United Nations

A/50/725-S/1995/930


General Assembly
Security Council

Distr. GENERAL  

7 November 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


GENERAL ASSEMBLY  SECURITY COUNCIL
Fiftieth session  Fiftieth year
Agenda items 42 and 44
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST


Report of the Secretary-General


1.   The present  report is  submitted in  accordance with  General Assembly
resolution 49/62 D of 14 December 1994 on the question of Palestine. 
  
2.   On  1 September  1995, the Secretary-General,  pursuant to  the request
contained in paragraph 8 of that  resolution, addressed the following letter
to the President of the Security Council:

  "I have  the honour  to refer  to resolution  49/62 D,  which the  General
Assembly adopted on 14 December 1994, at its forty-ninth session, under  the
agenda item 'Question of Palestine'.

  "Paragraph  8 of the resolution requests the Secretary-General to continue
his  efforts  with the  parties  concerned,  and  in  consultation with  the
Security Council,  for the promotion  of peace in  the region  and to submit
progress reports on developments in this matter.

  "In order  to fulfil my  reporting responsibilities under this resolution,
I should be grateful  if you would be so kind  as to convey to me the  views
of the Security Council by 29 September 1995."

3.   On  25  September  1995, the  following  reply  was received  from  the
Security Council:

  "The Security Council continues to be  determined to provide the necessary
backing  to the  Middle  East peace  process,  giving full  support  to  its
achievement, including  the Declaration of  Principles of 13 September 1993,
as well as the subsequent implementation Agreements.




95-34203 (E)   131195/...

*9534203*
    "The Council believes that the parties  should be further encouraged  to
adhere to and fully implement the provisions of the Agreements reached."

4.  In a  note verbale dated 31  August 1995 to the  parties concerned,  the
Secretary-General sought  the positions of the Governments of Egypt, Israel,
Jordan,  Lebanon and  the Syrian  Arab  Republic, as  well as  the Palestine
Liberation  Organization  (PLO),  regarding  any  steps  taken  by  them  to
implement  the relevant  provisions of  the resolution.   As  at  18 October
1995, the following replies had been received.

Note verbale  dated 11 September 1995  from the  Permanent Representative of
Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

  "The  Permanent  Representative  of Israel  wishes to  recall  that Israel
voted  against resolution 49/62 D.   Its position remains unchanged.  Israel
has long advocated direct negotiations without preconditions, freely  agreed
upon by all parties concerned as the only framework to advance peace in  the
Middle East.

  "The peace process  begun at Madrid is  based upon this principle.  Within
the  framework  of  the  peace  process,  Israel  and  the  PLO  signed  the
Declaration of  Principles on 13  September 1993 (A/48/486-S/26560,  annex),
the  subsequent Agreement on  the Gaza  Strip and the Jericho  area on 4 May
1994 (A/49/180-S/1994/727, annex) and the Agreement on Preparatory  Transfer
of Powers and  Responsibility on 25 August  1994.  Additionally, Israel  and
Jordan  signed a  treaty of  peace  on  26 October  1994 (A/50/73S/1995/83).
Furthermore, bilateral and multilateral negotiations between Israel and  its
neighbours continue, and Israel looks  forward to progress on  all tracks of
the peace process.

  "Resolution 49/62 D  stands in direct contradiction to the  abovementioned
principle,  which  is  the  agreed  basis  of  the  ongoing  peace  process.
Moreover, paragraph  5 of  the resolution  is intended  to predetermine  the
outcome of the final status talks  agreed upon by Israel and  the PLO in the
Declaration of  Principles, as well  as the results  of the  negotiations on
the  other tracks.    This  attempt is  contrary  to any  notion of  genuine
negotiations."

Note verbale dated 16 October  1995 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

  "The Permanent  Observer  of Palestine  to  the  United Nations  seeks  to
convey  the  position  of  the  Palestinian   leadership  of  the  Palestine
Liberation  Organization and  the  Palestinian National  Authority  on  this
matter.

  "The  sponsors of  General Assembly  resolution  49/62 D,  while retaining
essential  principles,  introduced  important  changes  to  accommodate  the
positions  of some  Member  States.   As a  result, the  resolution received
overwhelming support from Members of the  Assembly.  The resolution provides
support  for the peace  process and a more active  and expanded role for the
United Nations in  this process.   It also  provides the basis for  the just
settlement of  the question  of Palestine by  the end  of the  process.   As
such, the resolution should  serve as an acceptable basis for all parties to
work on these important issues.

  "In paragraph 2 of resolution 49/62 D, the  General Assembly expressed its
support  for the  ongoing peace  process,  which began  in Madrid,  and  the
Declaration   of   Principles   on   Interim  Self-Government   Arrangements
(A/48/486-S/26560, annex), as well as  subsequent implementation agreements,
and expressed the hope  that the process would lead to the establishment  of
a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

  "Since that resolution, further positive developments on the  Palestinian-
Israeli track  of  the peace  process have  taken place,  in particular  the

signing,  on  28  September  1995  in   Washington,  D.C.,  of  the   second
implementation  agreement of  the  Declaration of  Principles,  namely,  the
Interim Agreement  on the West  Bank and Gaza  Strip, which  provides, inter
alia, for the extension  of the self-government arrangements to the rest  of
the  West  Bank  and  the  holding  of  general  and  democratic Palestinian
elections.

