CEIRPP meeting – Summary record

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 116th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 14 May 1985, at 10.30 a.m.

Chairman:  Mr. SARRE (Senegal)

CONTENTS

Admission of the People's Republic of China and Sri Lanka as observers

Adoption of the agenda

Report of the Rapporteur on the Tenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Beijing, 22 to 26 April 1985, and on he Symposium or on-Governmental Organizations, New Delhi, 1 to 3 May 1985

Eleventh United Nations Seminar on he Question of Palestine, Georgetown, 17 to 21 June 1985

                                                               
   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 DC2-0750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

   Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.
Seminar/Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, New York, 8 to 12 July 1985

Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, Dakar, 5 to 7 August 1985

The meeting was called to order at 11 a.m.
ADMISSION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND SRI LANKA AS OBSERVERS

   The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that, in a note dated 1 April 1985
addressed to the Secretary-General and to himself, the Permanent Representative of China had communicated the desire of his Government to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer. In a note dated 25 March 1985 addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, the acting chargé d'affaires of Sri Lanka also had requested that his country should be permitted to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer. He was convinced that members of the Committee would welcome those requests and would have no objection to admitting the People's Republic of China and Sri Lanka as observers. On behalf of the Committee he therefore welcomed the observer for China, which was a permanent member of the Security Council and had hosted the Tenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of
Palestine, in Beijing, from 22 to 26 April 1985, and the observer for Sri Lanka, which had hosted the Third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, in Colombo, in May 1981.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

   The agenda was adopted.

REPORT OF THE RAPPORTEUR ON THE TENTH UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, BEIJING, 22 TO 26 APRIL 1985, AND ON THE SYMPOSIUM FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, NEW DELHI, 1 TO 3 MAY 1985

   Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the Tenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine had been held in Beijing, China, from 22 to 26 April 1985. The Committee had been represented by a delegation consisting of the Chairman, the Rapporteur, the representatives of Malaysia and Tunisia and the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Sarré (Senegal) had chaired the Seminar and he himself (Mr. Gauci) had acted as Rapporteur.

   The Seminar had focused on the following three topics: (1) the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization; (2) the question of Palestine and Asian public opinion and (3) the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, the need for such a conference; efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome, and benefits thereof. Those topics had been considered by three panels; the names of the panelists could be found in the report.

   The Seminar had held seven meetings, during which 16 panelists from 13 countries had presented papers on the above-mentioned topics. Eight of the experts were members of parliament or affiliated with members of parliament in their respective countries.

   In view of the detailed argumentation and the depth of research contained in the papers presented by the panelists, the Seminar had decided that the papers should be published in full by the United Nations, together with the report of the Seminar, as an important contribution towards a more objective appraisal of the question of Palestine.

   During the Seminar the delegation had been officially received by
His Excellency Mr. Zhao Ziyang, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China. The closing session had been attended by Mr. Qian Qichen, Deputy Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, who had made a statement. Statements had also been made by the Chairman of the Seminar and the representative of the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

  The report of the Seminar, which had been adopted unanimously, contained a summary of the discussions of the three panels; the English version had been distributed to members of the Committee and observers. The Seminar had also sent a message to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Bandung Declaration and a telegram of support to the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, emphasizing the need for the early covening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

   On behalf of the Committee, he expressed his sincere appreciation to the people and Government of the People's Republic of China for hosting the Seminar and for their excellent arrangements which had greatly contributed to the Seminar's success.

   The first Asian Regional Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations, held at New Delhi, India, from 1 to 3 May 1985, had been attended by over 40 organizations, as well as by political leaders and other professionals engaged in the formation of public opinion in the countries of the region. H.E. Mr. Khurshid Alam Khan, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, had made the opening statement, in which he had reaffirmed his country's continuing support for the achievement of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as the commitment of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

   The first panel on the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, had been composed of Mr. Akhramovich, Director of the Institute of African and Asian Countries at Moscow State University, and Mr. Al-Khatib, Professor of Comparative Literature at Damascus University. The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization had been outlined by Mr. Al-Hout, a member of the National Council of the PLO. The question of Palestine and Asian public opinion had been ably analyzed by Mr. Herman, convenor of the Australian Middle East Studies Association, Melbourne, who had written and lectured extensively on the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

   A third panel discussion, on the collaboration of non-governmental
organizations and the question of Palestine, had been led by Mr. Zarif, on behalf of the Committee, and Mr. Betz, Professor of Political Science at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma, and member of the Interim Co-ordinating Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations.  At the end of the Symposium, a declaration had been drafted stressing the determination of the non-governmental organizations to play a key role as moulders of public opinion in the region. The non-governmental organizations had affirmed their commitment to the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East, sponsored by the United Nations, and had expressed their support for the global signature campaign and their intention of co-ordinating their efforts with those of the Interim Co-ordinating Committee. They had also expressed the intention of establishing an Asian Regional Interim Co-ordinating Committee and had appealed to the Committee and the United Nations for assistance in their efforts. It was to be hoped that one of the results of the Symposium would be Asian representation at the International Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations to be held at Geneva in September 1985. During the Symposium, a delegation of the Committee had been received by H.E. Mr. Khurshid Alam Khan, Minister of State for External Affairs of India.

