COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 43rd MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 1 October 1979 at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba)
Consideration of the draft report
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 A-3550.
Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT REPORT
1. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that various changes had been introduced in the draft report by the Task Force, taking into account suggestions made by members of the Committee. A list of members of the Committee would be included in a foot-note referring to the first sentence of paragraph 1. Two new paragraphs had been introduced provisionally numbered paragraphs 31 A and 39 A.
2. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) welcomed the additions to the report referred to by the Rapporteur. With regard to paragraph 12, which contained a list of fundamental principles guiding the members of the Committee in formulating its recommendations, he said that a new principle contained in paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 33/28 A, should be added to the list. With regard to paragraphs 38, 39 and 39 A, he noted that his delegation's suggestion that reference should be made to the decision adopted by the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries in Havana to condemn the Camp David accords and the treaty between Egypt and Israel, which constituted violations of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, had not been included in the report. Furthermore, the fact that a delegation of the Committee had attended the Havana Conference was also not reflected in those paragraphs. With regard to paragraph 33, he felt there was a linguistic problem, possibly the result of faulty translation, in the second sentence, which stated that a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel had been concluded "outside the Committee's competence"; he wished to know what that meant. He suggested that the words "hardly favourable" in the second sentence of paragraph 34 should be changed to "absolutely unfavourable". Finally, with regard to paragraph 30 and the discussion of Security Council resolution 452 (1979), the report should state that the Security Council, in accepting the recommendations of the Commission it had established under Council resolution 446 (1979), had accepted the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland.
3. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that paragraph 12 was essentially the text of a letter addressed by the Chairman of the Committee to the President of the Security Council and could therefore not be altered; the point made by the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization regarding that paragraph was reflected in paragraph 39 A. Similarly, paragraph 34 was based on a letter sent by the Chairman of Committee to the Security Council and must also reflect accurately the contents of that letter. With regard to paragraph 33, the expression referred to by the observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization was in fact part of a statement by the Chairman as found in translation in the summary record. The phrase in question did, however, not make any substantive addition and could, he felt, be deleted without any loss of meaning, if the Committee wished, since the words immediately following, namely "outside the framework of the United Nations", fully covered the point which the Chairman had wished to make.
4. Mr. MOUSSA (Observer for Egypt) said, with regard to the point made by the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization concerning paragraph 33, that in the interest of accuracy and propriety, none of the words of the Chairman, which had been taken from the summary record of the 38th meeting, should be deleted.
5. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), speaking on a point of order, said that he had not requested the deletion of the words, only an explanation of what they meant. The Chairman had spoken in French at the meeting and there had perhaps been a translation error.
6. Mr. ADEYEMI (Nigeria) felt that the sentence would be clearer without the words in question, unless the observer for Egypt had a reason for wishing all the original words to be kept.
7. Mr. KANE (Senegal) said that the reference in paragraph 33 to the framework of the United Nations covered the actions of all of its bodies, including the Committee, and that therefore the Rapporteur's suggestion to delete a portion of the wording would not be objectionable. There were certain other changes which the Rapporteur should make in the interest of precision. In particular, the reference to Senegal in paragraph 16 should be changed to show that the action in question had been taken by the Chairman of the Committee. Similarly, the various references in paragraphs 20, 21, 22 and 29 to the Chairman, Acting Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee should be checked for accuracy.
8. Mr. MOUSSA (Observer for Egypt) said, with reference to paragraph 33, that it would be better to include the entire statement of the Chairman, as given in the summary record, but he would accept the Rapporteur's suggestion to delete the reference to the Committee's competence if a foot-note could be added indicating the summary record containing the statement in question.
9. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that it, would be inappropriate to insert a foot-note only at that point and not anywhere else. Unless the Observer for Egypt insisted, he would prefer to make the deletion in question without a foot-note.
10. Mr. KACHURENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said, with regard to paragraph 33, that the words in question were not a direct quote of the Chairman's statement and that there was no need for any reference to the summary record.
11. Mr. HILALY (Pakistan) said that the report, although generally quite acceptable, had one noticeable omission: it failed to mention the initiative of Pakistan and other non-aligned countries at the recent Havana Conference, as a result of which a resolution had been adopted calling upon all non-aligned countries to condemn any country that directly or by implication recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He suggested that a new paragraph quoting that resolution should be added after paragraph 39.
12. Mr. MESSAHEL (Observer for Algeria) said that paragraphs 38, 39 and 39 A should be rewritten so as better to reflect the spirit of the agreement reached in Havana. His delegation wished to see more specific reference to the relevant portions of the Political Declaration adopted in Havana, in particular the part dealing with the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The Organization of African Unity had previously adopted certain decisions which had provided the basis for the Havana document, and there should also be some reference to those decisions in the report.
13. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the Committee could adopt a decision in principle to include a paragraph relating to the portion of the Havana Declaration referred to by the representative of Pakistan and additional paragraphs on the other portions of the Havana Declaration and the Monrovia Declaration referred to by the Observer for Algeria.
