COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE SIXTIETH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 28 November 1980, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. KANE (Senegal)
Special meetings to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
The meeting was called to order at 10.55 a.m.
SPECIAL MEETINGS TO COMMEMORATE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I should like to extend an especially warm welcome to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council at this special meeting, which is being convened by virtue of General Assembly resolution 32/40 B. This ceremony continues the tradition of past years. Their presence here demonstrates the importance the international community attaches to the quest for a just settlement of the Palestinian question. It also bears witness to their fervent desire to see the Palestinian people regain its rights and exercise them fully.
In the past two years, the response to the appeal of the General Assembly to the international community to show its support and sympathy for the cause of the Palestinian people has been extremely favourable. We are certain that once again this year, the Day of Solidarity will be commemorated in many capitals throughout the world and on every continent. Indeed, similar ceremonies are being held in Brussels, Geneva, The Hague, Ottawa and in Argentina. This response is eloquent proof of the fact that public opinion is on the side of the Palestinian people in its quest for a solution to this distressing problem.
Although we are holding our commemoration a day ahead of time, the date of 29 November marks a milestone in the consideration of the Palestinian question. It also enables us to review the developments that have occurred over the past twelve months with regard to the question of Palestine. As everyone knows, the question of Palestine, which has been before our Organization since 1947, has been the subject of important resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. It is also common knowledge that the implementation of those resolutions could solve the problem before us.
Unfortunately, not only have those resolutions not been implemented but, what is more, Israel, which came into being as a result of the adoption of resolution 181 (II), in the wake of three successive wars – in 1948, 1956 and 1967 – is occupying a territory larger than that accorded to it. By this territorial aggrandizemant and its policy of colonizing occupied Palestinian and Arab territories Israel has created obstacles in the way of a just and lasting settlement of the problem.
Events that have taken place during the course of the last 12 months have marked noteworthy progress in the international community's attitude with regard to acceptance of the basic principles for a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, on the one hand. On the other hand, the world has witnessed a hardening of Israel's arrogant attitude vis-à-vis international public opinion, international law, and General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. This defiant attitude clearly shows that that country has not the least intention of respecting international law or even of abiding by the obligations it accepted on becoming a member of this Organization.
The ravages continually perpetrated against the population in the occupied territories – and the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories in document A/35/425 is instructive on this point – the expulsion of the mayors of Halhul and Hebron and the Kadi of Hebron, the military operations launched daily against students peacefully demonstrating in celebration of Palestinian Week and the adoption by the Knesset of that “basic law” proclaiming Jerusalem to be Israel's capital cannot be ignored by the international community. The response of that Committee to those illegal actions is well known and reassures us in our our confidence for the future.
That confidence is based on the following positive factors: the censure by the Security Council in the most forceful terms of the adoption of the “basic law” on Jerusalem by its resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Security Council declares that action illegal, null and void; the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 465 (1980) commending the report of the three-member Security Council Commission charged with examining the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories illegally occupied by Israel, including Jerusalem; the Council's demand that the Mayors of Halhul and Hebron should return to their cities to carry out the functions for which they had been elected; and the Security Council's demand that those States which had established diplomatic Missions in Jerusalem should transfer them to Tel Aviv, as well as the positive response by the countries concerned, constitute for us encouraging positive factors.
Another important development was the holding of the emergency special session of the General Assembly last July at the request of Senegal. The fact that more than 30 Ministers for Foreign Affairs and 110 States Members took part in the debate proved the importance attached to that question. It will be recalled that the vast majority of the representatives who spoke unequivocally lent their backing to the cause of the Palestinian people. That was later confirmed by the vote on the resolution: there were only 7 votes against whereas 112 were in favour.
We must also underline the fact that the countries – and they are many – which hitherto had been opposed to resolutions or recommendations emanating from our Committee understood that it was time for them to change their attitude on that occasion. Although the resolution went further than previous resolutions in the sense that operative paragraph 13 mentioned the adoption of effective measures under Chapter VII of the Charter which the Security Council might be prompted to take in the event of Israel's non-compliance with that resolution.
It is true that that change of heart was encouraged by the Declaration adopted on this issue by the European Summit Conference held at Venice in June 1980. That gathering marked a significant watershed and gives much hope that we shall see Europe play an increasingly important role in the quest for an all-encompassing, just and lasting settlement of the conflict with the participation of the principal interested parties, namely, the Palestinians represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), their legitimate spokesman.
Although there has been marked progress so far as media coverage of developments in the Palestinian conflict is concerned, much still remains to be done. We hope that the ostensibly hostile attitude of certain media will change – above all with reference to the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has sought tirelessly to contribute to that change. Today growing interest is shown by all sectors of world public opinion in being informed of the facts touching upon the Palestinian question. To that end the Committee has disseminated studies carried out under its aegis. Representatives of the Committee have taken an active part in conferences which have examined the situation of Palestine and have expressed the views and concerns of the Committee.
This year we organized two seminars, the first held at Arusha in July and the second at Vienna in August. Those seminars, the convening of which the General Assembly recommended last year, have had a notable impact on public opinion. Two other seminars will be organized in 1981, one in Asia and the other in Latin America.
However significant that progress might be, we should not lose sight of the fact that there are tremendous problems still ahead of us before the inalienable rights of the Palestinians can be exercised effectively. Although the vast majority of the Members of this Organization are convinced of the steps that must be taken to attain the goal of peace throughout that troubled area, so far no positive steps can be taken owing to obstruction in the Security Council to date. Obviously that situation encourages Israel and enables it to maintain the intransigent posture that led to the currcnt impasse. Hone the less, the United Hations must play the central role in this issue, with a view to finding a solution acceptable to all the parties concerned and the international community. A temporary impasse must neither disorient nor discourage us, because when justice and freedom are at stake there is no place for indifference.
The lessons of the past and recent experience have shown, on the one hand, that there will be no settlement of the Palestinian problem if the Palestinians themselves are not enabled to take charge of their destiny themselves within the framework of an independent and sovereign State, and, on the other hand, that there will be no solution to the problem of Israel's survival and security if the Israelis do not agree to link their efforts – without any spirit of hegemony – to those of the Palestinian State and all the Arab States in the region.
I shall conclude by expressing to you, Mr. Secretary-General, on behalf of the Committee, our appreciation for your presence and for the assistance that you and your colleagues have so generously given us during the year now drawing to a close. Despite all the criticisms, malicious remarks, pressure and the obstacles thrown in its path, the Secretariat's Special Unit on Palestinian rights discharged the tasks entrusted to it by the Committee fully and to our complete satisfaction. For this, please accept our heartfelt thanks.
The President of the General Assembly is unable to be with us this morning for personal reasons, but we have received the following message from him which I shall read out to you:
(spoke in English )
“The decision of the General Assembly to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People not only is a matter of symbolic significance, but also reflects the international community's deep concern for the problem of Palestine as an essential part of the Middle East conflict. There is unanimous agreement among the Members of the United Nations that a just and equitable solution to this problem, affecting not only the parties directly concerned but also the world community as a whole, needs to be found more urgently than ever before. We are all aware of the fact that the situation in the Middle East vitally affects stability in that troubled area of the world and, moreover, carries a potential threat to international peace and security.
“Four times in the life of the United Nations, the Middle East has seen major conflicts which have not only affected the lives of millions of human beings in that region, but also seriously and repeatedly have endangered the peace and security of the entire world. In spite of the tremendous efforts that have been made to find a just and lasting solution to the problem, it continues to be one of the most critical, complex and dangerous issues facing the United Nations.
“It is overwhelmingly recognized by the international community that a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East dispute cannot be conceived without regard to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. I deeply regret the hardening of the positions, when it is only dialogue and mutual understanding that can prepare the road to peace, Too much emotion, too much suffering, too much hatred have built up in the past.
