U N I T E D N A T I O N S
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Committee on Rights of Press Release GA/PAL/16
Palestinian People 13 April 1976
12th Meeting (AM)
PALESTINIAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HEARS STATEMENTS BY GREECE, UKRAINE
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
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
— The inadmissibility of any acquisition of territories by the use of
— 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
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.
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