SPECIAL BULLETIN ON THE COMMEMORATION

OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY

WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

1990


I.  COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

On 29 November 1990, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed at United Nations Headquarters, New York, and at Geneva, Vienna, at UNESCO in Paris as well as several other cities.

All States Members of the United Nations, specialized agencies and observers were invited to attend the solemn meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which took place at United Nations Headquarters in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.

At that meeting, statements were made by H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco (Malta), President of the General Assembly; and H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations.  The Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights read out a message from H.E. Mr. Thomas R. Pickering (United States of America), President of the Security Council for the month of November, and the Observer ad interim of Palestine, Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Statements were also made by H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, representative of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait and Chairman of the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference; H.E. Mr. Daya Perera (Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories; H.E. Mr. Darko Silovíc (Yugoslavia), representative of the Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; H.E. Mr. Abulmarek Ismail Mohamed, Observer ad interim for the League of Arab States; and Ms. Jeanne Butterfield, representative of the International Coordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.

A concluding statement was made by the Chairman.

Messages to commemorate the occasion were received from 28 heads of State, 11 heads of Government, 11 Foreign Ministers, 3 Governments, as well as the representatives of 2 intergovernmental and 5 non-governmental organizations.

In further commemoration of the International Day, the Committee arranged the screening of a series of films during the week beginning 29 November in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium.

At the request of the Committee, in still further commemoration of the International Day, the office of the Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations presented an exhibit in cooperation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was displayed in the Public Lobby at United Nations Headquarters from Thursday, 29 November to Wednesday, 5 December 1990.

II.  TEXTS OF STATEMENTS MADE AND MESSAGES DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF

THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, 1990

Statement by H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo,

Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the

Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

[Original: French]

Today the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is holding a solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in keeping with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.

It is my great honour and pleasure to welcome H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco, President of the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session; H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Daya Perera, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories; Mr. Ronald Spiers, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services; and Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Acting Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations.  I should also like to welcome representatives of Member States, intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations, members of the press and all those who accepted the Committee's invitation to participate in this solemn meeting.

I now invite everyone here to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people.

I should like now to make a statement on behalf of the Committee.

Today we commemorate once again the adoption by the General Assembly, on 29 November 1947, of resolution 181 (II), which partitioned the historic land of Palestine between two communities, the Arabs and the Jews, and provided for the creation of two independent States joined in economic union and a special international régime for Jerusalem.  Perhaps no other resolution in the 45-year history of the United Nations has had so deep and long-lasting an impact, not only on the history and lives of two peoples, but also on an entire region and the international community at large.

Subsequently, as we all know, Israel proclaimed its independence pursuant to General Assembly resolution 181 (II) and became a Member of the United Nations in May 1949.  The Arab State envisaged in the resolution, however, has not yet come into existence.  Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were made refugees in the war of 1947 and again in 1967.  Today, over 3 million Palestinians live in host countries, prevented from returning home.  Another one and a half million live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.  Over half of the total estimated Palestinian population are refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), living in camps under conditions of hardship and insecurity, dependent on the generosity of the international community for their most basic needs.

The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity traditionally provides an opportunity for our Committee, together with other States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and United Nations bodies, not only to reaffirm our support for the Palestinian people, but also to pledge ourselves to intensify our common efforts towards a peaceful resettlement of this question so that the Palestinian people can finally rejoin the community of nations as full participants.

On 15 November 1988, the Palestine National Council declared the independence of the State of Palestine in the land of Palestine, with its capital at Jerusalem, on the basis of resolution 181 (II), which guarantees the Palestinian Arab people the right to sovereignty and national independence.  Our Committee has welcomed the declaration of independence and the Palestinian peace initiative launched subsequently as an important contribution to the achievement of a just and lasting peace, and has called for Palestine to be accorded its rightful place within the international community, including the United Nations system.  The declaration of independence of Palestine has been recognized by over 100 States.  Participants in the seminars and meetings of non-governmental organizations organized under the auspices of our Committee in the various regions, including participants from Israel, have voiced overwhelming support for the "two peoples, two States" formula.

Moreover, General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, which called, inter alia, for Israel's withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and for security guarantees for all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II), was adopted by an unprecedented majority of 151 votes to 3, with one abstention.

It is clear, therefore, that the international community overwhelmingly supports a settlement based on the recognition and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has strongly deplored the fact that Israel has continued to reject the international legitimacy embodied in the partition resolution, despite its earlier acceptance of it, to occupy the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and constantly and persistently to change their legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition, as well as to exploit their natural resources.  These policies and practices are in violation of numerous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, which are binding on Member States, including Israel.  The Israeli occupation of their land, always resisted by the Palestinian people, has become increasingly repressive and violent since the beginning of the intifadah, the latest stage in the struggle of the Palestinian people to realize its national rights, in particular its right to self-determination, national independence and national sovereignty.

The intifadah has made absolutely clear not only that the Palestinian people rejects the occupation, but also that the partition of Palestine has already occurred in practice.  Let me quote from an article by a distinguished former Foreign Minister of Israel, who was also closely involved in the United Nations debates at the time of the creation of Israel, Mr. Abba Eban.  Shortly after the beginning of the intifadah, he wrote:

"The principle of partition is so profoundly inscribed in the Israeli-Palestinian territorial fabric that it has survived 20 years of Israeli occupation.

"To move from a zone where Israeli law applies to a zone under military occupation is to change from one world to another.  Not for a single minute out of the 24 hours of the day do the million and a half Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza share the same emotional experience, the same dream, the same prayer as the Jews who live in the zone under Israeli sovereignty.  Nowhere else in the world is there a political entity characterized by such a total discontinuity as that between the two zones and their populations.

"Neither of these two human worlds seeks harmony with the other by trying to work with their specific characteristics."

This reality on the ground, noted by many others, makes it certain that Palestinian resistance will continue as long as the Israeli occupation continues and that eventually Israel will have to face this reality.  The sooner the Government of Israel ends its rejection of United Nations resolutions, particularly those of the Security Council, recognizes Palestinian rights and rejoins the international community in the efforts towards a peaceful settlement, the better it will be for both Palestinians and Israelis.  The high level of casualties among the Palestinians, the hardships they have endured during these three years of the intifadah and the increasing impact the intifadah is having on the political system and stability of Israel itself, demonstrate that the present situation is not only unjust, but also unsustainable.

The current situation of deep mistrust, violence and even hatred between the two communities is clearly a disastrous result of the prolonged occupation, increasing repression and lack of progress towards a peaceful settlement.  Our Committee is extremely concerned about these developments, which are taking place at a time of heightened tension due to the crisis in the Gulf.  Each day it is more necessary and urgent for the United Nations to become involved, not only to provide the needed protection for Palestinians, but also to help defuse tensions and build confidence between the two sides as a first step towards a genuine peace process.

The Committee appeals once again to the Security Council to address the question of Palestine with the same urgency and determination that it has shown with regard to the Gulf crisis, with a view to finding a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine.

I shall conclude by quoting the words of a well-known and respected Palestinian  journalist, Mr. Hanna Siniora:

"The only road – the one both sides in the conflict must travel together – is the road of dialogue, negotiation and mutual consensus.  A compromise solution may not satisfy everyone on either side, but it will preserve the future for the next generations and will enable the two peoples to begin the process of healing and rebuilding together.  The participation of those who now fear that approach is as essential as that of those who already believe in it."

I strongly hope that those words of moderation and realism will not have been said in vain.  As we reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestinian people today, let us also jointly uphold and strengthen our commitment to finding ways and means to ensure the achievement of a just peace that respects and guarantees the needs and interests of all sides, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.

H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco,

President of the forty-fifth session of the General Assembly

Once again, the international community is assembled to reaffirm its solidarity with the Palestinian people.  This is an emotive and meaningful occasion, serving to underline our commitment to persevering in the collective effort aimed at ensuring that the Palestinian people achieves its basic and inalienable right to its own homeland where it can pursue its destiny in dignity, freedom and peace.

This year, perhaps to a greater extent than in previous years, the Palestinian people turns to us assembled here proclaiming solidarity with it, to enquire about the practical implications of our declarations.

At a time when the world is moving so dramatically from confrontation to cooperation, when the international community has for the first time in many years so impressively united to thwart an act of aggression by one neighbour against another, the Palestinian people is asking how that new spirit of cooperation is going to apply to its case.  How are the new high moral standards in international affairs going to be translated into effective action to redress the injustices to which the Palestinians have been subjected for so long?

On a commemorative occasion like the one in which we are participating today, the human dimension of the problem is also the one that demands our immediate concern.  The tragedy that we are all called to examine is that of a people which, in the turbulence of historical events, has been left totally dispossessed of the homeland to which all aspire; and yet a people which, in the midst of tragedy and injustice, has retained its sense of dignity and nationhood and the collective determination to pursue its legitimate objective until it is finally achieved.

Many of the first generation of Palestinians caught in the events that led to their diaspora are today dead.  Some may have believed that with the passage of time the original wounds of dispossession would heal and that a new generation of Palestinians would perhaps eventually resign itself to a subjugation that would by then appear to be irremediable.

Nothing could have been more mistaken.  New generations of Palestinians have arisen to take up the struggle where their elders left off.  For the Palestinian people, the intifadah is a symbol of that indomitable element of the human spirit that refuses to bow to injustice, however overwhelming the odds, however long-standing the problem.

But the intifadah is also indicative of the restraint and political will exercised by a people that has placed its trust in the negotiating process, a trust in the efforts of the international community to seek a durable and just solution that transforms legitimate aspirations into guaranteed rights, ensures secure borders for all States and fosters peace and prosperity.

Suffering and anguish have become the common heritage of all the peoples that inhabit the region.  For too many years has the logic of war been permitted to sow strife and uncertainty.  The appeal of the international community on such a day is for all parties to seek the determination necessary to make new bold efforts that would bring about a just and long-lasting solution.  The denial of rights has now become a shared historical experience of the parties to the Middle East tragedy.  That shared experience, rather than generating intransigence, hatred and belligerent sentiments, should serve as a source of inspiration to acknowledge the concept of contemporary political culture which in other regions has already borne fruit: confidence-building as a tool of cooperation to help overcome the great divide brought about by confrontation.

Our formal commemoration of solidarity with the Palestinian people is therefore not only a necessary political gesture but also a personal expression of our own individual commitment against all forms of injustice.  In this perspective there is particular relevance and urgency to the question of how the new sense of international morality is going to be applied to the Palestinian question.  Just as peace is indivisible, so also must the commitment to principle be indivisible.

The formula that could serve as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine has been available for a long time.  Within a year of its establishment in 1975, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had prepared a set of recommendations detailing a phased process through which the various layers of the Palestinian problem, humanitarian as well as political, could be approached.  The completion of that process was seen as clearing the ground for a final negotiation of a just and lasting peace in the region in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions.

That negotiation would take place within the framework of an international peace conference on the Middle East with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council.

At its thirty-first session in 1976 and regularly thereafter, the General Assembly gave its overwhelming approval to the recommendations of the Committee.  Furthermore, since 1981 the General Assembly has also consistently been recommending the early convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East in accordance with a set of principles that were again reaffirmed in last year's resolution 44/42, of 6 December 1989.

It is important for us to have those facts clearly in our minds, especially at a time when the traditional turbulence of the Middle East has been further compounded by the sudden eruption of aggression in a neighbouring region.

It would be a gross injustice to the long suffering people of Palestine for any formal linkages to be established, either in the positive or the negative sense, between their problem and the crisis in the Gulf.  The two problems are unrelated – historically and politically.  However, we should not ignore the reality that they arouse analogous sentiments with regard to the denial of the right to sovereignty of nations and the self-determination of peoples.

The problem of Palestine, in practically the same dimensions as we know it today, has been in existence almost since the establishment of the United Nations.  In addition to the countless resolutions adopted by the General Assembly dealing with the problem, there have also been a number of Security Council resolutions dealing more specifically with the question of the occupied territories and the treatment of the Palestinian people living there.

The recent consensus within the Security Council could offer new signs of hope.  The sad reality remains, however, that most of the resolutions adopted in the past have yet to be implemented, especially in so far as their substantive aspects are concerned.

The people of Palestine cannot wait any longer, for whatever reason, unless the necessary international effort within the framework of the proposed peace conference is launched to deal comprehensively and effectively with their problem.  This is all the more evident today, four years after the commencement of the intifadah and the escalating repression that has ensued.  The hatred, violence and repeated violations of human rights we have been witnessing in the occupied territories for the last few years have today reached a critical level that is threatening to blow apart even those last remaining shreds of reason and sanity that have prevailed in that tragic region.

The General Assembly has always recognized its major responsibility in seeking to promote a peaceful and lasting solution to the problem of Palestine.  That responsibility is even greater today, in the light of both the increased level of violence and bitterness that exists, and of the new potential that has emerged for cooperation on matters of peace and security.  There is a new international awareness of the need to resolve rather than manipulate and foment conflicts.

It is a great humiliation in life to be denied your homeland.  That humiliation is perhaps even more aggravated by the fact that you receive verbal and written support but are denied the tools which make of that support an instrument to realize rights universally declared to be inalienable.

We are not here to indict particular nations, still less particular organs of the international community.  Nevertheless, we have the responsibility, acting under the authority of the General Assembly, to insist on the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, which has been repeatedly voted for by the General Assembly and yet equally repeatedly denied in its realization.

In this Organization, we are all undergoing an important credibility test in facing the aggression in Kuwait.  But we are equally facing a credibility test in the land of Palestine.  It is of great concern to many in the Arab nation, and to many others throughout the world, that the efforts to bring about the international peace conference have been fruitless for decades.  Still more are distressed to learn that, in the view of some, the issue of an international peace conference on the Middle East is subject to a prior solution of the aggression against Kuwait, when we have all been stating – and rightly so – that the two events have no linkage.

We admire the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman, Madame Absa Claude Diallo of Senegal.  It give me particular satisfaction that Malta is associated in the endeavour through its role as Rapporteur of the Committee.

I should also like to underline the gratitude of the international community to the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts and intensified contact with the parties in order to try to find ways of bridging the gaps between them.

We believe, however, that the Palestinian people and its leaders – many of whom are perennial refugees in their own country and beyond, or are prisoners or strangers in other countries, friendly or otherwise – expect from us all not only the solidarity that comes from commemorations such as this, but also the solidarity of concerted action which, through the logic of persuasion, avoids the violent solution and widespread suffering, while giving expression, in an international peace conference, to the affirmation of the State of Palestine which the United Nations General Assembly once proclaimed and has never withdrawn.

Statement by H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General

[Original: French]

We are gathered here to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  This solemn meeting, organized in accordance with the wishes of the General Assembly, bears witness to the great importance that the United Nations attaches to the question of Palestine, the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the need to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in the Middle East.

Such a settlement should be based on the following three considerations: withdrawal of Israeli forces from Arab territories occupied since June 1967; acknowledgement and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally, a satisfactory solution to the Palestinian problem based on the recognition of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, including self-determination.  In that context, the question of Jerusalem also remains of prime importance.

Since we last commemorated this occasion, the prospects for progress in the peace process appear, regrettably, to have diminished.  A year ago I spoke of the renewed expectations generated by political developments at the end of 1988 which in turn led to important proposals aimed primarily at launching a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.  I noted that while it was essential to pursue every initiative that could help bridge the gap between the parties and bring them to the negotiating table, I could not but be concerned that valuable time was passing and that the willingness to negotiate would be eroded by bitterness at events on the ground.

Unfortunately, efforts to open an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue reached an impasse in the first months of 1990.  Since then the situation in the occupied territories has deteriorated, causing the Security Council to focus increasingly on the question of the safety and protection of Palestinian civilian inhabitants of the territories.

In that connection, in pursuance of the requests contained in Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990) of 12 and 24 October 1990, respectively, I submitted to the Council on 31 October 1990 a report on the occupied territories.  In that report I made some observations on measures the international community should take to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population.  It should, however, be noted that implementing such measures will not by itself put an end to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which is essentially political in nature.

As I said in my 31 October report, the determination of the Palestinians to persevere with the intifadah, which will soon be entering its fourth year, is evidence of their rejection of the Israeli occupation and their commitment to exercise their legitimate political rights, including self-determination.

It is, moreover, important to recall that the question of Palestine is at the core of the Arab-Israeli dispute, which is broader and includes many complex, interrelated issues.

In its resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989 the General Assembly called for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.

That resolution enjoyed broad support, and I am therefore all the more concerned by the current absence of any diplomatic process aimed at overcoming the obstacles to putting in place an effective negotiating process in the Middle East.

Throughout my tenure as Secretary-General I have repeatedly underscored the need for a comprehensive settlement of the problems of the region, pointing out that the deterioration of the situation in one region almost invariably has repercussions elsewhere.  The Middle East as a whole continues to be the most explosive region in the world today.

