Letter dated 17 January 1989 from the Permanent Representative of
Bahrain to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour, in my capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of January 1989, to transmit herewith a copy of the Final Communiqué of 12 January 1989 issued at its meeting in Tunis by the Special Arab Ministerial Committee to Support the Intifadah.
I should be extremely grateful if you would arrange for this letter and its annex to be circulated as a document of the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly, under the agenda items entitled "Question of Palestine", "The situation in the Middle East", and "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories", and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Karim AL-SHAKAR
Final Communique issued by the Special Arab Ministerial
Committee to Support the Intifadah
Tunis, 12 January 1989.
The Special Arab Ministerial Committee to Support the Intifadah of the Palestinian Arab People held a meeting at Tunis on 12 January 1989. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Arab States members of the Committee and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
The Committee heard a comprehensive review presented by Chairman Yasser Arafat concerning the current political circumstances of the Palestinian cause, the continuation of the people's uprising in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip against the Israeli occupation and the sufferings being undergone by the Palestinian people in its heroic confrontation against the inhumane and terroristic repressive practices adopted by the occupation forces. These practices include killing, mass arrests, the demolition of homes, the destruction of crops, economic sanctions, the violation of holy sites and the infringement of freedoms, and a policy of expulsion and deportation designed to empty the occupied territories in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international conventions and the principles of international law. The review also included a detailed discussion of the necessary appropriate means by which to support the uprising and ensure its continuation and escalation until it achieves its objectives.
After considering the steps and measures which it had taken to carry out the Programme of work adopted at its first meeting on 20 February 1988 at Tunis, the Committee affirmed that the uprising – now that it was entering its latest stage after a period of over 13 months – required more material support, a heightening of Arab diplomatic activity and preservation of the momentum currently apparent in the Palestinian cause.
The Committee expresses its appreciation to the non-aligned, Islamic, African and socialist States for their adoption of positions supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and its courageous uprising and for their recognition of the State of Palestine. It expresses its appreciation for the position of His Holiness the Pope and the Holy See towards the Palestinian people and its cause.
The Committee calls upon the nations of the European Community further to develop their positions towards recognition of the State of Palestine and to work towards the convening of the International Peace Conference and the preparatory committee.
The Committee considers that the true measure of progress in the United States position with respect to the question of Palestine resides in recognition of the Palestinian people's inalienable national rights, and particularly its right to return, self-determination and the establishment of its own independent State on its national soil.
The Committee affirms the importance of placing the occupied territories under international supervision with a view to protecting the population and paving the way for an equitable political solution in accordance with United Nations resolutions.
The Committee reaffirmed Arab commitment to the decisions of the Algiers Extraordinary Summit Conference concerning Support for the Intifadah and stressed the need for those decisions to be followed up and for the provision of additional material support in order to ensure the continuation of the uprising. The Committee also emphasized the need to broaden the information campaign in order to expose the crimes of the Israeli occupation in the occupied territories.
The Committee adopted a number of decisions in this connection. Among these was a decision to entrust the Secretary-General of the League with the task of drawing up a Programme of work for its future political activity, to include visits by all members of the Committee, including Palestine, to permanent members of the Security Council, other members of the Council, the European Community, African and Latin American States and the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. The Committee also entrusted the Secretary-General with the task of drawing up a Programme for its activity in the Arab context with a view to providing greater material support to the uprising, in accordance with the pertinent decisions of the Algiers Extraordinary Summit.
The Committee will maintain its contacts and endeavours, in accordance with the established Programme, with a view to providing the highest level of support and backing to the uprising of the Palestinian people and to increasing the momentum of the just and comprehensive peace process, which guarantees the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Arab territories.