover up Syrian responsibility for the constant harrassment of Israel civilian activities on Lake Tiberias, and constant illegal Syrian incursions across the armistice demarcation line.

In a letter dated 29 April, Israel drew attention to the joint declaration of the United Arab Republic, Syria and Iraq on 17 April on the establishment of a Federation between the three States. Among the Federation's aims, he noted, was the "liberation" of Palestine and the "establishment of a military unity capable of liberating the Arab homeland from the dangers of Zionism." It was unprecedented, he maintained, for a constitutional document of United Nations Member States to proclaim the destruction of another Member State and incompatible with the obligation of all Members to refrain from the threat or use of force against any State.

On 1 May, the representatives of Iraq, Syria and the United Arab Republic replied that in the joint declaration of 17 April they had merely reiterated and reaffirmed their determination to uphold and safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people. There could be no question of the right of the Arab people to protect themselves against the danger of Zionism, whose expansionist aims had never been concealed. It was evident that, in raising the question now, Israel was in fact covering up for possible military action against the Arab States.

In a letter on 10 June, the Syrian representative complained that on 9 June an Israel gunboat had opened fire on Syrian positions on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Later, he said, two Israel jet aircraft overflew Syrian territory and attacked a village with machine guns and rockets. In reply, the representative of Israel said on 11 June that the Syrian allegations were groundless and that the vessel had returned fire from Syrian positions in self-defence. He cited other incidents which, he said, added up to a systematic use of weapons by the Syrian Army aimed at disrupting Israel civilian activities in the border area and, ultimately, at trying to establish Syrian territorial control beyond the borders of Syria.

On 28 August, the representative of the United Arab Republic transmitted the text of a resolution of the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission adopted on 5 August condemning Israel for violating United Arab Republic airspace.

On 29 August, the representative of Iraq, in connexion with the Security Council's debate on the complaints by Israel and Syria (see above), expressed Iraq's concern at the threats to peace and security arising from Israel's continuous violation of the Armistice Agreements. In Iraq's view, the Security Council should reaffirm the Armistice Agreement and reject Israel's claim to sovereignty over the demilitarized zone and deplore its attempts to annex it.

DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES

CONSIDERATION BY SECURITY COUNCIL

SECURITY COUNCIL, meetings 1057-1063.

S/5394, S/5396, S/5400. Letters of 20 and 21 August and telegram of 23 August 1963 from Israel.
S/5395, S/5397. Letters of 21 and 22 August 1963 from Syria.
S/5401 and Add.1-4. Report of Secretary-General of 24, 26 and 27 August 1963 concerning recent incidents in and near demilitarized zone, created by Article V, paragraph 5, of Israel-Syrian General Armistice Agreement.
S/5406. Letter of 29 August 1963 from Iraq.
S/5407. United Kingdom and United States: draft resolution, failed of adoption by Council on 3 September 1963, meeting 1063, because of negative vote of permanent member. Vote on draft resolution was 8 in favour, 2 against (Morocco and USSR), and 1 abstention (Venezuela).
S/5410 and Rev. 1. Morocco: amendments to 2-power draft resolution, S/5407.

REPORT OF PALESTINE CONCILIATION COMMISSION

A/5545. United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine.
Twenty-first progress report (for period 8 December 1962-31 October 1963).

OTHER DOCUMENTS

S/5258. Letter of 11 March 1963 from Syria.
S/5261. Note verbale of 15 March 1963 from Israel.
S/5297. Letter of 29 April 1963 from Israel.
S/5300. Letter of 1 May 1963, from Iraq, Syria and United Arab Republic.
S/5329. Letter of 10 June 1963 from Syria.
S/5332. Note verbale of 11 June 1963 from Israel.
S/5405. Letter of 28 August 1963 from United Arab Republic.

A/5502. Report of Security Council to General Assembly, 16 July 1962-15 July 1963, Chapter 8, sections B and C.

ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINE REFUGEES


During 1963, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) maintained its established relief services and continued to expand and improve its programmes of education and training.

The Agency completed its three-year (1960-63) mandate period on 30 June 1963 and began a new two-year mandate period on 1 July 1963.

Dr. John H. Davis, who had served as Commissioner-General of UNRWA for almost five years, submitted his resignation as of 31 December 1963 and Laurence Michelmore was named by the Secretary-General as his successor.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER-GENERAL

The annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, covering the period 1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963, was submitted to the General Assembly at its eighteenth (1963) session.

In his report, the Commissioner-General said that the Agency's relief operations had continued without any major change, with expenditure on food, shelter, health and welfare services remaining at the per capita level of 1960, which he described as a level critically low for those wholly dependent on these services for existence.