   The CHAIRMAN thanked the Rapporteur for presenting the reports. The first report had already been distributed and contained an accurate account of the Tenth Seminar. The second report would be distributed to members of the Committee and observers at a later stage.

   Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the involvement of the People's Republic of China and Sri Lanka, as observers, in the Committee's work was a reaffirmation of the positions those two countries and a demonstration of their increasing interest in contributing to a solution of the problems of the Middle East based on General Assembly resolutions. China's support had, of course, been unequivocal and very direct. Sri Lanka, for its part, had presided over the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and continued to chair the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. In China, Chairman Arafat's message had been backed up by his later personal visit to Beijing.

   With regard to the recent work referred to by the Rapporteur, he noted that there was a growing demand for Committee activities and that support for the Committee was also increasing. The holding of a symposium in Australia was bound to have administrative implications for the Committee's work. Accordingly, he wondered whether there was any possibility that the Committee might request the Division for Palestinian Rights, in preparing its future programme of work, to bear in mind the increase in the Committee's responsibilities and the corresponding administrative and other implications, and that that whole situation might be reflected in the report which the Secretary-General was to submit to the General Assembly at its fortieth session.

   Mr. ABOUCHAER (Syrian Arab Republic) requested clarification concerning certain statements which the Chairman was reported to have made at Beijing. His delegation had followed the work of the Beijing Symposium with considerable interest and had read all the press coverage of that event. The following sentence appeared in the final paragraph of page 2 of press release GA/PAL/257 of 23 April 1985: "Just as discouraging", he added, "is the fact that many solutions provided outside the United Nations have not found acceptance either, although many of them contain positive elements which could form the basis of a just and durable solution". Before commenting on such statements, his delegation wished to know whether the quotation was correct.

   The CHAIRMAN said that, with respect to the question of the Middle East, one had to face the facts of international life. It was known, as had been suggested since the historic Geneva meeting, that the main point was the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, to which would be entrusted the task of considering ways and means of achieving a just and lasting solution to the question. That should include any proposal aimed at achieving compliance with the recommendations of the Conference. Among other proposals, for example, mention should be made of the Fez Plan, which had been elaborated outside the framework of the United Nations and which had received the support of the General Assembly. It was in that context that his thoughts, summarized in press release GA/PAL/257, should be interpreted. For the sake of greater clarification, he proposed to provide the Syrian delegation with the full text of his statement. That would permit a broader understanding with respect to proposals which had originated outside the United Nations and which could contain positive elements compatible with the recommendations of the Committee and the Conference.

   Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) said that a reading of the entire last paragraph on page 2 of press release GA/PAL/257, of which the Syrian delegation had cited only a part, would provide more complete information on the matter.

   That paragraph stated: "He called 'most discouraging' the non-implementation of the Committee's programme of action for the attainment of the Palestinians' inalienable rights. That was due to the intransigent opposition of Israel, encouraged by the situation in the Security Council and the veto power of one of its permanent members. 'Just as discouraging', he added, 'is the fact that many solutions provided outside the United Nations have not found acceptance either, although many of them contain positive elements which could form the basis of a just and durable solution.'" In his opinion, the paragraph laid sufficient stress on the intransigent position of Israel and on its rejection of the proposed
solutions that had originated outside the United Nations.

   Mr. ABOUCHAER (Syrian Arab Republic) said that he was not fully convinced by the Chairman's explanations and clarifications. He objected to the statement that solutions originating outside the United Nations could form the basis of a just and lasting solution, for that was contrary to the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, which condemned partial solutions, and was incompatible with the basic work of the Committee, which had to find a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine within, not outside, the framework of the United Nations.

   The CHAIRMAN said that while the Syrian representative was entitled not to share his opinion, the paragraph in question was a reflection of international realities. He suggested that a reading of the next paragraph of the same press release (GA/PAL/257) would permit a better understanding of the meaning.

   Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that he had not yet read the press release in question. Before a discussion began, the relevant documents should be available. He therefore recommended that the Secretariat should distribute copies of the press release and of the Chairman's statement at the Beijing Seminar.

   The CHAIRMAN said that he would request the Secretariat to distribute the text of his Beijing statement and copies of the press release. In his opinion, the statement by the Syrian representative reflected only the position of the Syrian Government with respect to the question of Palestine. What was most important was that neither the Chairman nor the members of the Committee were impugning the principles accepted and the goals pursued.

   Taking note of the report adopted by the Beijing Seminar, he expressed his conviction that the continuing action by China in its capacity as a permanent member of the Security Council would be very useful in the search for a just and lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East and, in particular, to the question of Palestine.

   Mr. HUAN Jia-Hua (China) said that China would do all in its power to co-operate fully in all efforts to restore the national rights of the  Palestinian people and to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. His delegation would seek to make a positive contribution to the work of the Committee.