In view of the grave dangers of which we are all aware, I cannot reiterate too strongly the need to revive efforts to reach a just and lasting settlement of a conflict that for decades has been a source of continuing instability and has brought immense suffering to Arabs and Israelis alike.  For my part, I shall do everything in my power to discharge the responsibilities entrusted to me in this regard.

Madam Chairman, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under your able and dedicated leadership, has continued to work tirelessly to achieve a just solution of the question of Palestine.  I take this opportunity to extend to you and to the Committee my best wishes for the success of your important endeavour.

Message from H.E. Mr. Thomas R. Pickering, President

of the Security Council for the month of November 1990,

delivered by Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights

Madam Chairman, allow me in my capacity as Security Council President for the month of November to express to you and to your colleague members of the Committee, as all my predecessors in the Security Council presidency have done on this day, my appreciation for having invited me as President of the Security Council to take part in this special meeting held to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  It is indeed a great pleasure for me to [hail] this important annual event in which the international community continues to manifest its solidarity with the Palestinian people and affirm the importance it attaches to a just solution of the Palestinian problem.  We fully recognize that such a solution would prove to be a decisive element in the achievement of a negotiated, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.

The Security Council is fully aware that the question of Palestine and the efforts to find a just solution to it remain one of the major concerns of the United Nations and of the international community as a whole, since that question involves not only the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people but also the stability of a particularly troubled region of the world and therefore international peace and security.

As is well known, the Security Council has been closely associated with the persistent efforts aimed at finding an equitable solution to the problem of the Middle East.  The Council has been called upon many times to direct its urgent attention to the crisis engendered by that conflict and its consequences.  The Council has also on numerous occasions expressed its grave concern at the continued deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories and its conviction that the prevailing situation could have grave consequences for ongoing endeavours to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the area.

The Council has recently expressed alarm at the acts of violence resulting in injuries and loss of human life in the occupied territories.  However, members of the Council have noted with appreciation some initiatives undertaken in the past year.  They express the hope that all relevant parties will cooperate towards the achievement of a comprehensive, peaceful, just and lasting settlement of the situation in the Middle East, particularly a solution to the Palestinian problem in all its aspects.

In this context, members of the Council have also expressed their hope that the occupying Power will act in a manner consistent with its international responsibilities, and the Council has in particular called upon the occupying Power to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Guided by the responsibilities conferred upon it by the Charter, the Security Council will continue its efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East for the benefit of all parties concerned, including the Palestinian people.

Message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee

of the Palestine Liberation Organization, delivered by Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa,

Permanent Observer ad interim of Palestine to the United Nations

[Original: Arabic]

(Brief remarks from Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa)  As members know, the host country, regrettably, has once again violated its international obligations under the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America.  The host country has deliberately delayed issuing visas to Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and to other members of the delegation of Palestine.  For that reason, Mr. Kaddoumi is unable for the first time in years to be here to participate in this important commemorative meeting of solidarity.  I convey Mr. Kaddoumi's greetings and his heartfelt thanks for the Committee's consistent solidarity with the Palestinian people in its struggle.

In that connection, I cannot fail to note that, following consultations with many parties concerned and with many friendly and sisterly countries, we have decided to proceed with the debate on the question of Palestine in plenary meetings of the General Assembly in conformity with the agreed timetable.  The only change will be that Mr. Kaddoumi's political statement will be made at the close of the debate rather than at the beginning, as is the normal practice.

I now have the honour to read out the message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.

"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 1990, I am pleased to address to you all, Madam Chairman, members and honoured guests, on behalf of the militant Palestinian people in our occupied Palestinian territory and wherever they may be, on behalf of my fellow members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and in my own name, the warmest of fraternal greetings and my thanks for inviting me to attend this commemoration.

"Dear brothers and sisters, you are gathered here today on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People while our people in all the towns, villages and camps of our occupied Palestinian territory are celebrating the second anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of 15 November.  It marks the close of the third year of the massive popular national uprising – the intifadah – and the beginning of the fourth year of this uprising, blessed with the same resolve, defiance and insistence on continuing the liberation struggle until their national goals are attained and their inalienable national rights are restored and implemented, including the right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish their independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital.

"Our Palestinian people, as it continues to wage its just liberation struggle, looks with great hope and trust to your esteemed Committee, which represents the consensus of the international community and the United Nations to support our people, appreciating the important role which it plays at the international level in making heard the voice of the Palestinian people's just struggle for the restoration of its human rights among the active and effective forces in international public opinion and international policy to the widest possible extent.

"During the past two years we have presented the Palestinian peace initiative, which has been welcomed by the entire international community, including the United States Government.  We had hoped to follow up with practical steps on the path to peace, and we made overwhelming efforts in that direction.  However, most regrettably, the path of peace is beset with difficulties because of the obdurate Israeli positions that rejected the constructive international efforts aimed at removing the state of tension and creating a propitious climate for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the region.  Furthermore, in spite of this international consensus and the global welcome given the Palestinian peace effort, which opened the door of hope wide to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel has persisted in its obdurate policy aimed at obstructing the international peace process and in its rejection of international legitimacy and international resolutions.

"Regrettably also, the Israeli policy met with support from the United States of America.  Even though those Israeli plans began to evolve in numerous guises and forms and were eventually presented to us in the form of James Baker's five points, we agreed to deal with them positively.  Israel, however, rejected them in its note to the United Nations, which proved to the world that Israel rejects all constructive international efforts to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East region.

"As the Israeli campaigns of massacres and crimes against our Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli army and Israeli settlers have escalated, the United States, for its part, has broken off the Palestinian-United States dialogue, thereby closing all the openings through which a ray of hope for peace might shine.

"At the same time, the Middle East crisis has become explosively critical because of the tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants, most of them from the Soviet Union, who have been settled in the occupied Palestinian territories.  The region has entered a race against time; tension is escalating on the political, social, economic and security fronts.

"In this poisoned atmosphere the Arab Summit Conference was held at Baghdad to meet the Israeli and United States threat, to confront the dangers of the Jewish immigration, to preserve Arab national security and to study this situation and avert its disastrous consequences for the region as a whole.  All Arabs have understood the necessity for serious and prompt action by the international community to convene the peace conference on the Middle East.

"Unfortunately, however, the indifference of the United States and its deliberate bias in dealing with the Palestinian question and the deteriorating situation in the Middle East have exacerbated tensions and created an atmosphere whose negative effects cannot be isolated.  That atmosphere undoubtedly helped to spark the latest crisis – namely, the Gulf crisis – and will spark off similar crises in future if the international community does not deal with the question of Palestine justly and promptly.

"We must therefore comprehend the gravity of the repugnant Israeli massacres and crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories while the world has been busy with the blazing crisis in the Gulf.  The most repugnant of these was the massacre that took place at Al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 8 October 1990, which was followed by other massacres in the occupied territories.  Was that not clear evidence of the deliberate intent of the Israeli authorities to push the situation to a total explosion in the Middle East, inasmuch as Israel was, as usual, pursuing an intense campaign of massacres, official terrorism and continuous attacks on and desecration of Christian and Islamic Holy Places?

"What is more, the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, reaffirmed his defiance of the international community, the resolutions of the United Nations and international law when he declared his intention of building 'greater Israel' from the Jordan River to the sea and expanding Jewish migration there.  Ariel Sharon, his Minister of Housing, echoed that policy when he declared that Israel would build 15,000 housing units in Jerusalem and the other occupied Palestinian areas in order to house the new Jewish immigrants and Judaize the Holy City.

"Where is the desire for peace, and where is the hope of attaining it?  On the contrary, we see the United States shedding crocodile tears for international legitimacy and its resolutions and trying to accuse others of failure to comply with them.  It is the United States that obstructs the path of peace in the Middle East by virtue of its positions favouring and biased in favour of Israel, its threat to Arab security and its efforts to play the role of policeman as a substitute for the United Nations and its organs, which it would have been assumed to support in order that they might be sound instruments for the achievement of international legitimacy and the spread of peace and security in the world.  Instead, the United States is concerned for its oil and economic interests in the Gulf on the spurious pretext of concern for international principles and legitimacy, whereas the United States and its allies are neglecting those international principles and legitimacy in order to protect Israel, Israel's crimes and Israeli occupation.

"How long shall we permit the double standard to continue in dealing with the resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other international organizations?

"This is the blatant flaw created by the United States of America and those within its orbit.  The United States has prevented the Security Council from discharging its responsibilities with regard to the situation in the occupied territories seven times during the period of the glorious uprising, inter alia, by using the veto six times – most recently on 31 May, when it prevented the sending of a mission of Security Council members or a mission of the Secretary-General to investigate the dangerous situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, even though it was the United States that had proposed such a mission following the Uyun Qarah massacre.  It is now engaged in trickery to prevent the adoption of any measure against Israel, which is daily committing an offence against international peace and security and which continues to commit crimes and massacres against our people, such as the massacre at the Al-Haram al-Sharif in Arab Jerusalem, the massacres in the Gaza Strip and other crimes against our people everywhere.  How can we expect peace in the Middle East region as long as the United States is playing the role of litigant and arbitrator at the same time?

"Although the situation has deteriorated because of those Israeli and United States policies and practices, the PLO still adheres to the Palestinian peace initiative that it proclaimed two years ago.  That initiative is the embodiment of the peaceful will of our people and its definite desire for the establishment of a just peace in Palestine and in the Middle East region through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, and first and foremost its right to self-determination, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties involved in the conflict, including the PLO and Israel, on an equal footing, as agreed by the United Nations in its resolutions and endorsed by all the countries of the world, with the exception of Israel, supported and encouraged by the United States.

"Although we are preoccupied with the effort to find this just solution to the Palestinian question, the PLO has never, from the start, hesitated to present its viewpoint with boldness and farsightedness concerning attainment of a peaceful Arab solution to the Gulf crisis and Middle East issues, under international auspices.  Accordingly, we promptly presented our thoughts and views to the Arab Summit Conference held at Cairo.  Afterwards, we followed the efforts with all our Arab brothers and believing friends to work towards a peaceful settlement of the Gulf crisis and to prevent military confrontation, whose consequences, if it were to occur – God forbid – would be disastrous not only for the region but for the combatants.  Its social, economic, military, human and financial consequences would extend to all parts of the world and would last many years.

"We are engaged in a race against time between the peace option and the war option.  Let us all strive to avert catastrophe, to promote the opportunities for peace and to create a propitious climate for conducting the constructive dialogue that will lead us to a peaceful solution to this grave crisis, particularly since international, Arab, and local agreement has emerged concerning those constructive initiatives, ideas and efforts.

"This was clear from the position of President Mitterrand, the position of the European Group, the Soviet-European statement, the position of Presidents Mitterrand and Gorbachev, the positions of China, Japan and many of the Islamic and African States and the non-aligned countries and even from positions within the United States itself.

"All this gives rise to hope that we may avert the catastrophe of war by arriving at a solution to all the problems of the region – the Gulf problem, the Middle East problem and the Palestinian question – in a way that protects the rights of all and the dignity and interests of all, as we have emphasized in the initiatives we have proclaimed and transmitted to many Members of the United Nations, many members of the Security Council and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well.

"If events in the region are not contemporaneous, they are certainly interrelated.  It is not possible to deal with one of them in isolation from the others.  We should not undertake to solve a portion of them while the dangers lurk or forget them when the storm winds temporarily abate as a result of measures that numb the nerves but do not eradicate the disease or deal with the fundamentals of the problem.

"Peace in the Middle East region begins with Palestine, and war begins with Palestine.  There is a hurricane sweeping the whole region, one which will continue to confront us as long as the Arab-Israeli conflict lasts.  This is our guiding premise, and there is no other to lead or guide us in tackling the Middle East conflict in a way that will ensure us security, stability and peace so that the region may assume its place and role in the international community as countries that desire security and stability for mankind, now and in the future.

"In conclusion, I wish, through this gathering, to address my warmest greetings to H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and to convey to him our deep gratitude for his continuing support for the just struggle of our people and for the important and constructive role which he is playing in maintaining the prestige of the United Nations, ensuring implementation of its resolutions on the Palestinian question and unifying the standards of compliance with those resolutions in order to protect international peace and security and to uphold its principles.  I also express my deep appreciation to His Excellency for his recent report on ways and means of ensuring international protection for our Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

"I express thanks and appreciation also to the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights and all its personnel and to H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for the significant role she plays in conducting the work of this Committee with a view to the achievement of its noble goals.  I also express our gratitude to all friendly States members of the Committee and to all friendly States in the United Nations for the backing and support they give to the just struggle of our people.  I wish you all continued success.  I thank you personally and on behalf of the Palestinian Command and on behalf of the Palestinian people.  Revolution continues until victory!"

ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE

His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait

and Chairman of the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference,

delivered by H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait

[Original: Arabic]

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government and people of Kuwait extend their greetings and pay a tribute to our brothers, the Palestinian people, in the Arab occupied territories and holy Al-Quds for their steadfastness in the face of Israeli occupation and brutal policies.  The Government and the people of Kuwait renew their support for this heroic steadfastness of true revolutionaries, despite the abhorrent aggression of Iraq against the land and the people of Kuwait.  One of the first victims of that aggression was Palestine, its cause, its people and its struggle.

Despite the fact that many Days of Solidarity with the Palestinian People have come and gone in the past years, despite a firm international consensus of long date on the rights of the Palestinian people and its legitimate historical claim to self-determination, independence and the establishment of its State as prescribed in the various resolutions of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, Israel, which is bent on entrenching and perpetuating occupation and continuing the usurpation of the land and the rights of others, has prevented the realization of the hopes of international conscience – hopes to settle the question of Palestine, which is the core of the struggle in the Middle East – by a just and comprehensive solution based on international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy.

On this occasion, we call upon all of those who advocate and support justice and the inalienable right of people to extend all material and moral support to the blessed Palestinian intifadah, now entering its fourth year.  The activists of the intifadah continue to give their lives, blood and to make sacrifices for their holy land, their just struggle and their legitimate claims.  Perhaps their latest heroic stand was at the painful events in Al-Quds al-Sharif a few weeks ago, events which showed to the world once again the harshness with which the Israeli forces of occupation respond to those who, under the banner of their faith and religious belief, defend the first kiblah of the Muslims and the third holy shrine of Islam.

As the Chairman of the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference, I wish to take this opportunity to condemn strongly these blatant Zionist attempts to encroach upon Islamic holy sites and offend the feelings of more than one billion Muslims in all parts of the world.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference calls upon all members of the international community and its organizations to stand up to this aggression for the sake of peace and security and in fulfillment of the long-awaited legitimate expectations of the Palestinian people.  Let us all once again invoke the substance and message of the divine religions and the values of morality, which all call on our respect for the faiths and beliefs of others, and proscribe the denigration and prevention of their worship.

On this occasion, I wish to express my greetings and appreciation to the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for their sincere efforts in the service of the just cause of the Palestinian people, as well as for their active endeavours to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of its own independent State, with its capital, holy Al-Quds.

SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN

RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

H.E. Mr. Daya Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka

to the United Nations and Chairman of the Special Committee

On behalf of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, and on my own behalf, I have the honour to convey to you this message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The Special Committee, since its establishment by the General Assembly in December 1968, following the 1967 hostilities and territorial occupation by Israel, has always endeavoured to provide in its reports a faithful and accurate picture of the situation of human rights in the occupied territories during the period covered by these reports.  Owing to the negative attitude of the Israeli authorities with regard to the Special Committee, and their persistent denial of cooperation, the Special Committee has once again been prevented from visiting the occupied territories and carrying out investigations on the human rights situation in situ.  It has, nevertheless, strived to fulfil its mandate to the best of its abilities by reflecting in its report relevant information received both orally and in writing from a wide range of sources on the human rights situation in the occupied territories.  The Special Committee has taken particular care to reply on information that has not been contradicted by the Government of Israel, including reports appearing in the Israeli press and other news media published in the occupied territories.  In doing so, the Special Committee has, over the years, expressed the hope that the alarming picture emerging from its reports may serve to further sensitize the international community to the plight of the civilian population, while encouraging meaningful efforts to improve the human rights conditions prevailing in the occupied territories.

Having examined and analysed the information and evidence put before it, the Special Committee has reached the conclusion, as reflected in its twenty-second report to the General Assembly at its current session, that the recent further escalation of tension in the occupied territories has now reached a very dangerous level.  If urgent measures are not taken to remedy the grave human rights violations, which have become a daily occurrence, and to ensure effective protection of basic human rights and freedoms, a major explosion with unforeseeable consequences might take place in the area.