The Commissioner-General said that during 1963 the Agency had fulfilled its three-year (1960-63) programme to expand its vocational and teacher training facilities. This had been planned as a means of overcoming the handicap suffered by young refugees whose fathers were unemployed and who thus had been unable to learn skills in the traditional way by working alongside their fathers. As a result, the Agency's training capacity had increased from about 600 students in 1959-60 to about 4,000 when all 10 training centres were in full operation.

During the three-year period, the Agency had also carried out an ambitious programme of education expansion. This had had the effect of bringing the educational opportunities available for refugee children almost up to the level of those which existed for the children of the local population in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Gaza Strip.

The Commissioner-General said that UNRWA faced the prospect of a considerable budget deficit in 1963, amounting to at least $0.8 million and possibly as much as $2 million. The Agency proposed spending a total of $38 million in 1964. The Commissioner-General pointed out that approximately three-fifths of UNRWA's expenditure was for types of services which local Governments rendered to their own citizens (health services, social welfare and individual assistance, education and training).

The Commissioner-General outlined UNRWA's plans for the two-year mandate period beginning 1 July 1963. The Agency proposed to maintain relief expenditures at the per capita level of 1960 for those refugees genuinely in need of such assistance, while redoubling its efforts to correct and revise the ration rolls. There might, however, be a selective expansion of certain welfare services. The Commissioner-General said that UNRWA would try to strengthen and improve its vocational and teacher training programme within the presently existing institutions, and give high priority to improving the quality of the instruction in its schools, which was still less than satisfactory.

In the view of the Commissioner-General, the problem of the Palestine refugees remained as intractable as ever. He pointed out that no definite progress had been made towards a settlement; no significant effect had been given to paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, referring to repatriation or compensation of the refugees; nor had there been any sign that the feelings or emotions of the peoples directly concerned were growing any less intense. In such circumstances, observed the Commissioner-General, there could be no expectation that the need for services of the kind provided by UNRWA would appreciably diminish, at any rate during the Agency's current mandate period.

UNRWA OPERATIONS

Registration. During the calendar year 1963, the number of refugees registered with UNRWA rose by 38,491, bringing the total, as of 31 December 1963, to 1,228,164. There were 662,625 registered refugees in Jordan, 283,782 in the Gaza Strip, 152,747 in Lebanon and 129,010 in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Shelter. Almost 40 per cent (or 497,997) of the refugees lived in the Agency's 54 camps. Three camps were closed during 1963 because the acccommodation was unsatisfactory; their occupants were moved to new shelters in other camps.

Food. UNRWA distributed basic dry rations to some 72 per cent (or 879,874) of the registered refugees, providing each with 1,500 calories per day in summer and 1,600 in winter. Supplementary feeding and milk distribution programmes provided extra nourishment for children, pregnant and nursing women, tuberculosis patients and others vulnerable to malnutrition.

Health. There were no major epidemics during 1963, and health records were satisfactory. UNRWA maintained 103 static and 11 mobile clinics and provided or subsidized 2,000 hospital beds.

Education. During the 1963-64 school year, 157,331 refugee children were enrolled in the Agency's 403 schools, which were operated in co-operation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNRWA also enabled almost 50,000 other young refugees to attend government or private schools by making grants-in-aid to these schools. UNRWA university scholarships were given to 602 of the most gifted students.

Vocational Training. The opening of UNRWA's tenth training centre in October 1963 completed the Agency's three-year programme of expansion in training facilities. When all 10 centres were in full operation, the Agency's training programme would have a capacity of some 4,000 refugee trainees. The centres offered 27 vocational courses for men and nine for girls, in addition to teacher training and agricultural training.

Welfare services. UNRWA continued to provide assistance to individual cases of extreme hardship, and to offer aid designed to raise the morale of the refugees by helping them to help themselves. The welfare programme included the operation of youth activities centres, adult training courses, a Scouting programme, the encouragement of small refugee co-operatives, and the introduction of a programme of instructional and recreational activities for women.

Clothing. Each needy refugee received 1.7 kilogrammes of used clothing which had been collected and donated by voluntary agencies. UNRWA paid $120,000 in freight charges to bring 1,230 tons of used clothing to the Middle East.

CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA was considered by the General Assembly's Special Political Committee at meetings held between 4 and 21 November 1963, during the Assembly's eighteenth session.

