COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD MEETING
Held at headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 30 November 1981, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)
SPECIAL MEETING TO COMMEMORATE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages, preferably in the same language as the text to which they refer. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also, if possible, incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one month of the date of the this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550.
Any correction to the record of this meeting and of other meeting will be issued in a corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 10-50 a.m.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): On behalf of the members of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and on my own behalf, I should like to express to all who are here our appreciation for being so kind as to attend once again the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a day we commemorate in consonance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B. Their presence here reflects if this were indeed still necessary the importance with which the international community views this solemn event held in the interests of the just cause of the Palestinian people.
Today's commemoration is but one more effort among others in the campaign we are campaign to put an end to the injustice foisted upon the Palestinian people. It is also one way to draw the attention of the world to the need to find a just and equitable way out of a situation threatening international peace and security. The backing and understanding accorded the Palestinian cause on the occasion of gatherings such as ours today, and similar commemorations throughout the world, bear eloquent witness to the active commitment of the public, the world over, as it stands side by side with the Palestinian people in the international community's quest for a solution to this tragic problem.
To be sure, the United Nations has been devoting itself to this problem for 34 years, years during, which sortie 300 resolutions on the situation in the Middle East have been adopted. As we know, the question of Palestine is at the heart of this situation. Certain resolutions bear on specific situations, but most of them aim at finding a just solution to an over-all problem. This, need one recall, was true of General Assembly resolutions 181(11) and 194(111), adopted when the question of Palestine was initially submitted to our Organization. Then, throughout some 27 years, the issue was relegated to the background. No interest was shown any longer in the national rights of the Palestinian people, or it was viewed from a purely humanitarian perspective. In the course of these 27 years, the lot of Palestinian -people grew worse. Conditions not initially propitious to the exercise of Palestinian rights, worsened even further when 1967 Israel occupied all of that part of Palestine to which, under General Assembly resolution 181(11), the Palestinians were rightfully entitled which it continues illegally to occupy in contempt of the unanimous king of the international community, and in violation of international and United Nations resolutions.
Not until 1974 was there a reawakening, a rekindling of interest in political dimensions of the question of Palestine. It will be recalled that that year Chairman Yasser Arafat delivered a speech before the General Assembly the United Nations hereafter adopted epoch-making resolutions. The terms of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), which reaffirmed the inalienable rights of Palestinian people, and subsequent resolutions, are well known. Our Committee, established in 1975 with the explicit mandate of devising a programme to bring about the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, submitted specific recommendations which the General Assembly has more than once endorsed. These recommendations gave rise to great hope, to the extent that they sketched out a framework which, had it been abided by, would have led to an honourable settlement. Unfortunately, the Security Council, because of a blocking manoeuvre, was unable to speak out on these recommendations and the efforts of the international community, by the same token, were thwarted. The special emergency session convened last Year, specifically in July 1980, to deal with this issue was unable to bear fruit. Though the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent State, the steps necessary to give this decision tangible shape are still encountering obstacles. Yet, neither slowing down nor speeding up its approach, and without being discouraged, at its thirty-fifth session the General Assembly recommended practical steps to bring about a settlement of the question of Palestine; but these also have been thwarted.
Within the Security Council, the situation has remained stagnant and this is also due principally to the refusal of Israel to abide by United Nations resolutions. While declarations of intent made by Israel at the time when it sought to become a Member of the United Nations had given rise to great hope, that country has reneged on the commitments it assumed at that time to Cain the recognition of the international community. The situation has grown worse with Israel's implementation of plans of annexation and settlement.
To gain an idea of this deterioration, one has but to consider the main outlines of the policy which that country submitted to the Knesset on 5 August this year. Among the provisions appearing in the programme published by the Israeli press and I have in mind the 6 August 1981 issue of Haaretz the following may be noted.
First, the autonomy which was agreed to is not to be confused with sovereignty or self-determination. Autonomy constitutes a guarantee against the establishment of a Palestinian State on the territory of Eretz Israel.
Secondly, under the terms of the prescribed transition period, Israel will proclaim its sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, which should be taken to mean the West Bank and to the Gaza Strip-in other words, Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.
Thirdly, the establishment of settlements is a right and forms part and parcel of the security of the nation. The Government will strive to reinforce to broaden and further to develop this process.
Fourthly, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. It is an indivisible city which is entirely under Israel's sovereignty.
All this, as the programme points out is based on the hypothesis that the Jewish people has a permanent title to Eretz Israel, an eternal title which no one could call into question and which is linked to its right to peace and security. It is all too evident that while Israel vividly remembers a distant past. the conditions attached by the United Nations to the still recent establishment of the State of Israel, and the rights of the indigenous population, have been forgotten with the greatest of ease.
This selective way of construing history explains not only Israel's defiance but also its policy, one which serves as an instrument, with all the risks that that entails for the whole international community. The efforts Israel has made to maintain such a position cannot but lead to new confrontations. Proof thereof is the fact that as early as last June Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq; then in July the air and sea attack on Beirut and other points on Lebanese territory occurred, taking a toll of many lives among the civilian population, and there was the declaration making Jerusalem Israel's capital, along with the establishment of settlements in the illegally-occupied territories, the expulsion of the mayors of Hebron and Halhoul and other violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Fortunately, these acts were unanimously condemned by the international community.
Assuredly, it is time for the United Nations urgently to take steps to pick up the gauntlet Israel has flung at the international community. As I have said, the United Nations has over the years adopted many resolutions aimed at finding a just and lasting way out of the question of Palestine. These resolutions remain to be implemented. As Ismat Kittani, President of the thirty-sixth session of the General Assembly, put it at the opening meeting:
The General Assembly is not in need of new resolutions but rather a commitment to the resolutions it has already adopted and to the implementation of those resolutions by translating them into concrete actuality, thereby contributing to the principles and purposes of the United Nations.
For example, do we need new resolutions concerning the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization? (A/36/PV.1 p. 27-30)
It seems to me that we would do well to bear in mind this suggestion when we be in to examine the question of Palestine in the plenary Assembly. We should focus our attention on the ways of attaining these objectives on the basis of resolutions already adopted. This is what we must give thought to when the time comes for us to adopt resolutions, which will have to be action-oriented. Were we not to act in this way, we would run the risk of continuing to adopt resolutions year after year without coming closer to a solution for all that The Committee, for its part, will go on dedicating itself to the task of promoting the implementation of these resolutions and furthering hte exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. During the past year the Committee has been represented at several conferences and has participated in seminars on the question of Palestine, meetings which were aimed at achieving better understanding of and familiarity with the facts. I am firmly convinced that if there were a better understanding of the question of Palestine, stripped of any spirit of confrontation, opposition to the just cause of the Palestinian people would be much less intense. The Committee hopes to be able to go on working in its quest of a solution. beyond the framework of the United Nations, initiatives, new approaches and appeals have been launched and set in train, all this as part of the determination to find a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine.
In the opinion of the Committee, guided essentially by the keen desire to restore peace to that part of the world which is of such great importance mankind as the cradle of the revealed religions, the international community as the duty and the responsibility to take a fresh look at all these data and to analyze, them objectively, drawing the inescapable conclusions. To do so, the parties concerned must bridle their passions, emotions and ambitions and commit themselves resolutely to the quest for justice and peace, both now lost. The world must help them in this endeavour.
Earlier, I cited the remarks of an Arab statesman. Allow me now to quote those of an Israeli statesman. In an interview granted to Mr. Luc Rosenzwerg and published by Le Monde in the issue of 5 July 1981, Mr. Nahum Goldmann said:
"It is not good for a politician never to change his mind. But there is a position by which I have always abided, ever since I was 17: that is, that without agreement with the Arabs there is no future for the Jewish State. It is my great hope that the Jewish people one and all, and above all Israel, will soon show the wisdom and courage to change course." I shall conclude by telling you, Mr. Secretary-General, on behalf of the Committee and on my own behalf, how much we appreciate your forthcoming attitude and the assistance you personally and your associates have extended to us over the course of the year now drawing to a close. The Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, headed so competently by Mr. Yogasundram, supported so efficiently by dedicated associates and the entire Unit and directed so ably, discreetly and effectively by Mr. William Buffum, the Under Secretary-General, has succeeded in discharging fully and to our greatest satisfaction all the tasks entrusted to it by the Committee.