“As I pointed out in my opening speech in the General Assembly, I continue to hope that this thirty-fifth session of the General Assembly will contribute its share towards a just, secure and lasting peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours, including the Palestinians. I am convinced it is an indispensable element to create a climate of confidence and realism. To this end, all parties concerned must recognize the facts as they are. Above all, this implies the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, on the one hand, and the right of all States in the region, including Israel, to live within secure, recognized and guaranteed borders, on the other.
“In the recent past, several steps have been undertaken in order to contribute to the solution of the problem of Palestine, which is at the very core of the Middle East conflict. Although not unanimously accepted, these initiatives should encourage us even more to continue to strive for a just, secure and lasting peace in the Middle East.
“In commemorating this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is specifically emphasizing the need to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East dispute so as to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy their legitimate rights which have been recognized and reiterated by the General Assembly on various occasions.”
(continued in French )
I call now on the Secretary-General, who, despite his many commitments, has been good enough to attend this meeting.
The SECRETARY-GENERAL: May I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for inviting me to participate in the annual special meeting of your Committee to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I also wish to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the kind words addressed to me and to my colleagues.
The effort to find a just solution to the Palestinian question continues to be one of the main preoccupations of the United Nations. This is natural, since a durable peace in the Middle East can ultimately be achieved only through a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the problem, including, in particular, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
This fundamental point has been firmly established in various United Nations resolutions. The seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly underscored in dramatic fashion the importance that the international community attached to the question of Palestine and the urgency of achieving a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem which would give due recognition to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people
The principles which must guide the search for such a settlement have been defined in resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, and there is now general agreement on this subject in the international community. Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, I have on repeated occasions indicated that any solution of the Middle East problem will have to be based on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, as well as on withdrawal from occupied territories and the right of all States in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
Unfortunately, despite a wide measure of agreement on the principles, an overall settlement of the Middle East problem is still proving elusive. Determined efforts must therefore be made to achieve such a settlement through negotiations involving all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization. As I stated in my annual report, we need, without further delay, to create a climate in which the peoples of the region and their leaders recognize and accept each other's existence and each other's right to exist.
In this connexion, I feel that while a firm stand should be taken on the principles, actions must be avoided which would tend to exacerbate tensions or serve as irritants, since these make a comprehensive settlement more difficult to achieve. I am confident that, given the political will to achieve agreement, a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem, which would take into account the vital interests of all concerned and which would deal with all aspects of the problem, including in particular the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, is not beyond our grasp.
The annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a reflection of the international community's concern for the Palestinian people, as well as its recognition that a just solution of the Palestinian problem is of overriding importance. It is intended to focus the attention of the international community on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to give the widest possible exposure to the facts relating to those rights and to impress on the Palestinian people that our Organization will continue to pay special attention to the attainment of those rights.
Mr. Chairman, this Committee, under your able leadership, is to be commended for its continued efforts on behalf of Palestinian rights. Those efforts serve to remind the Palestinian people that they will not be forgotten by the international community.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the Secretary-General for his gracious words and for his encouragement offered to the Committee which we consider to be an important factor. As I said before, our task is not an easy one. Criticism comes from every quarter. Since we are working under the aegis of the United Nations and pursuant to the provisions of the Charter and United Nations resolutions, we hope one day to be able to resolve this distressing problem in order that the Palestinians may regain their freedom and their homeland.
I now call on the President of the Security Council.
Sir Anthony PARSONS (United Kingdom), President of the Security Council: Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you and the members of the Committee for inviting me to take part, in my capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of November, in this third commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. For reasons which are not difficult to understand, my participation and my brief statement in this special meeting do not necessarily reflect the collective views of all the members of the Security Council on the Palestinian question, and therefore do not bind the Council as such.
The meeting which is being held today serves once again to focus the attention of the international community on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The observance of this day, which is already becoming an established tradition, underlines the international community's concern for the Palestinian people and the increasing recognition that a just solution of the Palestinian problem is of paramount importance for international peace and for the stability of a vitally important region of the globe. For its part, the Security Council has long been closely concerned with the continuing efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the Middle East problem which will bring peace and security to all States in the region.
In the past 30 years or so, developments in the area have made it necessary for the Security Council repeatedly to direct its attention to certain aspects of that problem which had the potential of threatening world peace. While doing so, however, the Council was well aware of the importance of the Palestinian dimension of the problem and of its central role in the search for any lasting solution. As a further manifestation of its interest in the matter, the Security Council has, on several occasions, debated at length the specific question of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The views expressed on those occasions have reflected the growing recognition by many Council members and by other members of the United Nations that the search for a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East must take due account of the Palestinian question not simply in its humanitarian aspects, but as a crucial political issue.
The Security Council has been made aware of the efforts which this Committee has undertaken, and continues to undertake, in the context of the promotion of an equitable solution to one of the most intractable problems before the United Nations. Guided by its responsibilities under the Charter, the Security Council will continue its own efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East for the benefit of all concerned, including the Palestinian people.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): On behalf of the Committee, I should like to thank the President of the Security Council for his statement.
I now call on Mr. Al-Hout, member of the Central Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who will speak on behalf of that Organization.
Mr. AL-HOUT (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)) (interpretation from Arabic): In the name of the Palestinian, steadfast in the face of occupation, resisting every type of oppression, terrorism and torture; the Palestinian struggling for the return to his homeland, for self-determination and the establishment of an independent State on his native soil; in the name of the true historic Palestinian land, the land of prophets and martyrs, the land of holiness and peace, the land of a stubborn struggle against racist occupation and Zionist settlement; in the name of the Palestinian farmer, steadfast in his attachment to his own territory, in spite of racist expropriation, destruction and Zionist efforts to steal his waters and wipe out his village by using tractors to transform his fertile land into theatres of destructive military manoeuvres, training and settlements for the increasing number of Zionists who come to his land, bringing disaster and tragedy to our peoples; in the name of thousands of prisoners, those in chains who stand with pride and honour in the face of the whips of the racists, in Israeli cells and caves, and who look forward to a future in which the rights and dignity of man will be respected and in which freedom will prevail over our land; in the name of the Palestinian who lives with his Lebanese brother in the south of Lebanon, under daily Israeli attacks which are carried out by the Israeli military junta, with the use of the most modern weapons of destruction, including United States weapons, on sea, on land and in the air; the Palestinian, despite all that, standing steadfast and patient, looking forward to the great awakening of the international conscience – in the name of all that, on this historic day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should like to address this Committee.
I had the honour of standing before the United Nations in 1974 and addressing the entire world through this international forum of behalf of the struggling Palestinian peoples to present our just cause, with all its historic social, political and human dimensions and background. That was an historic occasion indeed, which gave impetus to our great and just national struggle and opened up before the Palestine Liberation Organization wide horizons in its dealings with the international community, as well as imposing responsibilities upon it. This solidarity with the Palestinian people, which has been shown by all honourable peoples and forces, is a source of pride for us, and we do appreciate it. We consider it to be a positive expression of the support of the international Organization and of those peoples and forces for us, for our just cause and for our inalienable rights.
We are happy to note that this celebration of this historic day under the aegis of the United Nations and with such great international response truly affirms this great evolution of the attitudes of the peoples and States of the world concerning our inalienable rights, our cause and our legitimate national struggle.
On this occasion I should like, on behalf of the Palestinian people and its leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization, to present my deep thanks and gratitude to the United Nations, its agencies and its staff for the efforts they have exerted to make this day a success. I address particular thanks to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kurt Waldheim, for his courage, his valuable initiative and his great efforts to achieve a just peace not only in our area but throughout the world. I should like to pay a tribute also to the great and intensified efforts of the Special Committee to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable and legitimate rights.