During the period under review, the Israeli authorities have persisted in quelling the Palestinian uprising and, to this end, have resorted to increasingly harsh measures of repression.  The indiscriminate use of violence to counter the uprising has caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians of all ages, and several thousand Palestinians have suffered injuries.  Everyday life in the occupied territories has been characterized by a climate of fear and anxiety, punctuated by random acts of violence, clashes between Arab civilians and Israeli soldiers, aggression by Israeli settlers, prolonged curfew, scores of arrests, tax raids and various other measures of harassment and humiliation.  Collective punishment has continued to be implemented, in flagrant violation of relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  One clear example is the demolition of houses for alleged security reasons, practiced on a very large scale, which adversely affects many innocent families.  Severe economic sanctions have also contributed to aggravating an already precarious economic and social situation.

As regards the administration of justice, serious irregularities have been observed at every level.  Flagrant violations of the fundamental right of all persons to equality before the courts have been endemic.  Mention must be made of the usually very long delay between arrest and trial; the practice of arresting without charges for preventive or administrative detention; the practice of extracting confessions under duress; denial of the right of lawyers to represent detainees; denial of intimation to the accused or his lawyer of the charges brought against him, and harsh sentences for minor offenses.  On the other hand, Israelis charged with killing or ill-treating Arab civilians usually benefit from leniency quite disproportionate to the gravity of the offence.  The large number of Palestinians detained as a result of the uprising has contributed to a further aggravation of the situation, and has adversely affected the treatment of prisoners.  Detainees held in various prisons and detention camps, sometimes even inside Israel itself, often in overcrowded cells lacking adequate facilities, have been subjected to various forms of physical or psychological torture or ill-treatment.

The policy of expelling Palestinians from the occupied territories for alleged security reasons has continued to be implemented, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  In addition, hundreds of Palestinian women and children without valid resident permits have been expelled, during a period of several months, in a very harsh and humiliating way.  This practice was halted only after a wave of protest by the international community.  During the period under review, Israel also continued to settle new immigrants in the occupied territories, in spite of a mounting wave of criticism by the international community.

Fundamental freedoms have continued to be restricted through severe limitations affecting the enjoyment of the rights of freedom of movement, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of education.  The long-term effects of prolonged closures of academic institutions, provoking a deterioration of academic standards and psychological stress in the educational process, are particularly disturbing.

Finally, the Israeli authorities have continued to implement their policy of annexation and the establishment of settlements in the occupied territories, in flagrant violation of the international obligation of Israel as a State party to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The situation in the occupied territories has further deteriorated since the adoption of the Special Committee's twenty-second report.  In addition, violence and repression have reached a climax in recent months, as clearly illustrated by the killing in Jerusalem, on 8 October 1990, of over 20 Palestinians and the wounding of several hundreds of others by Israeli police forces and armed Israeli civilians, in what was described as the bloodiest day since the start of the uprising nearly three years ago.  This tragedy, which aroused a wave of shock and reprobation in the international community, led to the unanimous condemnation by the Security Council of the acts of violence committed by the Israeli security forces.

In view of such dramatic developments, I should like, together with my two colleagues of the Special Committee, to appeal once more to the international community to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian people by providing adequate safeguards for the realization of its legitimate rights and by implementing urgent measures for the alleviation of its plight.

MOVEMENT OF NON-ALIGNED COUNTRIES

H.E. Mr. Borisav Jovíc, President of the Presidency

of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

and Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries,

delivered by H.E. Mr. Darko Silovíc, Permanent Representative

of Yugoslavia to the United Nations

(Remarks by H.E. Mr. Darko Silovíc)  It is my distinct honour to address this meeting on behalf of Yugoslavia, current Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.  I should like to voice once again the unwavering solidarity of non-aligned countries with the Palestinian people in the endeavour to realize its inalienable right to self-determination and a life in peace in its own State.

This year we are observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in a situation of dangerous developments in the region and the escalation of repression in the occupied Palestinian territories.  Therefore, this is the right occasion and place to reiterate the importance of, and need for, an adequate contribution of all international factors to the peace process, coupled with effective protection of the Palestinian people.

The non-aligned countries have worked untiringly to promote the peace process in the region.  In this context, consultations have been held with influential factors in the Middle East crisis, such as China, the United States, the Soviet Union and the European Community, which have reflected a growing readiness to contribute to the efforts at reaching a durable, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question.

There is a consensus that the Middle East peace process has entered an important and critical stage.  It is therefore the right moment, in the view of the non-aligned countries, for the entire international community to rededicate itself to convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to bringing the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict to the negotiating table.  This would be the most telling expression of international solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In the endeavour to achieve these goals, the non-aligned countries attach special importance to the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, whose activities, under your able chairmanship, Madam Chairman, have always been widely supported by the non-aligned countries.

May I now read out the message from the President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, H.E. Mr. Borisav Jovíc, sent to the Committee on the occasion of this important Day.  It reads as follows:

"The International Day of Solidarity is being observed at a time of fundamental world changes conducive to the establishment of a new system of international relations.  However, certain problems remain unresolved, and new threats to international peace and security are emerging.

"This holds particularly true of the Middle East crisis, the crux of which is the Palestinian question.  With the outbreak of the Gulf crisis, the Middle East region, already plagued with many problems, has become even more unstable.  Despite the formidable dangers inherent in developments in the Gulf region, international public attention must not be diverted from the Middle East crisis and the Palestinian problem as the core of the crisis which continues to be a source of tension.

"It is heartening to note the growing international consensus on the basic principles concerning the solution of the Palestinian issue.  The Security Council should, we believe, seize this opportunity and proceed to the preparations for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations.

"The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries attaches great importance to the revitalization and furtherance of the Middle East process.  The position adopted by Yugoslavia and other non-aligned countries is that a solution can be found only on the basis of the full realization of the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the establishment of its own State; withdrawal of Israel from all territories occupied since 1967; the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

"The recent tragic events in the occupied territories call for urgent action by the international community and the Security Council with a view both to effective protection of the Palestinian population and to reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problem.

"The role of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is particularly important in that respect.  Yugoslavia and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries fully support the activities of the Committee and stand ready to continue to cooperate with it closely and to coordinate the efforts aimed at achieving the common goal.

"We avail ourselves of this opportunity to reiterate the solidarity of Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization as its legitimate representative."

LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

H.E. Mr. Abdulmalek Ismail Mohamed, Permanent Observer ad interim

of the League of Arab States to the United Nations

[Original: Arabic]

Allow me at the outset, Madam Chairman, to pay a tribute to your unceasing efforts and your country's position on the just and rightful claims of the Palestinian people to its inalienable right to self-determination.

It is my honour on this most important occasion to express on behalf of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States and its delegation to the United Nations our thanks and appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its unceasing endeavours to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination and to establish its own independent State.

This meeting of solidarity with the Palestinian people is a clear and unambiguous expression by the international community, as represented in this international Organization, of its support for the right of the Palestinian people in its legitimate struggle to realize its inalienable national rights, as reaffirmed by many United Nations resolutions.

Furthermore, this meeting for solidarity is yet another clear rejection by the international community of the policy of Israel, which refuses to abide by United Nations resolutions, ignores them, and persists in its inhuman practices against the Palestinian people.  The blessed Palestinian intifadah, which is escalating and becoming stronger as it nears its fourth year, will not cease; it will continue, however violent and extreme the Israeli acts of repression may be.

The massacres perpetrated by the Israeli authorities, which have become clear and obvious, in the Gaza Strip and the holy city of Al-Quds will not weaken the Palestinian people.  On the contrary, they will be a further incentive to the stone-throwing children to continue their struggle until certain victory is soon achieved.  The acts of repression and genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people and witnessed by all in the occupied territories these days require effective, practical measures by the Committee to protect those people.  Expressions of solidarity and resolutions of support are no longer sufficient; there must be a practical development in the field by the United Nations in order to guarantee the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States believes that there must be urgent movement by the international community to guarantee protection as a minimum to the Palestinian people until it realizes its right to self-determination and the establishment of its independent State, as approved by the United Nations and reaffirmed in many United Nations resolutions.

The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States calls for the implementation of United Nations resolutions and for compelling Israel to respect and implement those resolutions, in accordance with the principle of respect for international legitimacy.  It is a principle that the United Nations has lately begun to apply and that the Security Council is beginning to implement.  We believe that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People bears a clear responsibility to call on the Security Council to begin taking practical measures to guarantee the protection of the Palestinian people until it realizes its right to self-determination and independence.

INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL

ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

Ms. Jeanne Butterfield, Chairman of the North American Coordinating

Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine

and representative of the International Coordinating Committee for

Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine

I am honoured to address the Committee today on behalf of the International Coordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine on this historic and solemn occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

As non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which have been involved with the United Nations in working on the question of Palestine, we reaffirm on this occasion our total support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in its continuing struggle for freedom and independence, as expressed in the intifadah and by all other internationally legitimate means.  As we approach the third anniversary of the intifadah, we commend the Palestinian people in its heroic struggle to end the occupation and to implement the proclamation of 15 November 1988 of the independent State of Palestine.  We call upon all Governments to recognize the State.  We call for full international support for the intifadah.  We strongly uphold the support of the people of the intifadah for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.  We strongly affirm that the continuing denial of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination is entirely unacceptable and constitutes a major danger to peace.

We, as NGOs, have continued to work over the past year to educate our own public and to press our own Governments to support these principles as well.  Nearly a year ago we joined together in a historic peace march in Jerusalem, a march which was harshly repressed by Israeli forces.  We continued throughout the year to educate and agitate, to teach and to organize, to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Israeli peace forces, and to insist that our own government officials respond to our concerns.

We have seen modest gains in our work over the past year.  More NGOs have joined our network.  More people have been reached with our publications and events.  More government officials around the world have received our petitions and listened to our pleas.  But we are painfully aware as we come here today that the objective situation has changed for the worse for the Palestinian people over the past year.

The United States Government on 31 May 1990 vetoed the otherwise unanimously approved Security Council draft resolution to send a United Nations fact-finding mission to the occupied Palestinian territory.  On 20 June the United States suspended its dialogue with the PLO, further undermining constructive steps towards a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Meanwhile, the Israeli Government's policy of settling Jews in the occupied Palestinian territories and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, continued to accelerate.  Our call on all States around the world concerned with Jewish emigration to guarantee that such emigration does not lead to settlement in the occupied territories will not infringe upon the rights of Palestinians either in Israel or occupied Palestine, and will not infringe upon the Palestinian right of return, has gone unheeded.

And of course most recently, the massacre of Palestinians at the Al-Haram Al-Shareef and the subsequent Israeli Government cover-up of this incident have demonstrated once again to the world that Israeli intransigence, Israeli violence and the Israeli project of confiscation and annexation of Palestinian land and repression of Palestinian people is accelerating in spite of international opinion.

We are also painfully aware as NGOs as we gather here today that the threat of war looms large in the Gulf, and that the Palestinian people will only suffer more should such a war break out.  We NGOs have been working with other peace organizations around the world to voice our opposition to a United States-led war in the Gulf.  We have also been vocal in condemning the double standard of the United States Government, which has for many years encouraged and helped Israeli occupation and annexation of Arab territory, while it now loudly denounces the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

We reaffirm our total opposition to any acquisition of territory by force.  We note the power the United Nations has exercised to enforce Security Council resolution 660 (1990), and we call upon it to exert equal efforts to enforce all other United Nations resolutions concerning the acquisition of territory by force, as part of a comprehensive Middle East settlement.  We call for all Middle East issues to be dealt with on an equal basis and in accordance with international law.  We welcome the peace initiative by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and all other initiatives by the PLO and by members of the League of Arab States, in particular.

Perhaps the most urgent concern we as NGOs have as we gather here today relates to the needs of the Palestinians for international protection until such time as they can live free in their own independent State.  We note that Israel is designated as an occupying Power in Security Council resolutions.  We strongly support the recommendations of the Secretary-General that a meeting be convened of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention in order that those parties may determine how to exercise their responsibility under the Convention to provide for the protection of the Palestinian people.  We remind all signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention of their contracted obligation to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and to bring to justice persons committing or ordering to be committed grave breaches of the Convention.  We further call for the establishment on an urgent basis by the Security Council of an effective United Nations presence with a legal mandate to protect the population of the occupied Palestinian territory.

For our part we, as NGOs, are mounting an international campaign for protection of the Palestinian people.  We will do our utmost not only to work through appropriate United Nations and government channels but also to provide the kind of protection that we as NGOs can provide by our delegations, our witness, our physical presence if necessary, even trying to act as human shields of protection for the Palestinian people, much as the Witness for Peace delegations have done in Nicaragua, as the accompaniment volunteers have done in El Salvador, as the Women's Peace Encampments have done in the United States at nuclear and munitions sites and as European peace forces are now attempting to do on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti-Saudi border.

We have noted the refusal of the Israeli Government to respond to the demands of the international community and we call for the application of effective international political and economic sanctions against Israel to ensure respect for the rights of the Palestinian people.  We know that if the international community can act to impose measures against Iraq to compel it to withdraw from Kuwait, then surely such pressures can and should be applied to Israel to compel it to withdraw from Palestine.

We also note with dismay the agenda of the Security Council for today.  To change this day of world mobilization for the just cause of the Palestinian people and for the implementation of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) concerning the creation of two States in Palestine into a day of a Security Council meeting to study the possibility of military aggression in the Gulf without having exhausted all diplomatic resources sounds to NGOs around the world like provocation.  Earlier this week, NGOs requested the Secretary-General to postpone the meeting of the Security Council and to add to its agenda the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East called for in General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989.

We recognize that the need for the International Peace Conference, for which we have worked for many of the past seven years in a concerted fashion, has never been more urgent.  We have also, therefore, embarked on an international campaign of letters directed at the five permanent members of the Security Council urging them immediately to convene the international conference.  We will be meeting with representatives from those five countries late next month to press our concerns directly.  We should like to share the strikingly simple thought of one of our NGO members.  Matti Peled, an Israeli who has participated in our NGO symposia several times over the past several years, recently wrote:

"All that President Bush need do is ask the Secretary-General to convene an international peace conference and to send invitations to Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Arab States and the super-Powers.  No Israeli Government, however tough its rhetoric, would risk the total diplomatic isolation attendant upon staying out of such a conference."

The Palestinian intifadah is the concrete ongoing expression of the Palestinian people's opposition to occupation.  Israeli General Dan Shomron has publicly stated that the only way to crush the intifadah is through mass deportations, starvation or genocide.  A significant sector of Israeli society advocates a final solution to the Palestine question, that of transfer.  While outright transfer has not yet taken place, a covert policy of transfer is being implemented through massive Soviet Jewish immigration, through massacres, through mass arrests, through house demolitions, through rejection of family unification, through continued closure of schools and universities, through increased taxation, and through all the other means of crushing the intifadah which try to make it impossible for the Palestinian people to stay on its land and which try to force it to depart in order to survive.

The Israeli leadership is now talking about "separation".  We want them to talk peace; we want them to talk freedom and independence.  We want them to end the occupation.  We have the means, by implementing sanctions or by simply convening the International Peace Conference, to accomplish that goal.  But the longer we wait the more possible another outcome is.  It is up to us.  Each of us – NGOs and Governments alike – must act.

For our part, we as NGOs throughout the world commit ourselves to redoubling our efforts and solidarity with the Palestinian people, efforts which must and will continue until Palestine is free.

III.  Messages received on the occasion of the

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

A. Messages from heads of State or Government

AFGHANISTAN

H.E. Mr. Najibullah, President of the Republic of Afghanistan

On behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan, I am pleased to express my warmest greetings to the heroic people of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on the occasion of 29 November, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The people of Afghanistan have full support for the Declaration of Independence issued by the Palestine National Council on 12 November 1988 at Algiers as the cornerstone of the struggle of the Palestinians for self-determination, independence and sovereignty. We also commend the historical initiative of the Council toward a peaceful solution of the question of Palestine.

We believe that the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the convocation of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the supervision of the United Nations, with the participation on an equal footing of all the parties concerned, including the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, remains the only means of resolving the Middle East situation.

Israeli authorities, unfortunately, are still continuing in their intransigence to block the convocation of such a conference to prolong their illegal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands, including Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights. Only Israeli withdrawal from these territories can restore a lasting peace to the area. We particularly condemn Israeli non-compliance with the recent Security Council resolution on the Israeli repression against innocent Palestinians.

While attaching a great importance to the efforts of the United Nations for achieving a durable solution of the Middle East problem, I express my profound appreciation to you and other members of the Committee for your dedicated efforts to guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

BAHRAIN

His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Sulman Al-Khalifa,

Emir of the State of Bahrain

(Original: Arabic)

On the anniversary of the Palestine partition resolution, which was adopted by the United Nations on this date in the year 1947, our international Organization each year commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, thereby recognizing the importance of the Palestinian cause and the need to provide it with international support.