We express our gratitude to the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Ismat Kittani, to the President of the Security Council, Mr. Taieb Slim, to the Chairman of the Special and Non-Governmental Regional Groups of the United Nations and to the Committee's Observers, to the Permanent Representatives, to the liberation movements and to Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, who has been so kind as to assist us in our work.
We thank all of then for their presence in our midst and for the favourable ties of co-operation which they have maintained with our Committee in the exercise 'Of the mandate with which the United Nations has entrusted us. All this encourages "s to go on striving along the path sketched out for us by the United Nations for the triumph of the just cause of the Palestinian people. I now call on Mr. Ismat Kittani, the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. KITTANI (President of the General Assembly): I am honoured to participate in this special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This meeting serves to reaffirm the commitment of the international community to the just cause of the Palestinian people and to the attainment of its inalienable rights.
The question of Palestine has been before our Organization for over 30 years and no solution to it seems to be in sight. In spite of the numerous resolutions that have been adopted since the question was first put before the General Assembly and in spite of the many resolutions adopted by the Security Council, no viable answer has been found to this acute problem and he fault is not with our Organization, but with those Member States that choose either to flout those resolutions and decisions or to work outside the United Nations system.
No one can deny that the question of Palestine is the heart and the crux of the problem of the Middle East, and our persistent attempts to find a just and durable solution to this problem are but a measure of the importance which the international community attaches to it.
A perusal of the numerous resolutions adopted by this Organization testifies clearly to the commitment of the international community to strive indefatigably for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The General Assembly has repeatedly called for the full and speedy exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self determination without external interference and to national independence and sovereignty, as well as their right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted.
It is with a great sense of disappointment that we note that in spite of the fact that those resolutions have been adopted with the support of the vast majority of the international community, their implementation has not followed and the world finds -itself in an impasse on this vital question. What is clearly required is a firm commitment to the implementation of those resolutions not, as I have had occasion to state before, a mere repetition of them.
As an important element in the search for a just solution of the problem, the United Nations has a solemn duty to enlighten and mobilize public opinion. Occasions such as today's special meetings do serve this purpose by focusing attention on the injustice that has been done to the Palestinians as individuals and as a people. This is of particular importance because a proper understanding of the facts which surround this question can leave one in no doubt that justice must be done. For far too long the facts have been kept from the international public or been subjected to distortions which have created prejudices adverse to the Palestinian people. It is not too late to rectify this Gross injustice.
Ultimately, justice can be served only if the Palestinian people are permitted to exercise their inalienable rights. Those rights have been repeatedly reaffirmed by the General Assembly, and they include the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes, to self-determination and to establish an independent State. Obviously, this cannot come to pass until another sacred principle is observed, that of the non-acquisition of territory by force. As long as Palestinian territory continues to be illegally occupied, the Palestinian people will continue to be deprived of the ability to exercise its inalienable rights. Furthermore, it has become increasingly clear that there cannot be a just and lasting peace in the Middle Fast Without the effective involvement and participation of the Palestinian people and its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The international community has almost unanimously expressed its views on this problem. The General Assembly has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the illegally occupied Arab territories. Unfortunately this call has been met with defiant refusal. Not only are the occupation forces still in place, but every imaginable step is being taken by Israel to consolidate its annexation of those territories. This defiance of international public Opinion is one of the major causes of the tension that prevails in international relations. More than once it has been the cause of serious conflict, endangering International peace and security. It would not be too pessimistic to predict that if left unsolved, this problem could plunge us into a major catastrophe.
Today's meeting highlights the urgency of finding a just solution for the question of Palestine. To allow a situation to remain critical to the point of endangering international peace and security can have adverse effects not merely on the people and States of the region but also on the entire international community. Justice must be done and a commitment to Justice can only be a commitment to the cause of the Palestinian people. Let us today rededicate ourselves to that cause.
In conclusion, I wish to thank this Committee for inviting me to participate in this important and solemn meeting and to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the Committee for the efforts that you are making to restore to the Palestinian people its inalienable rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): On behalf of the Committee, I thank the President of the General Assembly for his encouraging words, which we view as most important indeed.
I call on Mr. Kurt Waldheim, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The SECRETARY-GENERAL: The annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is not only a reflection of our deep concern for the Palestinian people but also a striking reminder that the question of their legitimate rights lies at the core of the complex situation in the Middle Past.
In spite of the efforts made by this Organization for the past 33 years, little progress has been made towards the comprehensive settlement that alone cc ultimately ensure a peaceful and just future for all the nations and peoples of that region. Such a settlement would defuse once and for all a crisis which bears the explosive potential of a conflict that would seriously endanger international peace and security.
The fundamental issues are well known. They have been spelled out in resolutions adopted both by the General Assembly and by the Security Council. They include the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and to withdrawal from their occupied territories and the right of all States in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. Also important to peace in the area is the solution of the question of Jerusalem.
The lack of progress in the search for a solution of this long-standing problem does not release this Organization from the exercise of its responsibilities nor should it diminish its determination to make progress in the attainment of peace and security. Indeed, the more intractable the problem proves to be, the more necessary it becomes for the United Nations to preserve in its efforts to find a just and comprehensive solution.
As part of its effort to deal with this complex problem, the General Assembly, at its thirtieth session, established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People with a mandate to draw up a programme for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which it bad already reaffirmed. The Committee has made recommendations which the General Assembly has endorsed repeatedly. Those recommendations, reflecting as they do the attitude of the majority of the membership, ultimately cannot fail to have an impact on the situation.
What is required is the political will of all parties to the dispute to make a determined effort to see an end to this problem and to restore peace and. tranquility to a troubled region. Negotiations to this end must Involve all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization. At the same time, actions must be avoided which would exacerbate tension and make a settlement more difficult to achieve.
Mr. Chairman, the Committee, under your able leadership, is to be con-mended for its untiring efforts on behalf of Palestinian rights. The work that your Committee is doing, no less than the General Assembly's decision to commemorate this important Day, is a constant reminder to the Palestinian people that the international community is deeply concerned about their right and the need to assure implementation of their legitimate rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I wish once again to thank the Secretary-General for the co-operation and understanding evidenced by the Secretariat in its relation with the Committee.
I call now on the President of the Security Council, Mr. Taieb Slim.
Mr. SLIM (President of the Security Council) (interpretation from French): Mr. Chairman, allow me, first of all, to thank you and the members of your Committee for having been so kind as to invite me to participate, as President of the Security Council in the commemoration of this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Although well-established tradition on an international scale, and its solemn commemoration since 1977 has contributed significantly to drawing the attention of the international community to the question of Palestine and to emphasizing the paramount importance of the question in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The question of Palestine and the efforts to find a just solution to it, remains one of the major concerns of the United Nations and the international community as a whole, because it involves not merely restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and thus redress of the many years of injustice it has suffered, but also the stability of a particularly troubled region of the world and, thereby, international peace and security.
It was thus inevitable that the international community should come to regard the quest for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East as being closely connected to the fate of the Palestinians, who are considered no longer as mere refugees but as a specific community with well-defined rights. This Committee's important role in that respect deserves special mention.
For its part, the Security Council has for many years now been closely connected with the persistent efforts to find an equitable solution to the complicated problem of the Middle East. For more than a quarter of a century that region, so vital to the rest of the world, has been the theatre of important events which have at times seriously jeopardized international peace and security and have, therefore, required the urgent attention of the Security Council.
Yet, while dealing with those crises of incalculable consequences for world peace, the Council has never lost sight of the intrinsic importance of the fate of the Palestinian people and its role in the quest for a just and lasting peace, which is the ardent desire of the entire international community. Indeed$ when circumstances have so required, the Security Council has firmly condemned violations of Palestinian rights in the occupied territories, just as it has firmly opposed any faits accomplis or other actions apt to impede the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem.
The interest of the Council in this important question is also reflected in its many debates on the specific issue of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The views expressed on this occasion reflect the growing conviction, both within the Security Council and within the Organization as a whole, that the quest for a lasting settlement of the problems of the Middle East must take account of the Palestinian question, in both its humanitarian and its political aspects.
