COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 25th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 19 September 1977, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)
Consideration of the draft report to the General Assembly
Organization of work
This record is subject to correction.
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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 11 a.m.
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, introducing the draft report, said that it was factual and brief and reflected the commitment of the United Nations to the just cause of the Palestinian people; it placed emphasis, in particular, on the early implementation of the recommendations contained in the Committee's first report to the General Assembly (A/31/35). The draft report had been considered informally by the members of the Committee and had been amended in the light of their suggestions. A sentence had been deleted in paragraph 4 because the idea contained therein appeared in a subsequent part of the report. In paragraph 14, the words "throughout its deliberations" should be inserted in the first line after the word "Committee". A few stylistic changes had been made in paragraph 15. A sentence reading "Communiqués issued at other international meetings of countries and political parties were also noted with satisfaction" should be added at the end of paragraph 16. In the second sentence of paragraph 17, the word "desirability" should be replaced by the word "urgency". In the same paragraph, a penultimate sentence should be added, reading: "On both these points, the position of the Committee was very firm; it had repeatedly stressed the urgency of constructive efforts towards a solution, and insisted on the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing in any such efforts". The words "to clarify or even to influence the position of the participants" at the end of paragraph 17 should be replaced by the words "to promote its recommendations on implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people". In order to accommodate in part the suggestion that paragraph 22 should be deleted, he had decided to end that paragraph with the words "the contacts which were taking place".
2. If the Security Council should meet on the Palestinian question between the time of the report's distribution and that of its consideration in the General Assembly, it would be necessary to make reference to the outcome of such a meeting in the statement introducing the report in the Assembly.
3. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) suggested the addition of a paragraph observing that the Committee had followed with interest the Secretary-General's role in regard to the Palestine question and the contacts he had made in the Middle East during the past year.
4. The CHAIRMAN said that he could not agree with the Egyptian suggestion since the Committee had received no formal report on the Secretary-General's contacts in the Middle East.
5. Mr. TERZI (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said he was not aware that any action had been taken to implement the Committee's recommendations and General Assembly resolution 31/20 during the Secretary-General's visit to the Middle East.
6. Mr. ABDALLAH (Tunisia) said that his delegation in principle agreed to the various amendments but would require more time before endorsing the final wording. With regard to the Egyptian suggestion, he believed that the Committee should note in its report that the Committee had not been fully informed of the outcome of the Secretary-General's talks in the Middle East.
7. The CHAIRMAN said that he had spoken to the Secretary-General on his return from the Middle East; however, no information on the contacts with the interested parties in the Middle East had been formally transmitted to the Committee.
8. Mr. TERZI (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that he had not been able to find any reference in the Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization (A/32/1) to efforts by the Secretariat to follow up General Assembly resolution 31/20.
9. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) suggested the following wording: "The Committee, while stressing the important role of the Secretary-General in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine, requested the Secretary-General to inform the Committee on a regular basis about his contacts in this regard."
10. Mr. ABDALLAH (Tunisia) restated his position on the matter.
11. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, expressed the view that it was not necessary to add a further paragraph concerning the Secretary-General's role since there were indirect references to it in paragraphs 22 and 43.
12. Mr. HAGGAG (Observer for Egypt) said that he accepted the explanation of the Rapporteur and withdrew his suggestion regarding an additional paragraph.
13. Mr. KHALEF (Observer for Iraq) said that, in order to ensure that the Committee was kept fully informed of developments in the future, it should express regret that it had not been kept fully informed of the results of the Secretary-General's visit to the Middle East.
14. The CHAIRMAN suggested the possible wording of a sentence which could be added to paragraph 22.
15. Mr. MAUERSBERGER (German Democratic Republic) said that the report should stress the importance of a solution to the Middle East conflict and should clearly indicate who was blocking such a solution. Unfortunately, the aggressor country, Israel, continued to receive the support of certain Powers. Furthermore, bearing in mind that the Palestinian question was the key to a solution, emphasis should be given to the role which must be played by the Palestine Liberation Organization as she only legitimate representative of the people of Palestine.
16. His delegation would prefer to delete paragraph 22 because it seemed to prejudge the reactions of the members of the Security Council. Paragraph 38 should be recast omitting the reference to "the apparent confusion" about the rights of the Palestinian people; there was no confusion in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council concerning the rights of the Palestinian people.
17. The CHAIRMAN reminded the representative of the German Democratic Republic that the present report merely supplemented the report adopted by the General Assembly at its thirty-first session. As the earlier report had covered all the points just raised by that representative and would be resubmitted to the General Assembly at its thirty-second session, there was no need to reiterate those points in the latest report.
18. Paragraph 22 did not state that there was a climate of confidence among members of the Security Council. It merely stated that a positive trend was apparently developing in the views of certain countries. There had been evidence of such a trend in the past year, and the Committee must work to consolidate it and to create a climate of confidence among members of the Security Council. No such climate existed at the present time; if it had, the Security Council would have had no problem in adopting the Committee's report.