  "During  the   past  year   there  have   been  various   delays  in   the
implementation of  the Declaration  of Principles  and there  has also  been
some lack of compliance  with the provisions of  the agreement reached.  The
two  sides,  however,  have  recently  indicated  their firm  commitment  to
implementing  the interim  agreement of  28  September  1995 in  good faith,
fully and according  to the agreed  timetable.   They also reaffirmed  their
intention  to enter  into the  final  status  negotiations according  to the
relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles.

  "While  in the  seventh preambular  paragraph  of  resolution 49/62  D the
General Assembly affirmed the illegality of  the Israeli settlements in  the
territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli  actions aimed at changing  the
status of Jerusalem,  in paragraphs 4 and  5, it stressed  the need  for the
realization of the inalienable rights  of the Palestinian  people, primarily
the right  to  self-determination and  the  withdrawal  of Israel  from  the
Palestinian  territory occupied since  1967 and  also stressed  the need for
resolving  the problem  of the  Palestine  refugees  in conformity  with its
resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948.

  "The Palestine  side strongly  believes that  the international  community
and the General  Assembly should always uphold the principles of the Charter
of the  United Nations,  international law,  international humanitarian  law
and the validity  of Security  Council resolutions.   As  such, the  General
Assembly  has to uphold its  positions related to the  inalienable rights of
the Palestinian people, and it should maintain its positions related to  the
elements  of the final  settlement (final  status issues),  where Israel has
already  created illegal, de  facto situations,  until negotiations on those
issues take place and conclude in the  second stage of the peace process and
the final settlement is effectively achieved.

  "In  paragraph 7 of  the same  resolution the  General Assembly emphasized
the importance  for the United  Nations to play  a more  active and expanded
role  in  the  current  peace  process  and  in  the implementation  of  the
Declaration of  Principles.  The Palestine  side welcomes  the progress made
in  this regard, especially in  the field of providing  economic, social and
other assistance to the  Palestinian people.  It welcomes in particular  the
work of the United Nations Special  Coordinator in the Occupied  Territories
in  the field  of coordinating  United  Nations,  as well  as international,
assistance to the Palestinian  people.  It also  welcomes the steps taken to
move  the headquarters of  the United  Nations Relief  and Works  Agency for
Palestine  Refugees in  the Near  East (UNRWA)  to the  territory under  the
Palestinian Authority, while affirming the continuation of  the valuable and
important work  of  UNRWA  in other  fields of  operation  outside of  these
areas.

  "The Palestinian  side hopes,  however, that  the United  Nations will  be
more  involved  in  the   peace  process  itself.    In  this  regard,   the
participation  of  the United  Nations  in  the  steering  committee of  the
multilateral working groups would  be a normal  step forward.  Another  step
would be the participation of the United Nations  in the supervision of  the
upcoming  Palestinian elections.  In general, the  Palestinian side believes
that there  is a need for broader acceptance of the  United Nations in order
for it  to play its natural, positive  role in the historic search for peace
in the Middle East.   Further involvement of the Security Council would also
be a very important element in the interest of the peace process.

  "Finally,  the Palestinian side, as  it did in previous  years, would like
to underscore the request  made by the General Assembly in resolution  49/62
D  for  the Secretary-General  to  continue  his  efforts  with the  parties

concerned, and in consultation with the  Security Council, for the promotion
of peace  in the region and  to submit progress  reports on developments  in
this matter.  The Palestinian side stands ready  to cooperate fully with the
Secretary-General to carry out those efforts  in an effective and successful
manner and, in the  light of the changes  made and the new  language of  the
resolution, it expects the other parties to do the same."


Observations
  
5.   The past  year has  seen important  progress in  the Middle East  peace
process. The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on  the West Bank and the
Gaza  Strip,  which  was  signed  on   28  September  1995,  represented   a
significant  step  forward  in the  implementation  of  the  Declaration  of
Principles (A/48/486-S/26560,  annex).  It provided  a solid  basis for  the
realization  of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, a goal that
has  long been  sought by  the United  Nations. I  earnestly hope  that  the
resolve  and dedication to  peace shown  by Israeli  and Palestinian leaders
will  continue  to  guide  them  through  the  transitional  stage  until  a
permanent  settlement  is   reached  on   the  basis  of  Security   Council
resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). 

6.     I  hope   that  these   developments,  together   with  the   ongoing
implementation  of  the  Israeli-Jordanian   peace  accord,  will   generate
momentum for progress on  the Israeli-Syrian and  Israeli-Lebanese tracks of
the Middle East  peace talks, leading to  a comprehensive, just and  lasting
solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

7.    The  United  Nations  will  continue  to  support the  peace  process,
politically and economically, in order to  reinforce what has been  achieved
in the  course of  negotiations and  help build  the foundations  for a  new
post-conflict  Middle  East.   It  already  participates  actively  in   the
multilateral  negotiations  on  regional  economic,  security,  environment,
water and refugee issues.   The United  Nations agencies and programmes  are
doing their  utmost to assist the  Palestinian people in  Gaza and the  West
Bank.   The United  Nations Special  Coordinator, Mr.  Terje  Rod Larsen  of
Norway,   and  his   Office  have   been  instrumental  in   supporting  and
facilitating  these  activities,  which  are playing  an  important  role in
building  peace.  In the transitional period, he will continue to serve as a
focal point for United Nations  economic, social and other assistance to the
Palestinians throughout the occupied territories.


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