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Question of Palestine

Background

This item, which had been on the agenda of the second and third sessions of the General Assembly, was included in the agenda of the twenty-ninth session, in 1974, at the request of 55 Member States (A/9742 and Corr.1 and Add.1, 2, 3 and 4). At that session, the Assembly invited the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in its deliberations on the question of Palestine in plenary meetings (resolution 3210 (XXIX)). At the same session, the Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, emphasizing that their realization was indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine (resolution 3236 (XXIX)). The Assembly also invited the PLO to participate, in the capacity of observer, in its sessions and its work and in all international conferences convened under its auspices; and considered that the PLO was similarly entitled with regard to all international conferences convened by other organs of the United Nations (resolution 3237 (XXIX)).

At its thirtieth session, the General Assembly called for the invitation of the PLO to participate on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East that were held under the auspices of the United Nations and to take part in the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East as well as in all other efforts for peace (resolution 3375 (XXX)). At the same session, the Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; requested the Committee to consider and recommend to the Assembly a programme of implementation, designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights previously recognized; and requested the Security Council to consider the question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights (resolution 3376 (XXX)).

The General Assembly considered the item on the question of Palestine at its thirty-first to sixtieth sessions (resolutions 31/20, 32/40 A and B, 33/28 A to C, 34/65 A to D, 35/169 A to E, 36/120 A to F, 37/86 A to E, 38/58 A to E, 39/49 A to D, 40/96 A to D, 41/43 A to D, 42/66 A to D, 43/175 A to C, 43/176, 43/177, 44/2, 44/41 A to C, 44/42, 45/67 A to C, 45/68, 45/69, 46/74 A to C, 46/75, 46/76, 47/64 A to E, 48/158 A to D, 49/62 A to D, 50/84 A to D, 51/23, 51/24, 51/25, 51/26, 52/49, 52/50, 52/51, 52/52, 53/39, 53/40, 53/41, 53/42, 54/39, 54/40, 54/41, 54/42, 55/52, 55/53, 55/54, 55/55, 56/33, 56/34, 56/35, 56/36, 57/107, 57/108, 57/109, 57/110, 58/18, 58/19, 58/20, 58/21, 59/28, 59/29, 59/30, 59/31, 60/36, 60/37, 60/38 and 60/39).

At its thirty-second session, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to establish within the Secretariat a Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, which would prepare, under the Committee's guidance, studies and publications relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and would organize, in consultation with the Committee, commencing in 1978, the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). The Assembly, at its thirty-fourth session, requested the Secretary-General to redesignate the Special Unit as the Division for Palestinian Rights, with an expanded mandate of work (resolution 34/65 D).

At its forty-third session, the General Assembly acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988; affirmed the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967; and decided that, effective as at 15 December 1988, the designation "Palestine" should be used in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the PLO within the United Nations system, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and practice (resolution 43/177).

At its sixty-first session, the General Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to support the Middle East peace process and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, and authorized the Committee to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it might consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments and to report thereon to the Assembly at its sixty-second session and thereafter (resolution 61/22).

At the same session, the General Assembly requested the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations (resolution 61/23).

The General Assembly also requested, at its sixty-first session, the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as might be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2006-2007, in particular, inter alia, to strengthen the annual training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists (resolution 61/24).

Also at the same session, the General Assembly called upon the parties to the conflict to immediately resume direct peace negotiations towards the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, especially from the Security Council, the Arab Peace Initiative, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the road map (S/2003/529, annex); stressed the need for the immediate implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings; stressed also the need for the full implementation by both parties of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, of 15 November 2005; demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and as demanded in resolutions ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003 and ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and, inter alia, that it immediately cease its construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; reiterated its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and called for the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions; reaffirmed its commitment to the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders; urged Member States to expedite the provision of economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority; and requested the Secretary- General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region and to submit to the Assembly at its sixty-second session a report on those efforts and on developments on the matter (resolution 61/25).

Documents
References for the sixty-first session (agenda item 14)

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