Seventh emergency special session
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE TWELFTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 25 July 1980, at 3.30 p.m.
Mr. SALIM (United Republic of Tanzania)
Mr. MATANE (Papua New Guinea)
– Question of Palestine  (continued)
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the General Assembly.
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week, to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550, 866 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
The meeting was called to order at 4.00 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 5 (continued)
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
The PRESIDENT: Before calling on the first speaker for this afternoon, I should like to make one technical point of clarification.
Among a number of decisions previously adopted by the General Assembly with regard to the conduct of its work, it was agreed at the thirty-fourth session that:
"Delegations should exercise their right of reply at the end of the day, whenever two meetings have been scheduled for that day and whenever such meetings are devoted to the consideration of the same item." (General Assembly Decision 34/40l)
Of course Members are aware that when different items are considered during two different meetings on the same day, delegations may exercise their right of reply at the end of the morning's meeting on items that have been concluded during that morning's session.
That was not the case today and I therefore wish the record to show that owing to an oversight on my part the Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization was called on this morning before the adjournment of the meeting. He should in fact have made his statement in reply at the end of this afternoon's meeting instead.
Mr. BALETA (Albania) (interpretation from French): The Government of Albania is pleased to see you, Mr. President, presiding over our deliberations on this extremely important question of Palestine. We are convinced that your enlightened leadership will once again be of great assistance to the General Assembly in the performance of its duty and will contribute to the successful culmination of this session of the General Assembly in the history of the activities of the United Nations.
The Government of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, in the spirit of its well-known policy of principle of solidarity with peoples struggling for their freedom and national independence, welcomes and fully supports the initiative taken on 1 July by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to request the convening of an emergency special session of the General Assembly to examine the question of Palestine.
That question is, of course, neither new nor unfamiliar to the United Nations. However, its examination at this time as a matter of urgency is of great importance because the problem is one of the most crucial issues in the world today and has for decades aroused the most serious concern of the people of Palestine, the Arab peoples and all peoples that love peace, freedom and justice. Those peoples have consistently demanded that the Palestinian people, so sorely tried, brutally driven and uprooted from their homeland, its national rights restored to it and that the question of Palestine be resolved in accordance with the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people and with the interests of peace and stability in the Middle East and in the world.
But it is becoming ever more clear that the Israeli Zionists, merciless executioners of the Palestinian people and bloody tool of American imperialism, have not the slightest intention of giving up their policy of war, aggression and annexation in the Middle East. They continue, with unequalled cynicism and arrogance, to turn a deaf ear to the voices of protest, justice and reason which are raised throughout the world against their aggressive policy.
In these circumstances and in view of the unsettled situation and the many dancers that the imperialist super-Powers have again quite recently created in the Middle East, support for and solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people takes on a very special significance. The convening of this emergency special session is thus an important, just and timely event. It accords with the legitimate concerns of the Palestinian people, the Arab peoples and other peoples that love peace and freedom. The people of Palestine have every right to expect continued efforts on the part of democratic and progressive countries to support it in its struggle for noble objectives, aimed at putting an end to an intolerable and all too long-lived situation.
Like every other people and nation on earth, the Palestinian people have the right to live in freedom and independence, to the return of their land and homes taken from them by force of arms, to determine their future and settle their affairs in their country, in full sovereignty, according to their own wishes and free will. A just and prompt solution of the question of Palestine is an urgent necessity because it is also the essential and indispensable precondition for the settlement of the problem of the Middle East; it would thus make a major contribution towards the elimination of a hotbed of permanent conflict and a constant threat to global peace and security.
After many years of heroic struggle and enormous sacrifices in particularly difficult and complicated conditions, the people of Palestine find themselves once again compelled to continue their struggle, to spill their blood and to yield new martyrs to survive as a nation, in order to preserve their national identity and to regain their sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is so because they are still exposed to armed attacks and atrocities committed daily by the Israeli Zionists and to conspiracies perpetrated by Zionists, imperialists and Arab reactionaries.
This year the Israeli Zionists have stepped up still further their aggressive schemes against the Palestinian people. In particular, they have multiplied their crimes, massacres, assassinations and their acts of systematic and massive extermination of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Ample and indisputable proof has been furnished on several occasions this year, here at the United nations, which shed full light on the criminal practices and methods of the Israeli Zionists in the occupied Palestinian territory aimed at changing the environment, the original character of historic and cultural sites or demolishing Palestinian cities and villages to set up in their place Zionist colonial settlements, as an effective means of annexation. Israel, on the other hand, has increased its armed incursions in Lebanon and diversified its provocations against other Arab States.
But the Israeli Zionists are greatly mistaken in their calculations, as have been many other aggressors and conquerors through history. They will not succeed in stifling the struggle for national liberation of the Palestinian people, which is determined to defend its legitimate rights at any cost. By its determination and its armed struggle, the Palestinian people has provided another example to confirm that valuable lesson of history which teaches us that the struggle of peoples for freedom and independence is irresistible.
It is already a well-known and generally accepted fact that the Israeli Zionists would have been incapable of continuing so arrogantly and for so long their aggression and military occupation in the Middle East without the enormous economic, military and political assistance provided by American imperialism. It is that assistance, which floods into Israel to supply its monstrous war machine and its annexationist plans, that has made the American imperialists the patrons and protectors of Israel.
The United States of America is the instigator of and an accomplice in the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. And if from time to time the United States hypocritically pretends to dissociate itself from the policy of the Israeli Zionists, it is solely to try to hoodwink the Arab peoples and better to serve Israel's policy and ambitions.
The Israeli Zionists also profit enormously from the hegemonistic policy and anti-Arab manoeuvres of the Soviet socio-imperialists in the Middle East. Just like the United States, and for the same ends, the Soviet Union is acting contrary to the interests of the Arab peoples by pretending to be their friend and sole protection against American imperialism. The Chinese socio-imperialists, for their part, also claim to be the friends of the Palestinian and Arab peoples, but in reality their sympathy and support go to Israel, since socio-imperialistic China is doing its utmost, and with excessive zeal, to support the policy of American imperialism in the Middle East.
This emergency special session is the second of its kind within the space of only a few months. 'At the beginning of the year, the General Assembly met in emergency session to consider another extremely serious situation which had been created in the Middle East following the barbarous aggression on the part of the Soviet socio-imperialists against Afghanistan.
This session is being held at a time when the situation in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf area is fraught with danger and is highly explosive. The American imperialists, despite pitiful failures and resounding fiascos in Iran, are stubbornly pursuing their policy of aggression and provocation against the Iranian people and its revolution. For several months now, the war of aggression launched by the Soviet socio-imperialists has been raging in Afghanistan, where the occupation armies are trying in vain to crush by sword and fire the resistance of a tiny people which, with very rudimentary means but with great courage, is fighting for its dignity, honour and freedom. Of course, the Israeli Zionists are only too encouraged by such dangerous and complicated situations which the imperialist super-Powers have created for the peoples of the Middle East.
The bellicose activities of the imperialistic super-Powers are accompanied by an extremely intense demagogic campaign of deceit, aimed primarily at paralysing the will of fighting peoples, preventing the awakening of Moslem peoples, sowing division and discord among the Arab and Moslem peoples and at preventing the formation of a solid and unified current of those peoples in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people, the Afghan people and the Iranian revolution.
Each of the two super-Powers wishes to benefit to the maximum possible extent from the difficulties in which the other finds itself. The United States poses as the defender of the Afghan people to divert peoples' attention from its aggressive designs and conspiracies against the Palestinian people or the Iranian people. The Soviet socio-imperialists are intensifying their demagoguery with respect to the rights of the Palestinian people in the hope of making Arab peoples forget – at least temporarily – the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. But the two super-Powers have very little chance of succeeding in those manoeuvres. Events have torn off the masks of the super-Powers and their demagogic game impresses no one except those who may wish to delude themselves for some special reason.
It goes without saying that solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people cannot be separated from solidarity with the liberation struggle of the Afghan people, and vice versa. Attempts to provoke differences of opinion and discord among progressive peoples and countries – those in the Middle East, in particular – can only benefit the imperialist super-Powers.
It is our deep conviction that the victory of the Palestinian people is inevitable and that the question of Palestine will find a just solution thanks to the struggle of the Palestinian people.
Any attempt to find alleged solutions to the question of Palestine, such as those advocated in the Camp David accords, without taking into consideration the inalienable and indivisible national rights of the Palestinian people – or any attempt to impose on that people decisions taken without its expressed will – is doomed to failure. The Camp David accords have turned out to be an enormous conspiracy hatched by American imperialists, Israeli Zionists and Arab reactionaries against the interests of the Arab peoples – and, more especially, against the national rights and the cause of the Palestinian people.
The course of events during the period following the conclusion of the Camp David accords and the signature of the separate treaty between Israel and Egypt has been utilized to consolidate the aggressive and annexationist policy of the Tel-Aviv Zionists and to extend the American presence in the Middle East. The United States of America has tried to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of one of its main pillars, the Shah's regime in Iran.
The Palestinian people quite correctly and properly rejected and denounced the negotiations on so-called administrative autonomy for the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation – a demagogic farce aimed at eliminating the question of Palestine. These. plots, as well as preceding ones, such as the still-born Geneva Conference on the Middle East or the Joint American-Soviet Declaration of 1 October 1977, stem in part from Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which was adopted under pressure by the imperialist super-Powers. They constitute an impardonable injustice to the people of Palestine. In our view, the Security Council cannot really make any effective contribution to the solution of the question of Palestine. For that question to be settled fairly once and for all, it is necessary that Israel first be compelled to withdraw from all occupied Arab territories and that it put an end to its aggressive and annexationist policy against Arab countries and peoples. It is also necessary to bar interference and plots by the imperialist super-Powers in the Middle East.
The Albanian people and its Government vigorously condemn the aggressive policy of the Israeli Zionists and the imperialist intrigues against the Palestinian people. The Socialist People's Republic of Albania and the Albanian people will continue to lend their support and solidarity to the heroic Palestinian people, and to the just struggle for national liberation which it is waging under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate and authentic representative.
As the leader of the Albanian people, comrade Enver Hoxha, emphasized during an exchange of messages with the President of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat:
"Bearing in mind the love and sincere friendship that we have for the brotherly Arab peoples, the Worker's Party of Albania and the Socialist People's Republic of Albania have pointed out the dangers of the numerous conspiracies hatched by the imperialists aimed at dividing the Arab peoples and snaring them in traps of alleged diplomatic conferences convened under the tutelage of the imperialists … who seek to plunder the territories of the Arab peoples, to sacrifice their rights and, above all, to negate the Palestinian cause.
"That is why today, when the imperialists, the Zionists and their friends weave new plots to oppress the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people and to bury their cause, the Albanian people stand firmly by their side and support their superhuman efforts to defend their indisputable rights".
Mr. KAMANDA wa KAMANDA (Zaire) (interpretation from French):
Mr. President, once again my delegation takes great pleasure in seeing you presiding over these deliberations of the General Assembly. The fact that so eminent a son of Africa should today be presiding over the work of the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine is certainly a sign of the times. It is because, on the one hand, since the end of the Great War more than 60 years ago, the world has clearly undergone great changes and, on the other hand, while it was absent in 1947, when the fate of Palestine was decided upon, Africa today intends to manifest its presence and to make its positive contribution, if not to thwart the intrigues from which the long-suffering people of Palestine have been suffering for more than half a century at least to try to find a solution of one of the most terrible human dramas of our times or, I was going to say – one of the worst swindles of this century. And lastly, the ability with which you presided over the thirty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly and the sixth emergency special session lead us to the conviction, Sir, that the ship on which we have embarked is on course and that our captain is able. My delegation wishes to assure you of its full collaboration in the earnest quest for a just and honest solution of the thorny problem of Palestine.
I should also like, on behalf of the delegation of Zaire, to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman for the tireless efforts they have exerted with a view to restoring the rights of the Palestinian people.