In response to a recommendation from this Committee the United Nations General Assembly approved the observance of this historic day and named it a day of international solidarity with our just cause and legitimate struggle to achieve our national objectives, which have been supported by the Organizations and have been the subject of so many historic and important resolutions that it has adopted. It will also be a day of denunciation of the continuous aggression by Zionism, which has constantly rejected the United Nations resolutions, defied the Charter, and persistently carried out its aggressive policies, determined to maintain its occupation and settlements and to annex the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. That action is the embodiment of absolute violation and defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the civilized moral values accepted by the peoples of our contemporary world.
The Palestinians consider that the United Nations umbrella provided by this International Day of Solidarity for their struggle and legitimate resistance against occupation has a special meaning for the just cause of our people. It is a reaffirmation of resolutions that have called for exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return, to self-determination and to an independent State. It is also an embodiment of the international will that supports and stands by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
This historic day has given our cause and our legitimate struggle valuable opportunities as manifested in the encouragement and support of a greater number of peoples and States and representatives of world public opinion for the Palestine cause and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Our struggling militant people will therefore always feel affection, appreciation and gratitude for all those who have supported their just cause.
The Palestinian people will also continue to adhere to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will lead them continuously and increasingly to support the just causes of the world – the causes of liberation, freedom, equality and social progress – and particularly the struggle of the peoples of Namibia and South Africa who, like us, are struggling against fascist, terrorist, racist régimes that deny the rights of those peoples to self-determination on their national soil. We also support all the oppressed and struggling peoples in Asia, in Africa and in Latin America.
The Palestine cause has had important political victories. One of the most significant was the notable progress in its international position as a central cause which truly constitutes one of the decisive factors for war or peace in the world. However, we have in reality, and continuously, faced a large escalation of the plot against the Palestinian peoples and their inalienable rights. That was made extremely clear by the results of the Camp David agreements between the Governments of the United States of America, Egypt and Israel in March 1979. Those agreements have led to a stage in which our area has witnessed greater conflict and greater danger because they are totally removed from the basis of the just and durable peace our Arab nation is looking forward to, which corresponds to the aspirations of the international community. Those agreements have made of our Arab area the core of a three-pronged military-alliance move by the United States of America, with all the dangers that that may hold for the future of the entire area and the aspirations of its peoples to liberation and independence and the direct negative effects it may have on international peace and security.
“It was only normal that those ill-fated agreements would have clear effects on our Palestinian people within and outside the occupied territories. The Israeli military junta, in the light of those agreements, completed its announced and long-held plans for the occupied territories. Thus it carried out a very extensive operation of land expropriation and building, increasing settlements on the West Bank and in the sector. Then it adopted its dangerous decision to consider Jerusalem the capital of the Zionist entity and it has also presented a draft decision to the Knesset on the annexation of occupied Golan.
“Parallel with that, the Israeli military junta also escalated its organized and official fascist terrorism and oppression against our people in the occupied territories. That reached its peak in the aggressive operations on our national leaders, the attempts to assassinate some of them and to expel others from the homeland and to murder a number of our people who are still in prisons and concentration camps as well as those in schools.
“The Israeli military junta was not satisfied with that but increased its military operations against the camps of our people and against the Lebanese cities and villages in southern Lebanon, using in all those operations on land, on sea and in the air military weapons which had been supplied to it by the United States of America. The Israelis dropped tons of bombs and explosives, including those which are internationally prohibited, and turned our camps and the villages of our brothers in southern Lebanon into a theatre of war in which the blood of innocent peoples is mixed with the débris of their huts.
“The world hears and the world reads daily statements proudly announcing those criminal actions by major Israeli leaders, in which they announce that their aggressive war against our people will continue and be maintained until one party has been totally eliminated. I do not think that the Committee will disagree with us that one of our basic rights is to continue our legitimate resistance and struggle in order to prevent that military organization's destroying our peoples, killing our children and our women and annihilating the rights and aspirations of our people, and the right to live like all peoples, sovereign on their land and in their homeland.
“The rapid development of events in our area and the resulting continuous tension, as well as the escalating danger of explosion and the trend away from stability, are undoubtedly caused by an intransigent American policy in the Middle East. That policy has been based and continues to be based on supporting continual Israeli aggression, an escalating aggression that is provided with every means of support, militarily, politically and economically, so that Israel can become the eager policeman who plays a central and oppressive role against the interests of the people of our area and their legitimate aspirations, for which the Palestinian people have paid and continue to pay with their blood and the blood of their children.
“In addition, the United States of America has gone further in its defiant attitude towards our people. It has sent its ships to surround our area and mobilized its enormous military machine led by its rapid deployment force focused on our area, threatening us with its power and counting on terrorizing us in order to subjugate our area under its total domination. All this has taken place since our struggling people successfully took steps forward on the road to their liberation, their dignity and the consolidation of their national independence.
“Therefore, in the light of our responsibility to the Palestinian people, the Arab nation and the world, we state and announce that the continued intransigence of American policy, its support of the Israeli aggressor, its solidarity with that aggressor and its mobilization of its military machine in our area will undoubtedly lead to an escalation of the tension and the danger of an explosion in a way in which it would be very difficult to estimate the danger and the effects not only on the security of peoples but on international peace and security as a whole.
“The United Nations has adopted a number of resolutions in the interests of the struggle of our people, in recognition of their rights and in condemnation of the continual Zionist acts of aggression against our people: the establishment of settlements, the expropriation of land, the annexation of Jerusalem, the oppression and the expulsions. However, Israel, which since its establishment has always rejected international resolutions and refused to implement them, has not in fact applied any of those resolutions. As a matter of fact Israel has defied them with intransigence and contempt. Needless to say, the resolutions will remain worthless in spite of the issues involved unless the United Nations takes deterrent means to ensure implementation of its resolutions.
“The non-compliance with and non-implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations encourage those who wish to carry out aggression, either in Palestine, in South Africa, in Namibia or in any part of the world, to continue their aggression and their oppression and usurpation. There is here an attempt by the Israeli military junta to demean the United Nations in the eyes of world public opinion, which has considered the United Nations as a bridge between the years of oppression and subjugation and those of freedom, independence, equality, brotherhood and social progress for mankind as a whole. The implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations is essential as a means of bringing the world closer to peace.
“Furthermore, there is no doubt that the international community is fully aware of the means for doing so: by the imposition of economic, political and other sanctions on the Israeli military machine, which refuses to submit to the international will and which defies its resolutions, considering them, in the absence of any deterrent measures, as so much ink on paper.
“On this the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a day that is a source of pride to our entire people and one to which we look forward with confidence and optimism as an effective and positive expression of the support of the peoples of the world for our legitimate rights and national resistance and of our continued struggle for the restoration of those rights, I should like to affirm to you honestly and responsibly that the Palestinian people look forward to the restoration of the just and real peace that has been wrenched away from the land of Palestine, destroyed by ambition, racism, imperialist interests, self-interest and an organized, official terrorism. The Palestinian people – Moslems, Jews and Christians – look forward to a just and real peace, and our full awareness of the meaning of this peace emanates from our belief in and conviction of the natural right of our expelled peoples to return to their land, Palestine, and to achieve the right to self-determination and to build their independent State on their national soil, like all the peoples of the world, in compliance with the clear resolutions of the United Nations that have been supported by the overwhelming majority of the world's peoples and States.
“Let us tell you truly that we are true to ourselves when we say that the continued deprivation of our human and national rights from which we suffer, Israel's continued violation of those rights and of the resolutions of the United Nations with the encouragement and support of the United States of America, and the continued manoeuvres and plots against those inalienable rights by means of suspect and rejected formulas that are rejected by all our people – all of these things strengthen our legitimate right to continue our just national struggle and our legitimate resistance in order to free our peoples from occupation and to save our succeeding generations from dispersal, from being deprived of their homeland and their right to live and build their future and that of their children. The aggression practised against them has forced them to open their eyes every morning to racist oppression and the débris of their burned out homes destroyed by the American planes and bombs used by the Israeli forces.