Guided by the responsibilities conferred upon it by the Charter, the Security Council will continue its efforts to achieve a just and lasting Peace in the Middle East for the benefit of all parties concerned, and especially the Palestinian people.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call now on the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Mr. AL-HOUT (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)) (interpretation from Arabic): I am pleased to read out the following message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the Palestinian Revolution: I am pleased to address this message to you on the 29th of November, which the United Nations General Assembly has declared as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to be celebrated every year until the Palestinian People has achieved its inalienable rights, including the rights of return, self-determination and the establishment of its own Palestinian State on its national Palestinian soil.
Undoubtedly, the celebration of this Day of Solidarity by the General Assembly signifies not only resolute support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people but also its participation in the struggle to realize those rights. Therefore the international Organization's commitment to continue to observe this day demonstrates that the just cause of the Palestinian people has become one of the most prominent questions before the United Nations. That explains the restored confidence of our Palestinian people and our Arab nation in this international Organization.
In recent years the United Nations has won the attention of the struggling peoples and gained the respect of mankind so much so that our people look to the United Nations with optimism and hope that it will continue to play an increasing role in international life in general and in the resolution of our just cause in particular.
In this connexion I find it appropriate to express the reservations of our people regarding the veto system, which the United States has exploited in the Security Council. Instead of using the veto to fortify the international will and to serve just causes, the United States representatives have turned it into a means of preventing any positive solution, bringing about a just peace in the Middle East. The veto has even becomes a means of encouraging Israeli acts of aggression.
The past year has witnessed serious challenges that require this international body to rise to a level at which it can meet those challenges that threaten mankind and growing generations. Foremost among them are the threat of world war, the gradual depletion of human resources-through the harmful and dangerous arms race, the despoiling of the international atmosphere and the deterioration and perversion of values and morals. Also among those challenges is the continuation of the world political and economic system of the age of colonialism and colonies. That system continues to bring about numerous forms of injustice for the peoples of the third world and continues to prevent the rapid development to which they aspire. It is therefore necessary for the United Nations to continue its efforts to achieve a new international political and economic order.
Over the past year the Palestinian people under occupation have I suffered from further acts of oppression, torture and collective punishment, which have given rise to hundreds of new cases in which the Israeli occupation authorities have violated the Universal Declaration of human Rights. Moreover, those authorities have continued to confiscate land and private and public property, to establish new settlements and to seize Palestinian wealth beneath the ground. There is no end to the series of measures aimed at the deportation of Palestinians from their homeland, and the Judaization of the occupied territories , particularly in Jerusalem, is being persisted in. In this regard I should like to draw the attention of the entire world, especially its Christian and moslem components, to the dangers involved in the violation of the sanctity of the Holy Places and the persistent efforts to alter the historical character of Jerusalem and to obliterate its Arabic character in an attempt to make it Jewish. The excavations being undertaken beneath the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque have already threatened it with collapse. This is a deliberate and flagrant affront to both Moslems and Christians. Encroachment Upon places of worship of -whatever faith or religious community must be Considered an intrusion into all Holy Places and a potential danger to all of them.
Heedless to say, such Israeli measures will precipitate reactions from the Arab Moslems and at the international level which may threaten world peace and security. I hereby declare that we, the Palestinian Revolution, cannot remain silent vis-a-vis the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem and its declaration that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. Judaization will turn the Christian and Moslem Holy Places into ancient sites devoid of the life that believers breathe into them.
That great historic City, which the Palestinian people kept precious and dear to the entire world, should not be turned into a jungle of settlements and military buildings, depriving the one and only Jerusalem of its historical and spiritual features. In view of these considerations the General Assembly has adopted a host of resolutions on and relevant to Jerusalem. Over the past year the Israeli authorities have committed further violations of the Eternal City and its Holy Places. It is therefore urgent for this Assembly this year to call upon the Security Council to take a decision to halt the excavations under Al-Aqsa, Mosque and to ensure implementation of its decision by any means in the event of non-compliance by the Zionist authorities.
The question of Palestine is now faced with the the most dangerous plot since 1967: the autonomy scheme of the Camp David agreements. The Israeli leadership has continued to impose oppressive conditions to further this scheme. On the West Bank and on the Gaza Strip the Israeli leadership is devising a distorted civilian state of affairs. It has resorted to tile subterfuge of replacing military uniforms with plain clothes. The Headquarters of the Military Governor is now called the “Headquarters of the Civil Administrative Governor". All this has been clearly expressed in the so-called Sharon plan, named after the Israeli Minister of Defence. The Israeli Government has approved that plan, and attempts are being made to implement it by any means available to the occupation authorities.
It is perhaps obvious to all of us that the intent of this new Israeli game is to circumvent the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to present a preemptive solution to the Palestinian question that would not exceed the limits of administrative autonomy, which is designed to be the alternative to the aspirations and inalienable rights of our people.
Perhaps the true evidence of the futility of this scheme and impossible path is the way in which our people took to the streets to express firmly and resolutely their rejection of all the dubious measures and plans, facing the bullets of the occupying army armed only with the will to struggle, and showing the whole world the originality of the Palestinian people and the Power of struggle of their sons and daughters, and their commitment and adherence to their inalienable rights and to their sole legitimate representative, the PLO.
The Israeli authorities could not pursue their racist policies and practices without the full political, diplomatic, military and financial support of the United States. Can we explain the recent strategic agreement concluded between the Governments of the United States and Israel as anything but an expression of support for all those racist, annexationist, and aggressive measures and policies.
Numerous resolutions have been adopted by the United Nations on the question of Palestine, but those resolutions have run headlong into Israeli contempt, indifference and defiance. Such arrogant behaviour could not occur were it not for the support the Israeli violations receive from the Government of the United States, both inside and outside the United Nations. How could a State which depends on foreign aid for its existence defy the international will if it did not receive cover from a super-Power namely, the United States of America? Indeed, it is no longer acceptable or reasonable for Israel to continue to have the honour of membership in the United Nations while contravening in every word and deed the principles Of the United Nations and rejecting its resolutions and recommendations. Israel is the only Member that received conditional admission into membership of the United Nations.
The United Nations must take effective measures vis-a-vis Israeli arrogance and implement the resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
This year the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples faced a series of Israeli attacks deep within Lebanese territory in plain view of the entire world. At the same time, the war of attrition continued in the south, involving artillery, rocket, land and sea attacks. as well as reconnaissance flights and air raids on peaceful villages and refugee camps inhabited by Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. All those attacks culminated in the war of aggression which broke out on 16 July 1981. The world press called it the sixth war, and at times the Israeli -Palestinian war: indeed it was a war in the full sense of the word. It continued. non-stop for 14 days and involved heavy fire, at a level never witnessed in the previous wars of the area. We exercised self-restraint for 48 hours following the all-out attack in order to give the United Nations enough time to stop that attack before the situation deteriorated in such a way as to threaten -world peace, and the arrogant Israeli leadership mistook. our self-restraint for weakness. Consequently, they intensified their attacks to such an extent that we were forced to respond. Two fold. As a result, the enemy ranks were confused and the entire world admired the courage of the Palestinian fighter and the firmness and justice of the Palestinian decisiveness in battle. The aggression backfired and the war turned into a Palestinian victory on both the political and military levels, notwithstanding the enormity of the losses inflicted on Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.
In the city of Beirut, in particular, a whole residential quarter was destroy burying its inhabitant under tons of rubble and debris. The United Nations, which exerted great efforts to reach a cease-fire, testified to the highest degree of responsibility shown by the leadership of the PLO towards the whole world, to the ability of that leadership to control the situation, and to its integrity in observing the cease-fire agreement. On this occasion, however should warn that if there is a. new attack of this kind, it will not be easy to reach cease-fire because the patience of the Palestinian people has limits. If it is normal for the Zionist entity to lack the slightest degree Of international responsibility towards the world and its peoples, it should not be normal for the United States Government to continue to behave irresponsibly, especially towards the Palestinian people, by giving the green light to the Israeli army to persist in the occupation of Jerusalem and the Palestinian and Arab territories and to pursue its genocidal war of conquest, raids, special operations, planting explosives and assassination against the Palestinian people. That situation can no longer continue. it will move into a new phase of conflict, the limits of which no one can predict. I therefore place full responsibility in this connexion on the shoulders of the United States. Government.
