COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 142nd MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 14 September 1987, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)
Adoption of the agenda
Election of the Rapporteur of the Committee
Report on the Fourth United Nations International Meeting of non-governmental
organizations on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 7-9 September 1987
Report on the European Meeting of non-governmental organizations on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 3-4 September 1987
The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
1. The agenda was adopted.
ELECTION OF THE RAPPORTEUR OF THE COMMITTEE
2. Mr. Borg Olivier (Malta) was elected Rapporteur by acclamation.
3. The CHAIRMAN suggested that, as the Rapporteur of the Committee had always
traditionally served as the Chairman of the Working Group, Mr. Borg Olivier should also be appointed Chairman of the Working Group.
4. It was so decided.
REPORT ON THE FOURTH UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, GENEVA, 7-9 SEPTEMBER 1987
5. The CHAIRMAN said that the meeting had been extremely successful and the most significant and well-attended gathering of non-governmental organizations on the Palestinian question ever held. The opening session had been addressed by Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the Committee delegation had had the honour of being received by Chairman Arafat the following day.
6. Over 250 non-governmental organizations had participated in the meeting,
several of them having come from Israel and the occupied territories at considerable personal risk. Groups had come from all regions of the world – making the meeting truly a gathering of international significance. The meeting had also been attended by 29 government observers, several intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies and liberation movements recognized by the United Nations, and covered extensively by the international press.
7. Presentations had been given by 19 panelists and workshop leaders, several of them eminent parliamentarians and political figures. In addition to the scheduled workshops, 12 special issue groups had been formed, as well as regional caucuses, which had served as forums for further exchanges of information and the formalization of proposals for joint activities and projects.
8. At the end of its deliberations, the Meeting had adopted a declaration, the
text of which had been circulated to members of the Committee. Among the specific proposals for action contained in that declaration, non-governmental organizations had called for the establishment of a special committee on Palestinian culture to advise and assist the International Co-ordinating Committee for non-governmental organizations on the Question of Palestine in planning future activities. They had proposed the establishment of an NGO liaison office in North America and national and regional committees in Europe and elsewhere, had expressed the intention of making special efforts to extend the non-governmental organizations network to Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and other under represented areas, and had called for the holding of a Latin American NGO symposium in 1988 and thenceforth on a regular basis.
9. The declaration also called for the holding of an annual European NGO symposium immediately prior to the annual international meeting, a proposal that would have to be examined carefully within the context of the Committee's budget and programme of work for the next biennium. Lastly, the non-governmental organizations had requested that the next international meeting be a five day one and be held at Vienna in the first week of September 1988. He agreed that five days were necessary and, since there was already budgetary provision for meeting of that duration, he suggested that the Committee accept the request for a five-day meeting in early September 1988, the actual dates and venue to be decided at a later stage. The European NGO symposium already scheduled for 1988 might be held immediately prior to that meeting.
10. In accordance with Committee practice, the declaration would be appended to the Committee's report to the General Assembly and the workshop reports would be issued as part of the special bulletin prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights.
REPORT ON THE EUROPEAN MEETING OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, GENEVA, 3-4 SEPTEMBER 1987
11. Mr. VELAZCO-SAN JOSE (Cuba) said that the European Meeting of non-governmental organizations, held at the headquarters of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, had been attended by 123 participants and a number of observers from non-governmental organizations in Eastern and Western Europe, the occupied territories, Israel and North America.
12. The main theme of the Meeting had been the responsibility and role of Europe
in solving the Palestinian question. A main panel on that topic had been addressed by political personalities from Ireland, the Soviet Union and the PLO. Five other workshops had discussed ways of developing campaigns to end the violation of the human and civil rights of the Palestinian people; ways and means of increasing support in Europe for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; and the promotion of the social, economic and cultural development of the Palestinian people.
13. Much of the Meeting had been devoted to developing practical ways and means for European non-governmental organizations to support the Palestinian people. Participants had also expressed the hope that the Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights would be able to convene European non-governmental organizations meetings annually starting in 1988.
14. The Meeting had been accompanied by a variety of cultural and other events, including a film festival, an exhibition of Palestinian handicrafts, an exhibition of the work of several painters, and meetings with health officials on the situation in the Palestinian refugee camps.
15. The Meeting had adopted a declaration, the text of which had been circulated to members of the Committee.
16. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) expressed appreciation for the work done by the non-governmental organizations and the high calibre of the participants and panelists at the Geneva meetings. He agreed that the European and international non-governmental organizations meetings should be held annually and should last five days, and suggested that the documentation produced for the meetings should be used as a source of reference during the deliberations of the General Assembly and the Special Political Committee.
17. Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) observed that the Geneva meetings had focused world attention on the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. He thanked the Chairman and the representative of Cuba for their contributions to the Committee's work.
18. Mr. MIRZA (Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights) introduced the draft medium-term plan covering the Committee's projected work for the period 1990-1995, which had been distributed to members of the Committee as document A/AC.183/1987/CRP.2. The Secretariat had also circulated to members the Secretary-General's bulletin containing the regulations and rules governing programme planning (ST/SGB/204), to facilitate the Committee's task in reviewing and commenting on the draft plan. He suggested that the Committee should consider the draft plan at its next meeting so that the Secretariat could take its views into account in preparing the final document to be submitted to the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Finance by 31 October 1987.
19. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) noted, inter alia, that there was no reference in the draft plan to the International Peace Conference on the Middle East called for by General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.
The meeting rose at 4.20 p.m.