Statement made by the representative of Yugoslavia at the
first meeting of the Committee on 26 February 1976*
The Yugoslav delegation is profoundly convinced that the decision of the General Assembly to establish the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People constitutes one more significant step contributing to the solution of the question of Palestine. It was the natural political consequences of the constant assertion of the Palestinian people and of its only legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO) in the struggle for the realization of its inalienable legitimate rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and of the right to establish its own State.
The international community has recognized, through the United Nations and otherwise, that the question of Palestine is of central importance to the solution of the Middle East crisis. It has recognized the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate on equal terms in its capacity of sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in all efforts for peace in the Middle East. On the other hand, the stubborn persistence of Israel in holding under occupation the Arab territories occupied since 5 June 1967, its failure to recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people and its refusal to implement numerous United Nations resolutions pose a serious threat to peace and security and are the greatest obstacles to the solution of the crisis in the Middle East and of the question of Palestine.
Yugoslavia has always maintained that a just solution of the Palestinian problem is a conditio sine qua non for the successful solution of the Middle East problem as a whole and for the creation of conditions for lasting peace and security and independence for the States and peoples of the region. In accordance with resolution 3376 (XXX), the basic task of the Committee is to elaborate a programme for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which means the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine and the realization of the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and properties from which they have been displaced and uprooted. The most important task facing us at present is to determine how to fulfil our mandate. In this connexion, we have to decide with what States and international regional organizations, such as the League of Arab States and the Organization of African Unity, contacts should be established as stipulated in operative paragraph 5 of the resolution. We believe that we should establish contacts bilaterally with the parties directly involved, that is, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. At the same time, one perhaps should not exclude, if the need arises, the possibility of appropriate consultations with theft is members of the Security Council — with its permanent members in particular — in view of the fact that our Committee has to submit its report to the Secretary-General, to the Security Council and, after the action of that body on the matter, to the General Assembly. We have also to decide in what way contacts should be established with all these entities. In keeping with the usual practice of the United Nations, we could as a first step invite them to submit their views, suggestions and proposals and explain their positions, in writing or orally, and simultaneously consider the possibility of other appropriate forms of contact, such as the making of statements in the Committee by representatives of the Governments directly concerned and so on.
We expect that the Secretariat of the United Nations will co-operate fully with the Committee and place at the disposal of its members all the necessary and relevant documents, services and so on, as the Secretary-General has already promised us. In our work we should proceed on the basic principles that the international community has already adopted as an initial basis for the peaceful and just solution of the question of Palestine and thereby of the Middle East crisis, namely, the consideration of the question of Palestine as the core of the conflict in the Middle East, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by the threat or use of force and the necessity of the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region based on full respect for the Charter of the United Nations, as well as for its resolutions concerning the problem of the Middle East, including the question of Palestine. The Palestinian people should be enabled to exercise its inalienable right to national self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State in Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; Palestinian refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours should have the right to do so and those choosing not to return should receive compensation for their properties. Israel should withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since 5 June 1967. Appropriate arrangements should be established to guarantee, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations , the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the-States in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. These principles should be fully taken into account in all international efforts and conferences organized within the framework of the United Nations for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
We feel that the work of this Committee will assume a wider international importance, and it is therefore natural that it should attract the attention of the international public. I am certain that the non-aligned countries will, as in the past, play an active role and make a significant contribution towards the solution of the question of Palestine and the Middle East problem in general.
In its activity in the Committee, my delegation will continue to be guided by the interests of the Palestine Liberation Organization and of the Palestinian people, with whom we are linked by a long tradition of co-operation, assistance, mutual understanding and respect. We shall also exert efforts, within the limits of our capabilities, with the aim of enabling this Committee to adopt constructive proposals and to contribute to the solution of this important problem.
* Distributed in accordance with a decision of the Committee.
Document Type: Statement
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), General Assembly, Special Unit on Palestinian Rights (SUPR) (See also - CEIRPP > DPR)
Subject: History, Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Middle East situation, Palestine question
Publication Date: 26/02/1976