U N I T E D    N A T I O N S

Press Section

Office of Public Information

United Nations, N.Y.


Committee on Rights of                                Press Release GA/PAL/16

 Palestinian People                                   13 April 1976

12th Meeting (AM)


    The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the

Palestinian People, continuing its general debate this morning, heard         

statements by the representatives of Greece and the Ukraine.

     The representative of Greece spoke as an observer in response to the

Secretary-General's invitation, on behalf of the Committee, to States Members

of the United Nations which are not members of the Committee, to make known

their views on the question.  The Ukraine is a member of the Committee.

     After hearing the two statements, the Committee adjourned to continue its

informal discussions.

     Statements Made

     GEORGE PAPOULIAS (Greece) said he was sure that the Committee would make

a valuable contribution towards finding a just and durable solution not only

to the specific problem under discussion, but also to the more general problem

of the Middle East.

     Expressing his country's solidarity and  sympathy with the Palestinian

people, he said that they were a part of the great Arab nation to which Greece

was linked by historical ties of friendship and common cultural heritage.

     Referring to his statement during the General Assembly debate on the

Palestinian question last year and also to a communique issued on the occasion

of the official visit of the Prime Minister of Greece to Egypt this January,

he said that the problem of the Palestinian people "cuts through the heart of

the crisis itself", and that, unless the United Nations faced this real

issue, it could continue its debating for a long time without any constructive


     Greece's position on the question was based on the fundamental principles

of the Charter, especially on that of self-determination, as well as on the

relevant resolutions of the General  Assembly and the Security Council, he

said, adding that any solution, to be just and viable, should be based on the

following principles:

     — The inadmissibility of any acquisition of territories by the use of

military force;

     — The evacuation by Israel of all Arab territories occupied in June 1967;

     — The recognition of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the

Palestinians, including the right to self-determination and a national identity;

     — The guarantee of the sovereignty and independence of all the States in

the area, and

     — The support for all negotiating efforts aimed at a just and durable

peace in the area, including the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference

with the participation of all parties concerned.

     In the light of this last point, Mr.Papoulias recalled his delegation's

votes in favour of General Assembly resolutions 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX)

which called for an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),

as representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all United

Nations efforts, deliberations, and conferences on the Middle East on an equal

footing with the other parties.

     Turning to the question of the return of the Palestinian people to their

homes and properties, he said that this was an issue of high priority and that, without going into specific proposals, he agreed with the representative of Pakistan who, at an earlier meeting, had told the Committee that this return should not await any political or territorial arrangements.

     The situation in the Middle East continued to be explosive and was fraught with serious danger for international peace and stability in the area, he said, and concluded with the hope that all the parties concerned would show the necessary statesmanship and willingness to negotiate which were the necessary prerequisites for a just and lasting peace.

     V.N. MARTYNENKO (Ukraine) said that the Committee had an important task

before it, as the question of the rights of the Palestinian people was a key

element to the relief of the explosive situation in the Middle East.  Without

a practical solution which guaranteed the inalienable rights of the people,

a just and lasting peace there would be impossible, he said.

     To this end, he went on, it was essential that Israeli troops withdraw

from the lands occupied in 1967, and that the inalienable rights of the

Palestinians, including those of self-determination and national identity, be

guaranteed along with the sovereignty of all States in the area.

     The position of the Ukraine was clear, he said:  while there was no war

in the Middle East at present there was equally no peace.  This constant danger would continue as long as Israeli troops contained their occupation and the Palestinian people were denied their inalienable rights and maintained in the reduced status of refugees by the Israeli aggressors, he said.

     Israel was pursuing a policy designed to eliminate the national identity

of Palestine, he went on, stating that the problem was basically political.

He opposed any delay or postponement of a complete solution of the Middle East

problem through separate partial agreements.

     The Ukraine, he said, was prepared to participate in a guarantee of the

national sovereignty of all countries in the area, and added that he believed

France and the United Kingdom could participate in these guarantees along with

the Soviet Union and the United States to the benefit of all.  He hoped this

position would be reflected in the Committee's recommendations.

     The General Assembly and Security Council, in recognizing the inalienable

rights of the Palestinian people and thus increasing the isolation of Israel

on this point, had given a qualitatively new and favourable aspect to the

problem, he said.  However, he went on, the Committee should not lose sight

of the obstacles in the way of a solution which were mainly the "stubborn and

hard-headed views" of Israel and its supporters in refusing to recognize these

rights and negotiate with the PLO on an equal footing.  Other obstacles were

Israel's continuing expansive tendencies and refusal to withdraw its troops

from the occupied lands, he said, and he called for increasing pressure from

the United Nations and public opinion to force Israel to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions.

     Restating that the Palestinians' right to return was an integral part of

a Middle East settlement, he said that he supported the two-phase solution

mentioned earlier in the Committee.  The Security Council should take action

to insure this right, as well as drawing up a time-table for the complete

withdrawal of Israel from the occupied lands, he added.

     Referring to a proposal to seek legal advice from the World Court on

relevant Israeli actions since 1948, he said his delegation had reservations

about the objectivity of the Court's advisory opinions.  Beyond this reservation, he concluded, his delegation found the draft recommendations before the Committee perfectly acceptable.

* *** *

Document symbol: GA/PAL/16
Download Document Files: gapal16.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: 13/04/1976