This cause, beset by successive tragedies for over 40 years, has troubled the conscience of mankind and opened an aching wound in the heart of the international community, which has rejected the occupation and exposed the spurious nature and practices of Zionist settler colonization. These practices are designed to uproot the Palestinian people from its land, to destroy its existence, to efface its identity, to obliterate its rights and to Judaize its territories through the establishment and expansion of settlements in order to absorb enormous numbers of Soviet Jews and Jews from Eastern Europe. The arbitrary practices of these forces extend even to the confiscation of Palestinian private and public property and to the detention, torture and killing of Palestinian nationals. It is as if mankind, despite having made great strides along the path of progress and civilization, were slipping back to the ages of darkness and barbarism as a result of these Zionist practices, which deliberately and unjustly violate Palestinian human rights.

To counter the Israeli colonial tyranny, which has for over four decades been oppressing the Palestinian territory and its people in the hope of snuffing out the breaths of freedom and independence, this Arab people has continued to struggle with all its might and to endure the ordeal of occupation and repression, while calling upon all peace-, justice- and freedom-loving forces to stand by it and international legitimacy. International legitimacy, indeed, strongly supports the intifadah of the Palestinian people and condemns Israeli policies and practices as they chalk up further violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories.

The Palestinian intifadah of 8 December kindled the spark of blazing struggle among the ranks of this defiant people – its children, men, old people and women – and the flame of resistance spread to challenge the legions of Zionist oppression in every part of the occupied territory. The bodies of the child heroes, armed with faith and with stones, became the targets of bullets and of lethal beatings, but they remained entirely determined and intent upon achievement of the Palestinian national objective: to liberate their territory and to regain their sovereignty.

Bahrain, which has recognized the State of Palestine since its proclamation on 15 November 1988, takes the opportunity provided by this International Day to affirm its endorsement of the just Palestinian cause and its full backing for the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain its freedom and independence, with continued assistance from the Arab family and support from the peoples of the world. We hope that virtuous and peaceful efforts and endeavours will lead to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and thus ensure that security and peace prevail in the Middle East region.

In conclusion, it is my pleasure, on behalf of myself, of the Government of Bahrairi and its people, hereby to express our profound gratitude to you and to the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for your persistent and dedicated efforts to assist that people and to support its patriotic struggle to recover its legitimate rights and establish its independent State on its own sacred national soil.

BANGLADESH

H.E. Mr. Hussain Muhammad Ershad,

President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

On this day of solidarity with the people of Palestine, the Government and the people of Bangladesh join me in reaffirming our unequivocal support and total commitment to its just cause and the realization of its inalienable rights.

Today, this cause has assumed impelling urgency. It has acquired a whole new dimension as a result of the 36-month-old intifadah and the fierce and unremitting determination of the Palestinians to reject the occupied status quo, to expel Israelis and to establish their legitimate national rights, It has been fueled by Israel’s disavowal of all initiatives to advance the peace process, by its brutal repression and systematic violation of human rights and by sustained efforts to change the cultural and demographic status of the occupied territories against all its international obligations and the fundamental norms of international law. The situation has been immeasurably heightened by the destabilizing impact of the Gulf crisis. The usurpation of right and the historical injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people call for urgent solutions on their own fundamental merit, It remains an acid test of the credibility of the world community to find a peaceful, just and durable settlement of this long outstanding problem.

Bangladesh’s position on this core issue of the Middle East question remains consistent and categorical. Israel must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories. The inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people must be restored including a State of its own on its own homeland, with Jerusalem as the capital. The need for an international peace conference, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the permanent members of the Security Council and the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing, is all the more imperative to find a comprehensive solution.

In commemorating this important occasion, Bangladesh reiterates its total solidarity with and unwavering support for its Palestinian brethren.

BULGARIA

H.E. Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev,

President of the Republic of Bulgaria

I have the honour to convey to you, on behalf of the Bulgarian people and on my own behalf, sincere congratulations on the occasion of 29 November, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The Bulgarian nation supports the efforts to find a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict in the Middle East that would guarantee the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, including its right to self-determination and the establishment of its own State, as well as the right of all States in the region to live within secure and universally recognized boundaries.

BURKINA FASO

H.E. Captain Blaise Compaore, President of the Popular Front,

head of State and head of Government of Burkina Faso

[Original: French]

For over a decade, the international community has, on 29 November of each year, observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, victim of oppression by the Zionist régime of Israel.

In instituting the International Day of Solidarity by General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, the United Nations and, by that token, the international community, meant to express its unequivocal support for the heroic struggle which the people of Palestine, under the clearsighted leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), has been waging for over 40 years against Israel, the occupying Power.

However, neither the praiseworthy efforts of the great majority of members of the international community nor the climate of détente which has come to reign in international relations has been able to modify the intransigence of the Zionist régime, which pursues its policy of repression, aggression, expropriation and expansion in the occupied territories.

Thanks to the active complicity of certain States, Israel continues to defy the entire international community by flouting the principles of international law, the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

In accordance with its firm commitment to the cause of oppressed peoples, Burkina Faso therefore strongly condemns the Israeli policies and practices which violate the inalienable and indefeasible rights of the Palestinian people and which are aimed ultimately at usurping its land of origin in defiance of morality and international law. Burkina Faso reaffirms its conviction that the question of Palestine lies at the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that only the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation on an equal footing of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, can lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

On this solemn day, I wish also, on behalf of the Burkinabé people, its political leadership and the Revolutionary Government, to reaffirm our unwavering support for the PLO and the valiant Palestinian people which, thanks to the intifadah, has resolutely risen up against the occupying Power, thereby arousing the attention and sympathy of world public opinion.

We are more convinced than ever that the Palestinian cause, being just, will conquer.

Fatherland or Death, We Shall Prevail!

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

H.E. Mr. André Kolinoba,

President of the Central African Republic

[Original: French]

Today, 29 November, as we observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should like, on behalf of the people and Government of the Central African Republic and on my own behalf, to reiterate our unwavering support for your outstanding and unremitting efforts to secure the triumph of the cause of Palestine throughout the world.

We are convinced that under your leadership, the Committee, working with its customary perseverance, will win success for the Palestinian cause in the very near future by securing the full and unconditional implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions and, above all, by securing the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the noble and sole representative of the Palestinian people.

We wish you every success as you observe this day of solidarity.

CHINA

H.E. Mr. Li Peng, Premier of the

State Council of the People’s Republic of China

On the convocation of the meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to pay, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, high tribute to the Palestinian people who have been fighting for restoring its legitimate national rights.

The Israeli authorities have continued with their suppression of uprisings by the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. On 8 October, they engineered an incident in Jerusalem in which many Palestinians were massacred. I believe that this activity, sponsored by the United Nations to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, will undoubtedly play a highly positive role in supporting the Palestinian people and in mobilizing the international community to help bring about an early, fair and reasonable settlement of the Palestinian question. In recent years, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the relevant Arab countries have fully shown their sincerity for realizing a peaceful settlement. Regrettably, the Israeli authorities stubbornly clinging to their position, seriously obstruct the Middle East process.

The Chinese Government has all along held that Israel must withdraw from the Arab territories it has occupied, that the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people must be restored, and that the State of Palestine and the State of Israel recognize each other, and all the Middle East countries, including Palestine and Israel, live in peace on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We call upon the United Nations and the international community to continue to pay close attention to the Palestinian question and make practical efforts for its early, fair and reasonable resolution.

CUBA

H.E. Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz, President

of the Council of State and Government of the Republic of Cuba

[Original: Spanish]

As we prepare once again to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the honour to transmit to you the message of solidarity of the people and Government of Cuba, as well as their militant support to the just struggle being waged by the fraternal Palestinian people for the restoration of its inalienable rights, under the direction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its sole legitimate representative.

The question of Palestine, which is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is the history of a people expelled from its country, whose rights have been denied and whose resources and property have been plundered.

The State of Israel has with impunity forced generations of Palestinians to live either in exile or under the occupation of a foreign oppressor. For the past four decades the international community has been a witness to the systematic aggression and violence committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, to the establishment of Jewish colonial settlements in the occupied territories and to the fact that, in contravention of the Geneva Convention of 1949, Israel has taken measures intended to alter the demographic composition, condition and status of the occupied territories, in an attempt to eradicate Palestinian nationalism and any manifestation of a Palestinian identity, with a view to establishing the fiction of having discovered a country void of inhabitants and thus to carry out its expansionist ambitions.

Nevertheless, the direct and unequivocal message of the intifadah in its prolonged and unequal struggle against the occupiers, shows the heroic resolution of the Palestinian people to liberate its country and recover its inalienable national rights, including the right to self-determination, the right to return to homes and property and the right to establish its independent sovereign State in Palestine.

The Israeli response to the intifadah, starting on 9 December 1987, was to intensify the repression. One of the bloodiest days seen by Jerusalem since its occupation in 1967 was last 8 October, when Israeli troops massacred more than 30 Palestinians on the so-called esplanade of mosques, an act which gave rise to the justified indignation and condemnation of the international community, and the approval by the Security Council of two resolutions, which were adopted unanimously, and then were rejected by Israel with its habitual arrogance.

Cuba repeats its support for the historical struggle of the Palestinian people against the Zionist invader to preserve its national identity and also to achieve the full exercise of its inalienable rights, condemns Israel’s expansionist and genocidal policy against the Arab people in general and Palestine in particular and demands the withdrawal of Israel from all Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

The international community must make it clear to the Government of Israel and its supporters that this situation cannot continue any longer and that in the current circumstances it is essential and urgent to intensify efforts to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council. Cuba reaffirms its wholehearted support for the convening of this conference.

You may count on Cuba to carry out any new initiative intended to achieve the worthy objectives of this Committee and of the Palestinian people.

I take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the active way in which you have carried out your functions within the Committee which, since its establishment, has spared no effort in an attempt to restore the full exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

CYPRUS

H.E. Mr. George Vassiliou,

President of the Republic of Cyprus

The world community observes once again this year the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People amidst general disappointment and concern for the developments which recently have adversely affected the situation of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

Cyprus has always been an active and consistent supporter of the just struggle of the Palestinians, a struggle for the liberation of their homeland and the attainment of their inalienable national rights, including the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign State.

I wish, on behalf of the Government and the people of Cyprus, to reiterate our solidarity with the Palestinian people and at the same time to reaffirm our strong support to its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.

It is the view of the Government of Cyprus that the Palestine problem should and could be solved through full and effective implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions and in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

Such a settlement cannot be achieved without the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli army from all Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967. This will be in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions.

While tension in the region has dramatically increased because of the Gulf crisis and the other interrelated issues, we truly believe that a speedy and viable solution, as described above, will vitally and decisively contribute to lasting peace and stability in the broader Middle East area.

Recent repeated incidents in the occupied Arab territories, which caused a high number of casualties of Palestinian civilians, are a source of grave concern and preoccupation to the people of Cyprus. While deploring the loss of so many human lives, we wish to reaffirm the responsibility of the United Nations Security Council for the full implementation of its relevant resolutions and the safety of the Palestinian people.

Following the developments in the Gulf and particularly the emerging enhanced role of the United Nations, as well as the prevailing political climate of conciliation in world affairs, we invite all parties involved in the Palestinian conflict to demonstrate goodwill and a spirit of conciliation, in order to achieve a permanent solution to the problem, which will not only vindicate the just struggle and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, but will also guarantee the right of all States and peoples in the region to live within internationally recognized and secure boundaries.

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

H.E. Mr. Kim II Sung, President

of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Palestinian people are greeting the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in coincidence with the recent second anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Palestine.

On this day, on behalf of the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Korean people and on my own behalf, I extend my firm solidarity with you, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the people and resistance fighters of Palestine.

Today, the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the PLO, its sole legitimate representative, are vigorously waging an undaunted struggle for its freedom and liberation against the Israeli occupationists.

The world people render their broad support for and sympathy with the Palestinian people in its struggle to oppose imperialism and zionism, regain its usurped territory and establish the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Korean people will, in the future too, actively support and encourage the sacred cause of the Palestinian people for the liberation of its fatherland and the restoration of its legitimate national rights, including the right to return home and the right to self-determination.

Convinced that the friendship and solidarity between our two peoples, consolidated through our Pyongyang meeting last May, will further strengthen and develop, I take this opportunity to sincerely wish you and the Palestinian people greater successes in the struggle for the accomplishment of the cause of national liberation.

ECUADOR

H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Borja,

President of the Republic of Ecuador

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the commemoration today of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government of Ecuador, in accordance with the principles on which its international policy is based, once again reaffirms its resolute and enduring support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and, in particular, the latter’s right to self-determination and independence, including the paramount right to constitute a sovereign State.

At the same time, the Government of Ecuador earnestly calls upon the international community, in accordance with the spirit of cooperation which has brought about significant progress towards international peace and security, to make concerted efforts to proceed without further delay to the more effective implementation of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations, in order to achieve a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, allowing its people the full enjoyment of those rights for whose restoration they are struggling, and at the same time making possible harmonious coexistence in the Middle East, as a formula for achieving peace in the region.

EGYPT

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak,

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

[Original: Arabic]

I take advantage of this commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to express to you and to the members of the esteemed Committee the appreciation of Egypt’s Government and people for the sincere efforts you are making to endorse and support the struggle of the Palestinian people. Your efforts are an expression of the international community’s determination to uphold the rights of peoples in a framework of justice and legitimacy, as well as of faith in the need for the Palestinian people to exercise its enduring legitimate rights, first and foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

Commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People fills us with a feeling of sorrow, in view of the continuing tragic denial by some of that people’s entitlement to exercise all its rights and to live a normal life as a full member of the international community. At the same time, the commemoration confirms that the continuation of the Palestinian struggle over so many years constitutes a rejection of the underlying status quo, which is an offence to law and legitimacy. It is with that struggle that we today reaffirm our solidarity, as well as our categorical rejection of the status quo policy, of the practices of occupation, annexation and incorporation and of plans for expansion based on spurious rights and alleged claims.

The eruption of the Palestinian intifadah in the occupied Arab territories confirms that the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people has not abated, that its faith has not been shaken and that the violence and coercion practised by the occupation authorities have produced a new surge and cohesion in that struggle. History proves that peoples ultimately prevail over the short-sightedness of occupying authorities, which believe that violence provides the solutions to crises and puts paid to resistance. Violence and coercion undoubtedly inflict material and moral distress, but they also give rise to greater determination to achieve objectives and to make sacrifices in their pursuit.

Egypt eagerly awaits the day when a forward-looking perspective will prevail in the Middle East region, rather than searches through the blind alleys of the past. It remains Egypt’s clear and consistent policy to call upon Israel to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and to abandon its delusions and desperate attempts to stop the wheel of history, thereby threatening to eliminate all opportunities of establishing mutual understanding between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, of ensuring their mutual recognition and of paving the way for a constructive dialogue towards a just and lasting peace.

This future to which Egypt so looks forward requires the support of the international community if it is to be secured and consolidated. The United Nations rose up from the ashes of the Second World War to represent the hope both of a life in peace and of the elevation of principles concerning the right of peoples to self-determination and the exercise of those peoples’ fundamental rights. It is the duty of the international community to insist that these principles are applied and defended in all regions and continents, in order to uphold the principle whereby such values are universal and without exception.

Egypt has always affirmed that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region cannot be attained without a settlement of the question of Palestine, whose continued existence affects the stability of the region as well as international peace and security.

The outbreak of the Gulf crisis and its negative consequences should not divert us from our determination to secure a comprehensive and just solution of the question of Palestine. The international community must be urged to take active steps to reactivate the peace process and to endeavour to attain a peaceful settlement of the problem based on respect for the principles of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions and on recognition of the legitimate political and national rights of the Palestinian people.

Egypt is confident that the assumption by the international community of all its responsibilities will create appropriate conditions for the success of the peace process in the region and for the attainment of a permanent and just settlement which will guarantee the security of all States and peoples of the region and allow them to direct their energies to construction and development.

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate our thanks to your esteemed Committee and to reaffirm to you and its members our support for and endorsement of the valuable role which you play.

GHANA

H.E. Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings,

head of State and Chairman of the

Provisional National Defence Council of Ghana

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish, on behalf of the people and Government of Ghana and on my own behalf, to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its untiring efforts in sensitizing international public opinion on the plight of the Palestinian people.

The Middle East problem is the result of continued denial of justice to the Palestinian people. In order to secure a lasting solution to the problem, therefore, justice must be done to the Palestinian people. It is a matter of deep regret that, at a time when the world is beginning to replace confrontation and conflict with peaceful negotiations, the Palestinian question continues to defy international solution. The opportunities offered by the Palestinian peace initiative at the forty-third session of the General Assembly at Geneva in December 1988, have been frittered away. More sadly, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories has been allowed to worsen as a result of the harassments, deportations, wounding and killings of hundreds of Palestinians, closure of Palestinian schools and universities, all these in wanton disregard of the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. The recent tragic killing of 21 Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 8 October stands out clearly as a classic example of the continued abuse, with impunity, of Palestinian rights over these many years.