14. Mr. MESSAHEL (Observer for Algeria) said that his delegation could transmit the relevant documents to the Committee so that paragraphs 38, 39 and 39A could be reworded to reflect the decisions taken in Havana and Monrovia.
15. Mr. KANE (Senegal) said that such action might cause difficulties for some delegations, in particular his own, which had expressed many reservations, even objections, to some of the procedures followed and decisions taken at the Havana Conference. His delegation would wish to see the texts of any amendments to the Committee's report before accepting them. The resolution on Jerusalem had enjoyed general support at Havana, but other decisions and resolutions had not, and to include reference to them in the Committee's report would lead to controversy and difficulties and the possibility that the Committee might be forced to adopt its report with reservations on the part of some members.
16. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) felt that the position taken by the representative of Senegal did not reflect that of his Foreign Minister as expressed personally to the Foreign Minister of Cuba at the close of the Havana Conference. Furthermore, he asked that the secretariat should prepare a report on its participation in the Havana Conference.
17. Mr. ADEYEMI (Nigeria) said that the representative of Pakistan had made a specific proposal with regard to the resolution on the status of Jerusalem, which had enjoyed full agreement at the Havana Conference and should cause no problem in the Committee. The proposal made by the Observer for Algeria was a separate proposal. In that connexion it would be interesting to know more about the reservations which the representative of Senegal entertained with regard to the decisions taken at Havana. He agreed with the representative of Senegal that it would be desirable to adopt a report without a multitude of reservations and suggested therefore that the new paragraphs in question should be prepared for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee.
18. The CHAIRMAN said that if there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee endorsed the Pakistan proposal.
19. It was so decided.
20. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that after the eighth line in paragraph 31A, a ninth line reading "determination to continue to strengthen its presence in the illegally occupied" should be added.
21. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) suggested that the word "illegal" should be added before the word "presence" and the word "illegally" should be deleted.
22. The CHAIRMAN said that, if there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee adopted paragraph 31A, as amended.
23. It was so decided.
24. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, speaking with reference to paragraph 39A, recalled that the past practice of the Committee had always been to adopt its reports on the basis of consensus. If suggestions were introduced on which some members of the Committee had reservations, the report would be weakened and would be even less likely to elicit the approval of those Member States which had yet to support whole-heartedly the substance of the Committee's work. Since two paragraphs had been added which further strengthened the report, and in order to facilitate the adoption of a resolution on the basis of the report, he suggested that the Committee should adopt paragraph 39A as it stood. Further time could be allowed for consultations on the one remaining paragraph, in the hope that agreement could be reached on a formula which was acceptable to all members of the Committee. It was important to submit a report to the General Assembly which had the endorsement of every member of the Committee.
25. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Committee was concerned with the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and those rights had been violated by the Camp David accords. The Sixth Conference of Heads of State of Government of Non-Aligned Countries had condemned those accords, a fact which the Committee could not fail to mention in its report. The Committee could perhaps postpone a decision on paragraphs 38, 39 and 39A until the secretariat had provided it with a copy of the Havana Declaration.
26. Mr. KACHURENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that paragraphs 38, 39 and 39A were to be included in a section entitled "Action taken by other organizations" which reflected decisions taken by various organizations, not by the Committee, so that any compromise distorting those decisions was out of the question. Some members of the Committee might not be in agreement with those decisions, but the views of the Organization of African Unity and the non-aligned movement could not be ignored.
27. Mr. BAFI (Observer for Iraq) said that his delegation whole-heartedly supported the view expressed by the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization. The condemnation expressed by the non-aligned movement at the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries was a fact which deserved to be recorded in the report.
28. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the section under discussion did not adequately reflect the position taken by the Arab League. The resolutions of the Tenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers had been circulated by the Secretary-General, and the report could mention at least a couple of the resolutions concerning the question of Palestine and the future of Jerusalem. The position taken by the Organization of African Unity had constituted the basis of the resolutions on the question of Palestine adopted at the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, and he suggested that those resolutions should be reproduced in toto in the report, so as to make it more factual.
29. Mr. MOUSSA (Observer for Egypt) said that the resolutions concerning the question of Palestine adopted at the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries had given rise to controversy. Indeed, the condemnation of Egypt and its policies both in the non-aligned movement and in the United Nations had gone too far.
30. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), speaking on a point of order, said that no one was attacking Eghpt; the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries had condemned the Camp David accords, not Egypt.
