U N I T E D   N A T I O N S

Press  Section
Office of Public Information
United Nations, N.Y.

(FOR USE OF INFORMATION MEDIA — NOT AN OFFICIAL RECORD)

                              

Committee on Rights of

Palestinian People

Press Release

GA/PAL/20

19 May 1976

16th Meeting (PM)

                                      

PALESTINIAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE ADOPTS ITS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
     The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People this afternoon adopted its report and recommendations to
the Secretary-General, who in turn will submit it later to the Security Council for consideration.

     The Committee, established under the General Assembly resolution 3376
(XXX)
, is requested under the same resolution to submit its report and
recommendations to the Secretary-General no later than 1 June 1976, who,
in turn, would transmit the report to the Security Council for consideration.
The Security Council is requested, under the resolution, to consider, as
soon as possible after 1 June 1976, the question of the exercise by the
Palestinian people of the inalienable rights recognized in resolution 3236
(XXIX)
.

     The Committee itself is expected to meet again, after the Security
Council consideration of the report, to discuss the Council action and to
prepare its final report to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session.

     A statement was made this afternoon by Madagascar before the adoption
of the report.  Following adoption of the report, Tunisia and Romania spoke.
The observers of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq also spoke.  A statement
was also made by the observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

     Details of Draft Report

     In addition to summarizing the deliberations of the Committee, the
report contains a series of recommendations made in the belief that "the
question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem" and,
therefore, no solution in the area could be envisaged without taking into
account the "legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people".

     The text of the recommendations reads as follows:

I.  BASIC CONSIDERATIONS AND GUIDELINES

     "1.  The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East
problem, and, consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution
in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account
the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

     "2.  The legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people
to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination,
national independence and sovereignty are endorsed by the Committee in the
conviction that the full implementation of these rights will contribute
decisively to a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis.

     "3.  The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the
representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with other
parties, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375
(XXX) is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the
Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations.

     "4.  The Committee recalls the fundamental principle of the
inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the
consequent obligation for complete and speedy evacuation of any territory
so occupied.

     "5.  The Committee considers that it is the duty and the responsibility
of all concerned to enable the Palestinians to exercise their inalienable
rights.

     "6.  The Committee recommends an expanded and more influential role by
the United Nations and its organs in promoting a just solution to the question
of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution.  The Security
Council, in particular, should take appropriate action to facilitate the
exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return to their homes, lands
and property.  The Committee, furthermore, urges the Security Council to
promote action towards a just solution, taking into account all the powers
conferred on it by the Charter of the United Nations.

     "7.  It is with this perspective in view and on the basis of the numerous
resolutions of the United Nations, after due consideration of all the facts,
proposals and suggestions advanced in the course of its deliberations, that
the Committee submits its recommendations on the modalities for the
implementation of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian
people.

II.  THE RIGHT OF RETURN

     "8.  The natural and inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their
homes is recognized by resolution 194 (III), which the General Assembly
has reaffirmed almost every year since its adoption.  This right was also
unanimously recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967);
the time for the urgent implementation of these resolutions is long overdue.

     "9.  Without prejudice to the right of all Palestinians to return to
their homes, lands and property, the Committee considers that the programme
of implementation of the exercise of this right may be carried out in two
phases:

         "(a)  Phase one

     "10.  The first phase involves the return to their homes of the
Palestinians displaced as a result of the war of June 1967.  The Committee
recommends that:

         "(I) The Security Council should request the immediate implementation
     of its resolution 237 (1967) and that such implementation should not be
     related to any other condition;

         "(ii) The resources of the International Committee of the Red Cross
     (ICRC) and/or of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
     Refugees in the Near East, suitably financed and mandated, may be
     employed to assist in the solution of any logistical problems involved
     in the resettlement of those returning to their homes.  These agencies
     could also assist, in co-operation with the host countries and the
     Palestine Liberation Organization, in the identification of the displaced
     Palestinians;

         "(b) Phase two

     "11.  The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the
Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967.  The Committee recommends that:

         "(I)  While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations
     in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine
     Liberation Organization as the interim representatives of the Palestinian
     entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable
     Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right
     to return to their homes and property, in accordance with the relevant
     United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 194
     (III)
;

         "(ii) Palestinians not choosing to return to their homes should be
     paid just and equitable compensation as provided for in resolution
     194 (III).

III.  THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION, NATIONAL
INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY

     "12. The Palestinian people has the inherent right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine.  The Committee considers
that the evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation
of the principles of the Charter and relevant resolutions of the United
Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian
people of its inalienable rights in Palestine.  The Committee considers,
furthermore, that upon the return of the Palestinians to their homes and
property and with the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity,
the Palestinian people will be able to exercise its rights to self-determination and to decide its form of government without external interference.

     "13.  The Committee also feels that the United Nations has an historical
duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the
economic development and prosperity of the Palestinian entity.

