COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 68th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 12 August 1981, at 10.30 a.m.
Acting Chairman: Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba)
Invitation to the Committee from Mr. Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to send a delegation to Lebanon to assess the damage caused to Palestinian refugee camps
This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also 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, 866 United Nations Plaza.
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 11.20 a.m.
INVITATION TO THE COMMITTEE FROM MR. ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION, TO SEND A DELEGATION TO LEBANON TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE CAUSED TO PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMPS
1. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Chairman of the PLO had instructed him to propose that the Committee should look into the possibility of sending a delegation representing different geographical regions and policial tendencies to Lebanon to visit the Palestinian refugee camps which had been subjected to criminal aggression by the Israeli authorities. Since the Committee's purpose was to assist the Palestinian people to defend their inalienable rights, it should be in a position to go and see for itself the extent of the damage inflicted on Palestinians living in Lebanon and to talk to the parties directly concerned, namely the PLO leadership, about the current political situation.
2. Mr. KRAVETS (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) asked to be told the outcome of the consultations held, with the participation of PLO representatives, to decide on the membership of the delegation of the Committee which was to visit Lebanon in order to assess the damage caused by Israeli bombing. He also asked the Observer for the PLO what progress had been made in the discussions of the group of non-aligned countries on sending a delegation representing those countries to Lebanon.
3. The CHAIRMAN said that the consultations had ended with a decision that the delegation to be sent by the Committee would have five members representing respectively Africa, Asia, Latin America, Western Europe and Eastern Europe; it had been proposed that the delegation should comprise the representatives of Guyana, Pakistan, Senegal, Turkey and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
4. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that he would be grateful if the Chairman would also reply to the second question of the representative of the Ukrainian SSR since, as Chairman of the group of non-aligned countries, he had been present at its consultations on the matter.
5. The CHAIRMAN said that, at a meeting held on Monday, 10 August 1981 to consider the invitation from the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries had decided to accept the invitation; it had also decided on the membership of the delegation to visit Lebanon. Unfortunately, he did not have the list of the members of that delegation with him.
6. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the delegation of the group of non-aligned countries would be made up of representatives of the following countries: Afghanistan, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Jamaica, Nigeria and Yugoslavia.
7. Mr. ZARIF (Afghanistan) said that his delegation whole-heartedly supported the sending of a delegation to Lebanon to assess the damage inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian refugee camps. His Government had vigorously condemned those actions in a statement published as an official document of the United Nations.
8. The CHAIRMAN said that he understood that the visit of a delegation of the Committee to Lebanon had been approved by the Lebanese authorities after they had discussed the question with the PLO leadership. He intended, however, to contact the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in order to have that approval formally confirmed and to report on the outcome of the discussion at the current meeting to the Mission. He asked the PLO representative to specify the date on which the delegation of the Committee should arrive in Lebanon and how long it should stay.
9. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) suggested that the delegation of the Committee should visit Lebanon from 23 to 25 August 1981, immediately after the visit of the delegation of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Countries, which was to take place from 20 to 22 August 1981.
10. The CHAIRMAN said that the delegation of the Committee would therefore have to arrive in Lebanon not later than 22 August so that it could start work on the following day.
11. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that unless the members of the Committee objected, it would be possible to receive the two delegations at the same time.
12. The CHAIRMAN expressed the view that the mission of the delegation of the Committee would have a greater impact if its visit did not coincide with that of the delegation of the group of non-aligned countries.
13. Mr. NAIK (Pakistan) said that he too considered that the two delegations should visit Lebanon one after the other so that two separate assessments of the damage caused to the Palestinian refugee camps could be made. He therefore proposed that the delegation of the Committee should visit Lebanon either on 23, 24 and 25 August or on 24, 25 and 26 August 1981.
14. Mr. KIRKA (Turkey) said that his country would be honoured to take part in the mission, which would give it a further opportunity of serving the cause of its Palestinian brothers. He fully endorsed the representative of Pakistan's view with regard to the proposed dates.
15. Mr. KRAVETS (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that his delegation had no firm opinion about the dates of the visit of the delegation of the Committee to Lebanon. However, since he understood that the PLO wanted that delegation to be made up of permanent representatives to the United Nations, he would have to await his Government's consent to his participation in the mission, but would report back to the Committee and the PLO representative as soon as possible.
16. Mr. RAHMAN (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that receiving the two delegations one after the other would not cause any difficulty. It would be desirable to have a member of the Secretariat accompany the delegation of the Committee to help it to prepare the report for submission to the Committee and the General Assembly.
17. The CHAIRMAN proposed that the delegation of the Committee should arrive in Beirut on 23 August and stay in Lebanon on 24, 25 and 26 August, during which period it could visit the Palestinian refugee camps and have consultations with the Palestinian leaders.
18. It was so decided.
19. Mr. CAMARA (Guinea) said that his delegation regretted that it could not comment on the document of 12 August 1981 prepared by the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights and entitled "Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank" because it had not yet received the French version. If the work of the Committee was to progress smoothly, it was essential that the necessary documents should be available in good time in all the working languages.
20. The CHAIRMAN whole-heartedly endorsed the comment made by the representative of Guinea. He pointed out that the Spanish version of the document in question had not been distributed either.
21. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that his delegation, too, was unlikely to be able to submit comments on that very important document before the following meeting, and he therefore proposed that members of the Committee should be allowed more time to give it more detailed consideration.
22. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) agreed with the representative of Guinea that the document which the Committee was to consider should be available to all delegations in all the working languages so that they could make a worth-while contribution to the work of the Committee.
23. The CHAIRMAN proposed that consideration of the document should be postponed until 28 August so as to give members of the Committee enough time to study it and submit their comments.
24. It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 11.50 a.m.