COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 44th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 17 October 1979 at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)
Consideration of the draft report
This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages, preferably in the same language as the text to which they refer. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also, if possible, incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550.
Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 11.05 a.m.
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT REPORT
1. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the additional amendments agreed on by the Task Force had now been circulated to the Committee in writing.
2. The first amendment, by the representative of Senegal, was to paragraph 16 of the draft report, and was intended to make it clear that the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council on 24 August had been submitted on behalf of the Committee. Accordingly, it was proposed to insert the words "on behalf of the Committee" after the word "Senegal" in line 9 of paragraph 16.
3. Another amendment, to paragraph 31, was by Pakistan, which considered that there should be a reference to the decision of the Non-Aligned Movement relating to the question of Jerusalem and the attempt of Israel to regard Jerusalem as its capital. It was therefore proposed that a sentence should be added at the end of paragraph 31, reading: "The Committee also noted that the Sixth Non-Aligned Summit Meeting in Havana had appealed to members of the Non-Aligned Movement to take firm measures, including severance of economic and diplomatic relations, against countries which, formally or by implication, recognized the City of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." That sentence would be added in order to reflect accurately the position taken in Havana.
4. The representative of Algeria had suggested, in connexion with the reference to the Monrovia Declaration, that in line 5 of paragraph 35 the word "updated" should be replaced by the word "reviewed". In addition, the following sentence would be added at the end of the paragraph: "It had condemned all partial agreements and separate treaties which constituted a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the principles enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity and of the United Nations."
5. The Task Force had also discussed inserting a new paragraph 52 A in the Committee's recommendations, to take account of events that had occurred since the appearance of the Committee's previous report and recommendations. The new paragraph would read: "The Committee draws the attention of the General Assembly to its considered opinion that the Camp David Accords, to the extent that they did not take into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and were negotiated without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, contravened operative paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A adopted by the General Assembly on 7 December 1978." If adopted, the new paragraph 52 A would become paragraph 53 and the remaining paragraphs would be renumbered.
6. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) said that he hoped that it would be possible to achieve a consensus in the Committee, since the effectiveness of its work would be increased if it could speak with a united voice to the General Assembly. His delegation had no difficulty in agreeing to some of the amendments suggested by the Task Force, and it fully accepted the recommendation on the question of Jerusalem. Moreover, Egypt had supported the resolution adopted in Monrovia.
7. However, the proposed new paragraph 52 A was an incorrect statement. The Camp David agreements were only the first step to a general settlement based on the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories and the recognition of the rights of the people of Palestine. Those were the common aims of Egypt and its Arab brothers. The inclusion of the proposed new paragraph would preclude a united front in the Committee. Thus far the consensus in the Committee had been a source of strength, and he hoped that it would be able to present a united front to the General Assembly as in the past. He wished to emphasize once again his delegation's support for the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people.
8. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said he had copies of the text of the Camp David Framework Accords which he would distribute to members of the Committee to refresh their memories and to make it clear why the Task Force had reached its decision that the Camp David Accords contravened operative paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 33/28 A. Everyone knew that the Camp David Accords were based on a denial of the right to self-determination, the right to return and the independence of the Palestinian people, that they ignored the existence of the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, and that they legitimized the Israeli occupation of the territories occupied since 1967. The whole text and spirit of the Accords was a complete denial of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX). There was a conflict between the Committee's mandate and the Camp David Framework Accords. They had been described as a first step, but they represented a partial agreement. He considered that the report should be amended to indicate that the Sixth Non-Aligned Summit Meeting had regarded the Camp David Accords as partial agreements.
9. He considered that the reference in new paragraph 52 A to contravening operative paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A was too soft, and that the word "contravened" should be replaced by the word "violated". The Camp David Accords must be regarded as having no validity in the light of paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A. Since the Committee was competent under its terms of reference to exercise vigilance in safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian people, he could not believe that the members of the Committee could object to stating the facts as set forth in the proposed new paragraph 52 A.
