COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 37th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 13 March 1979, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)
Report of the Task Force on the programme of work for 1979
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 10.50 a.m.
REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON THE PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR 1979
1. The CHAIRMAN expressed profound regret at the death of Mr. Baroody, an unfailing friend of the Palestinian people.
2. Mr. HAGGAG (Egypt) proposed that, since the Security Council was considering the item, the list of pamphlets to be published by the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights on page 3 of the report of the Task Force on the programme of work for 1979, should include another pamphlet, on the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to Palestinian and other occupied territories.
3. The CHAIRMAN suggested that, in the light of the proposal made by the representative of Egypt, the experts in the Special Unit should take into account the statements made in the Security Council on the item, in particular the statement made by the representative of the United States. If he heard no
objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt the programme of work.
4. It was so decided.
5. Mr. TERZI (Palestine Liberation Organization) associated himself with the expression of regret at the death of Mr. Baroody, who had dedicated his life in the United Nations to the defence of the rights of the Palestinian people, as a good Arab, a good Lebanese and a good Christian and as a champion of human rights and an advocate of the United Nations.
6. It was regrettable that the summary record of the special meeting held on 29 November 1978 had not yet been issued. He wondered whether such a long delay might be due to obstruction somewhere within the Secretariat.
7. In view of the attempts to ignore the existence and rights of the Palestinian people, it was the duty of the Committee to ensure that those of its recommendations which had been endorsed by the General Assembly were respected. The Committee had proposed that the Palestinians should have a sovereign and independent entity and the General Assembly had endorsed that proposal. In renewing the Committee's mandate in 1978, the General Assembly had stated that no attempt to resolve the Palestinian problem could be valid unless it was based on the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Nevertheless, President Carter persisted in his policy of denying the rights of the Palestinians; self- determination should not be equated with self-rule or the holding of borough elections. The Committee therefore had a duty to reaffirm its opinion.
8. The CHAIRMAN, referring to the failure to issue the summary record of the special meeting held on 29 November 1978, pointed out that the study which the Special Unit was to have published in 1978 on the subject of self-determination had also not appeared.
9. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that the failure to issue the summary record for the meeting held in November was due to the job action which had taken place at that time and to the fact that priority had subsequently been given to the publication of General Assembly and Security Council documents. The delay in the publication of the document concerning self-determination was due to the fact that the printing shop had been temporarily closed; the document would, however, be ready by the following Friday.
10. The CHAIRMAN, referring to the question of respect for those of the Committee's recommendations which had been endorsed by the General Assembly, said that the root of the problem lay in the attitude of certain members of the Security Council which threatened to use their right of veto if the Committee's report was resubmitted to the Council for consideration. With regard to the draft letter from the Chairman of the Committee, addressed to the President of the Security Council, referring to paragraphs 8 and 9 of General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, which urged the Security Council to consider and to take a decision as soon as possible on the recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly, and authorized the Committee, in the event that the Security Council failed to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 1 June 1979, to make the suggestions it deemed appropriate, he said it appeared that the Committee should wait until 1 June, after which time it might consider the adoption of new measures. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt the draft letter.
11. It was so decided.
12. Mr. SHAMMA (Jordan) expressed his surprise at the statements made by the representatives of Western States to the effect that they were opposed to any resolution condemning the practice of torture in the territories occupied by Israel because of the lack of proper evidence. He proposed that
Miss Alexandra Johnson, a former employee of the United States Department of State, who had recently prepared a report on torture by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories, should be invited to address the Committee.
13. The CHAIRMAN said he was afraid that pressure might be exerted on Miss Johnson to prevent her from appearing before the Committee; nevertheless, he would establish the appropriate contacts in order to look into the possibility of having Miss Johnson address the Committee.
The meeting rose at 11.30 a.m.