“We shall continue our just struggle, steadfast in the pledge I have made to you on behalf of the Palestinian people and our Arab nation that the branch of peace will be held high in our hands, fertile and filled with new life, in spite of every attempt to kill and cut it down. We shall defend it with the guns of justice and with the blood of our sons as they struggle for freedom and for their land, Palestine. I am fully convinced that the day will come when together we can plant this branch of peace in the land of peace, the land of civilization and divine revelation, the land of Palestine, when our genuine, kind and generous peoples have achieved victory and the reign of right and justice, and when human civilization respects human rights.
“I am filled with pride and with confidence that this historic International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will be repeated and will continue to consolidate international support for our just cause and our people, remembering the truth that says that peace is born in Palestine and war breaks out in Palestine. I should like to thank you in the name of Palestine and on behalf of the Palestinian people and the revolutionaries of Palestine.
“Signed, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian Revolutionary Forces.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank Mr. El-Hout, member of the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for having read the message from Chairman Yasser Arafat. That message is a very important one, and we in the Committee have listened to it carefully. I hope that we will be able to recommence debate on this question beginning next year.
I now call upon the President of the Council for Namibia.
Mr. LUSAKA (Zambia) (President, United Nations Council for Namibia): It is an honour for me as President of the Council for Namibia to have been invited to address the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People during this observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Since it was established by the General Assembly, your Committee has dutifully and stalwartly carried out its mandate to promote and protect the rights of the Palestinian people, a people that have been so unjustly dispossessed of their rights by Israeli Zionism.
The Council for Namibia is grateful to share a common cause and responsibility for the protection and defence of the right and dignity of peoples in solidarity with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The people of Palestine, like any other people, are entitled to the attainment of self-determination under the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In this connexion, the Council for Namibia believes that any everlasting solution to the question of the Middle East is inextricably bound to the question of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine to independence and their return to their homeland. No solution could be acceptable to the international community when the people of Palestine continue to be the subject of brutal exploitation, oppression and forceful removal from their land and to the expropriation of property which is rightly theirs. The Israeli authorities must realize that as long as there is continued oppression of peoples in usurped Palestine there will always be resistance by those who are oppressed. Oppression and colonialism are twin concepts of government that are revulsive and repulsive to an orderly conduct of any human society. The Palestinian people have suffered the brutal occupation of their territory, massive removal from their homes, the confiscation of their property and the denial of their human rights. The only course left to them for the redress of this gross injustice is the continued prosecution of their legitimate struggle until genuine independence has been achieved.
On the other hand, the international community must continue to uphold the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions of our Organization on the question of Palestine. The Organization should continue to be the guiding force in any solution with respect to the Palestinian question. It is the Palestine Liberation Organization which is the vanguard in the struggle for the independence of the Palestinian people, and consequently the Palestine Liberation Organization should be the principal party to be consulted in any meaningful solution to the question of Palestine.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the President of the United Nations Council for Namibia.
I now call on the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid.
Mr. CLARK (Nigeria), Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid: Let me from the outset express how happy and gratified my Committee is at seeing you, a close personal friend and brother, presiding over this important meeting. Your own personal services to the cause of the Palestinian people and your great country's – Senegal's – record in that field is a matter of public acclaim and recognition.
As we meet today to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are once again reminded of the agonizing plight of a people uprooted and rendered homeless for over a generation. For us of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, the tragedy of the Palestinian people amounts to the denial of the right to self-determination enshrined in the Charter for all peoples under colonial or alien domination. It is indeed a fateful reminder of the stark reality that peace in the Middle East continues to rest perilously on a razor's edge.
Israel continues to pursue with reckless abandon its policy of expansionism on the West Bank, Gaza and other areas seized during the war of June 1967. It has defiantly ignored all repeated calls by the General Assembly and the Security Council to terminate its brutal measures of annexation of Arab lands.
As in the past year, there is now a provocative development in the Arab territories raising a frightful spectre of a major conflict between the Israeli occupiers and their Palestinian victims. Israeli fanatics are stepping up the establishment of new settlements on Palestinian lands; at the same time they are spearheading a campaign of terror against Palestinian villages and civilians in their midst. But the frightening development is that Israeli security forces are no longer content with their attitude of inaction; now their collaboration is both open and shameless.
The past year saw other ominous developments in the region. In spite of the specific resolutions and injunctions of the General Assembly at its emergency special session held earlier this year, last August the Israeli Knesset purported to adopt a bill to the effect that Jerusalem is now the so-called eternal and united capital of Israel. Owing to its serious implications, the Security Council took prompt action on the matter. We hope that similar action will be taken if Israel persists in its threat to annex the Golan Heights of Syria. But that would not be sufficient; the Security Council should be ready to take appropriate action in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Charter if Israel persists in its continued defiance of the Council's decisions.
Israel and South Africa must be made to acquire a sense of belonging and responsibility if they wish to continue to be regarded as members of the international community.
The Special Committee against Apartheid has followed with keen interest the important work being done under the able leadership of its Chairman by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Committee has undoubtedly contributed immeasurably to the concerted international effort of keeping in correct perspective the tragedy that has befallen the Palestinian people. The commemoration of this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People should therefore serve as a welcome opportunity, particularly at this time, for a solemn reaffirmation of our determination to continue to support this Committee in the all-important task of fulfilling its mandate as set out by the General Assembly.
The Special Committee against Apartheid, deeply conscious of the increasingly pernicious axis of Israel and South Africa, in addition to pursuing a crusade of its own for ending the inhuman system of apartheid in South Africa, is always anxious and ready to lend a helping hand to the Palestine Committee until Israel withdraws totally from the occupied Arab lands, leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian State in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid for the kind words he addressed to me personally and about my country.
The next speaker is the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.
Mr. BALASUBRAMANIAM (Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories: Twelve years ago the United Nations established the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. This was the first important step taken by the General Assembly to ensure the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Year after year the Special Committee has faithfully reported to the General Assembly the violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people committed by the Israeli authorities. A few days ago I had the privilege of submitting the latest report of the Special Committee at a meeting of the Special Political Committee. That report, like the previous ones, contains a list of specific instances in which the basic rights of the Palestinian people had been infringed. Those infringements are a clear repudiation of the obligations under international law of the occupying Power.
It is unfortunate that the Israeli authorities have so far denied the Special Committee access to the occupied territories. In the circumstances, the Special Committee had to depend on other sources, which have not been contradicted and are generally accepted as reliable by the occupying Power.
In its assessment of the facts the Special Committee has repeatedly warned the international community of the dangers inherent in treating the situation with indifference. It is indeed an unfortunate reality that the situation in the occupied territories continues to deteriorate. On the one hand, the Government of Israel continues to follow a policy of annexation of the occupied territories, and, on the other hand, the people of the occupied territories continue to resist such measures. The shooting of school children only a couple of weeks ago by the occupying Power is yet another dramatic illustration of the kind of repression that the Israeli authorities exercise against the Palestinian people.
The current report of the Special Committee lists a number of conclusions, among which are that, first, the situation prevailing in the occupied territories is a serious threat to peace; secondly, the military occupation is the main cause of the violation of human rights in the occupied territories; and, thirdly, a systematic effort to change the status of the occupied territories is being made in pursuance of the homeland policy of the Israeli Government.
These conclusions cannot be ignored by the international community, and this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an appropriate occasion for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to support the just struggle of the Palestinian people and to resolve to redouble its efforts to protect the population of the occupied territories from the continued violation of their fundamental human rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Thank you very much.
The next speaker is the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Vice-Chairman of our Committee, Ambassador Roa Kouri.
Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba), Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (interpretá tion from Spanish): I have received a message from Commandant Fidel Castro, President of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, addressed in his capacity as Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement to His Excellency Mr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I shall read it out:
“On the occasion of the commemoration, on 29 November, of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and reflecting the oft-expressed feeling of the Non-Aligned Movement as endorsed in the accords reached at its Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government, held in Havana in September 1979, we should like to reaffirm our unswerving militant solidarity with the heroic and long-suffering people of Palestine.
