September 1993

Volume XVI, Bulletin No. 9

Contents

Page

I.

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People  reviews developments in the peace process

1

II.

Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization issued as United Nations document

2

III.

Excerpt from the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization

2

IV.

Statements issued by the Secretary-General in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian agreement

3

V.

Statements by the European Community concerning the Israeli-Palestinian agreement

4

VI.

Excerpt from final communiqué of the Gulf Cooperation Council

5

VII.

Excerpt from statement of the Committee on Palestine of the Non-Aligned Movement

5

VIII.

Other statements issued on the occasion of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement

6

IX.

Non-Governmental Organizations: activities and information

7


I.  COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE

    PALESTINIAN PEOPLE REVIEWS DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PEACE PROCESS

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 200th meeting on 16 September 1993.  The Chairman reported on the European NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting held at Vienna from 23 to 27 August, as well as the African Seminar and NGO Symposium held at Dakar from 30 August to 3 September 1993. The Chairman stressed that in the light of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the PLO and Israel on 13 September, the United Nations must continue and intensify its involvement in the question of Palestine in the difficult period ahead.  The Committee would continue to strengthen its efforts to monitor the situation on the ground, to bring new developments affecting Palestinian rights to the attention of the international community and to mobilize public opinion and action in support of the Palestinian people.

The Committee heard a statement by the Observer for Palestine to the United Nations, Mr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, concerning the new developments.

As summarized in a press release, (see GA/PAL/638), he said:

"…

"The recent events in Washington required some comprehensive clarification with regard to background, the document arrived at, Chairman Yasser Arafat's meeting with the Secretary-General, and the Palestinian position in the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

"Many contacts between the PLO and some Israelis had been made, he said.  The PLO had a clear-cut political stand, but complications had arisen on the Israeli side.  The door had been opened when the Israeli Knesset revoked the law banning contacts with the PLO.  Most contacts which ensued had been made through the "Oslo channel" since the beginning of this year.  A specific text was agreed to and was signed by both sides and the events in Washington ensued.

"The declaration of principles signed in Washington was not a treaty, he said.  It dealt with the establishment of self-rule and laid the basis for negotiations based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  It also provided for complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho. The declaration, which would take effect on 13 October, was a far-reaching one.  The pull-out of troops would be completed in about four months.  Once troop withdrawal was complete, democratic elections would be held in all territories and Palestinians from Jerusalem would participate in that process. Israeli troops would then pull out from densely occupied territories and would be repositioned in certain parts of the occupied territories.

"During that period, Palestinians drawn largely from the PLO army, would serve as police, he said.  An agreement on the return of refugees – some half-million to 700,000 citizens – would follow.  Other important issues would be settled through negotiations.  They concerned Jerusalem, the settlements, boundaries and refugees.

"The PLO believed that the declaration of principles was a step on the road to peace, he went on.  It represented a new beginning for the region.  A long, difficult road lay ahead and international assistance would be needed. Negotiations would soon be held on implementing the declaration.  That process would be a critical litmus test.  The Palestinians stood ready to do their part.

"When Chairman Arafat met with Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, he had demonstrated the paramount importance of the United Nations, which must attend fully to the peace process. Chairman Arafat had expressed the wish that the United Nations would play a wide-ranging role in the transition process, including through the provision of technical assistance.  It was hoped that the negotiations would open the way for military observers to be deployed to the area. The Secretary-General had responded positively to those sentiments stating that he would send a delegation to the occupied territories to evaluate the situation there and to render assistance.

"With respect to the upcoming General Assembly, he said the PLO would be ready to put an end to the state of antagonism by considering a departure from the usual United Nations resolutions.  The United Nations must play a central role in implementing the declaration of principles.  It must continue to seek a final settlement that would recognize the right of the Palestinian people to their own state.  "Our stance is a balanced one that is also acceptable.  It takes into account positive developments while upholding basic principles."  He lauded the Committee for its long-standing support and stated that its work would be needed in the future."

In conclusion, the Chairman expressed great satisfaction with developments regarding the question of Palestine.