19. Mr. TERZI (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, while he realized that the present report constituted an introduction to the report submitted to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session, he felt that some of the points raised in the earlier report were worth reiterating. Accordingly, he suggested that the additional sentence proposed for paragraph 17 of the present report should read: "On both these points, the position of the Committee was firm; it had repeatedly stressed the urgency of constructive efforts towards a just solution of the Middle East conflict guaranteeing the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and insisted on the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing in any such efforts." Only the previous day, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Andrew Young, had apparently called the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization as authentic representative of the Palestinian people into question by suggesting that a plebiscite should be held among the Palestinians to determine whom they regarded as their authentic representative. Since General Assembly resolution 31/20 clearly affirmed the role of the PLO as the sole authentic representative of the Palestinian people, the Committee's latest report should reaffirm that role in order to dispel any doubts as to the PLO's authenticity.
20. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, assured the observer for the PLO that his suggestion would be reflected in the report.
21. Mr. KORNEYENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) endorsed the suggestions by the representative of the German Democratic Republic and the observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
22. His delegation suggested, however, that the word "aspirations" in the second line of paragraph 17 should be replaced by the words "legitimate rights".
23. His delegation shared the misgivings expressed by some delegations with regard to paragraph 22 and felt that the content and wording of that paragraph were not fully in accordance with the Committee's terms of reference. He therefore suggested that paragraph 22 should be deleted in order to facilitate the adoption of the report.
24. His delegation shared the views of the representative of the German Democratic Republic with regard to paragraph 38, in particular the reference to "the apparent confusion" about the rights of the Palestinian people. There was clearly no confusion within the Committee on that score.
25. Mr. ABDALLAH (Tunisia) endorsed the views expressed by the observer for the PLO.
26. His delegation thought that paragraph 22 should not be deleted in its entirety, since it helped to indicate what direction the Committee's efforts should take in the future. One of the Committee's aims must be to create a climate of confidence among members of the Security Council. Accordingly, the Rapporteur should consult with the representative of the German Democratic Republic in order to find some way of rephrasing paragraph 22 rather than deleting it, so that the idea behind it was retained.
27. His delegation suggested that paragraph 38 should be redrafted to read: "It was felt also that the publication of pamphlets on the various aspects of the problem would be particularly useful in making the rights of the Palestinian people better known."
28. Mr. KORNEYENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) endorsed the suggestion made by the representative of Tunisia with regard to paragraph 38.
29. Mr. MAUERSBERGER (German Democratic Republic) said that he also endorsed that suggestion.
30. The Committee might be able to retain the idea behind paragraph 22 by redrafting it in such a way that it did not go beyond the Committee's terms of reference or interfere with the rights of members of the Security Council. For example, it might be redrafted to read: "The Committee was convinced that its aim should be to seek to contribute to a climate which favoured the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
31. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, endorsed the amendment to paragraph 38 proposed by the representative of Tunisia.
32. He would be able to consult with the representative of the German Democratic Republic with a view to redrafting paragraph 22, provided that the idea behind that paragraph was retained. All members of the Committee seemed to be in agreement with the essence of the paragraph.
33. Mr. YEDRA DIAZ (Cuba) endorsed the suggestion made by the representative of the German Democratic Republic with regard to paragraph 22.
34. With regard to paragraph 38, he suggested that the wording proposed by the representative of Tunisia should be expanded to read "… useful in giving the rights of the Palestinian people wider publicity and making them better known".
35. Mr. MAUERSBERGER (German Democratic Republic) recalled that the question of the dissemination of information had been discussed fully at the 24th meeting. It was not restricted to the publication of pamphlets but involved all the United Nations information services and, in general, all information on the question of Palestine available outside the Committee and all the means by which the mass media might be used to publicize that issue.
36. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, pointed out that the matter was already covered by paragraph 37. However, there was no harm in incorporating into paragraph 38 the change proposed by the representative of Cuba.
37. Mr. KORNEYENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that his delegation maintained its reservations with regard to paragraph 22 since the Rapporteur had still to determine, with the representative of the German Democratic Republic, how that paragraph should be drafted.
38. The CHAIRMAN said that, if there were no further comments, he would take it that the draft report was adopted.
39. The draft report was adopted.
40. The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that the first report and the text of General Assembly resolution 31/20 would be attached to the latest report when it came to be submitted to the General Assembly.
ORGANIZATION OF WORK
41. The CHAIRMAN recalled that, at its 24th meeting, the Committee had instructed him to write to the President of the Security Council asking him to convene a meeting of the Council to consider the Committee's report promptly (A/AC.183/SR.24, para. 13). Accordingly, he had sent a letter to the President of the Security Council reminding him of the need to convene such a meeting and asking him to distribute his letter as an official Security Council document. He had written to the Secretary-General requesting that the letter should also be distributed as an official General Assembly document. Both the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General had complied with his request. He was to meet the President of the Security Council on Wednesday, 21 September, at 10 a.m. and would report to the Committee on the outcome of that meeting. The President of the Security Council would no doubt be consulting members of the Council to determine
when they wished to meet to discuss the Committee's report as they were required to do under resolution 31/20
42. Mr. MUJEZINOVIC (Yugoslavia) stressed that the Committee's report must be issued in time for the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Non-Aligned Countries to be held on 30 September.
43. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the report would be issued one week after its adoption by the Committee.
The meeting rose at 12.05 p.m.