“This year the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes on special meaning for all of us, being held as it is at a time when it has become more necessary than ever for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole, legitimate representative of that people, to be supported by all the forces in the world that cherish peace, justice and progress.
“Over the last few months the international community has witnessed with indignation the stepping up of the colonialist policy of the Zionist authorities in the occupied territories, including the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the upsurge in their criminal repressive measures against the defenceless people of Palestine and the introduction of new terrorist methods such as those used against various personages in the occupied territories; the intensification of their genocidal acts against the civilian population and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon; and Israel's persistent defiance of the will of the international community by its systematic rejection of United Nations decisions, including the resolution of the seventh special emergency session of the General Assembly on the question of Falestine and that of the Security Council on Jerusalem.
“It becomes obvious that Israel's persistence in this policy can be explained only by the sustained and unconditional backing it receives from the United States in the military, economic, political and diplomatic fields.
“These facts show that justice of the forceful condemnation expressed at their Sixth Summit Conference by the Heads or State or Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries of the policy of partial agreements promoted by imperialism in the Middle East, including the Camp David agreements and the separate treaty between Egypt and Israel, and at the same time confirm the validity of the principles laid down and oft-reiterated by the Non-Aligned Movement, to the effect that the Palestinian question is the crux of the Middle East conflict, and that the attainment of a just and lasting peace in the area is impossible without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and unconditional respect for the inalienable national rights of that people, including its right of return to, and of independence and national sovereignty in, Palestine.
“We are convinced that the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and enjoying the support and solidarity of the international community, will succeed in thwarting the designs of imperialism and zionism and will finally triumph in its just and heroic struggle for national independence and sovereignty.
“I take this occasion, Excellency, to express to you once again my most profound esteem.”
I should like to conclude my brief statement by stressing my delegation's great esteem for the tireless work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People and for the work you yourself have done, Sir, on behalf of this just cause.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of Cuba for the message from the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement which he has been kind enough to read to us, and for the gracious words he has addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Chairman of the Group of African States, Ambassador Sarre.
Mr. SARRE (Senegal), Chairman of the Group of African States (interpretation from French): For more than three decades now, the Palestinian people has been deprived of its fundamental human rights. This situation has prompted the international community to demand that an urgent, just and equitable and lasting solution be found to this problem in the interests of international peace and security.
The United Nations, which found itself involved early on in the settlement of the tragedy of the Palestinian people, has since then been making praiseworthy efforts to promote the exercise by the Palestinian people of its fundamental rights of return to its homeland, to self-determination and to national sovereignty.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which we commemorate today, comes within the context of the continuing efforts of our Organization for the triumph of right and justice. The Organization of African Unity, one of whose main objectives is the eradication of colonialism, could not remain aloof on a problem which fundamentally is a question of self-determination. Indeed, our Organization from its earliest days supported the recovery by the Palestinian people of its inalienable right to return to its homeland, to self-determination and to national independence.
At its seventeenth regular session, the Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Organization of African Unity reaffirmed, in resolution 787, that a lasting and just peace can be brought about only if the Palestinian people is able to exercise its inalienable rights, in particular its right to return to its homeland, to regain its national sovereignty and its right to self-determination, free from any foreign interference and, above all, to establish an independent State in Palestine.
The Heads of State or Government of the Organization of African Unity, on the same occasion, addressed an appeal to the international community to intensify its pressure on Israel, in all fields, so as to compel it to abide by the United Nations Charter and the resolutions adopted on the Palestinian question, which continue to remain relevant.
The Organization of African Unity also reaffirmed that Israel must put an end to its occupation of Arab and Palestinian territory, and it condemned Israeli measures of annexation and legislation affecting the Holy City of Jerusalem. All this shows how much our organization is devoted to a just settlement of the problem of Palestine.
In this connexion, it is of interest to recall that the Organization of African Unity, from the time of its thirteenth session, approved the recommendations of this Committee concerning a solution of the Palestine problem.
During 1980, an African country, namely, Tanzania, had the honour of being host to the first United Nations seminar on the rights of the Palestinian people.
These are a few examples to illustrate the interest in and support of the Palestinian cause which the members of the Organization of African Unity have displayed and continue to display. The African group within the United Nations, faithful to the resolutions of the seventeenth summit conference of the OAU will spare no effort towards having the Security Council take effective measures so as to allow the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable national rights which have been recognized by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Mr. Chairman, I avail myself of this opportunity, on behalf of the African Group and on my own behalf, to convey to you our warmest congratulations for the extremely praiseworthy efforts that you have tirelessly exerted to promote the rights of the Palestinian people.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the Chairman of the Group of African States for his message.
I now call on the Chairman of the Group of Asian States.
Mr. GYEE (Burma, Chairman of the Group of Asian States): Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Group of Asian States, of which my country is Chairman for this month, I am honoured and privileged to address this special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I should also like to join other speakers before me in thanking you for giving me the opportunity to participate in this solemn occasion.
Since the inception of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People five years ago and under the Committee's inspiration, the Palestinian question has fast acquired the proportions of a national Palestinian movement for the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. Clearly, the Committee can well take pride that its dedicated efforts have awakened interest in the international community and given rise to a greater degree of awareness. Without such acknowledgement and recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to self-determination, there can be no lasting peace in the Middle East.
The annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides us with the opportunity to assure the Palestinian people of our support for their just cause and to reaffirm our commitment to the various related resolutions adopted by the United Nations system. The guidelines and a sound basis for a just and lasting settlement have already been set forth in those resolutions.
As we are all aware, the Middle East problem, with all its political, military and economic complexities, concerns not only the peoples of the region but of the entire world. The instability of the region has been a cause for concern to the international community for many years and an urgent and genuine solution to the crisis is long overdue. The entire course of events in the Middle East points to the fact that the fate of the Palestinian people lies at the heart of the problem. As we see it, the imperative is for all countries and political factors which can have an influence in the Middle East region to make a concerted effort to help resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It is only logical that in any peace process and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East involving their future, the Palestinians should be represented with all other parties.
Today's observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People marks a further step of the progress in the continuing perseverance of the Palestinian people for the fulfilment of their national aspirations. We, the Group of Asian States, are confident that the Palestinian people will promote peace and stability of the region and the entire world.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the Chairman of the Group of Asian States for his statement.
I now call on the Chairman of the Group of Eastern European States.
Mr. HULINSKY (Czechoslovakia Chairman of the Group of Eastern European States) (interpretation from Russian): Mr. Chairman, first I should like to express my gratitude to you for inviting me to address this special meeting which is held annually to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. At the same time, on behalf of the delegations of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Czechoslovakia I should like to express our satisfaction at the substantial and useful work being done by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
The socialist countries take note that the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, is gaining growing support from the international community. The overwhelming majority of the Members of our Organization have in United Nations resolutions repeatedly emphasized the urgent need for a speedy solution to the Palestinian problem, which is the linchpin of the establishment of a lasting and just peace in the Middle East. Against a background of Israeli expansionist policy, the international community is becoming increasingly aware that as long as there is not full restoration of historical justice to the 4 million Palestinian people the situation of conflict in the Middle East will continue. The attempts to “solve” the Palestinian problem Camp David style are quite pointless. Continuation of separate talks under the cover of so-called autonomy in disregard of the national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, goes against the irreversible tide of history. Israel's disregard of important United Nations decisions and its policy concerning occupied Arab territories, the situation in Southern Lebanon, the annexation of Eastern Jerusalem, and Israel's attempts to annex other areas all provide striking proof of that.