I should like to draw the attention of the world in general, and the people of the United States in particular, through this international body, to the United States Government's demand that the PLO recognize Israel's right to exist as a precondition for meeting and talking with the PLO. This is another way of deliberately denying the rights of the Palestinian people, and continuing to behave irresponsibly and in contravention of international principles norms and conventions. Our people are not begging for something to which their are not entitled, nor are they demanding any favours. They do not accept being insulted by the imposition of preconditions in return for recognition. As a people we are entitled to our inalienable rights, including the right to recognition and the right to have our own legitimate representative recognized. If that is not done, then the precondition does not secure those rights for them. Since our people is entitled to its full rights as a people, preconditions reduce its inalienable rights and constitute a violation, which we fully reject.
This international Organization and the majority of the States of the world recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of our people. This has been approved by the United Nations and has been recognized officially by the majority of the States of the world, the non-aligned, the Organization of African Unity and the members of the Islamic Conference. It suffices to state, in this connexion, that the friendly Soviet Union has extended full diplomatic recognition to the PLO, identical to the recognition extended to States must mention also the diplomatic recognition of the PLO by Greece a month ago. After all this, what is the meaning of the voices that we hear speaking about Preconditions in order for them to talk to us? I declare that the Arab Palestinian People refuse to talk with those who present preconditions.
The United States Government should have the courage to rid itself of Israeli blackmail represented by the pledge unjustly undertaken; otherwise, the schism between the United States and the PLO will continue indefinitely. I should recall here that the statements made by the former United States Presidents Ford, Nixon and Carter. as well as by Mr. Kissinger, who made that Pledge, provide additional evidence of the validity of my position in categorically rejecting that precondition.
I wish to express my deep appreciation to every country that has continued to stand with our people. I would like here to commend the Committee for its efforts and I hope that the whole world will recognize that our people, who carry the rifle in one hand and the olive branch in the other, have gone beyond the stage where we could accept the olive branch falling from our hands. We are at the stage where we are capable of planting that olive branch in Palestine and, in particular, on the hills of Jerusalem.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.
Mr. HAITAMA-SULE (Nigeria) , Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid: On behalf of the Special Committee against Apartheid.
I wish to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting us to participate in this solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
While our main purpose here today is to declare our solidarity with the peoples of Palestine in their Just struggle to regain their inalienable rights, including their right to self-determination, it will also be worthwhile for us to take stock of what is happening in the Middle East and to rededicate ourselves to the task of bringing a lasting peace to that region. We in the Special Committee against Apartheid readily identify ourselves with the struggle of the Palestine-people because of our shared experience as peoples struggling against the policies and practices of repression and aggression by an arrogant and oppressive regime, as well as because of our commitment to the right of all peoples, irrespective of their race or creed, to self-determination and independence.
The core of the problem in the Middle East is the deprivation of the Palestinian Arab people of their inalienable right to self-determination, statehood and independence. For over three decades, the Palestinian people have been rendered homeless and landless and have been subjected to immeasurable acts of discrimination and repression. They are, in fact, regarded as refugees in their own motherland, as well as in the Middle East as a whole. During this Period, there has been a series of resolutions by the General Assembly and the Security Council on the Palestinian question, but so far a viable and Peaceful solution seems to have eluded the international community.
The cause of this impasse in the Middle East has been the continuous refusal by Israel to accord to the Palestinian people, what it enjoys and strenuously legitimizes under international law and, in particular, under the principles of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. While Israel jealously guards its independence and sovereignty with secure and inviolable borders, it strongly obstructs the regaining of those same rights by the Palestinian people.
To this end, Israel has continued to pursue policies that are detrimental to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Taking advantage of the paralysis in the Security Council and arrogantly ignoring world public opinion, Israel has proceeded to change the character of Palestine by continuing to build illegal settlements in the occupied Arab territory. It has also annexed the Holy City of Jerusalem, contrary to the recognized norms of international law, and has continued to take measures in the occupied territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of war and in open defiance of resolutions and decisions of the United Nations.
The international community has ultimately come to realize that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem and that no lasting peace can be achieved in that region unless the claim of the Palestinian people to their inalienable rights is granted and Israel withdraws to its pre 1967 boundaries. In addition, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)which has been recognized by the United Nations as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, must be part and parcel of the peace process in the Middle East.
The Palestinian people should be enabled to exercise their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty without external interference. They should be enabled to return to their homes and property, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (111) and Security Council resolution 237 (1967).
In this regard, it would be pertinent to recall the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly in July 1980, which strongly endorsed the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own independent sovereign State. It is imperative that the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, should be able to participate, on an equal footing and on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), in all efforts devoted to the Middle East problem under the auspices of the United Nations. In order to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East, it is essential that Israel withdraw from all occupied territories including Jerusalem. It should also be noted that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories aggravate the conflict and render a peaceful, negotiated solution more difficult.
This brings us to the deplorable state of collaboration between Israel and South Africa. The Special Committee against Apartheid has repeatedly condemned Israel's collaboration with the South African racist regime in defiance of relevant resolutions of the United Nations. That collaboration, in the economic, financial, commercial, cultural, sports, military and nuclear fields, encourages the South African regime to persist in its criminal policy of apartheid and constitutes an obstacle to international efforts to eradicate that evil policy.
It is regrettable that the Security Council has not acted on the recommendations of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People that have repeatedly been brought to its attention. Security Council action would facilitate the creation of the conditions necessary to lead to a Just and lasting peace in the region. The Council should again be urged to consider the matter urgently with a view to taking action towards a peaceful Solution of the Palestinian problem.
The Special Committee against Apartheid and the Committee on the Inalienable Eights of the Palestinian People have similar objectives, namely, to enable the Peoples concerned to exercise their right to self-determination. The Special Committee against Apartheid once more pledges its unwavering support to the Committee on Palestinian Rights in the discharge of its mandate.
On behalf of the Special Committee against Apartheid, I express our deep sense of solidarity with the Palestinian people, who have been inhumanly displaced and made stateless.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on President of the United Nations Council for Namibia.
Mr. LUSAKA President of the United Nations Council for Namibia: On behalf of the United Nations Council for Namibia, I wish to express our thanks for the invitation that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable rights of the Palestinian People has extended to us to commemorate together the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The United Nations Council for Namibia attaches great importance to the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, partly as a result of its own experience in regard to the question of Namibia and partly because we see in the ignoring of the rights of the Palestinian people another example of a situation in which the overwhelming view of the international community is arrogantly ignored by a single country, Israel.
With regard to the Palestinian people, the view of the international community has been expressed by a wide consensus of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Furthermore, Israel, which is resisting this consensus, is being assisted by influential supporters that are themselves Members of the United Nations.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a further manifestation of the dedication and commitment of the United Nations to support the cause of self-determination, freedom and independence for the Palestinian people. The General Assembly and the Security Council by their resolutions in support of the cause of the Palestinian people have tried and continue to try to contribute significantly to the establishment of real peace and security in the Middle East in general and in Palestine in particular. It is therefore a matter of great disappointment to note that the United Nations calls for peace in the area have been deliberately frustrated by Israel and its supporters.
A consensus of over 100 countries in the General Assembly represents a carefully considered position that has been synthesized from the views of many countries. The consensus which we have now and which has required several years to build takes into account the interests of the parties involved. It should not be ignored.
The situation affecting, the rights of the Palestinian people has become "More critical and continues to pose a grave threat to international peace and security. We in the Council for Namibia commend the work programme developed in response to this situation by the Committee on the exercise of the Inalienable in response to this situation by the Rights of the Palestinian People under the dynamic and dedicated chairmanship of my friend and colleague Ambassador Sarre of the Republic of Senegal.
The people of Palestine are determined to claim their legitimate rights to self-determination and independence. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the sole representative of the Palestinian people, has continued to a relentless struggle to free the Palestinians from occupation and oppression. The Palestinian people are resolved to regain their inalienable rights not only to self-determination and independence but also to a national homeland. The Palestine Liberation Orgnization continues to gain the respect and support of the international community. Any peaceful negotiations on the question of Palestine can be carried out only with the full and equal Participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The United Nations Council for Namibia will not be found wanting in its support for this struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership Of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It will continue to press for the restoration of the inalienable rights of both the Palestinian people and the Namibian people.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Group and Vice-Chairman of our Committee.
Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba), Chairman of the Non-Aligned Group (interpretation from Spanish): Mr. Chairman, your invitation to me to participate in this solemn gathering of this Committee in my capacity as Chairman of the Group of Hon-aligned Countries is a high honour for me.
With your permission, I should like on this occasion to read out a message to the Secretary-General of the United Nations from President Fidel Castro, who is the current Chairman of the Non-Aligned movement. This is the message from President Castro: Your Excellency:
On behalf of the Cuban Government and people, I should like to extend our most cordial greetings to the Palestinian people and its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian' People. On this memorable day I should like to reiterate that the Cuban people, together with all progressive forces the world over, continues to lend its backing to and stands in full solidarity with the Just struggle of the heroic Palestinian people.
"The commemoration on 20 November of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is in response to the desire of the United Nations General Assembly, expressed in resolution 32/40, to demonstrate the conviction of the international community regarding the oppression perpetrated against the Palestinian people, beginning in 1947 with the partitioning of the territory of Palestine into two States in -accordance with resolution 181 (11), which involved the scattering of the Palestinian people imposed upon it from the date of that partitioning.
Ever since the Non-Aligned Movement was founded, it has been voicing, together with the United Nations and other international organizations and forums, its unswerving and unbreakable support for the just cause of the long-suffering Palestinian People. In many different declarations and resolutions, it has stressed the fact the Palestinian question is the crux of the Middle East conflict. The guidelines are laid down therein for a just and lasting settlement to the problem in that explosive part of the world. In most unmistakable terms, the expansionist character of Zionism backed by imperialism is stressed, as being a permanent threat to international peace and security.
"Given this setting, the agreements reached at the sixth Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Countries, held in September 1979 in Havana, along with subsequent pronouncements made at the New Delhi ministerial Conference, and at the recent ministerial plenary meeting of the Movement held here in New York, take on ever greater timeliness in so far as they condemn the Camp David agreements as reflecting a policy designed to strengthen the Zionist regime further and to safeguard United States interests in that part of the world, thus riding roughshod over the most basic rights of the Arab peoples, and in particular those of the Palestinian Arab people.
"Cuba, together with progressive countries and forces throughput the world, feels that an end must be put to the genocidal war being waged against the Palestinian people. Greater respect for and compliance with resolutions adopted by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement must be demanded in order to call a halt to the ongoing acts of aggression which Israel – enjoying the political, military and economic backing of the United States – is launching in an effort to crush the will of the Palestinian people and thus to be able to cling permanently to the lands of Which it stripped them when it came into existence in 1948, and then again in 1956 and 1967.
"The Cuban Government and people join in the condemnation by the international community of the savage air raids against the Iraqi nuclear centre and against Lebanon. They once again highlight the highly aggressive nature of the policy which Zionism has waged not only against the heroic Palestinian people, but against other Arabic peoples as well.
"To carry out its imperialistic plans in the Middle East, the United States counts upon Israel and is seeking new allies, faithful servants of its strategic and military interests in that part of the world, and instruments whereby that country attacks peoples' interests, ascribing no importance whatever to the fact that the situation existing in that part of the world is growing ever more dangerous not only for that region but for the entire world.
"The imperialist, hegemonistic, racist and Zionist policy is being foisted upon the Arab peoples, and in the most aggressive way, upon the Palestinian people, ignoring the thousands of voices raised in international forums calling for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and saying that to achieve such a peace the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to its own homeland must be fully respected, and that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must be recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
"On this important occasion, we should like once again to make it crystal clear that the just cause of the Palestinian people will always enjoy the continuing support of our people, as the Palestinian people wages its struggle against imperialism and Zionism to attain enjoyment of its right to self-determination, to return to its homeland and to set up an independent Palestinian State on Palestinian land.
"On behalf of the Cuban Government and people, and on my most own behalf, I should like to extend my most respectful greetings."
That message is signed by Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and Government of Cuba, and Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Chairman of the African Group.
Mr. SOGLO (Benin), Chairman of the African Group (interpretation from French): It is an honour and a privilege for me to participate as Chairman of the African Group in this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Today, more than 30 years have passed since, by a racist doctrine, the Palestinian people was deprived of its homeland and condemned to exile. More than 30 years have passed since, in the name of Zionism, the Palestinian people was deprived of its most fundamental rights and condemned to live in tents as if in a concentration camp, condemned to live on the charity of voluntary international organizations. For more than 30 years also, faced with tyranny and oppression, the Palestinian people has been waging a resistance struggle under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), fighting for the restoration of its fundamental right to self-determination and national sovereignty.
For a long time the international community remained indifferent to the fate of the Palestinian people, but today it is seeking a just, lasting solution to the problem of Palestine, in order to preserve peace and security in the world. To that end the United Nations has been making sustained efforts to bring about conditions facilitating a settlement of the Palestinian problem. Thus, the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by the United Nations comes within the framework of these constant efforts made by the Organization to bring about the triumph of justice and right, the right of people to live freely in peace, and the elimination of colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism and Apartheid.
A basic concern of our Organization ever since its inception must remain a priority for the United Nations until the final liberation of the occupied territories, and first and foremost Palestine and Namibia. A just and lasting Peace cannot be established in the world without the recognition of the real and legitimate rights of countries to live in independence as sovereign States, without any external intervention, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and principles of international law.
In the struggle to put an end to that tragedy and to find a just and fair solution to the problem, Africa sides totally with the efforts of the international community. The struggle by the Palestinian people against the Zionist entity of Israel is similar to that waged against the racist regime of Pretoria. There is also the same arrogance, the same inhuman racism and the same defiance of resolutions of the international community. Thus, since its inception, the OAU in all its meetings has constantly assured the Palestinian people of its total unswerving support. During their eighteenth regular session, held in Nairobi last July, the Heads of State and Government of the members of the OAU reaffirmed that just and lasting peace could be achieved only if the Palestinian people were able to exercise their inalienable rights, in particular their right to return to their homes, to regain their national sovereignty, to live in peace without interference, and to establish their own State in Palestine.
In that respect, the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) made an appeal to the international community that it intensify its pressure on Israel in order to compel it to comply with the United Nations Charter and relevant resolutions adopted on the question of Palestine. Furthermore, they reaffirmed the imperative need for Israel to put an end to its illegal occupation of the Arab territories and condemned the-Israeli annexation measures and measures for the Judaization of Jerusalem.
In other words, the OAU is firmly committed to a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian problem. In that respect it is not superfluous to recall that Tanzania, an African country, had the honour of holding in 1980 the first United Nations seminar on the subject of the Palestinian people.
The African Group, while congratulating you, Sir, on the commemoration of this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, would like to express the hope that this commemoration will help us achieve the objectives of the Organization to end imperialism and the occupation of territories by force and to establish an international community that is more just and peaceful.
I cannot conclude without telling you, Mr. Chairman, of our appreciation of and support for the efforts your Committee has constantly made to enable the Palestinian people to live freely in sovereignty in its restored homeland.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon the Chairman of the Asian Group.
Mr. NAIK (Pakistan), Chairman of the Asian Group: On behalf of States members of the Asian Group, I consider it a great honour to participate in this solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The Asian Group first of all wishes through me to convey its deep appreciation of the tireless efforts the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has been making to carry out its mandate under the effective and able leadership provided by you, Mr. Chairman, and your illustrious predecessors.
The annual observance of this Day is not a merely symbolic act. It underscores the deep concern of the international community over the fact that the grave injustice done to the Palestinians some 30 years ago has not been redressed. It is a reflection of the strong solidarity which freedom–lovine people the world over feel for the Palestinian people in their struggle to realize their inalienable human and national rights.