31. Mr. MOUSSA (Observer for Egypt) said that he had been referring to condemnation of Egypt, not by the non-aligned movement, but by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Certain aspects of Egypt's policies were being interpreted in a manner that constituted defamation of that country. An attempt was now being made to carry the conflict into the Committee and, through its report, to the General Assembly itself. The observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization had claimed that the resolutions adopted at the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries had been based on the resolutions of the Monrovia Summit Meeting of the OAU, but that was incorrect; at the latter meeting, the African countries had refused to condemn any member State of the OAU by name or to condone the attempts made by some countries to attack Egypt. They had agreed on the principle that no accords or policies that would be detrimental to Palestine or would undermine the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people should be approved. At the closing stage of the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, certain manoeuvres had produced a formula on which many reservations had been expressed, so that it had not been adopted unanimously.
32. Egypt would never accept any condemnation of its policy in the report of the Committee. It believed that there were various ways of achieving the objectives sought but could not accept that it, or any Arab country, was betraying the Palestinian cause. The Palestine Liberation Organization was attacking Egypt in all forums in an attempt to create division. Some countries might think that the Camp David accords were inadequate, but that was a matter of conflict of opinions or of policies. He hoped that the Committee would remain within its terms of reference and not allow itself to be used as an instrument to attack any particular country or opinion within the Arab world, for the benefit of a certain faction of the Arab world.
33. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that for many years, the Egyptian people had contributed to the Palestinian cause and, in identifying themselves with it, had shared in the price that had to be paid.
34. The Committee was not concerned with a split in the Arab world. It was responsible for drawing up a programme to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights according to the provisions of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. The first of those rights was the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes, but Egypt and Israel had signed a treaty which ignored that right of return and even negated it. The Committee also had the task of enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination in Palestine, but the Camp David accords made no mention of self-determination, and instead gave Israel the right of sovereignty over the territory; the Palestinian people were granted the right to their own community, but not to a sovereign State on their own territory. Any agreement which denied the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in their own country must be condemned, and the Committee itself, in the previous year, had gone so far as to say that such a treaty had no validity.
35. The General Assembly had called for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied in 1967, and the establishment of a Palestinian sovereign entity, but the Camp David accords completely ignored that requirement, and undermined any attempt to achieve that aim. The Committee should abide by its mandate and should strongly condemn the Camp David accords and declare them null and void. The signatories of the accords should not be allowed to speak their untruths in the Committee.
36. Mr. KANE (Senegal) said that it was not for the Committee to consider divisions in the Arab camp; he suggested that the Task Force which had been set up should be requested to consider the amendments before the next meeting of the Committee. The Committee must submit a unanimous report to the General Assembly, and should not reopen the debate about the Camp David accords.
37. Mr. BAFI (Observer for Iraq) said that the observer for Egypt had referred to a major split at the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, but the resolution on the Palestinian question had been adopted by consensus. the Camp David accords had been condemned by the Islamic Conference and by the Arab League, and there was no split in the Arab world. However, the Egyptian leaders had betrayed the Arab cause by signing an agreement which usurped the right of the Palestinian people to solve its own problems.
38. The CHAIRMAN asked whether the Committee accepted the proposal by the representative of Senegal that the suggested amendments, which related to texts not before the Committee, should be referred to the Task Force.
39. Mr. VLASCEANU (Romania) said that it was established practice that amendments should be circulated to delegations before being considered by the Committee.
40. The Chairman said that the Task Force would meet to draw up texts to be submitted to the Committee for its consideration. If there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee agreed to the Senegalese proposal.
41. It was so decided.
42. The CHAIRMAN recalled that at the previous meeting, it had been decided that, if no reply was received to the letters sent by the Committee to the Secretary-General concerning the issue of postage stamps on Palestinian rights, one of the Vice-Chairmen of the Committee should take up the matter with the Secretary-General. Since no reply had been received, he took it that the Committee wished him to take up the question with the Secretary-General as soon as possible.
43. It was so decided.
44. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) asked for information about the final arrangements for the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November.
45. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that two special meetings of the Committee, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, would be held in New York; a similar meeting had been requested at Geneva. A film would be shown, and discussions were to be held with the Secretary-General about arrangements for an exhibit. The Department of Public Information exhibit of the previous year was available.
46. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that his organization needed time to send for materials for the exhibit. The Department of Public Information should be informed that his organization planned to set up a similar exhibit to the previous year's. In view of the problems experienced in 1978, it would be a mistake to wait until the last moment to make the arrangements.
47. Mr. YOGASUNDRAM (Secretary of the Committee) said that the matter was already under consideration.
48. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, reported that the previous weekend he had travelled to Rome on behalf of the Committee and had addressed a meeting organized by an Italian committee on solidarity with the Palestinian people, at which over 30 countries had been represented by eminent parliamentarians and trade unionists. He had delivered an address about the Committee's work and made particular reference to the role which European countries could play in promoting the Palestinian cause. He had supplied a copy of that statement to the secretariat.
49. The Committee had received an invitation to a meeting to be held in Lisbon, and one country which was a member of the Committee had already expressed an interest in representing the Committee. He believed that such visits were very useful in publicizing the work of the Committee and the just cause of the Palestinian people.
The meeting rose at 5.05 p.m.