Introducing his report, the Commissioner-General said that in terms of UNRWA's responsibilities the needs of the refugees fell into two categories: relief services and education services. For the basic nine years of education alone, the requirements would increase by $500,000 a year for at least three years to meet the expanding needs for education. The Commissioner-General pointed out the paramount importance of education to refugee children in view of the particularly competitive labour market in the Middle East.

He said that the refugee problem was only one facet of the broader complex of problems which had emerged from the creation of Israel as a State in the Middle East. Two bodies of people were pursuing divergent ends - the citizens of Israel, who were dedicated to the preservation of their country, and the Arab people, who did not recognize Israel and did not want it to continue to exist as a State.

Pending a solution of the problem, said the Commissioner-General, needy refugees had to continue receiving relief, the need for general education had to be met, and UNRWA's vocational training and university scholarship programmes had to be maintained and expanded. He added that he saw no better way of performing these tasks than to have UNRWA continue to carry them out for as long as necessary. The Commissioner-General said he saw little merit in suggestions that UNRWA's education and health functions should be transferred to other United Nations bodies, and that its relief services should be transferred to the "host" Governments. He observed that any premature effort to liquidate UNRWA would add to the instability of the Middle East, reduce the rate of economic progress and even run the risk of generating open strife and loss of life in the Middle East.

Referring to the Agency's financial situation, the Commissioner-General said that he saw increased contributions from Governments as the only way of balancing the budget and providing the funds necessary for UNRWA to maintain its present programme of relief and education.

In a letter dated 29 October 1963, representatives of 13 Arab States asked the Special Political Committee to grant a hearing to "the Palestine Arab Delegation." The Committee agreed on 4 November to hear the spokesman of this group.

During the debate on the Commissioner-General's report, representatives of the Arab States repeated their demands for the repatriation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. They were unanimous in their rejection of direct negotiations with Israel as a possible solution, saying that the rights of the Palestine Arabs were not negotiable. The Arab delegations argued that, under the principle of self-determination, the future of the refugees should be in the hands of the Palestine Arabs themselves, and that no other body was competent to negotiate on their behalf. The continuation of the refugee problem, they argued, was the result of Israel's refusal to implement United Nations decisions regarding the rights of the Palestine Arabs. Pending a final settlement of the problem, action should be taken to protect Arab lands and property in Israel.

The representative of Israel said his Government was willing to negotiate directly with the Governments concerned to reach a solution to the refugee problem. The question of Israel taking back refugees could be considered only in the context of an over-all resettlement programme in the Arab countries. There was nothing, he added, to indicate that the refugees, should they return, would live in peace with their neighbours, as stipulated by paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III). On the contrary, the Arab States had repeatedly declared that Israel must cease to exist. As far as abandoned Arab property in Israel was concerned, the Israel Government had offered compensation as part of an over-all settlement.

The idea of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab States was supported by a number of representatives, including those of the Central African Republic, Dahomey, Denmark and New Zealand. The representative of the Central African Republic observed that it was contrary to common sense and justice to dispute the legitimacy of Israel. The representative of New Zealand said that it was essential to understand that Israel could not be wished out of existence. New Zealand, he added, had always favoured negotiations, and never believed that a solution could be imposed. He suggested that Israel should accept a number of Arab refugees, and set aside funds to compensate other refugees.

The United States spokesman said that a solution to the problem of the Palestine refugees, still as far off as ever, could be found only by the patient working out of a procedure for fulfilling the desires of the refugees while protecting the legitimate concerns of the interested States. The United States believed that progress could best be made on the basis of the general approach laid down in resolution 1856 (XVII) of 20 December 1962,2/ which provided for a continuation of the work of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine and an extension of the mandate of UNRWA.

The USSR representative said that the General Assembly had laid down the only correct solution: repatriation of the refugees who wished to return to their homeland, and compensation for those who did not. The way to solve the refugee problem was by implementing paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), he added. The alternative was the continuation of the present totally abnormal situation.

Speakers in the debate were unanimous in their commendation of the work of UNRWA, many of them paying particular tribute to the services of Dr. Davis and to the training programme which had been expanded during Dr. Davis' term of office as Commissioner-General. There were many expressions of regret at Dr. Davis' resignation.

Three draft resolutions were submitted in the Special Political Committee. By the first draft, submitted by the United States, the General Assembly would note with deep regret that the repatriation or compensation of refugees had not been effected, that no substantial progress had been made for re-integrating them by repatriation or resettlement and that their situation therefore remained a matter of great concern. It would, inter alia: (1) express its sincere appreciation to Dr. Davis, on the occasion of his resignation as Commissioner-General, for his efficient administration of the Agency, and for his dedicated service to the welfare of the refugees; (2) express its thanks to the staff of the Agency and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their work in assisting the refugees; (3) renew its request to the Conciliation Commission, contained in the General Assembly's resolution of 20 December 1962 which requested the Commission to continue its endeavours with the Member States directly concerned to find a way to achieve progress on the Palestine Arab refugee problem pursuant to paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III); and (4) again direct attention to the precarious financial position of UNRWA and urge non-contributing Governments to contribute, and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions so that the Agency could carry out its essential programmes.

