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Committee on Rights of                                 Press Release GA/PAL/6

 Palestinian People                                    4 March 1976

4th Meeting (AM)



     The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the

Palestinian People heard a report by the Chairman this morning on the results

of his meeting with the Secretary-General concerning the provision of

summary records, additional Secretariat support and meeting facilities for

the Committee's work.

     The Committee will begin its substantive work when it meets again at

10:30 a.m. Tuesday, 9 March, with the observer of the Palestine Liberation

Organization (PLO) listed as the first speaker in the general debate.

     The Chairman, Medoune Fall (Senegal), said that at the Committee's

request, he had met on Tuesday, 2 March, with Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim

and the Under-Secretary-General for Conference Services, Bohdan Lewandowski,

and a not entirely satisfactory compromise had been reached in regard to

summary records of the Committee's meetings.  Verbatim transcripts made from

sound recordings of the meetings would be made available to the Committee

in English and French.

     On the proposal of the Chairman the Committee agreed to examine the

transcript it would receive of today's meeting and to determine at its

next meeting whether the transcript was satisfactory.  If not, the matter

would be taken up again with the Secretary-General.

     The Committee had been informed by its Secretary at its meeting on

Monday, 1 March, that under General Assembly resolution 2538 (XXIV) of 11

December 1969 summary records were not provided for newly established

subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly unless they were specifically

authorized in the enabling resolution.  In the resolution under which the

Committee was established [3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1976], the Assembly

requested the Secretary-General "to provide the Committee with all the

necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks".

     The Chairman said that in his conversation with the Secretary-General

he had not raised the question of the possibility of calling a special session

of the General Assembly to request summary records because he had not felt

that all members of the Committee had agreed that things should be taken

that far.

     The question of the frequency of the Committee's meetings had been

resolved satisfactorily, the Chairman added, and it was believed that the

Committee could hold a minimum of one meeting a day.  If emergency meetings

of the Security Council were called, however, the Secretary-General would

ask the Committee to be flexible in that respect.

     The Chairman said he had also discussed staffing problems, with the

Secretary-General in view of the difficulties which the Committee had

encountered, and had asked that the Committee secretariat be enlarged.  The

Secretary-General had said he would consider the matter.  If the Committee

was without summary records, an enlarged secretariat could produce a summary

of the Committee's discussions, the Chairman observed.

     In the discussion this morning on summary records, several members of

the Committee expressed disatisfaction with the arrangements made.

     Among the comments made, Rachid Driss (Tunisia) said the proposed

solution was much more burdensome, more costly and less useful than summary

records.  Under the guide of rationalization, decisions were taken which

hampered the work of the Organization in order to save money.  Rikhi Jaipal

(India) said that without summary records the Committee could not discharge

its tasks with assurance or any sense of responsibility.  In his view the

Committee should decide formally that it should have be provided with summary

records rather than leaving that decision to the Secretariat.  The question

of finances was irrelevant in the context of the importance of the work of

the Committee, which in any case was not going to be self-perpetuating.

     In the discussion on documentation, the Committee Secretary, Yogaraj

Yogasundram, told the delegates that the compilation of United Nations

resolutions on the Palestinian question, requested by the Committee last week,

would be available on Monday, 8 March.    The rest of the requested

documentation, concerning the history of the problem and its development,

would be available by Friday, 12 March.

     Future Work of Committee

     The Chairman informed the Committee that the PLO had accepted the

invitation to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer and

was now present.

     The Committee also agreed without objection to observer status for

the representatives of Syria, Libya and Egypt.  The Chairman said that in

accordance with the decision taken on 27 February, he had asked the Secretary-

General to inform all Member States — particularly the countries concerned

with the Middle East problem and the members of the Security Council, especial

the permanent members of the Council — that they would be welcome to appear

before the Committee and make known their views on the Palestinian question.

     Zehdi L. Terzi, the observer from PLO, in informing the Committee that

his delegation would be prepared to make its statement on 9 March, inquired

whether the Committee would do its work at the United Nations or would consider sending a fact-finding mission to the area of conflict.  Several delegations expressed the view that a decision on the matter would be premature.  Mowaffak Allaf (Syria) said his delegation did not question the right of the Committee to send a visiting mission to the area but entered a reservation on the use of the term "fact finding" since the facts in the issue were already well established.

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Document symbol: GA/PAL/6
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: 04/03/1976