The Palestinian situation is one of the numerous tragic human problems created in the wake of the Second World War. In this connection, the historic European accord signed in Paris 10 days ago, with its new vision of a Europe of peace with secured rights, freedoms and rule of law for all, will be meaningless so long as the Palestinians continue to be denied a homeland. The international community would, therefore, wish to retain the hope that the States that signed the Paris accord will now apply the same zeal and commitment to finding an early and durable solution to the vexing human tragedy that has come to be designated the Palestinian question.

The Palestinian situation imposes a heavy moral duty on the United Nations and the entire international community. We must all strive collectively to bring about a quick and durable settlement of the problem as well as provide adequate safety and protection of the Palestinians under occupation.

On this momentous anniversary, therefore, it has become even more urgent for the international community to redouble its efforts in finding a lasting settlement of the Palestinian problem. This demands the implementation of all relevant General Assembly resolutions, particularly resolution 44/40 A of 4 December 1989, concerning the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East conflict. We hope all freedom-loving people the world over will join us in insisting on the establishment of a just atmosphere of peace and freedom for all peoples in the Middle East.

In conclusion, I would like to use this occasion to reaffirm Ghana’s continued commitment and support for the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to wish it success in its endeavours, and to extend our very best wishes and solidarity to the Palestinian people in its just struggle against oppression and injustice.

GUINEA

H.E. Mr. Lansana Conte, Chairman of the Military Committee

of National Recovery and President of the Republic of Guinea

[Original: French]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am particularly pleased to extend to you, on behalf of the Military Committee of National Recovery and of the Guinean people and Government, my sincere congratulations on the positive role which the United Nations continues to play in the search for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. We are deeply concerned and shocked by the recent resurgence of violence in the occupied Arab territories and in East Jerusalem in particular. The Republic of Guinea remains convinced that the acquisition of territories by force should be condemned in all circumstances. Consequently, Israeli troops must withdraw from all the occupied Arab territories. We support the initiative for the convening of an international peace conference with the participation, on an equal footing, of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is the duty of the community of nations to break the vicious spiral of rising violence and hatred now prevailing in the Middle East and to find a comprehensive political settlement to this troubling question.

INDIA

H.E. Mr. Chandra Shekhar, Prime Minister of India

India has been consistent and steadfast in its unequivocal support for the principled struggle of the Palestinian people for restoration of its just and inalienable rights. On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I reaffirm our deep and abiding national commitment to the Palestinian cause and our friendship and solidarity with the people of Palestine.

It is now generally accepted that there can be no durable peace in West Asia without a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue. On this solemn occasion, we urge the international community and particularly the United Nations to take urgent and concerted steps to break the present deadlock in the peace process so that the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians can be realized. India will lend its full support to all efforts for an early, equitable and peaceful resolution of the long outstanding Palestinian problem.

IRAN (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF)

H.E. Mr. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani,

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to express my best wishes as well as those of the Muslim people of Iran, for realization of the sacred aspirations of this combatant and persevering nation towards restoring its inalienable rights and for the victory over international zionism, in particular, the occupiers of the holy land of Palestine.

Since 1948, the peak year of disregard for the rights of the Palestinian people, this Muslim nation underwent tormenting sufferings resulting from displacement, torture, homelessness, and deprivation of the most fundamental human rights. However, it has consistently been struggling with all its power to liberate the holy land of Palestine from the grip of the occupiers. The intifada, the uprising of the heroic Muslim people of Palestine, is another indication of the firm conviction of this combatant nation in the way of achieving its holy objectives.

International organizations and forums should realize the ever-increasing costs of the contained trampling of the inalienable rights of this great nation, and make every effort to put an end to such travesty. Otherwise, we will witness again and again many Black Mondays as well as flagrant violations of the most fundamental and internationally recognized human rights in Palestine.

The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the efforts of international organizations, particularly the United Nations, should focus on the restoration of full rights of the brave people of Palestine, that is, its right to self-determination, the liberation of the entire territories occupied since 1948, and the formation of an independent Palestinian State in the entire land of Palestine.

In the name of a nation that since the very beginning of its victorious Islamic Revolution spared no effort to assist the Palestinian people, and by declaring the last Friday of the auspicious month of Ramadhan the Universal Day of Quds, has consolidated its solidarity with Palestinians, I would like to honour the continued heroic struggle of this Muslim nation and while commemorating the sacrifices and braveries of the beloved martyrs of this holy land, pray to the Almighty Allah for attainment of final victory through the continuation of their struggle.

IRAQ

H.E. Mr. Saddam Hussein,

President of the Republic of Iraq

[Original: Arabic]

It is my pleasure, as we commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to express – on my behalf and on behalf of the people and Government of Iraq – our high appreciation for your Committee’s sincere efforts in favour of the Palestinian cause and affirmation of the established inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. These efforts are an important source of support for the struggle of peoples for peace and justice.

We are commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in extremely delicate and dangerous circumstances. The uprising of the noble Palestinian people continues and grows in force, causing the entire world to unite in respect for and sympathy with it. The Palestinian uprising shows that this is a people’s revolution, going beyond an ephemeral reaction or ephemeral objectives, and is in fact the continuation of those revolutions of the Palestinian people which began, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, with resistance to British occupation and then to the Zionist occupation.

The uprising has demonstrated the firm determination of all sectors of the Palestinian population, and particularly of the “children and youths of the stones”, to achieve the desired objectives of self-determination and establishment of the State of Palestine on Palestinian soil. As the uprising of the heroic Palestinian people grows to a crescendo, the Zionist entity continues its blatant practices of killing, oppressing and expelling the Palestinian people and depriving it of its political, cultural and economic rights. It also continues to establish settlements in those Arab territories which it has usurped and to perpetrate acts of aggression against other Arab countries, in violation of all international laws and norms, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. The most recent massacre carried out by the entity at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 8 October 1990 is only one of many examples of those inhumane practices, which are incompatible with the obligations of Members of the United Nations to respect human rights and the right of peoples to self-determination. In this context, let us not forget the dangerous situation arising as a result of the arrival in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories of hundreds of thousands of Jewish migrants from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. This migration forms part of the scheme to establish a so-called “greater Israel”, the purpose of which is to drive the entire Palestinian people from its land.

The situation is made more serious by the support given to the Zionist entity in the various political, economic and military areas, including the nuclear field, by States which supposedly bear major responsibilities with respect to issues of international peace arid security, first and foremost among these being the United States of America. Such support makes it persist in its policies, regardless of their dangerous impact on the security and stability of the region. Besides protecting the entity by using its veto, the United States makes the Security Council apply dual criteria in its approach to the issues and problems of the region. While the United States and its allies claim to be defending international legitimacy and preventing aggression and the annexation of territory by force, they have prevented the Security Council from taking any effective action since 1967 to deter the Zionist entity from pursuing its policies of aggression and expansion against the Palestinian people, the land of Palestine and the territories of other Arab countries.

Although the Security Council has adopted dozens of resolutions on the question of Palestine, some of which are now over 40 years old, and dozens of others on the subject of Lebanon, the Council and the United States and its allies have not followed up the implementation of those resolutions or threatened to impose sanctions under Chapter VII against the Zionist entity, which has continued to violate or ignore those resolutions. We were hoping, and continue to hope, that the United Nations, and particularly the Security Council, will take the opportunity provided by our initiative of 12 August 1990 seriously to address all the problems of the region and to establish the uniform foundations and arrangements which will ensure their solution in accordance with the same principles and criteria.

This will mean the implementation of all Security Council resolutions providing for the Zionist entity’s withdrawal from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Arab Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, and the implementation of the economic and military sanctions provided for under Chapter VII of the Charter if it maintains its refusal to withdraw. The Council’s decision to ignore this initiative reveals the duality of the criteria it applies in addressing the events and issues of the region. It also gives the Zionist entity a further excuse to defy the will of the international community by, inter alia, refusing to receive the mission of the Secretary-General to investigate the massacre at the Haram al-Sharif, provided for in Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990).

It is now more than ever imperative that the international community should adopt an equitable position with respect to the Palestinian people since the Zionist entity’s intentions vis-á-vis the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories have become eminently clear. It is also imperative that United Nations efforts in this connection should be similar to those made to enable the Namibian people to attain its independence and freedom from colonial domination by the racist regime of South Africa.

We once again affirm Iraq’s determination to give its full support to the struggle of the Palestinian people – under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization – to exercise its right to exist, its right to self-determination on its national soil and its right to live in security and peace. Our assessment of the near future and of the Palestinian people’s determination to persist in its uprising leads us to predict that success and victory will be won by this militant people, which has been subjected to the most ugly tragedy of modern times.

In conclusion, I am pleased to affirm once again our great confidence in your efforts and the continuation of your Committee’s activities on behalf of the Palestinian cause.

JORDAN

His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal

of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

[Original: Arabic]

Ten days ago, when the United Nations was absorbed in discussion of the question of Palestine, the Prime Minister of Israel, commemorating those leaders of his party who had died since the emergence of the State of Israel, said: “Our former leaders left us with a clear mission, calling on us to preserve the land of Israel from the sea (the Mediterranean) to the river (the Jordan) for the sake of future generations, of mass migration and of the Jewish people, the majority of whom will gather in this country”.

This statement by the Israeli Prime Minister comes as a severe blow to all those who continue to hope that the Arab-Israeli conflict is approaching the threshold of a peaceful, just and comprehensive settlement based on international legitimacy.

I wonder what reasons prompted the Prime Minister of Israel to reveal his intentions with respect to the future of the occupied Palestinian territory so clearly. Were his remarks meant as a mark of scorn for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People? Or did he wish to tell the world, intoxicated as it was with the scent of a victory for international legitimacy in the Gulf crisis, that such respect for legitimacy was only an exception? Or did he mean to say that international law should be applied selectively?

Whatever the intention of the Israeli Prime Minister, his statement cannot but embrace all those meanings. It therefore constitutes an open challenge to the United Nations and to the international community, which cherishes the hope of a new world order characterized by respect for human rights and the principle of peoples’ self-determination.

Commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People last year coincided with the beginning of radical developments in an important part of the world, namely, Eastern Europe. These developments led to a change in the international mood, replacing confrontation by hope of cooperation, authoritarianism by a striving for pluralism and the coercion of peoples by a movement towards democracy and respect for human rights.

Where does Israel stand on these developments and how is it responding to the international mood? A searching look at Israel’s position on the Palestinian problem quite clearly reveals that Israel defied the world by colonizing the land of Palestine at a time when colonialism was being eradicated and that it is defying the world’s movement towards affirmation of the right of peoples to self-determination and respect for human rights. And now today we see the Prime Minister of Israel once again defying the international community by proceeding from the colonization of Palestine to the annexation of that territory and the displacement of its people, taking advantage of the flow of Soviet migrants to Israel.

It is now more than ever urgent that the United Nations, which played a fundamental role in the eradication of colonialism and is actively involved in upholding human rights, should react and defend the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination on its own national soil and to the exercise of its other national and human rights.

We endorse the call to protect the Palestinians from Israeli oppression at the earliest opportunity. It is true that this call may appear to represent a step backwards from the international Organization’s efforts to solve the conflict, to bring about peace and to help the Palestinian people attain its enduring national rights. However, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people with a view to extinguishing the spark of its legitimate intifadah against the occupation makes this call a legitimate and urgent humanitarian issue. The slaughter of Palestinians inside the precinct of the holy AI-Aqsa Mosque on 8 October 1990 simply provides further evidence of the need to protect the Palestinians.

Two years ago, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, put forward a peace initiative. However, Israel chose to ignore it, affirming once again, under the influence of the extremist expansionist ideology of its leaders, that it did not consider the Palestinians to be a people, that it considered their intifadah against the occupation to be an act of terrorism, their legitimate rights to be extremism and their moderation to be deception and prevarication. Neither Palestinian extremism nor moderation is acceptable to Israel. So what does it want? I fear that the answer lies in the recent statement made by the Israeli Prime Minister when he said that those who preceded him had left him with a clear mission to preserve the land of Israel from the sea to the river.

Israel’s position that there is “no choice” with respect to the question of Palestine leaves the Palestinian people no choice but to continue its courageous intifadah against the occupation. Over the past three years of the intifadah, the Palestinian people has offered up more than 1,000 martyrs, thousands of injured, crippled and disabled and tens of thousands of detainees as a result of the repressive policy pursued by Israel against the Palestinian people, leaving no stone unturned in its means of subjugation and oppression.

In addition to these killings, disfigurements and detention, we may add measures of collective punishment, economic harassment and the destruction of homes, not to speak of the consequences of the flow of Soviet migrants to Israel. This current wave of migration, which is supposed to be absorbed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Arab Jerusalem, constitutes not only an act of direct aggression against the rights of the Palestinian people but also a threat to Jordanian national security.

One of the features of the positive changes which have taken place in the world over the past year is the increase in confidence in the United Nations and in its responsibilities for maintaining world peace and ensuring that peace prevails in all parts of the world. What we have seen in recent times of the role played by the United Nations in the Gulf crisis may provide the best indication of this confidence.

Jordan, which is situated in the heart of the Middle East region and suffers directly as a result of the failure so far to make international legitimacy apply to the Arab-Israeli conflict, feels that it is legitimately entitled to question the role of the United Nations with respect to the Palestinian cause, which has been the subject of Security Council resolutions no less binding than those adopted in connection with the State of Kuwait.

The fact that the United Nations has taken up the Gulf crisis with such singular zeal for international legitimacy while neglecting to apply the same legitimacy to the question of Palestine presents a picture which is unacceptable from the moral and legal standpoints, as it makes it appear that the international Organization is applying dual criteria. In these circumstances, the United Nations faces a major challenge in proving that it is an Organization for all States and for mankind as a whole and that it does not discriminate between one region and another or between one crisis and another. We assure all those who are currently singing the praises of international legitimacy that we respect it but that we need to believe you and to trust in what you say. In order for this to happen, there is, in our opinion, a single and essential prerequisite: for you to prove that international legitimacy is an indivisible whole.

The peoples of our region, which was the cradle of faiths and civilizations, deserve to enjoy security, peace and stability. The struggling Palestinian people, like other peoples, deserves to attain its enduring national rights and to exercise them on its own national soil. May we, who have unceasingly supported peace efforts in the region, hope that the United Nations will carry out its moral and political obligation to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in order to ensure that international legitimacy is applied as soon as it has managed to solve the Gulf crisis by peaceful means? The two burning issues in a single region constitute a genuine threat to the stability of the region and to international peace and security in the same degree. They are also to a great extent linked on more than one level. To confront them would therefore, from a practical point of view, mean to make a sound and positive start on bringing about justice and peace and to enhance the credibility of the United Nations and confidence in international legitimacy.

In conclusion, I congratulate your esteemed Committee on its persistent efforts to give palpable and real substance to international solidarity with the Palestinian people.

May peace be upon you, the mercy of God and His blessings.

MALI

H.E. General Moussa Traore, Secretary-General of the

Democratic Union of the Malian People and

President of the Republic of Mali

[Original: French]

On this day, 29 November 1990, when the international community is observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like, on behalf of the Government and people of Mali and of its party, the Democratic Union of the Malian People, to extend to the valiant Palestinian people the renewed assurance of our unwavering support for its just struggle to recover its inalienable national rights. I am convinced that its courage and determination will enable the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, to triumph. This day affords me the opportunity to express to you our deep appreciation for the work being done to that end by the Committee over which you preside with skill and faith and I urge your Committee to persevere in that endeavour.

MALTA

H.E. Dr. Edward Fenech Adami, Prime Minister of Malta

Once again, on the occasion of this important observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish on behalf of the Government and people of Malta to express steadfast support for the Palestinian people’s aspirations and for the exercise of its inalienable rights. Malta has consistently given active support to all initiatives aimed at promoting peace in the Middle East region and at realizing through peaceful means the rights of the Palestinian people.

The Government of Malta does not look with indifference at the troubled situation prevailing in the occupied territories and at the fact that the rights of the Palestinian people continue to be violated and transgressed.

The Government of Malta at this time when the cold war has been effectively terminated considers that new efforts must be undertaken by the international community to ensure for the Palestinian people the peaceful enjoyment of its inalienable rights. The Government of Malta will continue to support all initiatives by the United Nations which would create the climate necessary for negotiations leading towards the overall peaceful political settlement of the problems of the Middle East.

The Government of Malta considers it essential that the international community establish without further delay appropriate measures for the effective protection of the rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

Malta takes this opportunity to praise the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his leadership in seeking a lasting and equitable comprehensive solution to the problems of the Middle East. Malta wishes to reiterate its support for these constructive efforts and its solidarity with the Palestinian people whose rights are being denied.

PAKISTAN

H.E. Mr. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Pakistan joins the international community today in commemorating the day of solidarity with the people of Palestine. Pakistan has consistently followed a policy of full support to the right to self-determination of oppressed people everywhere. Accordingly, we have extended unflinching support to the Palestinian people in its struggle for the restitution of its inalienable national rights, including its right to self-determination and to an independent State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.