The second draft resolution, which was sponsored by Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan, would have the General Assembly, among other things: urge the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to make serious efforts to secure the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and to report thereon not later than 15 October 1964; direct the Conciliation Commission to make further efforts regarding measures for the protection of property, property rights and interests of the refugees; and express sincere appreciation to Dr. Davis, on the occasion of his resignation, for his efficient administration of UNRWA and his dedicated service to the welfare of the refugees.

The third draft resolution, sponsored jointly by 19 nations, called, among other things, for the General Assembly to renew its appeal to the Governments concerned to undertake direct negotiations, with the assistance of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine if they so desired, with a view to finding an agreed solution for the question of the Palestine refugees. This draft was sponsored by the Central African Republic, the Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Dahomey, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Before the Special Political Committee considered the three draft proposals, the United States revised the paragraph of its draft resolution dealing with the request to the Conciliation Commission. The revised draft would have the Assembly call on the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to continue its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III).

On 20 November, the Committee proceeded to vote on the three draft resolutions before it. At the request of the United States representative, priority was given to the United States draft. A separate vote was taken on the revised paragraph, which was adopted by a roll-call vote of 75 to 1, with 20 abstentions. The draft as a whole was then adopted by 83 votes to 1, with 12 abstentions.

The sponsors of the other two draft resolutions said they would not press their respective texts to a vote.

In a plenary meeting on 3 December 1963, the General Assembly voted separately on the paragraph of the Special Political Committee's recommendation calling for further efforts on the part of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine; it approved this paragraph by a vote of 79 to 1, with 18 abstentions. It then adopted the draft resolution as a whole by 82 votes to 1, with 14 abstentions, as resolution 1912 (XVIII).

PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS FOR 1963-1964

During the financial (calendar) year 1963, 45 countries and territories pledged the equivalent of $34,443,559 for UNRWA's activities. By 31 December 1963, the equivalent of $33,823,894 had been received in payment of these pledges. At the end of the year, unpaid pledges amounted to $619,665 for 1963 and $32,092 for previous years.

As of December 1963, UNRWA had received pledges of approximately $32.5 million for 1964.

PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNRWA FOR THE YEAR
ENDING 31 DECEMBER 1963.
(Showing the equivalent in U.S. Dollars of pledges and
contributions in cash, kind and services)


Pledging Government
Pledge
Contributions Received
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Cambodia
Canada
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Finland
France
Gaza Authorities
Germany, Federal Republic of
Ghana
Greece
Holy See
India
Iran
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kuwait
Laos
Lebanon
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Monaco
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Pakistan
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Sweden
Switzerland
Syrian Arab Republic
Thailand
Tunisia
Turkey
United Arab Republic
United Kingdom
United States*
Viet-Nam, Republic of
Yugoslavia
201,600
3,000
30,000
571
925,000
59,680
1,000
10,000
190,213
104,492
625,000
3,000
15,000
1,000
21,008
6,000
20,000
80,855
10,000
95,732
220,000
1,980
41,283
3,000
15,738
204
19,802
110,497
140,000
5,000
56,000
20,964
20,833
94,820
224,751
155,225
93,902
1,000
2,000
8,000
282,909
5,400,000
24,700,000
2,500
20,000
201,600
3,000
-
571
770,525
34,340
-
10,000
190,213
104,492
625,000
-
15,000
1,000
-
-
20,000
80,855
10,000
95,732
220,000
1,980
41,283
3,000
15,738
204
19,802
110,497
140,000
5,000
56,000
20,964
20,833
202,000
224,751
155,225
93,902
1,000
2,000
8,000
282,909
5,400,000
24,700,000
2,500
-
Total
34,443,559
33,823,894

*The United States pledge is payable on a matching basis, not to exceed 70 per cent of contributions paid by all Governments. The pledge is made over the fiscal period 1 July-30 June, the pledge for both 1962 - 1963 and 1963 - 1964 was $ 24,700,000.

DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES

GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 18TH SESSION
Special Political Committee, meetings 398-416.
Plenary Meeting 1269.

A/5513. Annual report of Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East. I July 1962-30 June 1963.

A/5545. Twenty-first progress report of United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (8 December 1962-31 October 1963).