Palestine is today on the world's conscience. When we review the history of Palestine, from the dawn of time to the end of the Ottoman domination, from the Balfour Declaration to the partition resolution through the regime of the Mandate, we cannot escape the conclusion that the Arab people of Palestine has been and continues to be the victim of a coalition of a variety of interests, of hateful machinations of hostile international forces that are insensitive to morality and to the critique of reason and are deaf to the appeals of people whose dignity, honour and rights have been trampled underfoot, forces that will resort to any means to achieve their ends and that are perverse in their stubborn racism. The evidence that has accumulated in the course of half a century in the history of Palestine demonstrate that the Arab people of Palestine have been the target for a deliberate and calculated offensive of such dimensions that it amounts to a crime against humanity, both under international law and under the admitted norms of justice and equity. The fact that the Arab States, in the course of the last 32 years, have not shown any great unity in the objectives they pursued have not been of great help to the Arab people of Palestine either.
Let us hope then that the General Assembly, at its seventh emergency special session, will help to turn a new page in history and inaugurate a new period of unity in the Arab world in the best interests of the people of Palestine and for peace.
Hardly a year ago, on 29 November 1979, 32 years after the adoption of resolution 181 (II) on partition, the General Assembly, at its thirty-fourth regular session, gravely concerned at the fact that no solution had been found to the problem of Palestine, noted that the problem continued to aggravate the Middle East conflict, of which it is the core, and to endanger international peace and security. Accordingly, the General Assembly, in its resolution 34/65 A, reaffirmed that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East could not be established without the achievement of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
It called once more for the invitation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate, on the basis of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) and on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts, deliberations and conferences held on the Middle East and Palestine.
It noted with regret that the Security Council had not taken the action it was urged to take by the General Assembly in paragraph 4 of its resolution 32/40 A.
It once again urged the Security Council to consider the recommendations endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolutions 31/20, 32/40 A, 33/28 A and 34/65 A and to take as soon as possible a decision on them, and, finally, invited the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in the event of the Security Council failing to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 31 March 1980 at the latest, to consider that situation and to make the suggestions it deemed appropriate.
Between March and April 1980, the Security Council, responding to the appeal of the General Assembly, held seven meetings on this serious problem. But, unfortunately, draft resolution S/13911, inspired by resolutions 31/20, 32/40 A, 33/28 A of the General Assembly which could fortunately have led to a happy outcome of the debates of the Council and constituted notable progress in the quest for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem, ran up against the barrier of the veto, this new wailing-wall against which frustrated aspirations and legitimate desires are dashed.
One question then arises: Are all the Members of this Organization which have undertaken international obligations concerning the rights of the Palestinian people and which have recognized that those rights had not been guaranteed either in the course of the Mandate or in the partition resolution truly resolved to find a comprehensive, just, honourable and lasting solution of the Palestinian problem?
It is the answer to this question that we have all come to seek at this seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine, whose results should help to advance the cause of the Palestinian people and the cause of an appropriate solution of the Middle East conflict.
In other words, what we consider that the Security Council has either not done or been unable to do to make progress towards a solution, the General Assembly should do, if we wish to depart from stereotyped and sterile resolutions and demagogic speech-making.
If we wish to do useful work and make an objective contribution to the final settlement of this tragic situation, we should be aware that there are three important elements in the equation of the Middle East and Palestine: the Arabs and the PLO, the Jews and the State of Israel, and, finally, the great Powers.
It is in regard to those elements that the delegation of Zaire would like to make some modest comments on the conditions that must be met to ensure the success of these crucial meetings and to put an end to the tragedy of Palestine.
Since this emergency special session on Palestine is being held under the sign of "Uniting for Peace", we must achieve universality here on the recognition and reaffirmation: first, of the legitimacy of the struggle by the Palestinian people to regain their rights; secondly, of the right of the Palestinian people to political and economic self-determination; thirdly, of the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign State; fourthly, of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their land; fifthly, of the representative character of the PLO and its right to participate, on the basis of General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX) in all the efforts and all the deliberations and negotiations towards a determination of the future of the Palestinian people, on a footing of equality with the other parties; sixthly, of the central role of the question of Palestine in the Middle East dispute; seventhly, of respect for the international status of the city of Jerusalem as the holiest place of the three great monotheistic religions of the world, and the rejection of any unilateral actions and measures designed to annex Jerusalem or change its geographic, demographic and cultural characteristics; and eighthly, and finally, of the requirement that Israel withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied by force.
The Republic of Zaire adheres to those principles; that approach supplements the one taken in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), of 22 November 1967, which, in our view, remains an important basis of the quest for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the Middle East conflict.
On 4 October 1973 the President of the Republic of Zaire stated:
"… the Palestinian people has the same right as the Israeli people, that is, the right to have a homeland and to live in peace". (A/PV.2140, p. 61)
This universality, this universal consensus must also apply to the rejection and condemnation of the annexation of territory by force; the installation of Jewish settlements in the Arab lands of Palestine; the expulsion, deportation and torture of Palestinians, and all other violations of human rights in the Arab land of Palestine; the condemnation of the denial of the Palestinian's. right of return; the expropriation of property and the destruction of houses; the mass arrests and mistreatment of the civilian population, in contradiction of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; the condemnation of obstacles to all kinds of religious freedoms and practices and infringements of respect for family rights and for customs; and, finally, the condemnation of the inhuman treatment and torture of detained persons.
If such a general consensus could be achieved during this emergency special session of the General Assembly, we could look to the future with hope. And why should that not be possible?
Resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, on the partitioning of Palestine, contained the judgement that the situation in Palestine was likely to impair the general welfare and friendly relations among nations and requested that the Security Council should regard as a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by that resolution, and appealed to all Governments and all peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of the recommendations in the resolution.
Everyone knows that since then there have been several attempts to change by force the settlement envisaged in the partition resolution. The Arab State of Palestine was never born, and the Jewish State of Palestine has expanded and has annexed territories not assigned to it under the partition plan. Everyone knows, also, that since then certain States Members of the United Nations, including Israel, have taken action that has hampered or delayed the carrying out of the recommendations contained in the partition plan.
That is why the United Nations, inextricably involved in the question of Palestine, reached the conclusion that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were not guaranteed either during the time of the Mandate over Palestine or in the partition resolution, which was rejected by the Arab States.
Must we then conclude that everything has been irremediably called into question and leave it at that? I do not think so. Time has done its work. Realism and the need for peace have had their effect. Today it appears that all the Arab States and the PLO accept the terms of resolution 181 (II) as guaranteeing their interests and providing the basis for a final solution. Does that not mean that the cause of peace has made progress?
It is incontestable – and history repeatedly confirms this – that Palestine, the land of God but also the land of wars, of confrontation and of migration, has been either simultaneously or successively inhabited by Jews and Arabs, and that each of those two peoples has a right to exist in that part of the world.
A general consensus – for which we appeal very earnestly m, on the principles that we have just set forth would make possible the harmonious and equitable organization of the exercise of the right of each of the two peoples in that part of the world to exist.
On this occasion we wish to express our pleasure at the initiative taken by the nine countries of the European Economic Community in Venice, because it is an important step in the process of the universalization of the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and we ask them to continue their useful work and to pursue their efforts, showing less timidity, for the cause they are defending is a deeply just one.
But in return for this universal recognition of the principles that must govern a just, honourable and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict, the Arab countries should for their part, in our opinion: first, agree to the cessation of all statements of belligerancy or all states of belligerancy; secondly, accept and recognize the State of Israel within the limits in which it was constituted during the implementation of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) on the partition; thirdly, adhere to the principles of respect for and recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of each State in the region and its right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, free from the threat or use of force; and fourthly, and finally, to adhere resolutely to the spirit of peace, in the first place by uniting their forces – for their lack of cohesion has contributed in large part to the strengthening of Israel's position; and then by not giving the impression or believing that the establishment of the independent and sovereign Arab State of Palestine which we support is designed in the final analysis to call into question or infringe upon the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State of Israel. The exploitation that would follow such a position would not be to their advantage.
But, for that, Israel also must assume fully and honestly the obligations incumbent upon it as a Member of the United Nations. For it is Israel which, through the various wars in the Middle East, has fundamentally modified the partition plan, of which it was the primary beneficiary and which provided for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab State and an international status for the whole of Jerusalem.
There was first the concept of the "Jewish national home" and the organized and deliberate return of the Jews from the diaspora, with the purpose of changing the demographic and ethnographic character of Palestine. Then there was the creation of the Jewish State, the expansion of the Jewish State beyond the territories assigned to it under the partition resolution and plan. Then came the expulsion of Palestinians, the establishment of Jewish settlements and the unilateral modification of the status of Jerusalem. The international community gives the impression of being condemned to swallow one fait accompli after the other, no doubt secretly harbouring the hope that that will bring peace to that region and to the world, which so direly needs peace.
But, each time,we are confronted by ever more numerous and pressing demands by Israel. How much longer will Israel go on abusing in that way our dedication to peace, our will and our need for peace? What will Israel try to impose on us next? In the name of what principle, of what moral or other justification is the international community to continue accepting faits accomplis? In the name of what principle, of what moral or other justification are the Arab people of Palestine to be required to sustain the heavy burden of the Nazi crimes?
The General Assembly resolution, adopted on the recommendation of the Security Council in its resolution 69 (1949) of 4 March 1949, which admitted Israel as a Member of the United Nations in May 1949 formally took note of the declaration in which the State of Israel unreservedly accepted its obligations under the United Nations Charter and undertook to honour them from the-day when it became a Member of the United Nations.
Therefore, Israel's membership in the family of the United Nations is linked to its observance of United Nations General Assembly resolutions 131 (II) and 194 (III).
For Israel, the acceptance of and respect for the obligations deriving from those resolutions were not linked to their prior acceptance by the Arab countries which were Members of the Organization at that time. Hence it is difficult to understand why, on the one hand, Israel seeks to justify the application of its laws to the territories occupied in 1948 and the annexation of those territories, including West Jerusalem, on the grounds that the Arab States had not accepted the terms of resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III) and, on the other hand, why it refuses to observe and respect resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967.
If today the State of Israel is the only one in the world to have attained statehood and received its territory by an act of the United Nations and upon the request of the international community, and if Israel considers that the United Nations was competent to take such a decision and that its decisions are binding, then Israel should realize that, to deny the Arab people of Palestine its right to exist, its right to self-determination and its right to have a homeland and to establish an independent and sovereign State on the land of its ancestors is tantamount to its repudiating* the very basis on which the creation of the State of Israel rests. For today also the international community is calling for the creation of the Arab State of Palestine just as it did for the Jewish State, and every Arab State accepts the creation of the Arab State of Palestine, as recommended in resolution 181 (II) on partition.
In brief, it is quite simply a matter of pursuing the implementation of resolution 181 (II), which began with the creation of the State of Israel.
The Arab State of Palestine mentioned in resolution 181 (II), with the boundaries specified in part II A of the partition plan, which was adopted on the recommendation of the Special Committee, is certainly not and by any logic could not be Jordan, for there was no question at that time, of creating a State that already existed. If any doubt persists in the mind of anyone, when history, the texts and the maps are quite clear, one might perhaps seize the opportunity to request, through the Secretary-General, the advice of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations on the issue of whether the Arab State of Palestine referred to in resolution 181 (II) does indeed correspond to Jordan.
No Member State can allege non-compliance by others with certain United Nations resolutions as a pretext for holding them up to ridicule and refusing to implement them.
We all know that nowadays many of the Member States are facing enormous problems with respect to the immediate and long-term future of their peoples that have been plundered, exploited and abandoned by the rich they have made wealthy.
We have come to the Assembly to show our deep commitment to the principles, ideals and noble mission of the United Nations in general and, in particular, to make our contribution – however modest it may be – to the solution of a tragedy that has taken on global dimensions.