This occasion equally constitutes a severe indictment of the occupying Power, Israel, for its impudent disregard of the international consensus on the question of Palestine, repeatedly affirmed through the various bodies of the United Nations, principally the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The occasion today brings to the fore with compelling force the miserable plight which has befallen the 4 million Palestinians since the late 1940s. During all these years a whole nation has been occupied, colonized and dispersed to live the life of second-.class citizens or refugees. Rather than end its occupation so that the Palestinian people can exercise its inalienable right to self-determination and to establish a State of its own in Palestine, Israel keeps pursuing with ever greater rigour its policies of repression, discrimination, expansionism and creeping annexation. It continues with all its nefarious measures to annex the Holy City of Jerusalem to obliterate its unique historic and spiritual character. Israel's expansionist policies extend to the neighbouring States, principally Lebanon, whose territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and political independence have been seriously jeopardized.
The United Nations was quick to realize that the question of Palestine constituted the core of the Middle East problem. The world Organization has affirmed several times that a just and durable solution of the Middle East problem lies in the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and in the restoration of the inalienable human and national rights of the Palestinian People, including its right to self-determination and to establish a State of its own in Palestine under the leadership of its sole, authentic representative, the Palestine Liberation
The same course has been endorsed by the Non-Aligned Movement, as it has by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Israel's response to this prescription for a durable and just peace in the Middle East has been one of contemptuous defiance. It seems to be bent upon traversing the dangerous course of collision with the will of the international community in the circumstances it becomes imperative for the Security Council to adopt forthwith measures which it is empowered to take to ensure Member States' compliance with the decisions of the United Nations. The matter admits of no hesitation, as delay carries with it the danger that the peace of the region may again be shattered at any time, with all the awesome consequences for world peace and security.
Finally, the States members of the Asian Group take this opportunity to reaffirm their full solidarity with the Palestinian people in its valiant and Just struggle under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization to regain its inalienable rights to self-determination and national independence. We wish the Palestinian people all success in the fulfilment of its national aspirations.
The CHAIRMAN I now call on the Chairman of the Arab Group.
Mr. JAMAL Qatar), Chairman of the Arab Group (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour of speaking on behalf of the Group of Arab States. I should like to convey my most heartfelt greetings to the Arab Palestinian people, which is resisting firmly and heroically an enemy equipped with the most sophisticated weapons in order to regain its usurped homeland along with its freedom and its inalienable political rights. These are rights often reiterated in United Nations resolutions but, as far as Israel is concerned, its response is an obdurate policy which goes on oppressing the Arab Palestinian people, those living under direct Zionist occupation as well as those living in Lebanese refugee camps. Israel has turned the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into an immense prison, where human dignity is scorned and the most basic of human rights are violated.
Israel continues to hold Lebanon hostage, and Israeli forces are imposing their rule over Palestinians inside and outside their own borders using tanks, aircraft and shells of a11 kinds against innocent women end children, thus violating all the relevant United Nations resolutions and all the rules of international customary law and of international law in general. To further its expansionist designs it has settled Jews in the occupied Arab territories and thus continues usurping the rights of the Arab peoples it does so in particular by proclaiming Jerusalem to be the eternal capital of Israel.
As we commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it is over 30 years since the General Assembly was first seized of the question of Palestine. The international community deals with this issue at the individual and official levels also. The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and over the past three decades it has turned the Middle East into one of the most dangerous hotbeds of tension that the world has ever seen.
All that bears witness to how justified the claims and demands of the Arab people of Palestine are. Tone international community has recognized the rights of the people to self-determination and to regain its homeland and the legitimacy of its continued struggle under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, to win back finally its usurped rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call now on the Chairman of the Eastern European Group.
Mr. CHAIRMAN (Poland), Chairman of the Eastern European Group: Since 1977, in accordance with the provisions of a relevant General Assembly resolution, the Members of the United Nations have solemnly observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Today at this commemorative gathering, it is my privilege in my capacity as Chairman of the Group of Eastern European States to convey to the Palestinian People the assurances of our unfailing support for and solidarity with its heroic struggle against the forces of aggression and occupation and for self-determination, for the attainment of its inalienable rights and for the realization of its legitimate aspirations. On this Day we warmly congratulate the friendly Arab people of Palestine and wish them every success in their struggle.
The question of Palestine constitutes the focal point of the Middle East problem. It is the key to its solution. Indeed, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in that sensitive region cannot be established without the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories, including Arab Jerusalem, which it has occupied since 1967. Without the achievement of a just solution to the problem of Palestine based on recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, peace cannot endure in that important part of the world.
The aggravated and explosive situation that persists in the Middle East requires that we focus our attention on a conflict that threatens peace and security in the world at large. The events which have taken place since the recent session of the General Assembly clearly confirm that without a solution of this key problem there can be no tangible and meaningful progress towards a final settlement of the crisis situation in the region.
There is no need to emphasize that enduring peace will be impossible while the increasingly pressing problem of Palestine remains unsolved, while Millions of Palestinian Arabs are exposed to enormous human suffering and continue to be deprived of their legitimate national rights. Peace and tranquility will not materialize while the policy pursued by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories is so oppressive to the population and while the human rights of the Arab people of Palestine are flagrantly violated and the norms of international law disregarded. The pursuit of the Policy of expansionism and aggression by the Israeli authorities constitutes the Stumbling-block on the road to peace in the Middle East.
In the view of the countries on behalf of which I am speaking such a settlement requires, inter alia, the restoration of the right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination including the establishment of its own independent State.
Throughout the years of long discussion of the situation in the Middle East, the socialist countries of Eastern Europe have been consistently pointing out the grave implications of the policy of occupation and annexation of Arab territories pursued by the Israeli authorities. The countries of Eastern Europe have been taking a firm, stand on this issue, emphasizing that lasting peace in the Middle East could be established only on the basis of respect for the legitimate rights of all States and peoples in the Middle East to live in peace and security. Ignoring the question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people can lead only to further impasse.
Neglecting the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, can only increase the existing, tensions and make the prospects for peace and stabilization more remote.
The seventh emergency special session in 1980,and the general debate at the current session have show that there is a growing awareness of those facts in the international community and that the number of countries which favour a comprehensive political settlement and support the resumption of negotiations with the direct participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, is constantly growing.
The States members of our Group believe, that there is no alternative to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region a goal which is one of the most urgent imperatives of our time.
This solemn commemorative session is yet further testimony to the ever broader achieving of the conscience of the United Nations to the cause of the Arab people of Palestine. It is yet further proof that without a just solution of this problem there can be no lasting peaceful settlement in the Middle East.
In paving the way for such a solution the United Nations has a place and an important role to play. In this regard, we wish to express our profound satisfaction with and highest appreciation of the great effort and outstanding contribution made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Its tireless work for the attainment of those rights earns it the highest recognition.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call now on the Chairman of the Latin American Group.
Mr. MUNOZ LEDO (Mexico), Chairman of the Latin American Group (interpretation from Spanish): As Chairman of the Latin American Group for the month of November, I am pleased to represent the countries of my part of the world at this important commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We come here to affirm the continuing validity of the principle of self-determination and to offer our support for the cause of the Palestinian people. We thus reaffirm our adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and our respect for the basic norms of international coexistence.
We take a fraternal attitude towards those who have been displaced from their lands and homes; towards those who over the years have been denied the exercise of their inalienable rights and the chance to establish a national State.
Our Organization has determined that the question of Palestine is the heart of the problem of the Middle East. It has also repeatedly maintained the right of the Palestinian people freely to decide its own future and to enjoy to the full the attributes of its own sovereignty. In recognizing those rights and contributing to their implementation in deed, not only are we Upholding justice but we are promoting a settlement of the serious problem afflicting that part of the world and are thus opening the way to lasting peace.
Solidarity with the Palestinian people is a confirmation of the attitude that we Latin Americans have maintained ever since the inception of the United Nations. Latin America then comprised the vast majority of developing countries Members of the Organization. In large measure it was thanks to the firm determination of Latin Americans to grant decolonization the highest Priority, and thanks to our solidarity with countless national liberation movements, that today the membership of this Organization has swelled to 157 independent States.
In the case of Palestine, as in so many others in the past, we Latin Americans have seen the mirror-image of a historic tragedy: that of domination and its aftermath of exploitation and the denial of rights. That explains our unswerving commitment to the Palestinian people and our decision to pursue the struggle until that people can fully exercise its inalienable rights as we exercise ours.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole, authentic representative of its people, has displayed great political maturity. After years and years of unspeakable suffering and arduous battle, it has found the ways and means of acting politically, which has allowed it to take part in good-offices efforts undertaken to solve the problems besetting that part of the world. By the same token, it has shown that it shall not compromise fundamental principles and that it shall not yield one inch in the struggle to win the exercise of its inalienable rights. In this endeavour, it enjoys the full backing of Latin America.