A/SPC/89. Letter of 29 October 1963 from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait. Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Republic and Yemen requesting that a Palestine Arab delegation be heard by Special Political Committee.

A/SPC/90, A/SPC/93. Statements made on 5 and 19 November 1963, meetings 399, 412 and 413, by spokesman of group mentioned in letter of 29 October 1963 (A/SPC/89).

A/SPC/91. Letter of 12 November 1963 from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and United Arab Republic.

A/SPC/92. Statement by representative of Liberia on 19 November 1963, meeting 412.

A/SPC/L.98 and Rev.l. United States: draft resolution, adopted by Special Political Committee on 20 November 1963, meeting 415, by 83 votes to 1, with 12 abstentions.

A/SPC/L.99. Afghanistan. Indonesia, Pakistan: draft resolution.

A/SPC/L.100 and Add.1. Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Dahomey, Denmark, Dominican Republic El Salvador, Gabon Haiti, Honduras, Iceland. Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo: draft resolution.

A/5624. Report of Special Political Committee.

RESOLUTION 1912 (XVIII), as recommended by Special Political Committee, A/5624, adopted by Assembly on 3 December 1963, meeting 1269, by 82 votes to 1, with 14 abstentions.

"The General Assembly,

"Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, 393 (V)and 394 (V) of 2 and 14 December 1950, 512 (VI)and 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952, 614 (VII) of 6 November 1952, 720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, 818 (1X) of 4 December 1954, 916 (X) of 3 December 1955, 1018 (XI) of 28 February 1957, 1191 (XII) of 12 December 1957, 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958, 1456 (XIV) of 9 December 1959, 1604 (XV) of 21 April 1961, 1725 (XVI) of 20 December 1961 and 1856 (XVII) of 20 December 1962,

"Noting the annual report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period from 1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963,

"Noting with deep regret that the repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern,

"1. Expresses its sincere appreciation to Dr. John H. Davis, on the occasion of his resignation as Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, for his efficient administration of the Agency during the past five years and for his dedicated service to the welfare of the refugees;

"2. Expresses its thanks to the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for their continued faithful efforts to provide essential services for the Palestine refugees, and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the staff and facilities that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine may require in carrying out its work;

"4. Calls upon the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to continue its efforts for the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III);

"5. Again directs attention to the precarious financial position of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute, and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions, so that the Agency can carry out its essential programmes."

UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE

A report by the Secretary-General on the organization and functioning of the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East and on financial arrangements and cost estimates pertaining to the Force was considered by the General Assembly's eighteenth session in 1963.

The report, which covered developments in the 12-month period following 30 August 1962, once again described the continuing function of UNEF in guarding and patrolling along the Armistice Demarcation Line in the Gaza Strip and in the International Frontier in the Sinai Peninsula, and pointed out that the area had remained, as in previous years, free of any events of a serious nature. The feeling of security of the local population resulting from these continuing peaceful conditions has been further expressed in the increase in agricultural development and in commercial activity.

In June and July 1963, UNEF was called upon to provide administrative and logistics support for the United Nations Yemen Observation Mission, including personnel, material and aircraft.

There was no significant change in the operational function and pattern of development of UNEF in 1963, and its strength remained roughly the same as in the previous year. It was felt that in view of the effectiveness of UNEF in restoring and maintaining the peace along the Gaza-Sinai line, it had become virtually indispensable, at least until it could be demonstrated that attitudes and relations between the peoples on both sides of the line had improved to the degree that a buffer between them was no longer necessary to prevent daily armed conflict. It has, however, suggested that the possibility of redefining and limiting the functions of UNEF should be examined with a view to reducing both its size and cost. Such a study was undertaken in November 1963 and as a result recommendations for a relatively minor reduction in the strength of UNEF were made to, and endorsed by, the General Assembly. These reductions would result in the overall strength of UNEF being about 4,600. The total strength of UNEF, as at 31 July 1962, stood at 5,102, national contingents being supplied by Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia.

On 17 December 1963, the Assembly, without adopting a formal resolution, took note of the Secretary-General's report as well as of the recommendations concerning the reduction of UNEF.

DOCUMENTARY REFERENCES

GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 18TH SESSION
Fifth Committee, meetings 1019, 1052, 1953, 1955-1058.
Plenary Meeting 1285.

A/5494, A/C.5/1001. Reports of Secretary-General.
A/5642. Report of Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
A/5680. Report of Fifth Committee, paragraph 2-9.

NOTES

1/ See Y.U.N., 1962, p.144.

2/ See Y.U.N., 1962, p.144.

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