     "14.  To these ends, the Committee recommends that:

         "(I) A time-table should be established by the Security Council     for the complete withdrawal by Israeli occupation forces from those areas     occupied in 1967.  Such withdrawal should be completed no later than 1 June 1977;

         "(ii) The Security Council may need to provide temporary peace-     keeping forces in order to facilitate the process of withdrawal;

         "(iii) Israel should be requested by the Security Council to desist     from the establishment of new settlements and to withdraw during this    period from settlements established since 1967 in the occupied           territories.  Arab property and all essential services in these areas should be maintained intact;

        "(iv) Israel should also be requested to abide scrupulously by the rovisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to declare, pending its speedy withdrawal from these territories, its recognition of the applicability of that Convention;

       "(v) The evacuated territories, with all property and services     intact, should be taken over by the United Nations, which, with the     co-operation of the League of Arab States, will subsequently hand over     these evacuated areas to the Palestine Liberation Organization as the     representative of the Palestinian people;

         "(vi) The United Nations should, if necessary, assist in establishing     communications between Gaza and the West Bank;

     "(vii) As soon as the independent Palestinian entity has been     established, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved and the Palestinian entity, should, taking into account General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), make further arrangements for the full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the resolution of outstanding problems and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions;

         "(viii) The United Nations should provide the economic and technical     assistance necessary for the consolidation of the Palestinian entity."
     Statement Before Adoption of Report

     Before the adoption of the report, BLAISE RABETAFIKA (Madagascar) said
it was regrettable that countries invited by the Committee — such as Israel
and others concerned — had not participate in the work of the Committee.
It was surprising that these countries were unable to realize the importance
of seizing every chance for the peaceful solution of the problem.  Israeli
participation in the work of the Committee would have been valuable, although
its absence in no way undermined the value of the results of the work of the
Committee.

     The question of Palestine lay at the heart of the Middle East conflict,
and no solution would be complete nor effective without fully taking into
account the rights of the Palestinians.  He believed that the participation
of the PLO in all negotiation processes was fundamental and essential.

     He went on to say that the recommendations of the Committee took into
account all the important points and relevant United Nations resolutions.
He said the recommendations also included the role to be played by the
International Red Cross and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the temporary despatch of
a peace-keeping force to the area.

     On the recommended establishment of a time-table for withdrawal of the
Israeli troops, he said it should not be taken in a wrong manner by Israel;
the occupation of the Arab lands had lasted too long already.  His delegation
was happy to join the general consensus in adopting the report.

     Statements after Adoption

     After adoption of the report, RACHID DRISS (Tunisia) said that the
recommendations made by the Committee in its report needed to be followed
by action. He believed the report should be given wide dissemination.  Further, the Committee might request the Security Council to expeditiously meet to consider the report, and the Committee itself might participate in the
Council's consideration of the matter, he said.

     AHMED ESMAT ABDEL MEGUID, observer of Egypt, said that a whole series
of efforts were made by the Committee in the preparation of recommendations
which were now contained in the report.  A few years ago, the problem of
the Palestinian people was discussed as a refugee problem; now, the problem
was discussed in the proper context, he said.

     The report of the Committee should be circulated to the Security Council
and to the Member States of the United Nations for careful study, he said.
He wondered if the report might be vetoed by the United States in the Council,
adding that there were other questions of strategy to be considered.

     He said that the Committee had made a "worthy" contribution.

     ION DATCU (Romania) said his delegation was satisfied with the adoption
of the report.

     Recalling General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) which established the
Committee, he said that the Security Council was bound under that resolution
to meet and consider the report of the Committee.  The Bureau of the Committee
should discuss the question of strategy with the Secretary-General when
presenting its report to him.  The Committee could meet again to discuss in
detail the ways and means of implementing resolution 3376.

     Mr. DRISS (Tunisia) said that General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) would not ensure an automatic convening of the Security Council, and hence, a
Council member should be asked to request for a meeting of the Council.

     ZEHDI LABIB TERZI, observer of the PLO, thanked the Committee for its
work and asked that the Committee Bureau suggest to the Security Council
15 June as the date to commence consideration of the Committee's report.

     MOWAFFAK ALLAF, observer of Syria, said he supported the Tunisian proposal for wide dissemination of the report in both the official and the public sector, including the  area in the Middle East where the Palestinian people were fighting for their rights.  When the Security Council was considering the Committee's report, the Committee might consider itself in session and assign a small task force to follow the Council proceedings.

     He said that the Committee recommendations were, in fact recommendations
to be adopted by the Council.  As regards the date of the Council meeting,
he did not believe the Committee could impose such a matter on the Council,
although it might make a suggestion to the Council to that effect.

     SHERIF ABDUL HAMID SHARAF, observer of Jordan, said that the Committee
had done a "worthy" and "useful" work on behalf of the Palestinian people.
For many years, the totality of the Palestinian question had been neglected.
However, the Committee had now put the questions together and in the
"right focus".

     Jordan, he said, would maintain its deep interest and close ties with
the Palestinian people.  It would also co-operate with the work of the Committee.

     In summarizing the comments, the Acting Chairman, RICARDO ALARCON QUESADA
(Cuba), said that the Committee's report, which was just adopted this afternoon, would be issued as a Security Council document, and hence, he given wide circulation.

     As regards how the Committee might act during the Security Council
deliberations, he believed the Committee Chairman, who would be returning to
New York shortly, should be informed of the comments made during the Committee
meeting before any definite course of action would be determined.  He believed
it a good idea to have each regional group study the Committee's report.

     An informal consultation could be held at the return to New York of the
Committee Chairman to consider in detail the possible role of the Committee
in relation to the Security Council consideration of the Committee's report
and recommendations, he said.  Naturally, the Committee, which would have to
meet after the Council consideration, would follow the Council debate closely,
he said.

     WISSAM ZAHAWIE, observer of Iraq, said his Government would carefully
study the contents of the Committee's report and would express its views in
due time.
* *** *


Document symbol: GA/PAL/20
Download Document Files: gapal20.pdf
Document Type: Meeting record, Meeting records
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
Subject: Palestine question
Publication Date: 19/05/1976