By what right do certain States Members of the Organization make use of such a contribution by certain States as a pretext to array their powerful shields and lobbies against them and threaten reprisals of all kinds?
It is time to recognize that such constant intimidation is unacceptable, that such methods constitute in themselves a source of concern and of serious threat to international peace and security and to the right of peoples to determine their own future and that they deeply undermine trust in international relations.
The State of Israel should be wary of giving the impression that it is against the United Nations, which gave it birth, and should have greater respect for States, friendly States, which support the objectives of the United Nations and its mission to save the present generation and succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.
Israel's obstinate determination to consider that part of resolution 181 (II) dealing with the creation of the State of Israel as binding while refusing to consider the other part of that same resolution dealing with the creation of the Arab State of Palestine as also binding is contrary to law and to logic and is in itself a source of major concern and conflicts, the cause of serious threats to international peace and security, in view of the many geopolitical, strategic, military and economic interests which throughout the world are rooted in this area of the Middle East.
In the present state of affairs in the Middle East, we believe that the intransigent attitude of the parties involved could be greatly changed and would gain in moderation and wisdom if the great Powers truly supported the spirit of peace, wished to make an honest and objective contribution, were genuinely interested in the violations of human rights and of all the rights of the Palestinians and if they abandoned their designs, power plays and ill-advised selfish rivalries in that region of the world.
For our part, we should like to believe that the great Powers are not pursuing designs inspired by hegemonistic ideas and struggles in the region of the Middle East, for if, instead of encouraging the search for peace and stability, some allow the impression to be given that they are interested essentially in seeking strong points within the framework of a strategy which includes the control of the lands and waters extending from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf and others that their primary interest is the maintenance of a chronic instability in the Middle East, which would enable them to dig themselves in and maintain their influence the better to thwart the strategy and the designs of their adversaries – all of which matters have nothing to do with the sufferings, privations and the denial of the rights of the Arab people of Palestine – then there will be no
peace in this region in our generation or in that of our children.
Mistrust and war being in the foreground, peace in the Middle East will be found mainly in stereotyped sterile and pompous resolutions, and in demagogic statements in international forums.
It is certainly not in that way that we can build a world of peace – for it is peace that is the real issue here and which seems to be upsetting running counter to the designs of certain Members of the United Nations.
In this matter, we invite the great Powers to demonstrate their full commitment to peace.
We cannot over-emphasize the capital role of the United Nations, first, by virtue of the lofty mission assigned to it by the Charter of promoting peace and co-operation in an atmosphere of trust and to the mutual advantage of all States and, secondly, because of its deep involvement in the problem of the Middle East and Palestine since the end of the British Mandate.
It is the credibility of the world Organization that is at stake, an Organization whose principles, if they were respected, would provide the most effective and surest guarantee of the rights of the majority of Member States and, above all, those States that do not have the means to secure justice for themselves entirely on their own.
For the credibility of the United Nations not to be called into question, which would open the way to an era of adventurism with the most tragic consequences, the Security Council should not be blocked by the action of one or other of the five Powers that are its permanent members in the exercise of its lofty functions in the maintenance of international peace and security or in the implementation of the relevant, realistic and balanced resolutions of the General Assembly, that are inspired by a lucid and peaceful vision of the future of the world.
Any solution centred on the principles that I have recalled, which are consonant with the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, confirming or reaffirming the right of both the Arab and the Jewish peoples of Palestine each to have a homeland, to exist as peoples and to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries, should be guaranteed by the five permanent members of the Security Council, with no exception.
It is then and only they, that all the conditions will have been created for Arabs, Palestinians and Jews to have the courage, for the sake of peace and progress for each and all, to take the decisive step: to recognize each other and to be reunited, because, after all, history is there to tell us that they have a common ancestry. And we shall continue to believe that the Palestine of the Jews and of the Arabs has not betrayed God's memory or transgressed His laws.
Mr. MIRGHANI (Sudan) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, on behalf of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Sudan, I should like once again to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of this important session. We are confident that the able leadership and wisdom you showed when presiding over the thirty-fourth session of the General Assembly will undoubtedly contribute to the success of this emergency special session.
The participation of the delegation of the Sudan in the deliberations of this emergency special session on the question of Palestine is prompted now, as in previous sessions, by an unwavering belief that the establishment of the United Nations by the international community in the wake of the Second World War, some 35 years ago, was a clear manifestation and a practical expression of the international desire to put an end once and for all to war and to establish and maintain lasting peace and security in the world, through, among other things, the total elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The ultimate goal was to create a new world order in which relations between nations would be based on the principles of justice and international law and co-operation founded on equality and mutual respect, and in accordance with international principles and instruments, foremost among which is the United Nations Charter. The Sudan is more and more deeply convinced of the vital, positive and practical role which the United Nations should play in order to achieve the noble goals and high principles for which it was created, as a reservoir of the human heritage and civilization and as the machinery to avert outbreaks of war and all forms of domination.
In spite of hopeful expectations concerning the role of this Organization, one cannot but recall the regrettable fact that the establishment of the United Nations was closely followed by the occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of its people. It is no secret that the United Nations, at a certain period of time and in the absence of most of its current Member States, was used and indeed exploited as a means to create the Zionist entity in Palestine, in clear violation of the rights of its people. It is therefore only logical that the United Nations should shoulder its full responsibility in finding the just and lasting peaceful solution to the Palestinian problem that will put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
For more than two decades, the international community has looked on the question of Palestine as a refugee problem that required only humanitarian aid and not as a fundamental problem related to the self-determination and national independence of a people uprooted from their homes and property.
For more than two decades the international community has turned a deaf ear to the voices of the Palestinian people, to their just and legitimate demands and to their suffering and aspirations. That attitude has only resulted in further complication of the problem and a further worsening of the plight of the Palestinian people. Israel thought that the voice of the Palestinian people was stifled for ever, but the struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, to regain its freedom and usurped rights, like other struggling oppressed peoples suffering under the yoke of colonialism, has prodded the international community into recognizing the magnitude of its problem and its just cause which deserves serious international attention. Consequently, since the twenty-ninth session, the question of Palestine has become a separate item on the General Assembly's agenda. That session was a turning-point in the evolution of the Palestinian question at the United Nations. The significance of the twenty-ninth session is reflected in the adoption, by an overwhelming majority, of General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) which reaffirmed, inter alia, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the inalienable right to return to its homes and property. It also emphasized that full respect for and the implementation of these inalienable rights are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine, and that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It recognized the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
The twenty-ninth session also witnessed another positive development when the General Assembly adopted resolution 3237 (XXIX), in which it recognized the PLO and granted it observer status. For the first time then, people of all nations, particularly those blinded by a distorting international media system, listened to the voice of the Palestinian people. The adoption of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3237 (XXIX) was a victory, not only for the people of Palestine and its sole legitimate representative, the PLO, but indeed for the peoples of the third world and all peace-loving nations.
It is puzzling and equally saddening that the positive developments at the international level concerning the Palestinian question, reflected in the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians by the majority of nations, was accompanied by an increased Israeli intransigence towards the just Palestinian demands for the exercise of their inalienable rights, and an intensification of repression against the Palestinian people, uprooting them and devouring their land and property in order to transform the geographic and demographic nature of all the occupied Arab lands and thus perpetuate the Zionist occupation of Palestine and other Arab lands. In pursuing these policies and using repressive means, including State terrorism, Israel is unashamedly defying the will of the international community and flagrantly violating the Charter of the United Nations and international norms and instruments. Israel does not even attempt to hide its disregard of and indeed its disrespect for the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. Israel's greed was not confined to that. As we know, it went so far in its expansionist and aggressive policies as to annex more Arab land in its persistent attempts to establish more Jewish settlements.
We all know that the Zionist entity is the only State in the world that has no fixed geographical borders. Its borders expand in direct proportion to the ghoulish appetite of the international Zionist movement for more territory. A glance at the rate of the cancerous growth of the Zionist entity in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, its policy of building illegal settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and other occupied Arab territories, its aggression against and occupation of southern Lebanon and its annexation of Jerusalem, clearly show the terrifying size of the problem. The establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East will therefore remain an unattainable dream unless the international community, represented by the United Nations, puts an end to the Israeli aggression and expansion and to the endless aid and support Israel is receiving, enabling it to pursue its expansionist policies, its attitude of arrogance and its defiance of the will of the international community, and its violation of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
What took place at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly was the first step towards bringing about a positive change in the handling of the question of Palestine in the United Nations. That step was followed by the establishment under General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. At the following General Assembly session, the recommendations of that Committee were endorsed in resolution 31/20 as a basis for the solution of the Palestinian question. Ever since, successive sessions of the General Assembly re-endorsed those recommendations until the thirty-fourth session.
The basic principles that guided the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People emanate from the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, Those basic principles are as follows. First, the question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East problem. No settlement of the Middle East problem can be reached without taking fully into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Secondly, the implementation of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property,its right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, will contribute towards a lasting settlement of the Middle East problem. Thirdly, the full participation of the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, is indispensable in the efforts towards reaching a settlement. Fourthly, by virtue of the principle of the inadmissability of the acquisition of land by force there must be a total and immediate withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab lands.
Since these guiding principles emanate from the United Nations Charter, it was only natural that the overwhelming majority of Member States of the United Nations endorsed the recommendations of the Committee. This was clearly stated in different regional and international forums, and particularly in conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It is now a glaring fact that there is unanimity and a concurrence in international public opinion is unanimous in agreeing on the justice of the cause of the Palestinian people and on the parameters within which the search for a just and lasting peace should be conducted. In spite of this almost universal recognition of the just cause of the Palestinian people, my delegation regrets to note the inability of the Security Council to reflect and implement the international will, and its failure since 1976 to adopt the necessary measures that would ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Council was once more unable to act last April, in spite of the urgent need then for decisive action in the light of the illegal measures taken by Israel in establishing new settlements in occupied Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, in clear contravention of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions and in flagrant violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention governing the treatment and protection of civilians in time of war.
I do not have to dwell on the reason behind the failure of the Security Council to take action on the recommendations of the Committee, nor the fact the Council's inability to shoulder its responsibility only encourages the Zionist leadership in Israel to pursue its expansionist policies through repressive measures against the Palestinian people and the Arabs in the occupied territories. The sinister objective is to empty the occupied territories of their Arab people and to replace them by Jewish immigrants, whose influx is planned and encouraged by international zionism.
The failure of the Council to take the necessary measures on the Committee's recommendations further encourages Israel to persist in denying the Palestinian people the exercise of their legitimate and natural rights, which are guaranteed in the United Nations Charter and which were endorsed by the international community represented by the General Assembly. Faced with such a serious situation, the General Assembly, meeting today in an emergency special session, has no alternative but to shoulder its responsibility for restoring justice in the fulfilment of its obligations under the United Nations Charter, foremost among which is the maintenance of peace and justice.
We meet today in an emergency special session to ponder over the next step to be taken, fully realizing that the challenge of Israel's refusal to recognize the natural and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people has now acquired serious international dimensions. This denial constitutes the core of the Middle East conflict, a conflict that poses a serious threat to peace and security in the whole region.
It is now imperative that this session lead to a more positive and firm handling of the Palestinian question in the United Nations, the more so because this session has been convened at a time when Israel's defiance of the authority of the United Nations is reaching an unprecedented limit. Israel's disgraceful behaviour leaves the United rations no choice but to impose its will and enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights and thereby restore peace and security to that conflict-torn area. The deteriorating situation in the Middle East makes it essential for the United Nations urgently to fulfil its obligation and duty to find a just solution to the Palestinian question that would save that area and the world from a catastrophe.
The experience of past years has shown that the rulers of the Zionist entity are incapable of realistically assessing the situation prevailing; in the Middle East. Because of that failure, it has continued to ignore the numerous resolutions adopted by this Organization and it has refused to bow to the will of the international community. Under such conditions we believe that it is the duty of the United Nations to adopt a tougher and firmer approach in dealing with the Zionist entity to ensure the effective implementation of its resolutions. However, such a new approach can be found only if ways and means are found to ensure actual and practical implementation of those resolutions.