For more than 30 years now, the question of Palestine has been at the forefront of our debates. With every passing year, the conviction grows stronger that the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine is an essential prerequisite for bringing peace to the Middle East. The political consensus necessary for a solution of the conflict grows from year to year, as does the number of States espousing the basic thesis maintained by the Palestinian people. And yet the settlement of so thorny a problem cannot be left solely to the passage of time: it brooks no delay if we are to reduce tensions, avert dangers and lessen the suffering of millions of human beings. The opinion of the majority of the international community must prevail so that all States and peoples in that part of the world may live in peace and within secure borders. No one may claim for himself a right which he is unwilling to acknowledge for others.
On this special Day, I should like to bear witness to the fidelity of the Latin American countries, to the basic principles of our Organization. We identify with the just yearnings of the Palestinian People, akin as they are to those of our own peoples. To us, to join in the struggle for self-determination and equality in one parts of the world is to defend our own right to be respect and to live in free.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of the member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Mr. AL-ALI (Organization of the Islamic Conference) (interpretation from Arabic): It is a very special honour for me to speak on behalf of the States of the Islamic Conference in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
First of all I should like to pay a tribute to the Committee for its sincere efforts -to back up resolutions and allow the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine.
It goes without saying that the commemoration by the international community of this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a reiteration of efforts made by the United Nations to clarify aspects of the question of Palestine and the just struggle being waged by the Arab people of Palestine under the leadership of the PLO.
For three decades we have been seeing the tragedy afflicting the Arab people of Palestine, victim of one of the greatest Zionist and colonialist conspiracies, which has taken over its national rights and land and imposed oppression and injustice on it. Throughout those years, international Zionist forces have Continued to impose their domination and occupation on the land of Palestine, devoting -all their influence and possibilities to carrying out their racist and annexationist policy, to the detriment of the Palestinian people, the sole master Of Palestinian land. The Zionists, which established their entity by usurping the land of Palestine, have thus demonstrated that it is the force of usurpation which they are using to carry out their annexationist and expansionist plans, to the detriment of all Arab States. The Zionist entity continues to execute its Plan to Judaize Palestinian land and to change the nature of the Holy City and make it the eternal capital of Israel.
The plans of the Israeli Zionist entity have in recent times been the same as in times past. The Haganah and Irgun gangs worked in the past; today various actions are carried out in a much more organized way, under the central leadership Of military personnel, imposing oppression on the Arab people of Palestine with the aid of the most sophisticated weapons, provided by the United States of America.
The various chapters of the Palestinian tragedy continue to exist, and the Zionist entity continues to perpetrate crimes against the Arab people of Palestine both within Palestine and outside it, thus defying international law and the United Nations itself and its resolutions and decisions, which are still being adopted despite the very broad recognition by the international community of the national inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including the right to establish its own national State independently within occupied Palestine.
Peace depends upon justice and has always been the sole objective of the struggle waged by the Arab people of Palestine throughout the stages of its heroic struggle against racist, aggressive Zionism. The Arab people of Palestine will continue their heroic resistance to the acts of aggression of the Zionist entity, which are even more intense today and have the purpose of bringing about the genocide of the Palestinian people. The Zionists continue to strike at Palestinian camps, both by land and by sea, in Lebanon. They are trying to extent their settlements throughout Palestine and they continue to carry out oppression, arbitrary rule and terrorism, not to mention other inhuman practices, against the Arab people of Palestine.
Like other peoples that cherish peace, freedom and justice, we refuse to accept the establishment of a Zionist entity based on racism and religious segregation. The Arab people of Palestine continues to believe in the need for action to guarantee its legitimate rights through the implementation of the principles and resolutions of the United Nations so that they may exercise their right to self-determination.
The question of Palestine is the vital, the main element of what has been called the Middle East problem. No solution aimed at bringing about freedom and justice in that vital area of the world is possible without the achievement of the objectives and rights of the Palestinian people. Any solution must take account of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine, struggling to return to its land and to recover its lands and to exercise its right to independence and a sovereignty. That is its legitimate right, as has been confirmed by the General Assembly and the United Nations each and every year. That is why, on behalf of the Islamic States, we call upon the United Nations to adopt all necessary measures to allow the Arab people of Palestine to exercise its right to return to its homeland and its right to self-determination and to establish its own independent national State in Palestinian territory.
The Security Council must put an end to the aggression committed by the Israeli entity and its inhuman practices against the people of Palestine. The record of the Zionist entity as well known, as is that of the racist regime of Pretoria, which is today demonstrating the most inhuman practices in the history of mankind. It is high time for the international community to close its ranks and to take the measures necessary to put an end to the inhuman racist practices against the Arab people of Palestine.
The Islamic Conference follows with great sympathy and solidarity the heroic struggle of the Arab people of Palestine under the political leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It still believes that the only path to peace in the Middle East lies in total Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories and recognition of the right of the Arab -people of Palestine to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State.
This International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, under the auspices of the United Nations, confirms the international community's belief in the Palestinian people and its struggle to recover its legitimate national rights. This demonstrates once again the isolation of the Zionist entity and those who ore backing it.
Finally, the Islamic Conference very strongly believes that the struggle of the Arab people of Palestine must culminate in victory and the achievement of its aspirations, hopes and objective and that the Zionist entity will one day suffer total defeat.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Before we continue, I should like to inform the Committee that we have received messages from a number of Heads of State. Out of deference to those highly placed personages, those messages will now be read out by representatives and we shall then hear other statements, notably by the representative of the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the South West Africa People's Organization and other liberation movements.
I now call on the representative of Afghanistan to read out the message from his Head of State.
Mr. ZARIF (Afghanistan): I have the honour to read out the text of a message sent by Babrak Karmal,, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and President of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
“On the occasion of the commemoration on 29 November of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should like to take this opportunity to reiterate the sincere and firm support of the people and Government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan for the heroic and just struggle of the Palestinian people for the restoration of their national inalienable rights, usurped by Israel with the backing of imperialism. The evacuation of the occupied territories by Israel is an indispensable condition for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine. That would enable the Palestinian people exercise its right of self-determination and to decide its form of government without external interference. It is the duty and responsibility of the United Nations to render all assistance necessary to promote the economic development and prosperity of the Palestinian entity.
"The Government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan supports the continued efforts of the United Nations to find a just and comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem, based on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, truly represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, including the establishment of an independent national State of their own.
"Considering the Palestinian question as the core of the Middle East problem, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan believes that collusive understandings or partial agreements will not lead to a just solution of the Middle East problem, particularly the Palestinian question. We believe that the best solution of this question would be found by the convening of an international conference with the full participation of all parties concerned, including that of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is the moral obligation of all justice- and peace-loving countries to stand side by side with the Palestinian people until their final victory.
"While reaffirming-our firm and all-round support of our Palestinian brothers,-we are confident that their cause will triumph and that soon they will achieve their rightful cause. We wish prosperity for the Palestinian Arabs."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): The next speaker is the representative of Romania, who will read out a message from his Head of State.
Mr. FLITAN (Romania) (interpretation from French): It is my honour to read out a message sent by the General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party and President of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescub to the President of the thirty-sixth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Mr. Ismat Kittani, and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The text of the message is as follows:
"On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should like,, on behalf of the Romanian Communist Party, Socialist Romania and all the Romanian people to reaffirm our solidarity with and support for the cause of the Palestinian people, for the achievement of its rights and legitimate aspirations to a free and independent existence, within the framework of its own national State.
"In present international conditions, whose complex and contradictory nature is further accentuated by the tendency to consolidate and divide up spheres of influence, Romania speaks out firmly in favour of a reduction of tension between States and on behalf of the resumption and continuation of a policy of peace, detente and co-operation, of respect for the national independence of all Peoples. We feel that effort on the part of all States and all peoples must now be directed towards speeding up the solution of conflicts and hotbeds of tension between States, as well as controversial Problems, through negotiations aimed at achieving scrupulous respect for the sacred right of all peoples to develop in full freedom and independence.