The position of the socialist countries on behalf of which I am speaking on the issue of Palestine and settlement of the Middle East problem was once again repeated in May of this year in the joint declaration of States parties to the Warsaw Pact, which states:
“A lasting peace in the Middle East could have been established long ago. The road to such peace is well known, and the States represented at the meeting have also indicated it on many occasions – an all-embracing Middle Eastern political settlement with the direct participation of all the parties concerned including the Palestinian Arab people as embodied by its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the basis of respect for the legitimate interests of all States and peoples of the Middle East, including Israel.
“Such a settlement requires the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, the restoration of the right of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination, including the establishment of its own independent State, and the safeguarding of the sovereignty and security of all States of the region.” (A/35/237, annex II, pp. 10 and 11)
In conclusion I should like once again to assure the Committee that the socialist countries will continue to take an active part in its work to promote realization of its decisions and recommendations.
The CHAIRMAN: I call upon the representative of Colombia, who will address the Committee as Chairman of the Group of Latin American States.
Mr. LIEVANO (Colombia, Chairman of the Group of Latin American States) (interpretation from Spanish): We are pleased to take part in a ceremony such as this on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In this Committee we are hearing voiced the fervent desire of the international community not to see ignored or held in low regard the aspirations of a people which, for well known historical reasons, has been condemned to leading a precarious life as human jetsam and flotsam, cherishing as its sole support in adversity the hope of one day having a homeland that will offer a warm hearth to its citizens.
I am not unaware of the problems that will have to be overcome in order to fulfil that hope, such as full implementation of historic Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). These are problems inherent in the difficulties of an area that has for centuries, for Western and Eastern peoples alike, proved to be an irresistible magnet.
Whereas in the past foreign Powers carved out enclaves over which they held sway – enclaves in a land that had, over the generations, been invaded and conquered because of its strategic importance as a crossroads for global communications, its spiritual value as the centre of universal religions, and the fact that neighbouring countries were located in geographic areas where there were natural resources indispensable to civilization – we trust that countries having a major responsibility for what goes on in the area will, without further delay, demonstrate their political readiness fully to implement Security Council resolutions, and that, in the context of the solutions that must be reached, the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people will not be ignored. It would be a tragic mistake were indifference or apathy deemed to be an adequate response to the clamour of a people that has been suffering, and is suffering, the doleful consequences of situations created with neither its participation nor its consent.
In a day and age such as ours, when so many injustices have been corrected, one can hardly accept the existence of communities of human beings condemned to being scattered and pushed beyond the brink of what is properly fit for human beings, with second-class citizens and men and women deprived of enjoyment of their human rights.
Across the centuries Palestinians have shown that they can live in fellowship with other peoples and respect their deity and their credo. It shall not be we who recommend that they change their approach or praise them if such a change comes to pass, but we can hardly forget that as time goes by problems grow worse, wounds are deepened, and abuses occur such as the unilateral modification of the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Frustration invites acts of desperation, and the prospects for sensible solutions grow dim.
Patience is a good counsellor, always provided one does not use it as an alibi for not coming to grips in timely fashion with problems that could threaten international peace.
May I, as a Latin American, express in this forum the most sincere hope that the international community will redouble its efforts to find an early solution of the Middle East problem as well as of the tragic human dimensions it entails. Without running roughshod over the rights of every State to security and to recognized borders, that solution must also do right by the Palestinian Arab people.
In conclusion, I should like to express to Ambassador Kane of Senegal, our wholehearted congratulations on his achievements as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People as well as on his effective attempts to bring about the attainment of the objectives envisaged in General Assembly resolution 32/40 B.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank you for your very kind words, Mr. Ambassador. Your statement will be of great assistance to us when, in a short time, we begin our general debate on this item.
I now call on the representative of the Yemen Arab Republic.
Mr. ALAINI (Yemen) (interpretation from Arabic): The peoples of the world stand today and every day in solidarity with the Arab people of Palestine and express support for them in their great and just struggle to achieve the restoration of their rights to return to their homeland and to build their independent State, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole and legitimate representative of that struggling people.
That solidarity is quite clear, not through the celebrations and gatherings which are taking place today here and in other countries, nor through the official and informal statements which are heard everywhere today. That solidarity is clear through the various resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, by the Security Council, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and by other organizations and institutions of the United Nations system and also through the attitudes of the non-aligned countries and the Islamic Conference, the Western European States and all international gatherings, official and unofficial.
The only exception has been the attitude of the United States of America and, despite all we heard in the last election campaign, we hope that the new Administration will reconsider the attitude of the United States of America and will remember that President Wilson was the first who called for the right of peoples to self-determination in 1918.
The Yemen Arab Republic, its people and its Government, constantly proclaim their support for the struggle of the Arab people of Palestine for the full restoration of their rights, including the guarantee of their maintaining the eternal city, sacred Jerusalem. Today we join with the peoples of the world, with the States of the world, in showing that solidarity.
I am happy to read out to the Committee at this meeting the message sent on this occasion by Lieutenant Colonel Ali Abdulla Saleh, the Head of State of the Yemen Arab Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The message is addressed to His Excellency Mr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and reads as follows:
“I am happy on this occasion, when the United Nations is celebrating the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to pay a tribute to your constant and sincere efforts in attempting to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate national rights to self-determination and national sovereignty over Palestinian territory.
“The people and Government of the Yemen Arab Republic follow with keen interest and great appreciation all the activity related to the cause of the Palestinian Arab people and particularly the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. We consider the commemoration by the United Nations of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to exercise its rights over its territory and to self-determination, by the United Nations in general and the Committee in particular.
“We also consider this commemoration an expression of international support for the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people, led by the PLO, against Zionist occupation and for the restoration of its right to return to its land, to self-determination and to set up its independent State on its national soil in the land of Palestine.”
The message concludes with greetings to the Secretary-General and is signed by Lieutenant Colonel Ali Abdulla Saleh, Head of State of the Yemen Arab Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Thank you very much for your message.
I now call on the Rapporteur of the Committee.
Mr. GAUCI (Malta) (Rapporteur, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People): I have a brief, sincere and heartfelt message from the Prime Minister of Malta on this occasion. It reads as follows:
“On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government of the Republic of Malta notes with great satisfaction the increasing international awareness of the just struggle of the Palestinian people to attain its inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.
“It is earnestly hoped that the momentum achieved so far will be further advanced until the long-overdue solution of the Palestinian problem is achieved, thereby enhancing the prospects of peaceful co-operation in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean.
“The Socialist Government of Malta reiterates its determination to advance the Palestinian cause as it has consistently done in the past and declares its strong conviction that the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, should participate fully in the search for a lasting solution of the Palestinian question.”
The message is signed “Dom Mintoff, Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta”.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Thank you very much for your message.
I now call on the representative of Pakistan, who will make a statement on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Mr. AHMAD (Pakistan), Organization of the Islamic Conference: As we meet today to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the privilege to express, on behalf of the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, our total and unstinted solidarity with the Palestinian people in its struggle for its inalienable national rights, including its right to self-determination and to have a sovereign State of its own in Palestine. The Moslem world joins the international community in reiterating its commitment to the just cause of the Palestinian people who, for more than three decades, have been suffering from the pain of exile and oppression inflicted upon them by the Zionist entity.
Ever since the infamous Balfour Declaration, which revealed the conspiracy between imperialism and zionism to implant an alien population in Palestine and dispossess the Palestinian people of their ancient homeland, the tragedy of Palestine has stirred deep emotions and anguish among the Islamic nations. The enormous sufferings of the Palestinian people and their continuing exile have constantly distressed the Moslem world, which has remained unswervingly committed to the valiant struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and to the liberation of the Palestinian homeland as well as the Holy City of Jerusalem.
This determination and the deep indignation of the Islamic world over Israel's defiance of the verdict of the international community on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people has been consistently manifested in the declarations and resolutions of the Islamic Conference. Successive Islamic Conferences have demanded the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem; the restoration to the people of Palestine of their inalienable national rights, including the right to establish an independent and sovereign State of their own in their homeland under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the dismantling of all Jewish settlements in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.