Because of Israel's record on United Nations resolutions, a number of questions must be raised at this emergency special session. Is it not high time that the United Nations, and in particular the General Assembly, began finding ways and means of ensuring the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and its handing over of the evacuated territories to their lawful owners? Is it not high time that the United Nations strove to ensure that a people that has waited and suffered so much may exercise its natural inalienable rights? And above all we ask, has the time not come for this world Organization to defend its integrity and exercise its authority, since that is the only way to achieve the objectives and apply the principles upon which and for which the United Nations was founded, and to regain the confidence of millions of people, especially those of small nations, who have no alternative but to resort to this august body? The answers to these questions should form the basis of a general framework within which this emergency special session should conduct its efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question.
We cannot talk about the plight of the Palestinian and Arab peoples under Zionist occupation without being reminded at every juncture of the plight of the peoples of South Africa under the racist white minority régime of Pretoria. Indeed, the similarity between the two illegal régimes of Tel Aviv and Pretoria and their practice of racism, apartheid and repression against the Palestinians and the South African people has led to the development of a sinister close co-operation between the two régimes in the economic, political, military and nuclear fields. Perhaps an explanation of these two régimes' defiance of the will of the international community, and indeed the authority of the United Nations itself, could be found in such similarities and closer ties between the two racist régimes. Because of the seriousness of this matter, African and Arab nations, together with all other freedom and peace=loving nations, have continuously demanded that the United Nations adopt a firm and tough attitude when dealing with Israel and South Africa by resorting to the application of the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter against the two racist régimes. This is, we believe, the only way to ensure their compliance with United Nations resolutions and to put an end to their racist inhuman policies and practices.
In calling for the application of the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter, my delegation feels it is necessary to point out that such a course of action must be reinforced by the strong commitment of all Member States to abstain from giving the two illegal régimes any assistance that would help them to continue their defiance of the international will and the United Nations authority and to pursue their inhuman racist policies.
Our keenness to consider the question of Palestine at an emergency special session of the General Assembly is a reflection and a reaffirmation of our keenness and that of the overwhelming majority of Member States, and in particular the Arab countries, to find a just and comprehensive peaceful solution to the question of Palestine. In opting for peace we reaffirm our respect for and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly the non-use of force or threats of force and settlement of disputes by peaceful means. As we see it, the achievement of a just and lasting peaceful solution to the Palestinian question is primarily the responsibility of the United Nations. Failure or inaction could only result in the already deteriorating situation in the Middle East leading. it to the brink of a war that would not only engulf that area but be a worldwide catastrophe.
To enable the United Nations to meet its responsibility to achieve a just and lasting peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and hence of the Middle East conflict, the delegation of the Sudan pledges to exert all efforts and to co-operate fully with other delegations in the search for and adoption of the necessary measures to realize the hopes and aspirations of Arabs and Islamic nations and all freedom and peace-loving nations, and above all the aspirations and just demands of the Palestinian people. Those. measures should bring about an immediate Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and the implementation under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination without any external interference, to return to their homes and property, to national independence and sovereignty and to the establishment of its own independent State on its own territory.
Mr. GHALI (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, it is a source of great pleasure for me to see you presiding over the present emergency session of the General Assembly. You guided our deliberations at the previous regular session of the General Assembly with ability, insight and firmness. I should like to seize this opportunity to pay a tribute through you to your great and fraternal country, Tanzania, a main pillar in Africa's struggle for freedom and a better future, and to President Julius Nyerere, Africa's elder statesman. Egypt's affirmative response to the Secretary. General's Note concerning the convening of the emergency special session on the question of Palestine is dictated by the basic principles that govern Egyptian endeavours to safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people.
Hence our position during this session will reflect the following five principles: First, the Palestinian problem constitutes the core of the Middle East conflict, and therefore no peace can be established without a just solution of that problem and the full restoration of the long-neglected rights of the Palestinian people, thereby enabling them to take their place among all the other peoples that have achieved their rights and freedoms on the basis of the exercise of the fundamental right to self-determination.
Secondly, the responsibility of the international community, as represented by the United Nations, is well established and recognized in all matters relating to the liberation of peoples and the exercise of the right to self-determination, a right that constitutes the foundation of the international system which emerged following the Second World War, as stated in the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
Thirdly, that all the positive and constructive steps undertaken by Egypt towards bringing an end to the state of stagnation and inertia which has plagued the Palestinian problem – a situation that has, regrettably, become a quasi-established condition of our contemporary era – constitute but the first step towards the restoration of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. Within that context, it follows that the interim arrangements agreed upon at Camp David should be viewed in their proper and correct perspective. What must be underlined is their transitional nature. They represent a means to an end, and not an end in themselves. Under no circumstances should we confuse means with ends. It should therefore be recognized that Egypt's endeavours could, provided good faith prevails, effectively contribute towards creating a favourable climate conducive to altering the present conditions. Occupation would gradually give way to independence in which the Palestinian Arab people could exercise their right to self-determination. No more time should be wasted. We should resist attempts to draw us into polemics and unwarranted rivalries a sorry state of affairs that has emasculated, and still continues to emasculate, positive collective Arab efforts over many years and is threatening to cripple international action by undermining the opportunities available for a solution to the Middle East problem in its entirety.
Fourthly, the Israeli intransigence is not only continuing but increasing, in the absence of effective international pressure, at a time when Israeli policy is taking advantage of the poisoned atmosphere prevailing in the Arab world, brought about by over-bidding, histrionics and wilful distortions.
Fifthly, the discrepancies among the various Arab countries with respect to their degrees of commitment to establishing a just peace in the area and to a just solution of the Palestinian problem have encouraged Israel to continue evading the responsibilities laid upon it by the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations, and the peace accords. Once again we are witnesses to Israel's persistence in its attempts to alter the status of Jerusalem, to intensify its colonialist settlements policy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to its consistent striving to dilute its binding obligations in the pursuit of a solution to the Palestinian problem in all its aspects. The current fratricidal conflict in Lebanon and the untold sorrow and suffering sustained by its people stand as a vivid and glaring manifestation of Israel's high-handed policy.
This emergency session is taking place at a crucial juncture in the Palestinian problem, a problem which includes the question of Jerusalem. It is therefore up to us to ensure its successful outcome and thus to contribute positively to the advancement of the Palestinian cause. That cannot be achieved unless realism, logic and wisdom prevail. It is therefore imperative that we seriously and objectively confront the problems that lie ahead. We must avoid emotionalism and abusive language and, finally, we should dedicate ourselves to constructive work instead of being drugged by eloquent words and carried away by our own rhetoric.
Egypt will not engage in sterile debates on the historic role it has played, and continues to play, in establishing the appropriate international framework for the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and to create their own entity on the basis of justice and democracy as stipulated in various resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Over the past 30 years the Palestinian people have been denied the exercise of those basic rights due to the obstructionist attitude adopted by successive Israeli Governments and encouraged by the rejectionist mentality espoused by certain Arab leaders and political parties – a mental attitude that trapped them in their own rhetoric and rendered them willing victims of Israeli intransigence.
Egypt's historic role has been to break that vicious circle through an unwavering struggle to enable the Palestinian people effectively to exercise their rights and to build a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Egypt, which has always been in the forefront of the Palestinian struggle, is now being subjected to a smear campaign aimed at bringing its integrity arid sincerity into question. Is it not ironic that all the sacrifices of the Egyptian people have been overlooked? What will realistically accrue to the Palestinian people from such policies of deliberate distortion?
It is relevant to recall that the same Egyptian Government took the courageous decision to launch the glorious Ramadan-October War and that the Egyptian people bore the brunt of that war, which was initiated to recover the occupied land and to involve the Palestinian people as an effective participant in the establishment of peace in the Middle East. The Ramadan-October war, as well as the signing of the peace accords, have succeeded in shifting the focus of the international community towards the solution of the problem of the Palestinian people. That was the main objective of Egyptian policy. Egypt has proceeded, with determined steps, to overcome all the obstacles on that path, whether created by Israeli intransigence or the negative escapist policies of some Arab Governments which seek refuge from reality in their rejectionism.
The problem of the Palestinian people cannot be resolved in the absence of its representatives. We should, however, recognize the distinction between absence and absenting oneself. The latter should not be used as a weapon to hinder progress towards a solution, or to serve the insidious interests of partisan manoeuvres, ethnic factions and selfish whims, whose combined effect is detrimental to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
History is witness to the fact that when President Sadat undertook his historic initiative on 19 November 1977, he clearly and firmly declared and defined to the Israelis, the Arabs, and the entire world that a just peace must be solidly founded on the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people – foremost amongst those rights being the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State in Palestine. It is also a matter of historical record that the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization was the first to be sent an invitation to attend the Cairo Conference in order to participate on an equal footing with Israel, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,, together with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
The presence of the representatives of the Palestinian people would have irrevocably reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to participate equally with Israel in establishing peace in the Middle East. Moreover, the Palestinians would have devised a practical formula for their effective participation. However, the PLO leadership refused to attend, participate or negotiate, and the situation remains unchanged. By this self-chosen stance, the PLO leadership lost an opportunity to participate in, and contribute to, establishing peace.
The absence of the Palestinians serves primarily the designs of Israel, and provides it with possibilities to expand its greedy ambitions, its inflexibility, intransigence and anachronistic and fanatical arguments. It also serves the narrow and parochial objectives of certain Arab parties, the grandiose leadership ambitions of the rejectionists and the hegemonist strategies. The Arab rejectionists would do well to realize that Egypt has decided to accept no constraints on its freedom of action. Such constraints only serve the interests of partisan manoeuvres and factionalism. The cost to Egypt, over three decades, was prohibitive, in terms .both of the welfare of the people and of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, to say nothing of the plundering of its resources and the martyrdom of some of its finest youth.
The Palestine question is in essence a pan-Arab problem, affecting the security and survival of all the peoples of the area. As such, it is by definition also an Egyptian problem. Accordingly, the absence of a solution to it poses a grave danger to the peace and security of Egypt. Egypt has, therefore, no alternative but to continue to struggle for a just and lasting solution to the Palestine problem.
The gravity of the present situation stems from two parallel considerations: first the injustices stemming from Israel's repression against, and displacement of, the Palestinians, and the continued occupation of Palestinian territory; secondly, the future of the Palestinian people continues to be sabotaged and subjected to over-bidding and utter disregard, in furtherance of the interests of well-known Arab groups, which, in turn, are promoting the interests of certain foreign Powers.
In the light of the foregoing, Egypt has adopted an approach towards a comprehensive peace based on the following principles: first, the settlement has to be peaceful and comprehensive; secondly, the settlement has to be based on the principles of justice and international law; thirdly, the settlement has to reflect the provisions of the United Nations Charter and conform with United Nations resolutions – in particular, Security Council resolution 242 (1967); fourthly, the settlement cannot start from a vacuum, and it should not overlook the recent diplomatic efforts within the framework of the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations, the Tripartite Peace Talks, the European initiative or any other positive diplomatic effort undertaken towards the creation of peace and security in the area.
Egypt has, therefore, opted for exploring every avenue leading to peace and stability. Egypt is determined to pursue the path defined by the United Nations Charter for the peaceful settlement of disputes. The October War has put matters in their proper perspective and enabled all to stand on the solid ground of reality, while shattering any intoxicating and inflated designs or deceptive illusions of superiority or grandeur.
Consequently, Egypt's approach to the solution of the Palestinian problem is based on the following principles: .first, Israel should withdraw to the pre-5 June 1067 lines, whether on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, or the Gaza Strip; secondly, Israeli withdrawal should be complete, entailing the withdrawal of military forces, the dismantling of settlements and the removal of settlers; thirdly, security arrangements should be on the basis of reciprocity; the security of the Palestinian people and the people of Israel should be on an equal footing; fourthly, the Palestinian people should exercise, without any external interference, the inalienable and fundamental right to self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State on the West Bank and Gaza.