We pay a tribute to the courageous intifadah of the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territory for freedom in the face of inhuman Israeli repression. We condemn the tyranny and brutality of the Zionist forces, in violation of all norms of civilized behaviour, in their desperate attempt to suppress the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Pakistan opposes Israeli attempts to change the demography of the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories through massive resettlement of Jews there. The settlement of Soviet Jewish immigrants in the West Bank must stop.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Pakistan and on my own behalf, I renew our pledge of continued and unequivocal support to and solidarity with our Palestinian brothers in their noble struggle to achieve their inalienable rights. We call upon the international community to insist that Israel ends its repression in the occupied territories, It is essential to urgently convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East to work out a comprehensive peace settlement including a just and lasting solution to the problem of Palestine.

PHILIPPINES

H.E. Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino,

President of the Republic of the Philippines

On this year’s observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am pleased to reaffirm, on behalf of the Philippine Government and the Filipino people, our unwavering support for the just and steadfast struggle of the Palestinian people to regain its inalienable rights.

The tragic 8 October 1990 violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been another grim reminder of the fearless determination of the Palestinian people never to bow to illegal foreign occupation, as well as of the inhumanity and desperation of the occupying Power in responding to the intifadah. The Philippines, in welcoming Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990), once again calls upon Israel to abide scrupulously by its obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

We remain committed, along with the international community, to searching for ways to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the question of Palestine, which is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this regard, we reiterate our support for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing and the five permanent members of the Security Council.

I also wish to pay a tribute and express my Government’s appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its unstinting efforts in enhancing international awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people, who have long been unjustly denied its inalienable national rights.

QATAR

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani,

Emir of the State of Qatar

[Original: Arabic]

On this twenty-ninth day of November, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly 13 years ago as the date for commemoration each year of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the pleasure, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to contribute this message to the meeting of your esteemed Committee. We cannot fail to express due appreciation for the devoted and persistent efforts undertaken by the Committee to assist the defiant people of Palestine in confronting all Israel’s tyrannous and aggressive practices.

During the 23 years which have passed since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinian people has suffered – and continues to suffer – the most abhorrent forms of persecution, repression, maltreatment, banishment, expulsion, violation of sanctuaries and desecration of holy places. However, despite the heinous practices of Israel, which accords no value to any legal principles, moral or religious values or international conventions, the most important of these being the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the Palestinian people has refused to despair, to surrender or to submit. Indeed, for the past three years it has risen up in an intifadah which unleashes its repressed anger against the hated occupation and demands the restoration of its stolen freedom and usurped sovereignty. It has been intensifying its resistance in an overwhelming peaceful manner, fuelled by its firm faith in a just cause and armed with the pebbles and stones which are the product of its land.

The valiant Palestinian uprising has met with unwavering Arab support and broad international sympathy, as may be seen in the international community’s increasing recognition of legitimate Palestinian rights. Continued violations of such rights ignited the sparks of the intifadah, together with a conviction of the need for redoubled efforts to attain a just and comprehensive solution of the question of Palestine in such a way as to restore those impugned rights to the individuals legitimately entitled to them including, above all, their right to self-determination and to establish their own independent State on their national soil.

The new trend in international relations had aroused hopes for the possible success of efforts to overcome the deadlock in which the Middle East problem has been gripped for some four decades and to break the glacial grip which Israel has since its creation deliberately imposed on the question of Palestine.

However, those hopes were quickly dispersed, not this time as a result of action by Israel as has normally been the case but, most unfortunately, due to the eruption of the Gulf crisis, which overwhelmed all other regional and international problems and issues, including the question of the Palestinian people and its intifadah.  Arab and international interests in the question had seemed to augur an end to this dreadful crisis, with its destructive consequences of every sort not only for the region and for the Arab world but for the world order as a whole.

Now that the entire world has become absorbed in the search for a solution of the Gulf crisis, Israel has been given an ideal opportunity to step up Jewish migration, particularly from the Soviet Union, at a level unprecedented throughout its history. Without heed for anyone, it has begun to bring in many thousands of Jewish immigrants in an attempt, by every possible unlawful means, to pursue its expansionist settler strategy of annexing the occupied Arab territories, driving out their legitimate inhabitants, effacing their rights and national identity and totally destroying their existence, with a view to fulfilling its infernal dream of establishing a “Greater Israel” over the ruins of the Arab people of Palestine and of other neighbouring Arab peoples.

While persisting in its arbitrary policies and racist practices against the Palestinian people as a means of uprooting that people from its land and nation, Israel added to its terrorist record by committing a further abominable crime in the precinct of Jerusalem’s holy Al-Aqsa Mosque on 8 October 1990. That crime constituted a challenge to the feelings of Muslims and to international public opinion as a whole. Public opinion deplored Israel’s action and gesture of contempt for the holy places which, under the terms of all divine prescriptions and international laws and regulations, must be respected and not desecrated, defiled or subjected to any threat or provocation of whatever form or orientation.

Proceeding yet further in its contempt for the will of the international community, Israel refused to comply with the unanimous resolution adopted by the Security Council in the wake of the Jerusalem massacre to send a United Nations fact-finding mission and to consider the protection of Palestinians. This refusal provides further evidence of its obduracy and determination to make good its objectives of Judaizing the Holy City, thus contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention and the pertinent resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, which prohibit the introduction of any geographic or demographic change in the occupied territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem.

It is an essential premise, given the lofty standing of the city of Jerusalem in the hearts of Muslims throughout the world, that its status should be correctly defined in accordance with those international resolutions, which constitute one of the principal foundations on which a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict must be based.

Despite Israel’s plans and actions pursuant to this wicked and aggressive objective, we affirm our faith that the Palestinian Arab people can, by means of its resolute defiance and ardent uprising in quest of its impugned rights, and with the support of all fraternal Arab peoples and the endorsement of international peace-, justice- and freedom-loving forces, foil Israel’s criminal designs and ambitions. No right is lost without its beneficiary subsequently seeking to regain it.

The absence of an international consensus and the failure to pursue a balanced international policy with respect to the Middle East problem – the core of which is the question of Palestine – in accordance with the principles of international justice, the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council provide Israel with ideal circumstances in which to prolong its inhumane practices and to persist in its repugnant obduracy by maintaining its barbarous occupation of the Arab territories.

The recent signs of an end to the cold war between East and West, giving way to harmonious relations between the superpowers, and the subsequent international consensus on the need to deter Iraqi aggression and to implement Security Council resolutions concerning the Gulf crisis – a result of the unjust and aggressive occupation of one State Member of the United Nations by another Member State – give cause for optimism and again arouse hopes of a change in the course of international politics and of a movement in the international community along lines other than those followed in the past, so that regional and international crises and problems of a similar nature to the Gulf crisis may be addressed in the same style and manner.

Until this issue is solved in a manner such as to guarantee the Palestinian people its legitimate rights, first and foremost among them being its right to exercise self-determination and to establish its own independent State, there will be no change in the general situation in the Middle East. Indeed, that situation will become more unstable and explosive, threatening not only the peace and stability of the Middle East region but also international peace and security in general.

Qatar, which believes in the justice of the Palestinian cause, holds fast to its steady position of support for the proposal – approved by the great majority of the international community – to address this issue by convening an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all the parties concerned and the five permanent members of the Security Council, to ensure that the stolen rights of the Palestinian people are restored.

Deeply appreciating as it does the intensive efforts undertaken by your esteemed Committee to this end, Qatar also wishes to affirm once again its full support for those noble efforts to assist the Palestinian people and to uphold that people’s right to recover its freedom and to establish its own independent State on its national soil, so that peace, security and stability may prevail in the Middle East region.

May peace be upon you, the mercy of God and His blessings.

SAUDI ARABIA

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,

King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia

The Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in the United Nations is a stand for righteousness which the international organization takes in support of and in solidarity with this struggling people in the defence of its homeland, its honour, and its rights which are guaranteed by international laws and traditions.

Solidarity with the Palestinian people and supporting its total rights and its sacrifices to restore these rights are a firm foundation and fundamental pillar of our commitment, and the commitment of those who love justice and support security which is based on justice and fairness.

We say this while injustice still afflicts the Palestinian people in its homeland, and it increases in viciousness and cruelty because the occupying authorities are still persistent in their method of waging war against the unarmed and applying mass punishment which widens the circle of aggression and increases the cruelty of suffering.

The world today is moving towards a new era of rationalism in the conduct of international affairs yet despite this, we find the authorities moving in the direction of escalating the Palestinian crisis and intensifying their practices against the Palestinian people and refuse the possibilities of peaceful and just solution, and the opportunities of peace based on justice.

We mentioned in our letter to you on the same Day last year how these authorities reject all Arab and international opportunities for peace and held them responsible. We affirm today that their continued rejectionist policy, their persistence with the practice of official terrorism against the Palestinian people, and intensifying their measure of depriving this people of its land and means of livelihood complicate the problem further and make a just solution more difficult.

The Palestinian intifadah, which embodies the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people in its homeland and which is crystallized in an international support for its cause, is in its fourth year; and is more persistent and resolute. The awareness of the world opinion today of the truth of what is taking place makes us more confident that time is on the side of right no matter what obstacles Israel puts. I am confident that the Palestinian people will realize, God willing, all its aspirations and establish its independent State on its own land like all the free independent and sovereign nations of this earth.

We call upon the United Nations today, as we have called on every occasion from the podiums of the United Nations and from every podium, to intensify its efforts to acknowledge and support the Palestinian right. We express our appreciation to you and to the distinguished members of your Committee, for your continuous efforts to expose the extreme violations committed by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people in its homeland, to redress the injustices inflicted on this people, and to make the United Nations and its Member States face their responsibilities by guaranteeing justice and fairness on the land of peace in Palestine, and to prevent the occupying authorities from committing what is contrary to all international and human norms and laws. We affirm our support for you and reaffirm our appreciation and full encouragement for your sincere efforts. Please accept my best wishes.

SENEGAL

H.E. Mr. Abdou Diouf,

President of the Republic of Senegal

[Original: French]

The question of Palestine has been a matter of grave concern to the international community for many years, as evidenced by the constant references made to that subject in many international forums.

Added to that concern is the fact that current attempts to settle the matter definitively have reached a diplomatic impasse, engendered in particular by the defiance of the Israeli authorities and by their obstinacy in trying to prolong indefinitely their occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem.

This situation has become even more worrisome now in light of the events of 8 October 1990 at Al-Haram Al-Shareef, which have tempered the hopes raised by the current atmosphere of détente and by the adoption, by a nearly unanimous vote on 6 December 1989, of General Assembly resolution 44/42.

Israel’s refusal to receive the mission sent by the United Nations Secretary-General for the purpose of investigating those unhappy events, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990), suffices to underscore the need for the international community to support the Palestinian people more strongly in its courageous and just struggle, in order to help it regain its occupied territory and there to exercise freely the full complement of its inalienable rights.

It is in this spirit that I would like once again, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with this brave people, celebrated on 29 November 1990, to reaffirm, on behalf of the people and the Government of Senegal and on my own behalf, our wholehearted support for its noble struggle against domination and oppression.

This occasion also gives me the opportunity to reassert the urgency of applying to the Palestinian people the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. In that connection, the High Contracting Parties to that Convention should persuade Israel to respect the provisions of the Convention and to meet all its obligations as an occupying Power.

In a similar vein, it is the duty of the Security Council to rise to the Israeli challenge. Otherwise, the Council’s entire credibility might be called into question, posing an additional threat to world peace.

I remain convinced, however, that beyond these immediate measures, efforts should be directed towards seeking a definitive settlement of the question of Palestine, within the framework of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation not only of the five permanent members of the Security Council but also of all the parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

In the opinion of the people and the Government of Senegal, any peace initiative in the Middle East must necessarily take into account the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to decide its future freely and as a sovereign Power under the enlightened guidance of the PLO, its sole and authentic representative.

Senegal would thus like to reaffirm its determination to continue supporting the Palestinian cause and, at the same time, to renew its support for the numerous and pertinent initiatives and recommendations emanating from the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, aimed at promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

Similarly, I take pleasure in saluting the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, to contribute to a satisfactory settlement of the Middle East conflict and of the question of Palestine.

May this current climate of détente grow stronger and spread to the Middle East so that the blind passion and violence of that region may at last give way to peace, cooperation and solidarity among all peoples.

SPAIN

H.E. Mr. Felipe Gonzales,

President of the Government of Spain

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Spanish Government reaffirms its support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and, in particular, its right to self-determination.

The Spanish Government is convinced that the best means of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict lies with the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, and that the Palestine Liberation Organization must participate in this process.

The Spanish Government is gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation of the occupied territories and the suffering which that involves for their population. The Spanish Government therefore calls emphatically for the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations and for respect for the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and at the same time is ready to increase its participation in the development projects of the occupied territories.

The Spanish Government is confident that the settlement of the Gulf crisis will enable the international community to concentrate its efforts on the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the Palestinian problem, on the basis of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations.

SRI LANKA

H.E. Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa, President

of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

I am happy to have had the opportunity of being associated with the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

I need not overemphasize the fact that the Palestinian issue is central to the Middle East problem. Peace will not return to the Middle East unless there is a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories.

Sri Lanka has given its unwavering support for the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. My Government was one of the first to extend recognition to the State of Palestine. We believe that an international conference, under the supervision of the United Nations, would be the most appropriate forum to discuss and resolve this issue. The Palestine Liberation Organization must be an equal partner in any peace effort.

The people and the Government of Sri Lanka will continue to extend their support to the people of Palestine in its struggle for self-determination and independence. I am confident that the Palestinian people will be able to arrive at a peaceful solution in the near future through the process of consultation, compromise and consensus.

SUDAN

H.E Lieutenant-General Omer Hassan Ahmed Elbashir.

Chairman of the National Salvation Revolution Command

Council and Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan

[Original: Arabic]

“Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged – surely God is able to help them.” God Almighty has spoken truly.

I am delighted, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, once again to express the solidarity of the people and Government of the Sudan with the Palestinian Arab people in its legitimate holy war against Zionist tyranny and injustice, with a view to winning its independence and exercising its inalienable rights.

The great intifadah of the Palestinian people erupted as an expression of noble goals and glorious objectives, and it was in its context that the Palestinian State, whose second anniversary we commemorated not long ago, was declared. We hope that the intifadah to a declaration of lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

The international community has made valuable and substantial efforts on behalf of the Palestinian cause, which deserve our commendation. However, these efforts have not succeeded in persuading the Zionist occupation forces of the justice of the Palestinian cause and the benefits of peace. While the international Organization has in recent times been able to dispense with many outstanding issues by strength and cooperation, we hope that the international community, as represented in this Organization, will proceed to apply the same strong criteria vis-à-vis the Zionist entity, in order to compel it to accept peace and to negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Meanwhile, and until such time as the desired peace is attained, we call upon the international community to step up its efforts and endeavours to halt the inhuman practices against the Palestinian people, armed as it is only with the weapon of faith in God and the justice of its cause.

Long live the anniversary of the Palestinian intifadah in its third year.

SURINAME

H.E. Mr. Ramsewak Shankar,

President of the Republic of Suriname

On the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we, the Government and people of the Republic of Suriname, would like to reiterate our call for peace and stability in the Middle East and stress the urgent necessity towards a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

Peace and stability cannot be achieved without a comprehensive and durable solution of the Palestinian question.

I would like to convey to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People our gratitude for its continued constructive contribution to the search for a peaceful and lasting solution of the Middle East Problem.

THAILAND

H.E. General Chatichai Choonhavan,

Prime Minister of Thailand

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm once again, the Thai Government’s and the Thai people’s firm and continuing support for the just and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Despite a number of resolutions on the question of Palestine adopted by the United Nations since 1947, including General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 1947 and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Palestinian people have not yet attained or exercised its inalienable rights, first and foremost being the right to self-determination. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the international community to redouble its efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine through, inter alia, the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict.

Since the eruption of the intifadah in December 1987, the Thai Government has been deeply concerned by the grave situation in the occupied territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank which has resulted in the loss of life and suffering of hundreds of Palestinians. Therefore, we wish to call upon all parties directly concerned to exercise restraint in order to spare further bloodshed and loss of innocent lives.

Finally, I should like to take this occasion to pay tribute to the United Nations, the Secretary- General and, particularly, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for their tireless endeavours to bring about a solution to the question of Palestine.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

H.E. Mr. Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson,

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The date 29 November has been recognized as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People since 1977 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution to this effect.

The significance of this date stems from the fact that on 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a resolution providing for the establishment of an Arab State and a Jewish State in Palestine, with a special international status for the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The Jewish State has come into being as Israel. The Arab State continues to be a yearning for the long-suffering Palestinians w.o are scattered throughout the Middle East – in Israel itself, in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, in Lebanon, Jordan and other neighbouring Arab territories. A whole generation of Palestinians has matured in the squalor and bitterness of refugee camps.