   Mr. RODRIGO (Sri Lanka) said that despite developments in the Middle East, the question of Palestine remained at the core of the problem and no settlement would be possible without Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories and the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.

   Sri Lanka valued its observer status in the Committee as a means of expressing its continued solidarity with the Palestinian cause and affirmed its full support for the Committee's activities.

ELEVENTH UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, GEORGETOWN, 17 TO 21 JUNE 1985 (Working paper 8/Rev.1)

   The CHAIRMAN said that working paper 8/Rev.1 set out the situation with regard to the invitations sent to experts to participate in the Latin American Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, to be held from 17 to 21 June 1985 in Georgetown, Guyana. Since the last meeting of the Working Group, some delegations had submitted names of experts, which would be included in the next working paper.

   Mr. FRASER (Guyana), referring to paragraph 3 of the working paper, proposed that the Head of the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Guyana, Professor T. Gittens, should be invited to the Seminar as an expert. He said that he would propose another expert within the next few days and would communicate the name to the Committee in due course for its consideration.

   Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) pointed out that many experts had not yet responded to the invitations. He believed that more Latin American experts should be nominated. He proposed that the Bureau or the Working Group should consider names as they were submitted. He had just received more details about other members of legislative assemblies, which he would like to transmit to the Secretariat so that attempts could be made to contact them. Chairman Arafat had thought it important that his own special envoy should participate in the Georgetown Seminar and had suggested, with reference to additional experts, that Mr. Ibrahim Abu-Lughod should make a statement there on the role of the PLO.

   The CHAIRMAN announced that he had received a letter from Chairman Arafat proposing Mr. Shafiq Al-Hout as the special representative of the PLO at the Georgetown Seminar.

   Mr. DIMITRIJEVIC (Yugoslavia) said that he supported the PLO Observer's proposal. He asked the Secretariat to try to find more candidates for inclusion in the list of experts who might be invited to participate in the Georgetown Seminar.

   The fact that China and Sri Lanka wished to participate in the work of the Committee was welcome recognition of its leading role in dealing with the question of Palestine, which was at the centre of the Middle East crisis.

   The CHAIRMAN, referring to the PLO Observer's suggestion, said that since the working paper already contained many names and the majority of those invited had not yet replied, it would be prudent to wait a while before adding names of experts proposed by other delegations. In any event, priority would have to be given to experts from the Latin American region.

   Mr. ABOUCHAER (Syrian Arab Republic) emphasized the importance attached by his delegation to such seminars. With regard to the working paper under consideration, the inclusion in paragraph 1 of experts from the United States of America, a country outside the Latin American region, went against the regional nature of such seminars. He thought that only experts from the region concerned should be invited to regional meetings.

   Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that an exclusively geographical yardstick was not used when invitations to participate in regional meetings were sent to experts; account was also taken of the area of economic influence. It would therefore be appropriate to invite experts from the United States of America and Canada.

   The CHAIRMAN said that the statements of the Syrian representative and the PLO Observer were not contradictory. Although experts from other geographical regions could be invited, priority should be given to Latin American experts. He proposed that if no response had been received in one week's time from the experts already invited, other experts from different regions could be invited.

SEMINAR/SYMPOSIUM FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

(Working paper 9/Rev.1)

   Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) suggested that Mr. Shafiq Al-Hout should present the report on the role of the PLO at the North American Regional Seminar/Symposium on the Question of Palestine, to be held on 8 and 9 July 1985 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

   Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) confirmed his Government's intention of participating in the Seminar/Symposium to be held in New York. In that connection, he drew attention to Mr. Igor Petrovich Belyaev's competence on the Middle East question and on Palestinian problems, and proposed that he should be sent an invitation since he had confirmed his desire to participate in the Seminar/Symposium.

   The CHAIRMAN said that, if there were no objections, he would take it that the Committee approved the suggestions contained in the working paper and authorized the Secretariat to send out the invitations.

   It was so decided.

SYMPOSIUM FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, DAKAR, 5 TO 7 AUGUST 1985

   The CHAIRMAN, requested the members of the Committee and observers to
communicate to the Secretariat the names of organizations, especially African organizations, which they believed might be interested in participating in the Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, to be held at Dakar from 5 to 7 August 1985. It was especially important that the African members of the Committee and the African observers should bring to the attention of the Government and the public in their respective countries the need for the greatest possible number of African non-governmental organizations to participate in the Dakar Symposium. Moreover, the names of possible participants should be submitted without delay; because of the beginning of the summer holidays, invitations would have to be sent out during the first fortnight of June at the latest. He wished to point out that in order to participate in the Symposium it was not necessary for non-governmental organizations to have been accorded consultative status by the Economic and Social Council; the important thing was for them to be prepared to abide by the principles and objectives that guided the work of the Committee, especially those established at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine.

The meeting rose at 12.05 p.m.


2021-10-20T18:45:55-04:00

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Go to Top