In its constant struggle for the attainment of Palestinian rights, Egypt has been able to make the peace accords and their framework a binding legal obligation on Israel. Furthermore, for the first time since the emergence of the Palestine problem., Israel has been confronted.. with the need to recognize specific obligations, the most important of which are: first, the Palestine question as a political and not a refugee problem; secondly, the undeniable existence of legitimate rights for the Palestinian people; thirdly, participation and negotiation on an equal footing with the representatives of the Palestinian people; fourthly, recognition of a Palestinian authority which would replace the Israeli military government and its civilian administration in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, fifthly, a specified interim time-frame for the fulfilment of these objectives.
Notwithstanding these accomplishments, Egypt continues to maintain that all this does not constitute a final solution or the end of the road, but only an interim stage towards a just settlement of the Palestinian problem in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter and a first step towards the restoration of the national legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, Egypt has insisted on the implementation of certain measures to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and has stood firmly against the terrorist and arbitrary measures directed against the Palestinian people.
I have attempted to enumerate some of the efforts undertaken by my country. However, there is one point that I should like to stress and bring to the Assembly's attention in complete candour, and that is the intransigent, obstructionist and rejectionist stance of Israel. Israel is now trying to renege on its obligations, taking advantage of Arab rejectionism. Rejectionism, in fact, has become the meeting ground of both Israel, and the Arab rejectionists. The two sides may have different motives. However, they have one objective: neither wants a Palestinian State. That is their common objective, thus furthering their respective designs: Israeli expansionism, on the one hand, and the hegemonist dreams of certain Arab regimes, on the other. Egypt firmly opposes Arab negative rejectionism and Israel's attempts to obstruct and to renege on its obligations.
Thus, Israel's attitude requires a firm stand on the part of the international community. The unilateral and arbitrary measures undertaken by Israel with regard to Jerusalem have already been considered null and void on the basis of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and its violation of the world consensus concerning the status of Jerusalem, a consensus which rejects any one-sided measure to change the status of the Holy City. Israel's fanatic claims are a transparent disguise of a stand bred by introversion and ethnocentrism, and a denial of the rights of man.
Arab rights in Jerusalem are incontestable. It can be said that the Islamic and Christian shrines in the Holy City are an eloquent testimony to centuries of religious tolerance and of undeniable Islamic and Christian rights. This fact alone cogently and totally refutes the allegations advanced by the Israeli representatives here in this very hall.
In the meanwhile, I assert the right of all believers – Moslems, Christians and Jews – unimpeded access to their respective mosques, churches and synagogues. Such is the great heritage of Islam, which respects the rights of all faiths and Such is the great heritage of Islam, Fast Jerusalem. The fate of creeds. Arab sovereignty should be restored to Jerusalem should be settled without reference to expansionist dreams or delusions of aggression and prejudice.
If the recent news reports concerning the motion in the Israeli Knesset to enact legislation that would make Jerusalem the capital of Israel have any credibility, I declare in solemn and clear terms that the Egyptian Government will consider any such action as an infringement Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of international law and international of legitimacy. Such Israeli action should therefore warrant a firm the international community, a stand that should be based on the following elements: First, there must be no recognition of any unilateral Israeli measures in Jerusalem. Legitimacy can never be conferred on such illegal measure. Secondly, those measures must be declared null and void in conformity with the, principles of international law and the purposes and principles of recognize United Nations Charter. Thirdly, all States should be urged not Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Fourthly, the question of Jerusalem, in all its entirety, should be submitted to the Security Council, in keeping with the principal resolutions adopted by both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Fifthly, the following principles must be reaffirmed as pertinent to the solution of the question of Jerusalem: the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war; the necessity of Israeli withdrawal from Fast Jerusalem, which thus restoring is an integral and indivisible part of the occupied West Bank, thus restoring it to Arab sovereignty; the right of the people of East Jerusalem, as part of the population of the West Bank and therefore of the Palestinian people, to exercise their national and legitimate rights; the guarantee of access to all adherents of the three monotheistic faiths to their respective places of worship; and integration of the main services in the Holy City as a step towards a special régime for the entire city of Jerusalem that would take into account all the rights of all its residents and the position of the international community.
In conclusion on behalf of the Government of Egypt, from this rostrum I call upon the Government of Israel to desist from all actions aimed at altering the status of Jerusalem. That policy cannot but undermine and damage opportunities for attaining peace. If further pursued, it will have a negative effect on the present endeavours for peace.
All the Israeli measures adopted in implementation of its colonial settlement policy, to continue to establish settlements, are categorically rejected. Such policies violate the territorial integrity of Palestinian land, thus undermining the basis of the final settlement, a settlement that should be based on denouncing and renouncing expansionism and permitting the Palestinian people to exercise their rights in their land.
The resolutions adopted by the competent United Nations organs, foremost among them those adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, reaffirmed the principles of international law and legitimacy. Regardless of how long Israel's intransigence and procrastination continue, it will not change the illegality of Israel's measures. All Israeli attempts to legitimize and justify such measures are doomed to failure. Legitimacy can never be conferred on such measures.
Thirdly, Israel's repressive policies towards the inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip must be brought to an immediate end. Israel should respect the provisions of the humanitarian Conventions applicable to military occupation and should respect the rights of civilian inhabitants under occupation, in accordance with the provisions of the Hague regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The illegitimate expulsion of the West Bank Mayors by the Israeli occupation authorities, together with the brutal and senseless acts of murder perpetrated by extremist Israeli groups, stands as glaring testimony to the steadily deteriorating conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories. The time has come for the General Assembly to adopt a firm position towards the dangerous situation resulting from continued Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory.
Fourthly, we firmly and solemnly call on Israel to bear in mind that the establishment of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East can be achieved only through a just solution to the Palestinian problem. We mean every word we agreed upon for the achievement of peace: that a strong and effective Palestinian authority should be established, in the West Bank and Gaza, endowed with legislative, executive and judicial powers; that this authority should be representative of every inch and every person in the occupied territories, including Arab Jerusalem; and that this authority should participate, on an equal footing, in the progress towards a solution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspects.
The unholy alliance between the rejectionists on both sides, the paranoia of the extremists on both sides and the silence of those who fear peace and its requirements should not obstruct our endeavours. On the contrary, it should prompt us to adopt a firm stand towards all those who resist peace and work against equity, stability and peace.
In conclusion, I should like to make an appeal to both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples.
The people of Israel I urge to support peace and human rights firmly and to renounce expansionism, occupation and terrorism in favour of a policy of peaceful coexistence, brotherhood and conciliation.
The Palestinian people I urge to channel their struggle towards the path of peace, to appraise the situation realistically, in a comprehensive and objective manner and to repudiate the tutelage imposed upon them by certain quarters whose interests run counter to those of the Palestinian people.
Finally, I appeal to all of you to reject the outbiddings, whether Arab or Israeli. I call upon the representatives of the international community to proceed collectively, with determined steps, towards peace so that justice may prevail and no side may subdue the other. Respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination and security for all should be the fundamental principles upon which the comprehensive settlement in the Middle East may be solidly established.
With conviction, perseverance, determination and patience, Egypt calls upon the representatives of the international community present here to unite their efforts in supporting a just peace in the Middle East and to take positive steps to bring about the proper conditions to enable the people of Palestine to exercise their right to self-determination within the context of comprehensive peace and permanent justice for all the peoples and nations of the Middle East.
We appeal to the Palestinian Arab people and the Israeli people to engage in an intensive dialogue with a view to bringing about mutual recognition and the reciprocal acceptance of their right to enjoy peace, security and mutual respect.
It is our conviction that the Palestinian people have an overwhelming desire for peace and reconciliation. It is our conviction that the people of Israel have an overwhelming desire for peace and reconciliation. Both peoples have bitterly tasted the scourge of war and aggression and have borne the burdens of devastating wars. The time has come for us to offer the future generations the blessings of mutual peace and justice. It is high time for liberty and justice to be upheld and oppression and aggression to be eradicated.
We are shouldering during this session a historic responsibility. We have to strive for reconciliation, coexistence and justice. That is the corner-stone of the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
History shall judge us by the extent of our success or the extent of our failure. May God give us guidance.
Mr. SALLAH (Gambia): Mr. President, it is always a pleasure to see you, a true son of Africa, presiding over the proceedings of this Assembly. You have contributed much to the maintenance of peace and freedom in Africa and you therefore deserve our eternal thanks.
No one aware of the struggles of the Palestinian people in its own homeland before 1948 and conscious of its problems immediately after the establishment of the State of Israel can deny the fact that the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict is not whether Israel has the right to exist within secure and recognized boundaries but the undeniable fact that the Palestinian people has been forcefully ejected from its homeland and denied its inalienable rights to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty. Four major wars in the Middle East – in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 – are directly related to the Arab-Israeli conflict initiated by the establishment of the State of Israel in total disregard of the rights of the Palestinian people within its territory. This conflict was created at the time of the initial Jewish settlement and after the achievement of Israeli statehood, when Israel refused to allow the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland after the outbreak of hostilities which had precipitated the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 and after. These events are a deplorable reminder of the conditions existing in the Middle East as a direct result of the establishment of the State of Israel.*
The problem in the area does not reside in the existence of the State of Israel; the problem resides in the methods employed by the Zionists when they initiated settlements in Palestine. The Zionists were not crowding out "ghosts" or "phantoms" when they initiated their practices of expropriation and dispossession and the take-over of Arab land. Instead of accepting the fact and the reality of the existence of the Palestinians, their inalienable right of residence in the Arab land of Palestine and their corresponding right to the land, the Zionists unfortunately continue systematically and deliberately to ignore these facts.
It is unfortunate that, instead of negotiating viable agreements for coexistence and the sharing of the land and available resources in the Middle East, the Zionists, working on the premeditated, preconceived rationale of exclusionist zionism, continue to confiscate land and dispossess, intimidate and kill Palestinians. This process is so severe that open conflict in the area is bound to continue. Armed confrontation is inevitable and war will follow. The amazing thing is how a people, which witnessed and experienced some of the worst atrocities perpetrated on man, could in turn practise such cruelty on other human beings.
The Palestinians are no different from the Jews or any other people when their inalienable rights are violated. These violations arouse a basic, primordial response rooted in most human beings,which is elicited for the protection of their dignity and their property when they are threatened. The liberation struggle of the Palestinian people, which is decried by Israel as "terrorism", is no more than the struggle waged by valiant liberation fighters in Africa and Asia and by other oppressed peoples when they have found it necessary to extricate themselves from the effects of tyranny. It is always the sum total of transgressions of the basic human rights of a people that elicits the type of response they employ. It is the view of my delegation that the Palestinian people is definitely not the aggressor but the victim of aggression.
The struggle of the Palestinian people should be seen in the context of their fundamental right to freedom from aggression and oppression, the recognition of their inalienable rights and the opportunity to exercise these rights in the context of their own borders – as a distinct people, a unique viable entity working in peace and harmony with all in the area of conflict, while all help one another to design their distinct destiny, like all peoples since the inception of the human race.
In this context, and in the special position of a black African nation on a continent which has experienced tyranny, slavery, degradation and death, we realize the need for the,struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of their inalienable rights and freedom in the context of an independent Palestinian State and sovereign domain that would coexist in peace, within secure and recognized boundaries, with all other States in the area including Israel. It is because of this cherished dream that my delegation joined other like-minded delegations in placing the case of the Palestinian people before this Assembly.