The long-stifled aspirations and the oppressive circumstances in which many Palestinians subsist continue to be critical factors in the enduring Arab-Israeli dispute, one of the most explosive issues in the world today.

On this day, 29 November 1990, the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago reiterate their solidarity with the Palestinian people and express the hope that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine will soon be achieved and that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to a homeland will become a reality.

TUNISIA

H.E. Mr. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,

President of the Republic of Tunisia

[Original: Arabic]

As we commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People for the thirteenth time, I have the pleasure to extend my sincere greetings and appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to express to it my profound admiration for the noble efforts it is undertaking on behalf of the embattled Palestinian people. That people is resolutely, valiantly and decisively pursuing its struggle for liberation and release from the yoke of brutal Israeli colonization which has laid waste all human values, violated the most fundamental principles of human rights and scorned all international conventions and customs.

The continuing humanitarian endeavour of your esteemed Committee to acquaint international public opinion with the desperate situation and dangerous developments in the occupied Arab territories deserves praise and commendation. I take this opportunity to assure you of our full support for your noble effort, which plays an honourable part in ensuring moral support and backing for the courageous Palestinian intifadah. By virtue of its defiance and persistence, the intifadah has demonstrated the Palestinian people’s determination to recover its land and holy places and to win back its legitimate rights to a dignified life in the territory of its independent nation.

We must, as we all commemorate this historic occasion, extol the responsible and balanced role which continues to be played by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in its earnest and sincere quest to identify a just and peaceful solution of this tragedy that has continued to gnaw at the conscience of mankind for many successive decades. The organization has provided convincing evidence of its genuine desire for peace through its adherence to all international resolutions relating to the question of Palestine and by its adoption of a political course designed to lead to that question’s final just solution.

Unfortunately, however, we note that the Israeli entity has met this genuine desire for peace with increased obstinacy and arrogance. It has stepped up its savage attacks on the defenseless Palestinian people and has gone to new extremes in its offensive practices against the children of the stones. The occupation authorities have accorded top priority to suppression of the intifadah and continued expulsion of the Palestinian people from its land, in conformity with the scheme recently revealed by the Israeli Prime Minister, in which he confirmed Israel’s intention of bringing Jewish inhabitants from all over the world to take the place of the original inhabitants of the occupied territories.

There can be no doubt that the recent dreadful massacre in the precinct of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in which dozens of worshippers were killed and hundreds of others injured, is a product of this plan to intimidate and force the Palestinian people to abandon its territory and holy places.

In this context, we cannot fail to note the danger posed by this Israeli course of behaviour, which seeks once again to confront the international community with a fait accompli and to continue implementation of the “Greater Israel” plan at the expense of neighbouring Arab countries. It thus arrogantly and disdainfully defies all well-intentioned efforts to find satisfactory solutions for the Middle East issue and to establish a just and comprehensive peace throughout the region.

In expressing our profound sorrow at the failure of the international community so far to impose its will on the Zionist entity, we believe – now that it has become clear that Israel’s intention is simply to foil all peace attempts – that the time has come for the international community to assume its full responsibilities with all determination and seriousness and for the Security Council to play the role entrusted to it with the same efficiency and effectiveness displayed in its treatment of other liberation issues and in its current response to the Gulf crisis.

In renewing its call for the whole international community to do its utmost to give impetus to the peace process in the Middle East, Tunisia – which believes in the values of peace and justice and holds fast to the principles of international legitimacy – wishes your esteemed Committee every success in its exalted humanitarian tasks. We are fully confident that the defiant Palestinian people will – by virtue of its enormous sacrifices and generous acts of devotion, as well as of the support of the international community for its just struggle under the leadership of the PLO, its sole legitimate representative – attain the honour and dignity to which it aspires and win the freedom and release for which it longs.

TURKEY

H.E. Mr. Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister of Turkey

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I take great pleasure in reiterating once more, on behalf of my Government and on my own behalf, our firm support for and solidarity with the valiant Palestinian people in its just struggle for the achievement of its legitimate rights.

I am indeed disappointed to note that the year under review has experienced a serious deadlock in the peace process because of the continued intransigence of Israel. On the other hand, the suspension of the United States-Palestine Liberation Organization dialogue during this summer has been a further setback in this regard. Actually, it was not until the most unfortunate attack on Palestinians in Jerusalem on 8 October by Israeli security forces, killing 21 Palestinians and wounding hundreds of them, that the attention of the international community has focused once again on the importance of reactivating the peace efforts aimed at finding a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

Turkey, which has condemned this attack, considers the present situation in the region to be extremely serious and a cause for deep concern. The escalation of events tends to foster further extremism among the Palestinians living in the occupied territories and the Israelis, as the course of recent events since 8 October has shown. Therefore, we believe that it is of utmost importance for Israel to respond to the positive attitude of the Palestinian leadership regarding the peace process and take, without delay, the steps expected of her towards activating the peace process, before extremism gets out of control, completely jeopardizing the chances of peace in the region.

I also wish to commend on this occasion the persistent efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under your able leadership, to promote a wider awareness of the question of Palestine and thus contribute to fostering greater sympathy and support in the international community in this regard.

I take this opportunity to reiterate the best wishes of the Turkish nation and the Turkish Government to the Palestinian people in its determined efforts for the realization of its legitimate aspirations within the framework of a just and lasting peace in the region.

UGANDA

H.E. Mr. Yoweri K. Museveni,

President of the Republic of Uganda and

current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity

On this occasion when you mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish, on behalf of myself and in the name of the people of Africa, to commend you and members of your Committee for working so assiduously to keep the attention of the international community focused on the tragic situation that the people of Palestine have found themselves in since the creation of the State of Israel in 1947. We deeply appreciate the untiring efforts by the Committee to rally international public opinion to find a peaceful solution to the problem so that the people of Palestine may redeem its inalienable rights and fully exercise them for self-determination.

The international community must continue to censor the policies of the Israeli Government in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.

The Palestinians in those occupied territories have been reduced by the Government of Israel to a human reservoir for Israeli security forces to kill and maim at will.

Israeli forces have killed children, women and have tortured to death hundreds of wrongly detained prisoners in camps. Palestinians are virtually homeless but Israelis are not even ashamed of bombing and destroying the precious few homes that these suffering people own. That Israelis who capitalize on their past suffering should behave so brutally is incomprehensible.

Pushed to extremes, young Palestinians decided three years ago that enough was enough. They launched the now famous heroic intifadah to resist Israeli brutality and the illegal occupation of their territories. The intifadah opened a new front in the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to free themselves.

We support the convening of an international conference to find a peaceful solution to the problem at which the Palestinians must be represented on equal footing by a delegation that is not selected directly or indirectly by the Israeli Government but by genuine Palestinians themselves.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan AI-Nahayan,

President of the United Arab Emirates

[Original: Arabic]

I have the pleasure, on behalf of the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, to express greetings, gratitude and admiration to the Chairman, members and observers of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for your commitment to support the Palestinian people and your untiring efforts to assist it towards the achievement of its national goals and aspirations.

For our part, we follow with appreciation your discussions of the ways and means by which to assist that embattled people and observe with gratitude your persistent efforts and endeavours in all parts of the world to acquaint every nation with the just cause of the Palestinian people, with a view to eliciting backing and support for it from those nations, and thus from their Governments.

We also praise God for your achievements in this connection. The entire world, indeed, apart from a minority whose eyes have been blinded to truth and justice, is as one in endorsing, urging, assisting and endeavouring to secure the enjoyment by the Palestinian people of its enduring rights, including its right to return, to exercise self-determination and to establish its own independent State.

We cannot fail to be encouraged, like others, by the changes and developments in international relations, which have had their due effect in many areas on regional conflicts and their settlement by peaceful means. We believe that this mighty current in which good triumphs over evil, justice over wrongdoing and peace over war must also carry the question of Palestine in its path, dispersing the clouds of injustice hanging over the Palestinian people and restoring that people’s full and unencumbered rights.

We in the United Arab Emirates – President, Government and people – remain and shall continue to remain true to the vow which we made to ourselves and which we called upon God Almighty to witness: we shall give of our utmost before our least; we are indifferent to hardship or ease; we shall not falter or relent in our assistance or support for the Palestinian people until such time as it is able to recover its freedom and to exercise its rights on its national soil.

We wish on this occasion once again to record our admiration of and pride in our sons and daughters in occupied Palestine, who have borne on their young shoulders and in their short arms the burden of the glorious intifadah against the brutal occupation forces.

These boys and girls have not begrudged their lives and bodies in their endeavour to make right prevail, to restore justice and to conquer tyranny. Nor do they expect the international community to forsake them in their struggle and their holy war. You in the Committee represent the conscience and just voice of the international community. May God support you and strengthen your determination to assist this most noble cause and most honourable struggle.

May peace be upon you, the mercy of God and His blessings.

UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

H.E. Mr. Ali Hassan Mwinyi,

President of the United Republic of Tanzania

On this day in which the international community commemorates its solidarity with the Palestinian people, I would like, on behalf of the Government and people of Tanzania, and on my own behalf, to salute the people of Palestine and hail its intifadah.

It is proper on this day for me to reassure the people of Palestine of Tanzania’s unfailing support for its struggle to regain sovereignty over its occupied lands by all means they deem fit. It can count on us, in our own modest way, to render full diplomatic and political support for its struggle to achieve its objective.

The past 12 months have seen an intensification of Israel’s repression perpetrated against the Palestinian people, resulting in many more losses of life. Israel has continued to defy United Nations resolutions aimed at arriving at a solution to the problem of occupied Palestine. Its refusal to receive a United Nations mission to investigate the October massacre of at least 21 Palestinians and other related outrages goes a long way to show her contempt for the voice of reason – the voice of the international community.

In commemorating this Day, Tanzania appeals to those friends of Israel who, through their support of her, have tacitly encouraged her to continue her repression against the people of the occupied lands, to rethink their stand and encourage her to give peace a chance.

VANUATU

H.E. Fr. Walter H. Lini,

Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu

On the solemn occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government and people of the Republic of Vanuatu embrace the Palestinian people and its continuing resistance to the denial of its fundamental human rights. What could be more fundamental than the right to live in peace in one’s own land? What could be more fundamental than to walk the land of one’s ancestors as free men and women, with dignity, equality and justice for all?

Once again, we note that as historic winds of change blow across much of the world, the people of Palestine are not yet free to govern itself and to live in peace in its own homeland. Those who are participating in the historic intifadah have earned the respect of the rest of the world.

As we have in the past, we join in remembering the martyrs of the Palestinian cause. We also join in prayers for a just and lasting solution to one of the international community’s ongoing concerns.

VIET NAM

H.E. Mr. Do Muoi, Chairman of the Council of

Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, observed by the United Nations on 29 November each year, I would like to extend to you and the Palestinian people greetings of solidarity and warmest congratulations.

Over four decades, the Palestinian people have been struggling persistently for the restoration of its sacred national rights, including the right to self-determination, the right to return, the right to establish an independent sovereign State, and have recorded important successes. The intifadah waged by the Palestinian people over the last three years and the proclamation of the State of Palestine on 15 November 1988, have marked a great development of the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation and demonstrated its insuppressible will for independence, freedom, peace and justice.

The people and Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam resolutely support the just struggle of the Palestinian people for its fundamental national rights. We categorically condemn Israel’s recent acts of terrorism against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, and we deem it urgent to find a comprehensive, lasting, just and reasonable solution to the question of Palestine through the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation on an equal footing of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The people and Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam are firmly convinced that the Palestinian people, bringing into full play the successes recorded, combining the national strength and the strong support of peace- and justice-loving peoples and countries, will certainly win final victory in its just struggle.

YEMEN

H.E. Lieutenant-General Mi Abullah Saleh,

Chairman of the Presidential Council of the Republic of Yemen

[Original: Arabic]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it gives me pleasure to commend the dedicated efforts being made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and by yourself in order to promote the rights of the Palestinian people, a people that has long struggled for the restoration of its usurped rights.

On this occasion, we affirm the responsibility borne by the international community towards the Palestinian people. All forms of oppression, persecution and destruction have been practised against that people by the Zionist authorities over a period of more than 40 years, and those savage practices reached their peak during the course of the intifadah that began on 9 December 1987.  Ever since then, daily and hourly, heavily armed Zionist troops have been flooding the streets and alleyways of the towns and villages of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and pursuing with tear-gas, weapons and clubs children, women and elderly persons, even intruding into their homes and into hospitals and places of worship.

History will never forget the massacre perpetrated by the Zionists on 8 October 1990 against worshippers in the courtyard of the AI-Aqsa Mosque. Neither will it forget the breaking of arms with stones, the miscarriages caused by tear-gas, the demolition of homes and the punishment and displacement of innocent people whose only offense was to assert its inalienable rights.

Moreover, the systematic methods used by the Zionist authorities in attempting to obliterate the Arab and Islamic heritage of the Palestinian people and destroy its culture, in plundering its property and in establishing settlements for Jewish immigrants in what remains of its territory have the aim not only of altering the demographic composition of the occupied areas but also of completely exterminating the Palestinian people in a manner unprecedented in history.

It is scandalous that the Security Council should remain quiescent in the face of all of these heinous and repressive practices because of the unlimited support provided to Israel by certain States permanent members of the Council and of Israel’s intransigence based on such support. That support is biased to such an extent that the Council has been unable to dispatch observers to the occupied territories of even a commission of inquiry, to say nothing of adopting effective measures for the protection of the rights of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

The wrath of history is, however, assuaged by the fact that the General Assembly and its Committees have been unstinting in giving expression to the will of the international community with regard to the cause of the Palestinian people, which is the core of the conflict in the Middle East, and concerning its right to exercise self-determination and establish an independent State in its own land under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. In an era of reconciliation, the international community must give concrete expression to this solidarity by taking effective measures to resolve the Palestine issue in all its aspects. The United Nations, and particularly the Security Council, must consider all issues, and especially issues relating to oppressed and helpless peoples, with fairness and without double standards. Its failure to do so would bring about the downfall of the principles and norms on which the United Nations is based and hence the disintegration of all that is fundamental to international peace and reconciliation. The manner in which the Security Council has dealt with the Gulf crisis prompts us to demand that it must address the question of Palestine with the same determination and persistence if it is to strengthen confidence in the Organization.

The Republic of Yemen reaffirms its support and backing for and its solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people until such time as it achieves victory and all of its legitimate rights and establishes its national State in the land of Palestine. It calls upon all States that cherish peace and freedom to stand resolutely beside the Palestinian people until its achieves its just demands.

We in the Republic of Yemen are prompted by the hope that you will redouble your efforts for the achievement of peace and security in the Middle East region and in support of just causes, pre-eminent among which is that of Palestine.

We wish you success in your mission.

B.  Messages from Ministers for Foreign Affairs

CHILE

H.E. Mr. Enrique Silva Cimma, Minister for Foreign Affairs

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government of Chile repeats its unwavering support for all those who are seeking to exercise their legitimate political rights, including the right to self-determination.

The multiple ties which link us with the peoples of the Middle East, many of whose sons are now a part of Chilean society, our unstinting support for causes seeking to promote the dignity of mankind and our rejection of the use of force as a way to solve disagreements, disputes or conflicts lead us on this occasion to make a special appeal, through you, for the conclusion in a spirit of realism of comprehensive, just and lasting agreements guaranteeing the peace and security of all the peoples in the region.

GREECE

H.E. Mr. Andonis Samaras, Minister for Foreign Affairs

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Greece pays a tribute to its courageous and unyielding struggle.

The whole world is taken aback by the determination of the Palestinian people for its inalienable rights in defiance of the enormous military superiority of the occupation forces.  Having no stable economic base to fall back on, the Palestinian people are willing to endure the economic and personal hardships, challenging the Israeli occupation in the territories which is carried out by brutal force.

The intifadah is the culmination and the turning point of the process of the Palestinian nation's struggle.  Israel's military presence in the occupied territories since 1967 enabled the Palestinian issue to be reborn.

The intifadah gave also tangible expression of a whole range of feelings and ideas which have been developing for years and became a way of reasserting the distance between the ruler and the ruled.

Traditionally, Greece has sided by peoples fighting for their right to self-determination.  Concerning the Middle East problem, we have always held firm and crystal-clear positions regarding the procedure as well as the general settlement that would put an end to the suffering of the peoples in the region.  The Palestinian question lies at the core of the Middle East problem, the solution of which is a precondition for establishing peace and prosperity in the region.

We hold that only by means of an international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, can a fair and stable peace be established in the region.  Such a development will by no means jeopardize the right of all the States of the region to exist within safe and internationally recognized borders.