Until these just demands are met in full, the prospects of a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East will elude us, and the world community will continue to be haunted by the spectre of a wider conflict in which the interests of those who protect and sustain Israel will suffer most.
Categorically rejecting the aggressive policies and measures persistently applied by Israel against the Palestinian people and the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories including the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Islamic Foreign Ministers, meeting in an extraordinary session of the Islamic Conference in Amman in July of this year, expressed their conviction that it had now become necessary to apply the measures under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations against Israel. At the initiative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations Security Council met several times this year to consider the grave situation arising from Israel's illegal policies and actions in the occupied territories.
In total defiance of all norms of international law and morality, Israel has persisted in its policy of changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and status of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem. Israeli authorities revived with increased vigour the obsessive Zionist scheme to Judaize the Holy City of Jerusalem by systematically mutilating its historic personality and turning it into the capital of Israel. Responding to this explosive situation, the international community condemned and rejected these measures as illegal, as is evident from the resolutions adopted this year by the Security Council and the emergency special session of the General Assembly.
It is heartening to see that over the past decade, the Palestinian cause has received consistent recognition and strong affirmation from the predominant majority of the States Members of the United Nations. It is encouraging to see that the world at large has become increasingly aware of the existence of the Palestinians as a people legitimately entitled to the exercise of their inalienable national and political rights. There is now a universal consensus that any search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which ignores the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is doomed to failure.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People symbolizes the recognition by the world community of the justness of the Palestinian cause. The Islamic countries have indissoluble cultural and religious links with their Palestinian brethren and will continue to extend to them their steadfast support for the realization of their legitimate aspirations. In this connexion, the United Nations, to which Israel owes its existence, has inescapable obligations to ensure that justice prevails and that the long and arduous struggle of the Palestinian people reaches its culmination by restoring to them their inalienable national and human rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. I now call upon the representative of Oman.
Mr. ABOUL NASR (Oman) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour on this occasion to read the text of a cable sent by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said to you, Mr. Chairman, on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“To His Excellency the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:
“On this occasion on which the international community is commemorating its Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are happy to reaffirm our support and solidarity with our brothers the Palestinian Arab people in their struggle to restore their legitimate rights. This commemoration is taking place in a year that has witnessed a major event, namely, the decision of the Israeli Government to annex Jerusalem and to consider it as the capital of Israel. That decision is another link in the chain of Israeli policies aimed at imposing a fait accompli on the Arab occupied territories, in clear defiance of all international norms and principles and in a spirit of unprecedented intransigence.
“In contrast, the Palestine Liberation Organization is carrying out a prominent and humanitarian role at the international level and expressing its true desire to achieve a just and durable peace in the Middle East. The international community today is asked to oppose the illegitimate and illegal practices of Israel that threaten international peace and security and to put pressure on Israel to change its aggressive policies to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and to put an end to its repeated aggressions against the Arab nation.
“The international community is also called upon to intensify its support and assistance to the Palestine Liberation Organization in its struggle to achieve a just peace. The attention given by the United Nations to the Palestinian cause is worthy of appreciation, and its recognition and support of the Palestine Liberation Organization is deserving of our admiration. It is proof that the aspirations of people and their confidence in the Organization is not misplaced.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of Oman, and I now call upon the representative of Iraq.
Mr. AL-ALI (Iraq) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to read the message sent by President Saddam Hussain to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The message reads as follows:
“Mr. Chairman, I am happy to greet you and the other members of the Committee on behalf of the Iraqi people and Government and to salute the efforts you are exerting to ensure the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The establishment of this distinguished Committee was an expression of the growing awareness of the peoples and Governments of the world and their just understanding of the rights of peoples and their cause following upon the weakness of the role of the imperialist countries which exerted every effort to mislead Governments and peoples and to deprive them of sufficient information related to that cause.
“Today, the new international attitude characterized by a broad understanding and objectivity with regard to the cause of peoples has led to two situations that have inspired the creation of this Committee. The first was the number of States of the world whose peoples were subjected to direct occupation by the great Powers, who liberated themselves and who now enjoy the right to decide their own policies and attitudes towards various world problems, a situation that did not prevail when Palestine was forcibly usurped and hundreds of thousands of its people were dispersed as a result of the Zionist invasion supported by the main imperialist Powers. The liberation of those States and the fact that they have taken their places in the General Assembly of the United Nations have deepened the legitimacy of the international Organization and allowed it to establish special committees to condemn oppression and racism and the violation of human rights. One of these Committees is the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which unveils and unmasks the oppression practised against the Palestinian people and ensures their national and historic inalienable rights.
“The second condition which encouraged the creation of this Committee is the struggle waged by the Palestinian Arab people with every means which has continued for more than three decades. This struggle has also unmasked the reality of zionism – the fact that it is a racist movement, a racist entity, which achieves its unlawful advantages in Palestine through brute force and with the direct and announced support of great Powers at the expense of the Palestinian people, the majority of which has been dispersed in various countries of the world and rendered homeless and stateless.
“Today the world understands that the Zionist entity is not in any way a true entity in the Middle East and that it was not set up as an expression of the presence of a population group already in the area. In affirmation of this historic truth we find that that entity, because it is illegal and alien, depends on force of arms to prevent the genuine and indigenous population from recovering its historical rights.
“No one in the world, including the strongest supporters of the Zionist entity, can ignore any longer the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, rights which have been publicized through the sacrifice of thousands of Palestinians who have died as martyrs in defence of their lands and homeland and through the contributions of the other sons of the Arab nation to this long and difficult struggle.
“Those who respect human rights understand that the Zionist entity could not have been set up on Arab Palestine lands had it not been for the military, material and political support of the large imperialist Powers. We understand, as do all honourable men in the world, that this imported and alien entity – alien to the people, to its heritage and to the area – could not have continued its expansionist and racist policies at the expense of the Arab peoples but for the unlimited support provided it by the great Powers which established it by force.
“How can such a small entity with no resources, which imports everything from food to weapons, carry out successive wars against its Arab neighbours and occupy not only the land of Palestine but also territories of Syria, Egypt and Lebanon? How could such an entity have carried out such crimes and wars without direct support from the great Powers, and particularly the United States of America? How could such an entity have defied and ignored United Nations resolutions concerning respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and condemning the occupation of Arab territories outside Palestine if major Powers, and particularly the United States, had not protected it – in particular by using the right of veto to prevent the United Nations from carrying out its responsibilities in respect of the world situation and the rights of oppressed peoples? The unlimited and unconditional support given to the Zionist entity by the United States of America strongly encourages that entity and enables it to continue to practise its policy of expansion and racial discrimination and to defy the United Nations and its institutions.
“The international community, desirous of peace and justice, is called upon to continue to exert every effort to urge all States, and particularly the permanent members of the Security Council, to respect the rights of peoples and States and to give the international Organization the opportunity to fulfil its real and well-known role.
“We make those observations because we continue to believe that the rejection and ignoring by Zionist entity of hundreds of resolutions adopted by the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and especially its ignoring of this Committee, which supports the rights of the Palestinian people and calls upon the Zionist entity to cease its policy of racial discrimination, oppression and regional expansion, weaken the United Nations and tarnish its role; and, with all due respect, the United States also shows its lack of respect for the international Organization and its insistence on weakening its role.
“We hope to see the United Nations strong, with real powers with which it can implement its resolutions relating to support of the right of peoples by various means and in particular by preventing the right of veto from being used for unjust purposes or in the selfish interests of any particular country.
“The United States Government, which claims to respect human rights and is proud of the fact that it is a country of democracy and freedom, has become a direct party to and financier and supporter of all the racist, expansionist and aggressive policies carried out by the Zionist entity in the past and at present. In fact, it increased its hostility towards the United Nations when it embraced the policy of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, which is hostile to the peoples of Egypt and the Arab nation and led to the Camp David agreements, whose objective was and remains the elimination of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to affect adversely the basic interests of the Arab nation. That in itself subjects the world to great dangers and helps to weaken the role of the United Nations.