10. Mr. HILALY (Pakistan) said that the Committee had now to decide on the procedural question of whether its mandate permitted it to discuss the Camp David Accords. His delegation felt that such a discussion could be held without engendering a debate on their merits. It was important to resolve that procedural issue in order to achieve the objective of adopting the draft report.
11. His delegation did not understand why some members of the Committee felt that the Camp David Accords were beyond the purview of the Committee's mandate and yet admitted that they affected Palestinian rights. The most recent General Assembly resolutions on the subject not only stipulated that the Committee should keep the situation relating to the question of Palestine under review but in fact obliged it to report and make suggestions on that subject to the General Assembly and the Security Council (General Assembly resolution 33/28 B, para. 2). Even if such clear directives did not exist, it would be unrealistic to think that the General Assembly would restrict the Committee's rights to deliberate on developments affecting Palestine or that the Committee itself would refuse to examine agreements affecting the very rights it had been created to uphold.
12. The Committee had never found it necessary to assert its right to comment on the aspects of the Camp David Accords affecting Palestine because that right had never been questioned. It had authorized its Chairman to express, in a letter dated 30 March 1979 (A/34/155-S/13210) its regret that recent negotiations, a clear reference to the Egyptian-Israeli agreements, had not taken into account the rights of the Palestinian people. It would therefore be less than honest to say that the Committee had so far abstained from commenting on the Accords. It was necessary now to be completely honest and say expressly what so far had been stated by implication.
13. With regard to the objections raised by certain delegations that a discussion of the question by the Committee would amount to infringing the right of a sovereign State to enter into a treaty with another, he said that the United Nations Charter did not allow States the freedom to contract against the letter and spirit of the fundamental norms of international law. In his delegation's view, any agreement which recognized the acquisition of territory through the use of force or denied a people the right to self-determination and freedom was contrary to international law and order and therefore of direct concern to the international community. The Committee had not only the right but the obligation to express itself on the Camp David Accords. If it refused to make known its views on that question, it could be accused of shrinking from its commitment to the Palestinian cause.
14. Mr. HAMDAN (Observer for Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that he had no difficulties with the suggested amendments, except for the proposal to add a paragraph 52 A. It was an indisputable fact that the Camp David Accords had not only contravened but violated paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A and had not taken into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, since they had been negotiated without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He therefore suggested that the word "contravened" should be replaced by the word "violated", and that the words "to the extent that they" should be deleted.
15. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) said that in the Camp David Accords, Israel had for the first time acknowledged the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, whereas for 30 years it had not even admitted their existence. The Accords were not a final agreement and the results of negotiations would be presented to the Palestinian people, who would make the final decision regarding their future. The Accords therefore did not contravene any United Nations resolutions or deny the Palestinians their rights. On the contrary, they supported the rights of the Palestinian people and their representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
16. Mr. KOUYATE (Guinea) said that the Camp David Accords had not been officially submitted to the United Nations and therefore a United Nations Committee could not officially take note of them by mentioning them in its report. Such a procedure would amount to tacit acceptance by the Committee of the Accords, even though they had not yet been officially submitted to the United Nations. Until the General Assembly took up the question officially, the Committee did not have the right to mention the Accords, either positively or negatively, in its documents.
17. The CHAIRMAN said that, although the General Assembly had not officially taken up the question of the Camp David Accords, it had been informed of them by all the parties concerned. Furthermore, the Prime Minister of Egypt had written directly to him, the Chairman, to bring him up-to-date on the Accords and to state his position. The Chairman had replied in a letter stating the Committee's position on any negotiations concerning Palestine carried on outside of the United Nations and without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. There had been, therefore, official mention in the United Nations of the Camp David Accords.
18. The question of whether the word "contravene" or "violated" should be used in paragraph 52 A was one of semantics; he wished to recall, however, that the version before the Committee had been agreed upon by the Task Force by consensus. He therefore appealed to members of the Committee to accept that version with a view to adopting the report in time to have it reproduced for submission to the General Assembly. It was his impression that the full members of the Committee were prepared to join in a consensus. The opinions expressed by the Observers would, of course, be reflected in the summary records.