He subscribed to the feeling of hope expressed by various members and observers of the Committee (Sri Lanka, India, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Egypt, Pakistan) who had stressed their support for the Palestinian people.  (See press release GA/PAL/638)

II.  DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES ON INTERIM SELF-GOVERNMENT ARRANGEMENTS

     BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION

    ISSUED AS UNITED NATIONS DOCUMENT

In a joint letter by the Permanent Representatives of the United States of America and the Russian Federation, as co-sponsors of the Madrid peace process and witnesses to the signing in Washington on 13 September, by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its annexes and agreed minutes, as well as in similar letters by the Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer of Palestine, all dated 8 October 1993, the Secretary-General was requested to circulate that document as an official document of the forty-eighth session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 10, ("Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization"), and of the Security Council.

The full text of the Declaration, annexes and minutes, together with the accompanying letters, was issued under the symbol A/48/486-S/26560.  Copies of the document can be obtained from the Division for Palestinian Rights.

III.  EXCERPT FROM THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

    ON THE WORK OF THE ORGANIZATION

The report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session and issued prior to the new developments in the peace process, contained the following paragraphs relating to the question of Palestine (see A/48/1 paras. 377 to 379):

"…

"In the course of the past year, the plight of the Palestinian people living under occupation has not been alleviated.  There has, moreover, been a dramatic worsening of the human rights situation in the occupied territories.  In a particularly grave incident, Israel deported over 400 Palestinian civilians to southern Lebanon in December 1992.  The Security Council, in its resolution 799 (1992), inter alia reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, demanded that Israel ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported, and requested me to send a representative to the area and to report to the Council.  Conscious of the possible effect of that event on the fragile process of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, and with a view to finding a solution, I dispatched several missions to the area, led respectively by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and my Special Political Adviser.  I had a number of meetings and telephone conversations with leaders in the region and representatives of interested Governments.  Regrettably, those efforts were not successful and, in my report to the Security Council of 25 January 1993 (S/25149), I recommended that the Council should take whatever measures were required to ensure that its unanimous decision was respected.

"I have also been seriously alarmed by the reports of the rapid worsening of the socio-economic situation in the occupied territories.  As the Palestinian economy is weak and highly dependent on that of Israel, the livelihood of the Palestinian communities suffered further damage when Israel closed off the occupied territories in March 1993.  I have appealed to the international community to provide greater economic assistance to the occupied territories.  In this connection, I have also reminded the major donors of the critical financial situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

"Because of the long-standing commitment of the United Nations to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), I welcomed the invitation extended in October 1992 by the co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process for the participation of the United Nations as a full extraregional participant in the multilateral working groups on environment, economic and regional development, water, refugees, arms control and regional security in the Middle East.  Representatives of the United Nations attended and took an active part in the meetings of the working groups held in October-November 1992 in Paris, The Hague and Ottawa and in April-May 1993 at Geneva, Rome, Oslo, Washington and Tokyo.  In November 1992, I appointed Chinmaya Gharekhan as my Special Representative at the multilateral talks."

IV.  STATEMENTS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

   IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN AGREEMENT

The following statement was issued by a spokesman for the Secretary-General on 1 September 1993:

"The Secretary-General has studied the text of the draft Israeli-Palestinian agreement issued yesterday.  He congratulates the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian delegation and expresses the hope that they will sign the agreement so that it may enter into force soon.

"The Secretary-General notes that the draft accord envisages an international presence in connection with its implementation.  Once the agreement has been signed, and should the two parties so request, the United Nations will be ready to provide assistance in every possible way in the areas specified in the agreement in order to contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations."  (See SG/SM/5073)
Later, on 9 September 1993, the following was issued:

"In an effort to support the momentum in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and in response to requests he has received from PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres, the Secretary-General last night established a high-level task force whose focus will be the economic and social development of the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

"Members of the task force include UNDP Administrator James Gustave Speth, UNICEF Executive Director James Grant, UNRWA Commissioner-General Ilter Türkmen, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs James Jonah and special political adviser to the Secretary-General Chinmaya Rajaninath Gharekhan.