"It is in that spirit that Romania has therefore acted to assist in V efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict throw negotiations, to achieve' a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, based on total withdrawal-of Israel from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem, and to settle the problem of the Palestinian people through recognition of its legitimate rights, including its right to self-determination and the establishment of its own independent State, based on guaranteeing the independence and sovereignty of all the States in the area.
"Socialist Romania believes that it is necessary now to intensify Political and diplomatic activity, including that of the United Nations, in order to give a new impetus to the peace process in the Middle East and to use the present propitious conditions to build a new negotiating framework by convening an international conference within the framework of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the Soviet Union and the United States of America and other States which might make a positive contribution to the solution of the conflict in the region.
“I should like to take this opportunity to underscore the deep conviction of Romania that the corner-stone of the establishment of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East lies in the solution of the Palestinian problem with the guarantee of conditions necessary for the Palestinian people to realize, as soon as possible, its national aspirations to live in peace and tranquility in its own independent State.
"The restoration and consolidation of united action and solidarity of all the Arab States the assurance of broad participation by the PLO in efforts undertaken at the international level to find a solution to the problem of the Palestinian people would be of particular importance and have a positive effect on the over-all efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement.
"Romania will make its contribution in the future, as in the past, to a just and lasting solution of the problems of the Middle East, to the establishment of a comprehensive peace in the region and to the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in the interest of peace, co-operation and security in the region and the entire world.
"In conclusion, I wish to express the conviction that the United Nations can and must play an even more active role in the efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict and to find a political settlement of all the situations of tension and conflict. It would be desirable to adopt a resolution providing for the convening of an international conference to achieve a comprehensive settlement and a just and lasting peace in that very troubled region of the world, in conformity with the hopes and expectations of the peoples to live in an atmosphere of tranquility and peace and of international security and co-operation."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States.
Mr. MAKSOUD (League of Arab States): On this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Arab People, it is important to underline the fact that the Palestinians' quest for justice and their demands for basic national and human rights have assumed a central position in the concerns and commitments of the international community. The family of nations is made up largely of peoples who wrested their independence from foreign rulers, many as recently as a few years ago. It is only natural that they should look upon the Palestinians as being among the last and staunchtest fighters against colonialism racism and Zionism, for it is evident that Zionism is the implacable adversary of the Palestinian Arab people and of the Arab nation and of all peace-loving and freedom-loving peoples of the world. It is, in addition, a colonizing movement with dangerous consequences for peace and security.
Let us look at the record. The establishment of Israel was achieved only through the eviction of an entire Palestinian population from its ancestral homeland. Not content with that, Israel in 1967 moved to complete the conquest of what was left of Palestine, placing a million and a half Palestinians under its direct, ruthless and oppressive military rule in violation of every convention, charter and resolution governing the administration of occupied territories. Israel is steadily colonizing and annexing those lands with illegal settlements, while waging a campaign of terror against those who resist it. Yet nothing has did the light of Palestinian Arab nationalism nor dulled the cutting edge of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. Moreover, the Palestine Liberation organization is now internationally recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in addition to the fact that it is also the framework for their national unity and peoplehood.
The recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted by the General Assembly have been endorsed by the League of Arab States, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference find other states and communities. The whole world now recognizes the centrality of the Palestinian question to the Middle East equation. That equation dictates the achievement of a genuine. comprehensive and just settlement of the conflict in that part of the world. And yet, as international support for the Palestinian cause increases, Israel becomes more intransigent, indulges in wider aggression against its neighbours, seeking more devious ways to torpedo peace and authentic peace initiatives and, above all, lashes out viciously against the Palestinians regardless of the misery that it inflicts and the human life it violates.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides an opportunity for the world community to reiterate its solemn commitment to the restoration of Arab Palestinian rights, especially the right to self-determination, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian State In the Palestinian homeland. That is the duty the world cannot put aside, for the struggle of the Palestinians has been deeply etched on the conscience of mankind. We in the League of Arab States, of which the PLO is a full-fledged member, express our appreciation for the expressions of solidarity that have Performed and will always perform a healing function in respect of the wounds that Israel seeks to inflict and provide a source of strength to support, the resilience of the Palestinian people in their noble struggle, as well as being most welcome leverage to-assist the Palestinian liberation struggle in achieving the realization of its legitimate objectives of self-determination and the building of an independent State in the Palestinian homeland.
On this occasion, we would like to reaffirm our Arab commitment to what we consider an integral part of our national priorities and responsibilities and to harness our potential and available means in the service of the Palestinian People and the Palestine Liberation Organization, for the noblest of causes.
I should like to take advantage of this occasion and opportunity to express the appreciation of the League of Arab States for the work and objectives and comprehensive task of the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and all the members of that Committee.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of Poland.
Mr. WILSKI (Poland): On this solemn occasion, I have the honour to acquaint the Committee with the text of the following message addressed to Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization by President Henryk Jablonski of Poland:
"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on behalf of the highest authorities of the Polish People's Republic, the Polish people, and on my own behalf, I wish to convey into your hands, Mr. Chairman, the most cordial greetings and words of solidarity and support for the friendly Arab people of Palestine and the genuine spokesman of their will the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"The struggle waged by the Palestinian people against the Israeli policy of aggression and expansion is particularly close to us Poles, who, in our history have more than once had to face aggression and militarism, paying tremendous costs in blood and sacrifice in defence of freedom and independence. This is why we permanently and invariably reiterate our profound solidarity with the strivings and aspirations of the Palestinian people who wish to live on the soil of their forefathers, liberated from the Israeli occupier, and to the rightful members of the great family of free nations. At the same time, we express our full support for the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO) as that people's sole legitimate representative and for the participation of the PLO, on a par with other parties concerned, in efforts aimed at a global political solution of the Middle East conflict, in accordance with appropriate United Nations resolutions. The need for such urgent efforts arises from the development in the Middle East, characterized by the increased tension in that region, which represents a danger to peace in the world. This is the result of a new escalation of actions on the part of imperialist forces that are aimed at consolidating and expanding their military presence in the region and subordinating the region to their interests.
"I avail myself of this opportunity to wish the Arab people of Palestine further success and final victory in their rightful struggle for the realization of their inalienable national rights, including the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State.
'The attainment of a just solution to the conflict in the Middle East would guarantee a secure existence for all States and peoples of that region and would be a contribution to the strengthening of peace, security and international co-operation.”
That message is signed by Henryk Jablonski, President of the Council of State of the Polish People's Republic,, Chairman of the All-Poland Committee of he National Unity Front.
The CHAIRMAN: I now call upon the representative of Kuwait.
Mr. ABULHASSAW (Kuwait) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to read out a message from His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Prince of Kuwait, to this Committee on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"It gives me great pleasure to send these words, with my cordial greetings to you, Mr. Chairman, and the distinguished gathering today at United Nations Headquarters, to express on this solemn occasion in this supreme forum solidarity with the people of Palestine in their severe plight.
"Again and again, we have appealed to the international community and the esteemed Organization embodying its will to do justice to this long-standing issue. Now we call upon all justice loving and freedom-loving people in the world to give their genuine support, not only in words but in deeds, to this just cause which has been crying out for solution to no avail.
"One can only wonder how long such legitimate rights will be trampled upon with impunity, how long the United Nations resolutions will be ignored and unimplemented, how long this ill-fated people will remain deprived of its homeland and freedom and forbidden to exercise its right to self-determination and realize its full national aspirations.
“Indeed the time has come to let right prevail over might to put an end to arbitrary extortion and various forms of coercion, misery and misfortune.
"It is imperative that the aggressors and their cronies remember that injustice can only beget hatred and instability and that a lasting and comprehensive peace can never stand on a frail foundation of falsehood but only on a solid basis of justice and truth.
Let there be real peace to bring thereby joy and prosperity to lands which have been groaning under the heavy yoke of occupation and suppression."
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
Document Type: Document, Meeting record, Meeting records, Multimedia, Verbatim Record
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), General Assembly
Subject: Palestine question, Solidarity day
Publication Date: 30/11/1981