19. Mr. KANE (Senegal) asked whether the letters exchanged between the Chairman and the Prime Minister of Egypt had been circulated as Committee documents.
20. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said they had not.
21. Mr. KANE (Senegal) requested that the letters should be circulated as official Committee documents.
22. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that in addition to his exchange of letters with the Prime Minister of Egypt, the Chairman had written to the Presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly regarding the Camp David Accords, a fact which was reflected in paragraph 34 of the draft report.
23. In the Task Force, an effort had been made to arrive at a neutral wording of paragraph 52 A that would inform the General Assembly of the Committee's deliberations, without expressing the views of all members of the Committee. He therefore supported the wording of the paragraph and appealed to members of the Committee to adopt it.
24. The CHAIRMAN said that he would request the Secretariat to circulate as an official document the exchange of letters between himself and the Prime Minister of Egypt, and to furnish members of the Committee with the document symbols corresponding to his letters to the Presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly and to the signatories of the Camp David Accords. They would then have at their disposal the entire dossier on the subject.
25. Mr. HILALY (Pakistan) said that the representative of Senegal had raised a valid point. Delegations had been finding it difficult to obtain the documents needed for a comprehensive view of certain issues. His delegation, for example, had had great difficulty in obtaining the text of the decisions adopted by the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries.
26. He agreed with the Rapporteur that the Task Force had endorsed paragraph 52 A. The text of paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A should, however, be reproduced in the paragraph.
27. Mr. TABIBI (Afghanistan) said that, while it was true that there was agreement on the compromise text of paragraph 52 A and the other amendments before the Committee, the representative of Senegal had raised an important question of principle. Among the mass of correspondence received by the Chairman, there were some potentially important items which should be circulated to the Committee.
28. Mr. RASOLONDRAIBE (Madagascar) said that his delegation had no objection to the amendments suggested at the current meeting or to the proposed reproduction of the text of paragraph 4 of resolution 33/28 A.
29. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) said that the letters which would be made available to the Committee could afford it an opportunity to study all the points of view and put forward ideas on paragraph 52 A. If, however, the Committee proposed to adopt that paragraph without further ado, he would like Egypt's position to be reflected in the report.
30. The CHAIRMAN said that the positions and opinions of individual delegations were not usually included in the report to the General Assembly. The summary record of the meeting would reflect Egypt's position.
31. If there were no objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt paragraph 52 A, as amended.
32. It was so decided.
33. The draft report as a whole was adopted.
34. The CHAIRMAN said that he wished to give an account of the interview he had had with the Secretary-General on the preceding day on the question of an exhibition about the Palestinian people during the week 26 November to 2 December 1979, a permanent exhibition about the Palestinian people on United Nations premises, the issuing of a stamp to commemorate the struggle of the Palestinian people, and the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November.
35. The Secretary-General had asked that any visual material supplied for the exhibition starting on 26 November should be provided no later than one week before that date, since in 1978 the material had arrived late, which had led to considerable difficulties. In the current year the exhibition would be held under the aegis of the information services, in collaboration with the Committee.
36. With respect to a permanent exhibition of material, the Secretary-General had explained that the permanent exhibition on Namibia had been arranged on the authority of several General Assembly resolutions. The Committee should therefore ask the Drafting Committee to include an appropriate provision in the draft resolution submitted to the General Assembly inviting the Secretary-General to provide facilities for a permanent exhibition on United Nations premises.
37. The same applied to the issuing of a commemorative stamp. In 1976 there had been a resolution on Namibia asking for a commemorative stamp to be issued on that subject, and accordingly there must be a reference to the issuing of a commemorative stamp in the resolution the Committee submitted to the General Assembly. He had asked the Secretary-General if that requirement would mean any delay in issuing a stamp for 1980, but the Secretary-General had said that provisional arrangements had already been made with the Postal Administration. Those arrangements could go ahead once the General Assembly had adopted the relevant resolution.