The presentation of my delegation's position on this issue today is not made as simply another registration of protest or condemnation. Such protests and condemnations have already been registered by my country and many others in the Assembly and other international forums over the years. This presentation is made because of the overwhelming repetition of various transgressions by Israel against the Palestinians, despite all the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement – all of which, regrettably, rest on their own rocky ground, as a result of the continued establishment of Israeli settlements and the confiscation of land in Arab areas, in direct contravention of United Nations resolutions and in defiance of international protests. These contraventions make it incumbent upon my delegation, as a Member of this world Organization, and as a significant participant among the foremost defenders of the human rights of our people and those of others which this organization represents, to call for the implementation of the resolutions which the United Nations has already seen fit to adopt.
Enough people have died in the Middle East. Enough land has been destroyed. Enough indignities have been suffered. Enough evidence, moreover, has been seen to verify and justify the claims of the victims of the transgressions – the Palestinian Arabs who live in fear of their lives and in fear of the loss of their property and livelihood, both within the State of Israel and within the neighbouring States, and particularly within the illegally occupied Arab lands.
It is the dispersal and the suffering of millions of Palestinians that cries out to be ended. It is their dispossessed condition and the lack of a place to call "home" that demands rectification. It is towards the complete and total rectification of the plight and condition of the Palestinian people – the solution of which is the crux of the Middle East problem – that this statement is directed. It is towards the just resolution of the problem by way of a comprehensive solution, the sole basis on which peace in the Middle East can be achieved, towards that end that my delegation presents its porition on this issue.
The Gambian delegation, having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX), wishes to affirm once more the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of return and the right to national independence and the establishment of its own independent sovereign State in Palestine, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. We also reaffirm the legitimacy of their struggle and their right to self-determination without any outside interference, in keeping with the principles of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Gambian delegation views the obstinacy and the continued policy of occupation and expansion of Israel and its refusal to comply with the principles of the United Nations Charter and its resolutions as attempts to perpetuate a deadlock, particularly as Israel is trying to gain time and prolong its occupation in a bid to create a fait accompli in the hope of gaining a major edge in negotiations by the reality of established settlements in illegally occupied Arab land and in the hope of losing less or gaining more when the time arrives for final negotiations with all the parties concerned.
My delegation is gravely concerned over the measures introduced by the Israeli Government to change the status and the character of the Holy City of Jerusalem. These measures are undoubtedly testimony to Israel's avowed determination forcefully to annex Jerusalem, undermine any search for a fair and just settlement of the conflict and aggravate the serious situation prevailing in the area. The recent attempts by the Israeli Government to make the Holy City of Jerusalem its capital reinforce the critical problems which already exist. The Gambia, as a member of the Islamic Conference, fully subscribed to the view expressed by the Islamic Foreign Ministers on the question of Palestine.
My delegation considers it in the best interest of peace in the area to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Arab land occupied since 1967. We humbly suggest further that the Security Council consider the adoption of mandatory measures, under Chapter VII of the Charter, to bring about the immediate implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions by Israel.
My delegation recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, through the mandate given to it by the Palestine National Council, and pledges its support for the endeavours of that group in the interests of the Palestinian people. The Gambia congratulates the PLO on its designation as Observer in the United Nations and also congratulates the United Nations on its recognition of the special significance of the PLO and its place in the negotiating process to ensure the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
On this subject of representation, it is imperative that the Palestinian people and their legitimate representative the PLO be involved completely in all the steps, decisions and actions taken as a result of negotiations pertaining to them and for the protection of their vital interests, manifested in the restoration and preservation of the unimpeded practice of their inalienable rights.
Not only must the Palestinian people and the PLO, together with other parties in any negotiations, be present at and aware of all steps and decisions in the process, but the procedure and its decisions must meet with the complete and final approval of the Palestinians and must be seen by them to be in their best interests.
The exigencies of the circumstances presented above are clear and the implications of their continuance are formidable. The expeditious implementation of resolutions for their immediate rectification is therefore imperative for the Palestinians, whose condition deteriorates gravely with every delay, and for the successful maintenance of peace and stability in the Middle East, since the ramifications of the failure of that peace to survive will affect the whole world.
The Gambian delegation therefore calls on the General Assembly and the Security Council, whose duty and responsibility it is to promote and maintain peace and stability in the world, to strengthen and fortify its resolve in the execution of its duties by giving prompt attention to the rectification of the problems recalled in this Assembly. We also call on the Member States of those bodies and their affiliated organizations, whose votes and decisions make the United Nations functions operative, to give due and proper attention to the Palestinian problem by giving the authorization necessary for the expedient implementation of the resolutions of this Assembly.
The immediate enactment of the necessary procedures in this case is urgent for the proper protection of the aggrieved Palestinian people. Towards that end, my delegation sees it as incumbent upon the General Assembly and the Security Council to bring sufficient pressure to bear on the offending party, to inhibit and prevent further transgression in flagrant contravention of resolutions already passed, which are germane to this case and pertinent to the Palestinian cause.
Finally I wish to express my delegation's appreciation to the nations participating in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and in particular to its Chairman, the Ambassador of Senegal, for having called for this emergency special session on the question of Palestine and for their efforts on behalf of the Palestinian people. It is our hope that all Members of the United Nations and of other international organizations, whether governmental or private, as well as individual groups and nations will, after a more thorough hearing of the case brought before them, realize the grave need for action for the achievement of a total Comprehensive solution, so necessary for the complete resolution of the Palestinian problem. The Gambia is encouraged by the initiative taken by the European Economic Community (EEC) towards that goal. While we admit that the recent pronouncement made by the EEC did not go far enough, it was a step in the right direction. The EEC must be encouraged to continue the search for peace, a fair, just and lasting peace.
Mr. KASIM (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): Mr. President, it is my privilege on this occasion when we are assembled in an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the question of Palestine, to express our deep appreciation for efforts that Ambassador Salim has exerted and continues to exert in supporting the cause of freedom and justice and in particular the Palestinian cause. Such support is in consonance with his widely acknowledged standing as a diplomat of great distinction. I am firmly convinced just as he steered the last regular session of the General Assembly in an exemplary manner, so his conduct of the current session will be equally outstanding.
It is also my privilege to pay a tribute through him to the great and friendly people of Tanzania and the peoples of Africa who have consistently supported right and justice.
I wish also to pay a special tribute to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Waldheim, for his commendable efforts towards implementing the principles of the United Nations Charter, not to mention his efforts in serving the cause of peace and security in the world, foremost in which is the Palestinian cause.
To His Excellency Falilou Kane, Ambassador of the friendly Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and to the members of that Committee we express our admiration and appreciation for the diligent work they have done in articulating the rights of the Palestinian people and consolidating those rights in the international arena.
We are assembled here today in an emergency special session to discuss anew the case which has preoccupied the world for more than 30 years, namely the question of Palestine.
Jordan is participating in these historic deliberations in a spirit of maximum recognition and realization of their great gravity and dimensions. Jordan is also prompted by the most profound commitment to its responsibilities, because the question pertains to the very pillars of the life and fate of an entire people – the people of Palestine – which has been afflicted by a catastrophe almost unparallelled in magnitude and devastation. And whereas the fate of this cause directly affects the Palestinian Arab people, it likewise has an impact in its repercussions on the future of the Arab nations in all their countries, as it by corollary affects the peace of the world in its entirety.
I do not intend to present an elaborate review of the cause. The question of Palestine has become the cause of the world community in its entirety and has taken up more of the efforts of the General Assembly and of the United Nations than any other cause in contemporary history. Consequently, the States of the world have finally come to comprehend its reality and political, legal and humanitarian dimensions. That has been achieved as the waves of illusion and distortion persistently disseminated by Israel in its relentless efforts to falsify the historical realities before world public opinion have receded.
The people of Palestine, the Arab nation and all friendly countries and upholders of right and justice everywhere have all succeeded in uncovering Israeli distortions and presenting to the world the reality of Israel as an expansionist, racist State, as is exemplified by its continued occupation of territory and its refusal to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people which has been uprooted from its land, and expelled beyond the borders of its national homeland. The result has been its vivisection, as the people has been divided into the uprooted, the refugees, the oppressed and the victims of occupation.
The destruction of homes, the planting of colonies to absorb the Jewish immigrants from all corners of the globe, the seizure of all natural resources, the deprivation of the inhabitants of their means of livelihood, the alteration of the geographical and demographic character of the Arab lands and the liquidation of their national leadership; all those acts and others are but an expression of the official policy which Israel is perpetrating on a daily basis.
The world has also come to realize the intensity of Israel's insistence on implementing its designs to Judaize the Holy City of Jerusalem and annex it to its racist expansionist entity, through its persistence in adopting legal measures with the aim of making Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel.
The sight of Jerusalem today is both sad and painful to all those in the world who believe in God. The Holy Places, with their unique spiritual and historical character, have now become victims of the plans of emasculation, alteration and destruction and, in particular, of the results of the diggings which are being carried out in and adjacent to the holy sanctuary of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Wagf historic buildings which surround it.
All those reprehensible acts are being carried out with the full cognizance of the world and notwithstanding condemnation of that policy by the various organs of the United Nations, particularly by the Security Council in its numerous resolutions, the last being resolution 476 (1980).
A quick glance at the map of the region reveals to us in full clarity the vast difference between what the United Nations had accepted as the borders of Israel, in accordance with resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, and what Israel has seized up to now by devouring the whole of the territories of Palestine in addition to parts of territories which belong to other Arab States, thus violating the United Nations Charter and its resolutions. The Charter and those resolutions had made Israel's admission to membership of the United Nations conditional upon Israel's commitment to implementing resolutions 181 (II) of 1947 and 194 (III) of 1948. Israel continues to plan for the occupation of additional Arab territories as it persists in daily attacks against Lebanon, thereby compelling the inhabitants to move from the south to the north, destroying their means of livelihood and thus adding to the list of its victims a substantial number of children, women and other peace-loving inhabitants of south Lebanon.
The States of the world have once and for all realized the falsehood of the fictitious theory of security which Israel has used and continues to use as a cover to commit additional aggression and expansion for the establishment of conglomerates of settlements in all parts of the occupied Arab lands.
This is being done at a time when it has become crystal clear that Israel's concept of security, as claimed, does not mean anything other than additional occupation and expansion. It is incompatible with the concept of a just and comprehensive peace which, if established, can only come about within the, framework approved by all conventions and international law.
Israel's continued policy of implementing this strange concept of security poses a threat to the peace of the entire region and compels us to assert that it is the Arab States that are in need of security and a just and comprehensive peace.
Jordan was one of the first States to shoulder the consequences of the weight of Israeli aggression through a historical interrelationship and national commitment to this cause. As a result of its faith in this commitment, it devolved upon Jordan to bear those consequences and, notwithstanding its limited resources, to share with the Palestinians the heavy burden of this tragedy which befell the Palestinian people after the forces of aggression had compelled them to leave their national homeland. This situation has also inflicted a deep wound on every Jordanian citizen and makes this case his cardinal cause.
Jordan, moreover, was not secure from the wars Israel launched throughout the period following its establishment, in particular the aggression of 1967, from which spoils accrued to Israel as a result of its forcible occupation of Arab lands in total disregard of the United Nations resolutions which had ordered its total withdrawal from the lands it occupied in 1967.
Jordan has asserted its position on a just peace on every available occasion. That position is based upon the following unalterable and clear-cut prerequisites; the total withdrawal of all Israeli forces from all the territories which they have occupied; and enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights, including the right to self-determination and sovereignty over their national soil, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
This position was consolidated by Arab unanimity at the Ninth Arab Summit Conference held in Baghdad in 1978 and the Tenth Arab Summit Conference held in Tunis in 1979. The two Summit Conferences spelled out specifically the basis of a just, comprehensive and acceptable peace and of a solution of the problem based upon the principles and foundations contained in resolutions adopted by the United Nations, in order that those principles and foundations might be adhered to in any international move to find a peaceful political settlement to the problem. Those principles contain the following elements: first, a guarantee of total Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab lands occupied in 1967; secondly, the return of Arab Jerusalem to Arab sovereignty; and thirdly, recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to their homeland and their right to self-determination in full freedom on their national soil.