“The Arab States, the non-aligned countries and the United Nations General Assembly have condemned the Camp David agreements on the basis that they are hostile to the aspirations and rights of the Palestinian people. In spite of this international unanimity, the Government of the United States, the Sadat Government in Egypt and the Zionist entity are determined to continue along the path of the Camp David agreements, ignoring Arab and international rejection of them.
“While voicing our appreciation for the efforts of this Committee to make the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people known world-wide, and while fully appreciative of your personal efforts in this regard, Mr. Chairman, we also understand that the struggle against zionism – zionism, which has been denounced by the General Assembly as a racist, expansionist movement – is a long and arduous one as a result of the enormous support provided by international imperialism to zionism and its entity in occupied Palestine. Therefore, in order to maintain and guarantee the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to thwart every effort to violate those rights, the Arab nations have been urged to pledge themselves to implement a programme of action, to continue the long struggle and to make sacrifices. We have also co-operated with the countries of the third world, which have been, and still are, subjected to racist or imperialist oppression, and with all honourable peoples in the world in order to guarantee and maintain the rights of the Palestinian people and respect for them, and to support its legitimate struggle.
“In conclusion, we wish to point out that in Iraq we are now suffering from a similar problem in which we have been obliged to wage a bitter war with a neighbouring State with which we have historical links that we would have liked to continue and consolidate. But the policies of successive Iranian Governments, particularly in the past two years, which have been characterized by continued aggression against our territory and our people, and by the continued occupation of parts of our territory, as well as by various forms of interference in Iraq's internal affairs, have led the two countries to a large-scale military confrontation. In defence of the rights of the land of Iraq and its sovereignty and the inalienable rights of the Arab people, we were obliged to wage this war with Iran. We would point out that the United States of America has once again played a role similar to the one it has played in encouraging and supporting the policies of the Zionist aggressive entity: the Washington Government has encouraged the Tehran Government to escalate its hostilities towards Iraq and to violate its borders and territorial waters and has resorted to providing the Government of Tehran with weapons, equipment and spare parts in order to enable it to wage war against us and to continue the war through the assistance of the Zionist entity or of others.
“We should like on this occasion to extend our greetings and to pay a tribute to you, Mr. Chairman, and your Committee and to wish you every success in achieving its objectives.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of Tunisia.
Mr. CHEBAANE (Tunisia) (interpretation from Arabic): I am pleased to read out the text of the message sent by the President of the Republic of Tunisia to the United Nations on this occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
“At a time when the international community is commemorating the third anniversary of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am happy to present to your distinguished Committee our appreciation for the successful efforts it has been making to uphold justice and right and to support the struggle of the Palestinian people to regain its legitimate rights.
“For more than 30 years the struggling Palestinian people has been subjected to the worst kind of injustice, oppression and deprivation by a State that has based its policies on occupation, expansion and a denial of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and resolutions of the Organization which established that State in the first place. Israel has carried out its operations of dispersal in order to bring in people alien to the area to displace its indigenous population; at the same time, it has continued to carry out its policies of establishing settlements within the occupied Arab territories and has attempted to alter the sacred religious character of the Holy Places, thus flouting both religious sensitivities and resolutions issued by international organizations, as well as all precepts of morality.
“Today Israel is continuing its defiance of all international legal and moral principles and the feelings of the entire world by declaring Jerusalem its eternal capital. It is continuing this defiance and intransigence in spite of the fact that the Security Council has declared Israel's actions null and void.
“In spite of Israel's alleged desire for peace, we find that Palestinian camps are subjected daily to air raids and bombardments by land and by sea, to such an extent that southern Lebanon also has become a theatre for Israel's practices of terrorism, destruction and assassination. Israel's intransigence and stubbornness in carrying out this policy is further proof of its adherence to the policy of hegemony and faits accomplis.
“The tension and danger prevailing in the Middle East constitute a constant state of war that threatens international peace and security. This situation that has beset the area after four devastating wars and the destruction, disaster and tragedy resulting therefrom are due to Israel's disregard for the core of the problem and its denial of the most basic human rights.
“On more than one occasion I have announced Tunisia's attitude towards the Palestinian cause, and I still maintain that a just and comprehensive peace cannot prevail in the area unless we work together and in a spirit of international legitimacy in order to eliminate this greatest injustice of the twentieth century by enabling the Palestinian people, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, to exercise its inalienable and legitimate rights of return to its homeland and of self-determination.
“We hope that a settlement based on justice, stability and security in the area will prevail. We will thus have saved the world from the dangers of war and its resulting tragedy, thereby allowing the world's people to direct their efforts to a better future in which harmony and understanding will reign supreme.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of Tunisia for having read out that message from his Head of State.
I now call on the representative of Mongolia.
Mr. DASHTSEREN (Mongolia): The following is a message from Yumjaagiyn Tsedenbal, Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Great Hural of the Mongolian People's Republic, which I wish to read out:
“His Excellency the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the United Nations, New York:
“On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, may I, on behalf of the Government and people of the Mongolian People's Republic, as well as in my own name, extend cordial and warm greetings, through you, to the Palestinian people and their legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“It is gratifying to note that the just struggle being waged by the Arab people of Palestine for their legitimate rights and for the creation of a nation-State of their own has been gaining strength with the increasing support of the progressive world community, and that the international prestige of the Palestine Liberation Organization has continued to grow.
“There is a wide-spread awareness in the world today that the maintenance of a just and durable peace in the Middle East would not be feasible unless the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to a national State of their own, are ensured.
“The work of the United Nations General Assembly emergency special session, which discussed the Palestinian issue last July and adopted an important resolution, is a vivid demonstration of the foregoing.
“The Mongolian People's Republic condemns the United States-Israeli-Egyptian talks on the so-called question of granting the right to self-determination to the Palestinians living on the West Bank of the Jordan River and in the Gaza Strip under the Camp David conspiracy as an attempt to secure the Israeli aggressors's occupation of Arab territories by the use of a new trick. We believe that the world community must strive with might and main to frustrate that design.
“I take this opportunity to express once again our firm solidarity with the Arab people of Palestine, who are waging a long and just struggle for their freedom and independence which, from its first days, has been unswervingly supported by the people and Government of the Mongolian People's Republic. I sincerely wish the heroic Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization and its leaders success in their sacred struggle against imperialist, zionist and Arab reactionary forces for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and for the creation of their national State.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I thank the representative of Mongolia for reading out to us the message from his Head of State.
The next speaker is the representative of the Philippines.
Mr. YANGO (Philippines): It gives me much pleasure to read out the message from His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Head of State and Government of the Republic of the Philippines, addressed to you, Mr. Chairman. It read as follows:
“On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am pleased to convey the warm greetings of the Government and people of the Philippines to your Excellency and to the distinguished members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
“The Government and people of the Philippines remain steadfastly committed to the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the question of Palestine, based on the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to the exercise of its inalienable national right to self-determination, including its right to national existence as a State in its homeland and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from occupied Arab territories, as well as the right of all States in the region to exist within secure and recognized boundaries in the terms of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
“My country's consistent support of these principles is fully reflected in our voting record on pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly and, more particularly, of the Security Council, of which we are now an active non-permanent member.
“I take this opportunity to commend the valuable and excellent work done by the Committee under your wise and inspired leadership in its untiring efforts to secure the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
“Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I should like to thank Ambassador Yango for reading out the message from his Head of State.
We shall meet again at 3 o'clock this afternoon to continue our commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The meeting rose at 1.30 p.m.
Document Type: Document, Meeting record, Meeting records, Verbatim Record
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), General Assembly
Subject: Palestine question, Solidarity day
Publication Date: 28/11/1980