"The priorities of the task force, whose work begins immediately, will be the following: to establish an integrated United Nations approach towards development in these areas, with a particular focus on Gaza, where needs are greatest; to coordinate with other institutions, agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in ongoing development projects so as to avoid a duplication of efforts; and to mobilize international financial support for this process. The task force will prepare proposals for the Secretary-General before the start of the General Assembly."  (See SG/SM/5077)
A further statement was issued on 15 September 1993:

"Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali met this evening at United Nations Headquarters with Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

"The two men first met in a tête-à-tête, and were then joined by their respective delegations. The Secretary-General's delegation included Chinmaya Rajaninath Gharekhan, his special political adviser, and James O.C. Jonah, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.  Mr. Arafat's delegation comprised members of the PLO Executive Committee: Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, Yasser Amer and Jaweed El-Ghussein; PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi; and Palestine's Permanent Observer to the United Nations Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa.

"The Secretary-General congratulated Mr. Arafat on the historic agreement between the PLO and Israel which, he said, would benefit not only Palestinians and Israelis, but would serve also as a model to the international community on the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes.

"The Secretary-General confirmed to Mr. Arafat that the United Nations system was ready to assist in the implementation of the agreement. The United Nations would coordinate assistance from its agencies and programmes.  A special coordinator would be appointed to liaise with the parties concerned.

"The Secretary-General acknowledged the reference to an international presence in the PLO-Israeli agreement and assured Mr. Arafat that the United Nations would be prepared to provide electoral assistance if needed.  A task force for development assistance to Gaza and the West Bank has been formed, and it was agreed that a technical mission would be dispatched to Tunis within the next few weeks for discussions with PLO officials.

"Mr. Arafat expressed his gratitude to the Secretary-General for the positive role of the United Nations and underlined the importance he attached to the role of the Organization in the implementation of the PLO-Israeli agreement." (See SG/SM/5088 , PAL/1804)

V.  STATEMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY CONCERNING

   THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN AGREEMENT

The following statement was issued by the Presidency on 21 August 1993:

"The Israeli-Palestinian agreement in principle constitutes a historic step towards the establishment of peace in this sorely tried region.

"The European Community and its member States pay tribute to the vision and courage of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders who have managed to overcome numerous and thorny obstacles in order to lay the foundations for a better future for both their peoples.  They are prepared to facilitate the implementation and success of this agreement.

"The European Community and its member States take this opportunity to reiterate their total support for the Middle East peace process, initiated at Madrid, with a view to its resulting, through full application of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in a global, just and lasting solution to the whole Israeli-Arab conflict."  (See A/47/1008-S/26396)
On 13 September 1993, the Presidency issued the following statement:

"The European Community and its member States pay tribute to the vision and courage of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders who signed this historic agreement, which represents a positive breakthrough in the peace process.

"The European Community and its member States offer their continuing political support and readiness to participate in further international arrangements arising in connection with implementation of the agreement.

"Stressing the fact that the Community and its member States are already the largest net contributor to the occupied territories, the Community and its member States announce their intention to continue to be a substantive contributor.  The European Community is ready to offer a package of immediate aid of 20 million ECU and to discuss medium-term aid with Palestinian institutions as they are formed.

"The European Community and its member States reiterate their commitment to a comprehensive peace and hope that progress will be accomplished in other bilateral negotiations and in the multilateral talks on future cooperation. As a chairman of the Regional Economic Development Working Group, the European Community and its member States are prepared to contribute to all forms of regional economic cooperation."  (See A/47/1019-S/26447)

VI.  EXCERPT FROM FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

After meeting on 5 and 6 September 1993, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a communiqué on their work which contained the following passage:

"…The Ministerial Council is closely following developments in the Middle East peace process.  It expresses its satisfaction at the resumption of bilateral negotiations in the eleventh round and affirms the contents of its statement of 5 September 1993, which welcomes the draft agreement reached by the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel as a first step towards a just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of land for peace, the achievement of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, and from Jerusalem first and foremost, the guaranteeing of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination, and the establishment of firm foundations on which to guarantee security and stability in the Middle East.

"The Council reaffirms its continued support for peace efforts undertaken in conformity with agreed foundations and principles and keenly hopes that the negotiations will produce substantial progress in all fields, thus moving the peace process forward."  (See A/48/379-S/26411)

VII.  EXCERPT FROM STATEMENT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE

    OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT

A meeting of the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the members of the Committee on Palestine of the Non-Aligned Movement took place in New York on 28 September 1993 to consider the new developments relating to the question of Palestine. The final statement includes the following:

"The Committee was briefed on the recent developments, in particular the signing on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel leading to  a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

"The Committee welcomed that important step and expressed the hope that the declaration will be fully implemented.  They expressed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in its efforts to build a Palestinian national authority on Palestinian soil, including Jerusalem, towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The Committee emphasized the need for the early commencement of the permanent status negotiations on the basis of international legitimacy, which shall cover the remaining issues, including: Jerusalem refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.  The Committee also hailed the sacrifices made by the Palestinian people in their long struggle to achieve their inalienable rights, and reaffirmed the position of principle of the Non-Aligned Movement in support of the implementation of those inalienable rights.