38. The arrangements for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People would be similar to those made in 1978. The Secretary-General would make a statement, and invitations to speak would be addressed to the President of the General Assembly and to the President of the Security Council for November, which would be Bolivia. The Secretariat had been asked to address letters to geographical groups asking them to speak on the occasion, as in 1978, and also to the Non-Aligned Movement. The Secretary-General of the Islamic Conference or his representative would also be invited to speak, as well as the representatives of other organizations which had made statements on the Day of Solidarity in 1978. In general the arrangements would be the same as for 1978. However, he had informed the Secretary-General that the meeting had had to sit until a late hour in 1978, and accordingly for the present occasion arrangements had been made for the holding of two meetings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, if necessary. However, he would ask speakers not to make substantive statements on the question of Palestine, but only to make general statements marking solidarity with the Palestinian people. Statements of 15 to 20 minutes would be too long for the occasion, and he hoped that none of the speakers would confuse the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People with the debate on the question of Palestine.
39. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that he noted that for the current year the exhibition coinciding with Solidarity Day would be organized by the Department of Public Information, and he would inform the PLO exhibitions specialist who had done the work in 1978 to provide the necessary material in good time, and not less than one week before 26 November. He thought that the difficulties in 1978 had been caused by the United Nations in Beirut, since the consignment of material had gone astray at London airport.
40. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva had been informed that he should hold a special meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and was making the necessary arrangements. The Committee must decide if it wished to be represented at that meeting, so that the Director-General could be informed. He confirmed that arrangements had been made to hold two meetings of the Committee on 29 November.
41. The CHAIRMAN, replying to a question by Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), said that, as in 1978, all United Nations offices had been asked to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and in addition such organizations as the Organization of African Unity, the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement had been asked if they would speak on the occasion. All that had been done in 1978 would be done in 1979, and probably more.
42. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had received an invitation to send a delegation to a meeting on solidarity with the Arab people to be held at Lisbon from 2 to 6 November 1979. Two volunteers had already come forward, but the delegation should consist of at least three persons, whose names had to be submitted within the next two or three days.
43. The Committee had received an invitation to send a representative to Geneva on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 1979. The representative should be at the ambassadorial level, since he or she might be expected to chair the proceedings, as had been the case in 1978. The name of the representative had to be transmitted to Geneva as soon as possible.
44. He invited the Committee to think about the composition of the delegation which it had been invited to send to a meeting on Jerusalem to be held in London on 5 December 1979.
45. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that within the last 48 hours, there had been alarming reports that the occupying authorities were seeking to legitimize some settlements and to expand the areas where they had been established. He hoped that the Committee would bring that development to the attention of the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979). Even more alarming was the master plan for the development of settlements in Judaea and Samaria between 1979 and 1983 adopted by the World Zionist Organization, which was planning to implant 25,000 Jewish families in the occupied Palestine territories. He was going to transmit the master plan to the Secretariat, which should notify the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979).
46. The Israeli authorities were seeking to institutionalize discrimination against Arabs in Israel. An adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel had been advocating a policy of positive segregation for Israeli Arabs. That would impair the inalienable rights of Palestinians in exile and those who had become Israeli citizens; it would also help to introduce a form of apartheid to the region. That development too should be brought to the attention of the relevant bodies.
47. He inquired whether the various studies prepared in 1978 had been translated into the respective languages and were ready for publication and what was the status of the new studies which the Committee had agreed to have prepared.
48. Mr. TABIBI (Afghanistan) said that in addition to notifying the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979), the Committee should issue a press release denouncing the developments referred to by the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
49. The CHAIRMAN said that that suggestion would be followed.
50. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that the studies prepared in 1978 had all been published in Arabic, English and French. Parts 1 and 2 of the first study had been published in Spanish. The 1979 studies were being translated and should be published shortly.
The meeting rose at 12.55 p.m.