The resolutions adopted by the Sixth Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned States held in Havana, the Conferences of the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic States, the latest of which was held in Amman, and the latest Summit Conference of the Organization of African Unity held in Freetown concurred in endorsing that position.
The Assembly is fully aware of the fact that since 1967 Israel has occupied extensive Arab territories and the Palestinian homeland in its entirety. At first the leadership of Israel had alleged that it was willing to withdraw within the framework of a comprehensive settlement, which would ensure security and peace.
Today, it has become conclusively clear to all that the Israeli leadership does not intend to withdraw from the occupied territories. Nor does it intend to restore to the Palestinian people their occupied territories, in order for them to be able to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and the setting up of their national free entity on their national soil.
Israel has planted the occupied territories with settlements and continues to do so. It has annexed the economy of the occupied territories to its own economy and and persists in that policy. It has intensified its policies and practices of altering the natural, material, demographic and cultural legacy of the occupied land. The changes have been comprehensive and deep-rooted, in full view of the citizens of the occupied lands and the whole world.
This Israeli leadership has dug up from the dustpans of ancient times legendary claims to the permanent possession of those lands. In addition, experience has taught us that the thrust of the thought and action of the successive Israeli Governments has been one and the same, immutable and unalterable.
Holy and beloved Jerusalem which has fallen into captivity is suffering from emasculation every day. The steadfast and enduring lawful inhabitants are exposed every day to pressure, psychological warfare, economic strangulation and terrorism, with a view to forcing them to leave their city or surrender and to forfeit their national and history-laden identity. Arab Jerusalem, which is inextricably linked to the history, religion and civilization of our hallowed land over countless centuries, is losing its identity today under the hammer of Israeli annexation. It is as though the Israeli occupation authorities were determined to erase from the world's conscience the history of tens of centuries, the legacy as well as the spiritual, cultural and ethical norms and testimonies.
How can a just peace and coexistence among the peoples of the region of the Middle East be established, given such conditions? How can peace find its way between an occupying Power, which rejects a dialogue among equals, and the conquered peoples around it? POW can Israel achieve what it alleges before the world it desires to achieve in security, peace and tranquillity, if it does not change its view of the world surrounding it and its manner of dealing with that world?
The Arab nation and the peace loving peoples stand solidly with the Palestinian people in their right to national consolidation, self-determination and the establishment of their free and national entity. They also stand with them in support of their right to return to their homeland. These nations cannot conceive of any possible just solution without total Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories and the exercise by the Palestinian Arab people of their right to self-determination, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as their sole legitimate representative.
It was therefore deeply painful when the Egyptian leadership of Arab Egypt cut itself off from the Arab body politic by placing itself in the position of accepting a partial and amputated settlement with an occupying Israel through the signing of the Camp David accords and the separate peace treaty,which ignored the core of the problem and abandoned established and clear-cut Palestinian rights and also overlooked the well-known principal components of any comprehensive and reasonable solution – namely, withdrawal, self-determination, preservation of the unity of Arab and the integrity of the principles upon which a just peace might the region.
The Camp David accords gave Israel a cover beneath which it was able to continue to consolidate its occupation of the Arab lands and to alter their cultural and geographical characteristics and to accelerate the construction of settlements, depriving the inhabitants of their most elemental rights sanctified by international norms and conventions. The whole world has come to realize the failure of the separate Camp David accords to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the problem.
It has become incumbent upon the United States – which gives unconditional support to Israel at the expense of legitimate Arab rights and at the expense of its own vital interests in the region, as a super-Power upon which a commitment to world peace and security devolves – to reconsider its position so that it may cease to align itself with the aggressor and occupying party and stop providing it with all means of support – armaments and financial and political support.
Jordan's faith in the role of the United Nations in solving the problem remains firm and continuing in spite of the passage of more than 30 years since the start of this tragedy and in spite of the obstacles that have confronted the United Nations in implementing its resolution because of Israel and the States that support it and only encourage it to perpetrate additional and most serious violations.
We are fully confident that the overwhelming majority of Member States are supportive of the Arab rights. That came out clearly in the evolution of the European position as articulated in the European declaration, which we regard as a positive step. It is our hope that that position will evolve to the point where it will support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. It is also to be hoped that it will be able to influence the positions of other States, and particularly that of the United States, so that the latter will stop its support for Israel and thus be able to contribute to a just and lasting solution, which must be based upon basic and clear-cut principles. We know of no more efficacious and clear-cut principles than those enshrined in the resolutions of the United Nations. It is for the international community to endorse and to implement those principles.
The Arab States would be ready to consider the various proposals concerning the mechanisms of work towards solving the problem so long as they contain a commitment to total withdrawal and tackle the Palestinian question on a just and correct basis. We wish once more to assert our conviction that the United Nations, with its principles and resolutions, is the natural framework within which to realize the hoped-for comprehensive peace.
We are today facing an opportunity more propitious than any earlier opportunity to achieve a just peace. We should not lose such an opportunity because of complacency on the part of the super-Powers, which have the responsibility to preserve and defend peace, and Israeli intransigence and defiance of the international will in its violations of human rights and its persistence in its dreams of hegemony, expansion and reliance on the arrogance of power.
The convening of this emergency special session is proof of the importance that the international community attaches to the Palestinian cause, which has become the cause of the world in its entirety.
Our Arab peoples, including the people of Palestine, are hand in hand with all the peoples of the world in the battle for freedom, peace and justice.
If the Palestine problem was born in the United Nations, there is no organization better equipped to provide a humane and just solution of it.
Mr. AL-THANI (Qatar) (interpretation from Arabic): The Palestine problem is of crucial importance to this Assembly. The convening of the Assembly in emergency session is further testimony to the special significance of the Palestine problem. The whole world is well aware that the Palestine question is the central cause of the Arab homeland and constitutes the core of the conflict in the Middle East. That conflict not only poses a threat to the peace and security of the Middle East region but also poses a dire threat to the peace and security of the entire world. In holding this emergency special session the General Assembly is facing up to its historic responsibility to the entire world.
The General Assembly has since 1947 been a partner in the events relating to Palestine. Furthermore, the Palestine problem involves all the values, principles and objectives upon which the United Nations and its Charter were founded and incorporates all those factors and considerations that give rise to the problems of mankind in our modern age.
The United Nations is based on the principle that every nation has the right to determine its destiny, to be independent and to enjoy sovereignty ; but the Palestinian people is still deprived not only of its right to self determination, independence and sovereignty but also of the fundamental human rights acknowledged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations strictly opposes colonialism; but the Palestinian people is suffering from the worst kind of settler colonialism aimed at evicting the Palestinian people from its land. The United Nations condemns racial discrimination and endeavours to put an end to all forms of racial discrimination; but the Palestinian people is still suffering from apartheid and racial discrimination. The United Nations condemns hegemony; but the Palestinian people is the victim of the worst form of hegemony and exploitation. The United Nations condemns the acquisition of land by force; but Israeli forces still occupy Arab lands by force. The United Nations is based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and the peaceful solution of international disputes; but Israel is increasingly interfering in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries and is constantly striving to impose its policies on the area by force. The United Nations is based on the principle of non-exploitation of other countries' wealth and natural resources; but Israel is still exploiting the wealth of the Palestinian people and plundering its natural resources.
Since 1974 the General Assembly has been taking effective steps towards finding an equitable solution to the Palestine problem. Thus it adopted its historic resolution 3236 (XXIX) and it established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the basis of resolution 3376 (XXX).
Since its thirty-first session the General Assembly has supported the recommendations of that Committee aimed at enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights. Moreover, the General Assembly has in subsequent resolutions called upon the Security Council urgently to consider those recommendations and to adopt a decision on them.
In spite of the fact that those recommendations put forward specific practical proposals for the solution of the Palestine problem, and even though those recommendations have been before the Security Council since 1976, the Security Council has so far failed to take any positive action on them because of the negative attitude of one of the permanent members of the Council.
The attitude of that great Power is cause for deep regret and grave anxiety, and it does not accord with its special responsibilities regarding world security and peace. Those recommendations are a summary of the international consensus reached in regard to the Palestine problem, which is, as I have already stated, the core of the conflict in the Middle East. The danger that this problem constitutes for the peace and security of the world is not merely hypothetical; it is predicated on tangible facts.
The whole world has come to realize that no comprehensive and permanent solution for the Middle East crisis can be envisaged without an equitable solution of the Palestine problem based on the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, their right to return to their homeland and their right to national independence under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is their sole legitimate representative. The Arab world is proudly noting the international community's increased understanding of and enhanced support for the just Palestinian cause. The Arabs cannot forget any fair and noble stance regarding their cause and they will never forget the noble attitude of President Woodrow Wilson who, in 1919, called for the independence of all the Arab nations and who was one of the most prominent pioneering leaders who strove for the formation of this international Organization in order to protect the interests of the peoples of the world.
The United Nations is the natural framework within which a peaceful, equitable solution of the Palestinian problem can be worked out, in view of the fact that United Nations resolutions provide the best means towards such a solution. The Camp David agreements, which are rejected by the Palestinians and the Arabs in particular, and the rest of the world in general, are not the proper alternative for a just solution. The proper alternative was offered by this Assembly when it adopted resolution 3236 (XXIX). The implementation of that and other United Nations resolutions would have provided the equitable solution to this crucial problem. The United States of America should have persuaded Israel, whom it provides with the means of subsistence and the means of armed aggression, to conform to those same resolutions.
Those resolutions have been supported by various international conferences such as the Summit Conference of the non-aligned countries, and those of the Islamic Conference and the Organization of African Unity. The member countries of the European Common Market took a step forward in June when they declared their support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and we are hopeful that those countries, which have special historical relations with our Arab homeland, will pursue their constructive efforts in order to reach an equitable solution of the Palestine problem.
The State of Qatar strongly condemns Israeli practices in the Holy City of Jerusalem and the other occupied territories. Every day the Zionist occupation authorities reveal more and more their racist expansionist nature and,in order to realize their dreams of aggrandizement and expansion,they do not hesitate to commit the most heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, engaged in its struggle against occupation.
Those authorities are pursuing their febrile campaign to establish Jewish settlements on the occupied Arab lands of which the rightful owners have been stripped. They unleash Fascist Zionist gangs in order to terrorize the inhabitants of the occupied Arab lands, as has happened recently in Ramallah, Bireh, Al-Khalil and Halhoul. They also give a free hand to the extremist Zionist gangs to murder or maim the Mayors of the occupied West Bank: witness what they did to Bassam Al-Shaka, Mayor of Nablus, and Karim Khalef, Mayor of Ramallah.
Those Fascist practices and that vicious campaign of settlement on occupied Arab lands are, if unchecked, capable of destroying any hope for establishing peace in the region and could lead it and the world itself to a catastrophe.
We are calling upon the General Assembly to take all practical measures in order to put an end to this continued occupation. This emergency session cannot confine itself merely to stressing the previous resolutions of the General Assembly, which have already affirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination without foreign intervention, to national independence and sovereignty and to return to their lands. Those resolutions have also already emphasized the necessity for immediate Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands.
The State of Qatar calls upon the international community to take every measure necessary in order to implement the resolutions of the General Assembly regarding Palestine and to authorize the Secretary-General to take such effective measures as will ensure the immediate and complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied Arab lands and the achievement of national independence for the Palestinian people in its homeland, under the leadership of the Palestine Organization, its sole representative. In case Israel should refuse to conform to the resolutions of the General Assembly and continue to expose the security and peace of the world to danger, the General Assembly should request the Security Council to take effective measures against it in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
The draft resolution submitted to the emergency session constitutes the minimal requirement to ensure an equitable and peaceful solution for this critical problem, which is now being discussed in the Assembly.. Therefore my delegation urges and appeals to the Assembly to adopt it.
In conclusion permit me, on behalf of my delegation, to thank the President, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the sincere efforts all have made in the service of the Palestinian cause in particular and of other world causes in general.