"The Committee stressed the need to expeditiously take further steps with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which are essential for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, which include the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories including the Syrian Golan Heights, Southern Lebanon and Jerusalem.

"The Committee further reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is solved in all its aspects, and stressed the need for an effective and broad role for the United Nations in the peace process and in providing all kinds of assistance to the Palestinian people.  The Committee welcomed the steps taken by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in this regard.

"The Committee decided to continue to monitor closely the developments concerning the implementation of the Declaration of Principles in accordance with its mandate."  (See A/48/455-S/26502)

VIII.  OTHER STATEMENTS ISSUED ON THE OCCASION OF THE

      ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN AGREEMENT

A number of Governments and intergovernmental organizations circulated statements at the United Nations supporting the Israeli-Palestinian agreement and expressing the hope that it would lead to a just and lasting peace in accordance with United Nations resolutions.  The following were issued:

Communiqué issued by Mr. Abdou Diouf in his dual capacity as Chairman of the Sixth Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and President of the Republic of Senegal (A/47/1017)

Press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore (A/48/488-S/26563)

Press release issued by the Government of El Salvador (A/48/481-S/26548)

Statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar (A/48/450)

Statement issued by Government of Ghana and letter from the President of that country (A/48/459)

Statement issued by the official spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India (S/26459)

Statement issued by the Government of India (A/47/1024)

Statement issued by the Government of Thailand (A/48/437-S/26494)

Statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Bolivia (A/47/1021)

Statement made by the President of the Philippines (A/48/429)

Letter from the President of Madagascar (A/48/415-S/26473 and A/48/410-S/26465)

Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia (A/47/1020-S/26453)

Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela (A/47/1018-S/26443)

Statement by the Government of Brunei Darussalam (A/48/487-S/26505)

Statement by the official spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India (S/26459)

Statement from the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (press release NY/OAU/BUR/36/93)

IX.  NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION

In the course of September, the following information was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights:

1. La Paix en Mouvement, article on Palestine available in September/ October issue.  Available from: 139, Boulevard Victor Hugo, F-93-400 Saint Ouen, CCP 780-56 Z, France.

2. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, available from: The American Educational Trust, P.O. Box 53062, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.

3. ADC Times, publication of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  Available from: 4201 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20008, United States of America.

4. Israel and Palestine Political Report devoted to "The Israel-PLO Accord – A New Era", available from: Magelan and Association Mashdek Développement, ISSN 0294 1341, Boite Postale 130, 75463 Paris CEDEX 10, France.

5. The Middle East, monthly publication available from: IC Publications Ltd., 7 Coldbath Square, London EC1R 4LQ, United Kingdom.

6. Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, briefing paper entitled "From Shamir to Rabin: What chance for peace?", available from: 21, Collingham Road, London SW5 ONV, United Kingdom.

7. Middle East International, biweekly publication, available from: P.O. Box 53365, Temple Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.

8. The Other Front, weekly bulletin on developments in Israeli society, available from: The Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.

9. The Other Israel, newsletter of the Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, available from: P.O. Box 2542, Holon, Israel 58125.

10. "Surveillance and Defamation, Arab-American Political Rights in Times of Crisis", special report of the Arab-American Institute, available from: 918 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, D.C. 20077-2505.

11. Samed, Palestinian Prison Voices, Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners, available from: P.O. Box 19543, Jerusalem, Israel.

12. April 17, quarterly publication by the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem.

13. News from Within, newsletter of the Alternative Information Center, P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem, Vol. IX, No. 9 containing an article on "The Oslo Agreement".

14. North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACC), The Fax Tree, "Special Report on Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles", available from: NACC, 1747 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20009.

15. Palestine Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC) of the Arab Studies Society, "PHRIC Statement: Human Rights Issues After the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles", available from: PHRIC, P.O. Box 20479, Jerusalem.

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