We do hope that the efforts made at this emergency special session will be crowned with success, so that justice and peace will prevail in Palestine and in the rest of the world.
Mr. FARAH (Djibouti) (interpretation from French): I should like to express our pleasure at Ambassador Salim's presidency of this emergency special session of the General Assembly devoted to the question of Palestine. It is my firm belief that under his presidency, and given his talents and ability, we shall be able to achieve positive results in this debate.
Thirty-three years ago, on 29 November 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on the partition of Palestine, which served as a pretext for world zionism to attack the Palestinian people.
Never, in ancient or modern history, has there been a tragedy of the magnitude of that suffered by the Palestinian people, expelled from the land that from time immemorial belonged to its ancestors, arbitrarily doomed to homelessness, to suffering, to ceaseless occupation and to the loss of its identity, its heritage and of its place in the world. Despite this terrible situation, the Palestinian people continues undaunted in its struggle, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative. We should like to pay a very sincere tribute to the staunch courage of that valiant people which, despite long years of exile and the force of Zionist weapons, has never lost its sense of nationhood and its devotion to its homeland, Palestine.
This emergency special session of the General Assembly devoted to the question of Palestine marks a decisive stage in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and is an expression of the will of the States Members of this Organization forcefully to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
The Camp David agreements and the separate peace treaties between Egypt and Israel have only aggravated the situation in the Middle East, without contributing anything that could produce the slightest hope for a just and global peace. It is obvious that those agreements between two parties, concluded under the auspices of the United States, have only poisoned the situation since they do not take account of the key to any solution in that part of the world, namely the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.
What is the situation today?
As everybody is aware, we are witnessing an intensification of the racist and aggressive practices of Israel on all levels, while to date no progress has been made in the so-called talks, which have in fact bogged down – a telling defeat for Israel's accomplices. From the outset we condemned those agreements forcefully, given our firm belief that they did not sufficiently take into account the basis of the conflict in the Middle East: the question of Palestine.
We reiterate that condemnation today, because we believe that the agreements have in no way changed the basic problem or eliminated the causes of war.
As everyone is well aware, the absence of a solution to the question of Palestine could bring on a new Israeli-Arab war and, with it, even a world conflict.
In consistency with the spirit of the Charter, the United Nations must prevent such a trend and produce a just solution to the Palestinian problems. As we know, unfortunately, some countries have made it impossible for the United Nations to take a noble, effective position. We are met today in this emergency special session because the body primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security has been paralysed by the wrongful use of the veto by the United States. That attitude is particularly inadmissible, inasmuch as the rights of the Palestinian people have been supported by the international community.
In the face of this situation in which one State opposes the will of the international community, it is high time that every State cherishing justice, peace and freedom adopted a positive attitude towards the recommendations of the General Assembly as a basis for solution of the question of Palestine.
The Holy City of Jerusalem has been the object of daily intolerable violations on the part of the Zionist enemy, encouraged by the super-Powers, one of which has contributed to the failure of all attempts at settling the question of Palestine by supplying weapons, and general support for the expansionist policy of the Zionist State as well as valuable economic assistance, while the other super-Power has been aiding and abetting Israel through the tolerance it displays for the emigration of Jews, who are considerably increasing the human potential and making up for the fact that the Zionists are outnumbered. Zionist provocation has even gone so far as to proclaim that Jerusalem shall remain a united city under Israeli sovereignty and: the eternal capital of Israel.
It would be irresponsible for the international community to remain silent in the face of Israel's policy of creating Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, deporting local Arab populations and engaging in mass detentions. The Republic of Djibouti, faithful to its obligations towards the fraternal people of Palestine, condemns that debasement of the holy nature of Jerusalem. We wish to stress the need to implement, inter alia, such relevant decisions as General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and 3236 (XXIX) and Security Council resolution 476 (1980), which resolutions could ensure peace and stability in that nerve-centre of the world.
We call on all Member States to work sincerely for the return of that people to its homeland and for its self-determination and the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State.
We call upon the United Nations to meet the challenge posed by Israel's systematic and deliberate violations of the Organization's decisions and to mobilize all its efforts to implement the aforementioned resolutions. Moreover, we appeal to all Member States of our Organization to give unanimous support to the draft resolution that will be before us at this emergency special session.
Mr. OUMAROU (Niger) (interpretation from French): The election of Ambassador Salim of Tanzania as President of the thirty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly of our Organization provided my country with the opportunity to say, through our Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, how significant we considered the event, and to express our full confidence in his ability to make that session a memorable one, in terms of fruitful. and successful accomplishments. I must say that he certainly did not. disappoint us, for the thirty-fourth session ended in an atmosphere of general satisfaction and the praise lavished on him was not just a matter of form, nor was it expressed only by his, friends.
That is by way of saying that we have complete confidence in his ability to preside over the work of this session with the necessary tact and authority.
In speaking of tact and authority, I am choosing my words carefully, because our agenda is an extremely important one; what is at stake is of burning relevance. Confronted, as we are, with a situation of almost endemic crisis in the Middle East, we must strive for peace, demonstrating courage and firmness by rejecting easy ways out that lead nowhere and harmful complacency. We must prepare the ground for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and restore to the Arab nations the calm and tranquillity to which they aspire, for that will enable them at last to mobilize their resources for the purposes of construction, rather than armament and war.
We must, however, also attempt to identify and pinpoint the problem. We do not have to go over history or the chronology of events in order to show that Israel's role and attitude in this matter are far from making things any easier.
Indeed, Israel, whose existence was challenged from the outset by the Arab nations even though it was desired and imposed by the United Nations, was not content simply to be part of and to appear in the concert of nations: it has taken advantage of the lack of agreement among its neighbours and of the ensuing wars in order to win solid allies, gain power in the field of armaments and acquire territory greatly in excess of its accepted boundaries.
Unfortunately, it is those alliances, which are still strong, that constantly increasing power and that policy of grabbing other people's land that are now complicating the situation in the Middle East, because they encourage Israel in the most absurd and most audacious attitudes – to such an extent that the Security Council finds itself on the sidelines, reduced to impotence, despite its tireless and repeated efforts and despite its desire to do the best it can in accordance with its authority and its thankless responsibilities; to such an extent also that, although the international community we represent has joined to express its forceful condemnation, it has so far been in vain: Israel remains firm as a rock and is imperturbably committing one blunder and provocation after another.
Let us just look at what was happening before this meeting began. The Security Council was seized of the question of Jewish settlements in occupied Arab territories and even in traditionally Arab cities, where a policy of open Judaization and a feverish attempt to impoverish the indigenous population ended by driving many of them out. Israel then turned to Lebanon, pursuing Palestinian patriots, and then it went on to deal with Palestinian individuals and persons of note, in particular the Mayors of Khalil and Halhoul, who had been arrested before they were illegally stripped of their offices and treacherously expelled.
On each occasion relevant resolutions were adopted each time Israel was called upon to conform with international law and the United Nations Charter. And yet the will of Israel still prevails, and all that has authority now is what Begin wants, what the Knesset approves or the Government in Tel Aviv orders. Moreover, the Knesset is now proceeding further to desecrate Jerusalem, trying to make that city the capital of the Hebrew State alone, despite strong protests from the Arab, Moslem and Christian world.
And yet these events, which in themselves are sufficiently explosive, now seem not so fundamental and basic as the reason that has brought us here together today. There is a saying that those who are the most powerful can do least. But what are we to think about somebody who refuses to face facts, who refuses to do anything, who refuses to listen to anything?
In deciding to convene this emergency special session, the United Nations is only now agreeing to tackle what is at the core of the Middle East problem. This is our opportunity to oblige Israel to say whether it still respects our Charter or whether, while still remaining here among us, it has instead chosen to act in isolation and by itself. This is our opportunity to prove to the world whether the principle of the self-determination of peoples and their right to have a homeland and to organize their life there freely apply to everybody or whether there are still some people who can be deprived of those rights.
In any event, the world has now fully realized that there is undeniably a people, the Palestinian people, that is wandering from one country to another, that every day is frustrated, trampled on and humiliated, simply because another people, the Jewish people, to which it was decided one day that justice must be done, decided that the justice was exclusively for their own benefit. So many people today feel that the United Nations is responsible for the situation that has developed because that situation still prevails even though, in the view of the great majority throughout the world, the time has come to remedy this injustice and because it can still be remedied.
On 22 July, Ambassador Falilou Kane of Senegal, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the first speaker at this session, stated clearly what the issue was and who was responsible. He spoke at length about the regrettable powerlessness of the Security Council as a result of the unfavourable attitude of one of the permanent members and its decisive use of the right of veto to block any resolution recognizing the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and sovereignty.
Since that Committee was established by the General Assembly it has always been objective, open and available. It has endeavoured to discharge its mandate and to get the parties involved, including Israel, to reach agreement on at least a minimum that would meet the new preoccupations of the international community. Proof of this is that the General Assembly approved the recommendations made by the Committee, and their implementation has been delayed only because of the wait–and-see attitude of the Security Council.
In Niger we have never endorsed war and we will never advocate the use of force to settle disputes. We respect man, and we feel that everything possible must be done to ensure that man can develop fully to ensure his own well-being. We have so many common enemies to fight in the form of disease, poverty, hunger, thirst, illiteracy and intolerance that we can never do enough to ensure union, mutual assistance and a spirit of invention to overcome these ills that plague us all.
This is why on this matter of the Middle East we have always advocated dialogue; dialogue between the parties; dialogue through the organizations that work for the maintenance of peace; dialogue through the United Nations.
This is also why, after having strongly condemned the excesses and insatiable arrogance of Israel, we nevertheless constantly appeal to our Arab and Palestinian brothers, urging them to adopt attitudes of conciliation that would certainly in no way affect the legitimacy before history of their cause and fight, but that would instead have the merit of bringing about peace with honour, harmony and lucidity. If the peace we are seeking in the Middle East is to be lasting and fruitful, it must be based on realism as well as on justice, on rights as well as on overcoming bitterness and instincts. It must avoid hatred, create trust and promote mutual assistance and co-operation.
But in the present circumstances, it must be based, first of all, on a number of preconditions, because otherwise the process will be blocked for ever and ever. These preconditions have been stated in many resolutions here and elsewhere. They include, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the occupation of territory by force and call for Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands, a halt to the repeated desecration of the Holy City of Jerusalem and the re-establishment of the international status of that city making it a corpus separatum, as is, indeed, the desire of Moslems, Christians and the overwhelming majority of the international community. These preconditions and principles also include the right of the Palestinian refugees to return freely to their land and to organize their fatherland. They include recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence. They also include the establishment of peace talks between the parties to the conflict, talks in which the Palestine Liberation Organization as the legitimate and authentic representative of the Palestinian people would be involved which implies and let us be quite clear about this – that Israel must clearly recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization, which in turn must clearly recognize Israel.
The European initiative taken at the Venice Summit, although rather incomplete in so far as concerns the full and complete restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, nevertheless constitutes a valuable contribution to the advent of peace in the Middle East. We should therefore welcome and encourage that initiative. There is no doubt that, thanks to it, a new dynamic will develop in our approach to the problem and soon justice and equity will triumph.
The resolution that will be the result of our work will certainly not put an end to the difficult situation in the Middle East tomorrow. However, the reputation of our Organization as a serious and authoritative body will be enhanced if we ensure that Israel does not simply make of our resolution a document that gathers dust in the archives.
The PRESIDENT: I wish to announce that two draft resolutions have been submitted and should be available in about half an hour.
The meeting rose at 7.10 p.m.
* *** *
* Mr. Matane (Papua New Guinea), Vice-President, took the Chair.
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Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: General Assembly, General Assembly 7th Emergency Special Session
Country: Egypt, Israel
Subject: Agenda Item, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Jerusalem, Middle East situation, Palestine question
Publication Date: 25/07/1980