Greece welcomed the courageous decisions adopted by the Palestine National Council in 1988 in Algiers.  It has done a great deal on its part to pave the way for a peaceful solution of the problem.  My country considers that these decisions should contribute to the creation of the necessary conditions and the moral obligation for the international community to find the right approach to the Palestinian question, which is the convening without further delay of an international conference.

Greece, in particular, does not support plans which ignore the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; this would bring the problem to a stalemate.  The present situation, not only in the occupied territories but also elsewhere in the region, stresses the urgent need for a solution without delay.

We remain deeply concerned by the fact that the prospects for progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process appear regrettably to have stalled and that the efforts aimed at launching an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue have reached an impasse earlier this year.

Greece has consistently supported the mission of the United Nations and the work of its specialized agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as the tireless efforts undertaken by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

On the other hand, Palestinians and Israelis have to realize that the international community can only help to work out a settlement that they produce out of their own desire and willingness to bring up something together.

Israelis have to be told that just as they are themselves tied to their land, so are the Palestinians to the territories.  They are inextricably tied to their land and at home in Palestinian land in the very deepest sense, too.  Israeli whims about transferring Palestinians to Jordan, or getting them to acquiesce to a permanent Israeli occupation of the territories, or getting them to drop the PLO as their representatives, are unattainable.

We strongly believe that the only way Israelis and Palestinians can hope to live in peace is by first coming together to produce a solution that guarantees Israelis their security and Palestinians their right to self-determination.

It is our firm believe that the Middle East peoples, who have suffered so much for so long, deserve a lasting peace to lead them to prosperity.

JAPAN

H.E. Mr. Taro Nakayama, Minister for Foreign Affairs

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I am honoured to extend by heartfelt greetings to those attending this solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

At present, as a result of Iraq's invasion and illegal annexation of Kuwait, the Middle East, more than any other region, is the focus of world attention.  This incident has reinforced international awareness of the political and economic importance of the Middle East.  It is imperative that the international community maintain solidarity in addressing the problem of Iraq, and Japan strongly hopes that a peaceful solution, based on the series of resolutions adopted by the Security Council, will be achieved as soon as possible.

Of course, in considering the situation in the Middle East, we must bear in mind the Palestinian question, which has brought hardship and suffering to thousands of people and which threatens to destabilize the entire region.

There has been no improvement in the intolerable political, economic and social conditions which the Palestinian people have had to endure for more than 20 years under the illegal Israeli occupation; on the contrary, conditions in the occupied territories have only gotten worse.  The intifadah by the people living in these occupied territories is now entering its fourth year.  At the core of this situation is the fact that the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East remains to be an elusive goal, and the Palestinian people continue to live under conditions of severe hardship.

It is Japan's position that peace in the Middle East must be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and that (a) Israel should withdraw from all territories it has occupied since 1967; (b) the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State, should be recognized; and (c) with Israel's right to exist recognized as a basic principle, the parties concerned–including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)–should work toward a solution through negotiations.

In this connection, it is recalled that in a statement delivered by Chairman Arafat in Geneva last year, the PLO indicated its recognition of Israel's right to exist; Israel, however, has so far not responded positively.  It is indeed a matter of profound concern that the peace process is at a standstill.

The shooting incident by a former member of the Israeli defense force on 20 May and the excessive use of force by the Israeli authorities in responding to an incident in  East  Jerusalem  on 8 October attracted the censure of the international community.  Japan pays a high tribute to the Security Council which responded to the 8 October incident by  adopting  unanimously  resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990) in which world opinion was clearly reflected.

I believe that hereafter the Security Council and indeed the United Nations as a whole will be expected to play an even greater role for the solution of the question of Palestine.

Japan strongly urges Israel to heed these Security Council resolutions in good faith and to extend its cooperation to the Secretary-General's special emissary.

Finally, Japan intends to play a constructive role toward an early solution to the question of Palestine and reaffirms that it will continue to extend support to the Palestinian people to the best of its ability.

LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA

H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Bishary,

Secretary of the People's Committee of the

People's Bureau for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation

[Original: Arabic]

As we commemorate this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is saluted today by the peoples and international and regional organizations of the United Nations system in recognition and appreciation of the just struggle being waged by the Palestinian Arab people to liberate its territory, to exercise self-determination, to build its own independent State and to take its place alongside the free peoples of the world, let me not fail to salute you and to commend the efforts undertaken by the United Nations ever since it was founded to strengthen international peace and security and to support causes of liberation and justice in the world.

The question of Palestine has been the object of major international attention in the United Nations ever since the Organization was founded; indeed, no other cause has therefore so dramatically confronted the United Nations with its responsibilities and so challenged its abilities to meet its declared objectives.

Despite the many resolutions adopted in affirmation of the Palestinian people's right to return home, the Organization has not so far been able, as a result of the irresponsible use of the veto by one permanent member of the Security Council, to take any decisive practical steps towards enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate rights and to establish its own independent State on all the soil of Palestine.

The United States of America also provides political, military and economic support to the Zionist entity, thus encouraging it to persist in its obduracy and contempt for all international resolutions.

The crimes, coercion and tyranny to which the Palestinian Arab people has been subjected by the Zionists for over 42 years have exceeded all offences known to mankind in the course of its long history.

It is today more than ever necessary, particularly in view of the improvement in international relations, that the international community should stand by the Palestinian Arab people in order to assist its just struggle and to endorse the declaration of its independent State, with a view to affirming its right to and its sovereignty over all its national soil in Palestine.

The expulsion of the Zionist entity from the United Nations and the imposition of a comprehensive boycott against it have become urgently necessary in the light of that entity's scorn for the Charter and resolutions of the Organization and its pursuit of a policy based on killing, expulsion, terrorism and settlement at the expense of others.

I should also like to recall today that the Security Council has, as a result of improper use of the veto, so far proved unable to take any decision to halt the massacres being carried out by the Zionist entity in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Great Jamahiriya firmly rejects the use of the veto by a small number of States Members of the United Nations to thwart the liberation of peoples and the exercise of their self-determination, thus paralysing the endeavours of the United Nations and obstructing the adoption of any practical measures in that connection.

In affirming its adherence to all the resolutions which guarantee the full rights of the Palestinian Arab people, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya calls upon you, as it calls upon the international community represented at the United Nations, to take action by all possible means to ensure justice for that people, to remove the tyranny under which it languishes and to enable it to regain its impugned rights and its usurped land.

We are confident that the will of peoples will not be crushed and that peoples fighting for their freedom and their dignity will inevitably be victorious.

MADAGASCAR

H.E. Mr. Jean Bemananjara, Minister for Foreign Affairs

[Original: French]

This year, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being celebrated at a time when peace in the Middle East is being seriously threatened.  The situation in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 continues to deteriorate.  Oppressive measures and police brutality remain the daily lot of the Palestinian people whose uprising, the intifadah, against the Israeli occupation, will shortly be entering its fourth year.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar deplores the refusal of the Israeli Government to take the necessary measures to embark on a peace process, despite the new, constructive and realistic attitude of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  Aware as it is of the seriousness of the current situation in Palestine and of the danger that it represents for peace and stability in the region, the Government of Madagascar calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian people.  It appeals in particular to the members of the Security Council to consider urgently the question of international protection of the civilian Palestinian population.  It calls upon all the parties concerned to redouble their efforts to ensure the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in order to find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine.

The Government of Madagascar wishes again to reaffirm its support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the PLO, its sole legitimate representative.  Lastly, it wishes to pay tribute to the unflagging efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the performance of its noble task of giving the Palestinians a State of their own.

MAURITANIA

H.E. Mr. Husni Ould Didi,

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

[Original: Arabic]

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, in accordance with its adherence to international conventions, its respect for the rights of man to live in security and peace and its faith in the need for the Palestinian people to exercise its enduring and legitimate rights to self-determination, independence and the enjoyment of full sovereignty in its occupied territory, declares it solidarity with the Palestinian people in that people's heroic struggle and congratulates the valiant intifadah as it enters its fourth year.  It believes that the ideal framework for a solution of the question of Palestine lies in the convening of an international conference to establish security and peace in the region, with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

OMAN

H.E. Mr. Yousef Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah,

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

[Original: Arabic]

We observe today the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  This underscores the concern of the international community regarding the question of Palestine, which is the core of the struggle in the Middle East.  How greatly the inhabitants of this region – joined in this by all peace-loving people – aspire to a political solution to the question guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the fraternal Palestinian people and guaranteeing all parties in region peace and security.

The policy of oppression and terrorism still being implemented unremittingly by Israel against the defenceless Palestinian people will lead only to more violence in the region.  The recent massacre committed by Israeli forces at the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, which took a toll of dozens killed and hundreds wounded, emphasizes the brutality of Israel and its flouting of all civilized standards and values.  It also reveals clearly the urgent necessity of finding a solution to the question of Palestine based on right, justice and peace.  The Sultanate of Oman condemns these inhumane practices and calls on Israel to respond to Arab and international peace initiatives, to halt its blatant defiance of the will of the international community, and to respect international custom and law.

The international community must make every effort to find a comprehensive and just political solution to the question of Palestine within the framework of the International Conference, and must seize the opportunity of the rapprochement between the two superpowers and the ending of the cold war to achieve the desired peace, which would have a great impact on the stability of peace and security not only in the Middle East but also throughout the whole world.

The Sultanate of Oman calls on all peace-loving States to show solidarity with the Palestinian people in its legitimate struggle, to strive to oppose the settlement of Jewish migrants in the occupied Arab territories, and to reaffirm the need to take the necessary measures to prevent these migrants enjoying their rights at the expense of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to convey to you, on behalf of the Sultanate, and to all the other members of the esteemed Committee, our great appreciation of your sincere efforts to promote and assist the Palestinian cause.

PANAMA

H.E. Mr. Julio Linares, Minister for Foreign Affairs

[Original: Spanish]

In observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government of the Republic of Panama welcomes United Nations General Assembly resolutions 44/41 A, B and C dated 6 December 1989.

The Panamanian Government supports both the just cause of the Palestinian people and that of the Israeli people and calls on them to show good faith with one another and to respect each other's legitimate aspirations, in order that they may find a solution which will allow both of them to live together in one country in liberty, dignity and safety.

The Panamanian Government also condemns any action entailing the use of force and tending to suppress the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to independence, national sovereignty and self-determination.

Finally, the Government of the Republic of Panama repeats to the Committee its unwavering support for the cause of the Palestinian people which must find expression in a negotiated settlement to the conflict, and supports the most recent resolutions issued by the Security Council.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

H.E. Mr. Choi Ho-Joong, Minister for Foreign Affairs

On behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Korea, I would like to pay tribute to the Palestinian people on this solemn occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People for its courageous and heroic efforts to achieve its self-government and national independence.

The Government of the Republic of Korea wishes to join the international community in the unequivocal support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to express its earnest hope for the peaceful settlement of the Middle East issue.

Being convinced that the question of Palestine is a key element to the solution of the Middle East issue, I would like to reiterate the position of my Government that the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and establishment of an independent State, recognized by the relevant United Nations resolutions, should be fully respected in support of the Palestinian people.

The Government of the Republic of Korea has contributed $1,250,000 to the Arab Student Aid International since 1981 to help sponsor scholarships for Palestinian students and it has also contributed $136,000 so far to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.  We hope that such support would help to improve the status of the Palestinian people.

Finally, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Korea, I should like to take this opportunity to pay my deep respect to the Chairman and members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for their strenuous efforts to bring about a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine.

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC

H.E. Mr. Farouk Al-Shara', Minister for Foreign Affairs

[Original: Arabic]

I have the pleasure, on behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic and in my own personal capacity, to salute your act of commemoration in solidarity with the struggle being waged by the Palestinian Arab people for the restoration of its inalienable national rights.  I am also happy, at the beginning of my message, to salute the ongoing heroic intifadah of our Palestinian Arab people which, in another few days, will enter its fourth year.  With the blood of its martyrs, the intifadah affirms that it is capable to resisting aggression and that it is determined to end the Israeli occupation notwithstanding the sacrifices required and regardless of how great the difficulties and the suffering may become.

The rulers of Israel continue to adhere to their outworn racist Zionist ideology  in a wretched attempt to nullify the enduring rights of the Palestinian people, as recognized by the world.  This impels them to pursue a policy that has the aim of clearing the occupied Arab territories of their inhabitants and to resort to repressive practices that become increasingly repugnant day by day.  The massive and organized flow of Jewish migration to Palestine serves as yet another indication that Israel is determined to maintain its policy of settlement, expansion and expulsion in the occupied Arab territories, a policy which has been consistently applied by Israel since it was founded, in accordance with its expansionist and racist nature.

The intifadah has revealed to the entire world the true face of Israel's rulers and of Israeli settlers with regard to their racist and terrorist practices against the Arabs in the occupied Arab territories, practices which have been strongly, frequently and repeatedly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly.  Let us mention only the latest two massacres against Arab Palestinians: the slaughter at Ayn Farah on 20 May 1990, in which eight Arab workers were killed hundreds injured; and the massacre carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities, with the help of settlers, at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 8 October 1990, in which 23 people were martyred and hundreds wounded.  The Security Council recently adopted a resolution condemning Israel for carrying out that massacre.  It also condemned Israel for refusing to receive the Secretary-General's mission to investigate Israel's actions in occupied Jerusalem.

There has also been an intensification of Israeli repression against Syrian Arabs in the occupied Syrian Golan.  On 22 November 1990, Israeli occupation forces in the town of Majdal Shams fired on the inhabitants, killing Syrian Arab national Fayiz Sa'id Mahmud and injuring a number of innocent citizens.

The cause of the Palestinian Arab people is the central issue in Syria and represents the focus of our struggle for a just peace, such as can only be achieved on the basis of full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and a guarantee of the enduring national rights of the Palestinian Arab people endorsed by the United Nations.  The convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices represents the appropriate framework for the implementation of United Nations resolutions and the achievement of that just and comprehensive peace to which the peoples of the region and of the world aspire.

It has become clear to all the peoples of the world that it is Israel that is barring the road to a just peace.  This is so because its basic goal is not to achieve peace but to perpetuate its occupation of Arab territories, to impose its hegemony on the Arab region by force and to dictate its terms to the Arab side and to the international community, thereby gravely jeopardizing the security and peace of the region and of the world.

The Syrian Arab Republic, under the leadership of President Hafez al-Assad, will maintain its full and steadfast support for the just struggle being waged by the Palestinian Arab people for the liberation of its land and the restoration of its enduring national rights, including the right to self-determination and to the establishment of its independent State on its national soil.  It is fully convinced that, however great Israel's military might, regardless of the unlimited support it obtains from its friends and no matter how extensive its alliances, including that with the racist régime in South Africa, Israel will never be able to extinguish the desire of the Arab people to win back its occupied territories and its usurped rights.

On behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic and myself, I wish your meeting success in promoting and assisting the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people to achieve that just and comprehensive peace for which all of us in our region are striving.

UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

[Original: Russian]

H.E. Mr. Anatoli M. Zlenko, Minister for Foreign Affairs

In observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Ukrainian SSR associates itself with all members of the international community whose sympathies and support go out to the just cause of the Arab people of Palestine.

It goes without saying that without a solution of the Palestinian problem, security in the Middle East will continue to be severely threatened.  Not for the first time, we are witnessing an aggravation of the situation in the region.  In the occupied Arab territories, a new upsurge of violence has been triggered by the repressive measures taken by the occupying authorities.

We resolutely condemn the cruel suppression by military force of the Palestinians' protest against the occupation of their land and the flouting of the Arab people's national aspirations.  We consider that effective steps must be taken to protect the peaceful population in the occupied territories.

The time has long come to turn towards peace and stability in the Middle East and towards the establishment of normal relations between the peoples of the region, and to guarantee equal security and equal rights to all of them.  We are convinced that an improvement of the situation in the region can be achieved only as a result of a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict involving the participation – inter alia through United Nations machinery – of all parties to the conflict and of a just solution of the Palestinian problem.  Finding a solution to the crisis situation in the area of the Persian Gulf in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions will also facilitate progress towards a lasting peace in the Middle East.

The convening of an international conference with the participation of all interested parties, including the PLO, as well as the five permanent members of the Security Council continues to remain the principal reference point of a Middle East settlement.  The search for a just solution of the Palestinian problem is one of the priority areas of United Nations activity.  The Ukrainian SSR will continue to support the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which is making a significant contribution to this important work.

C.  Messages from Governments

ARGENTINA

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Argentine Government repeats once again its support for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to full self-determination in its own country, as well as for the right of all States in the region to live within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.

On this occasion it has to be stated that the deterioration in the condition of life in the occupied territories and the repeated acts of violence are not conducive to the search for solutions, which the parties have to find in a spirit of mutual understanding on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

JAMAICA

The Government and people of Jamaica join the members of the international community in observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in demonstration of our support for the just demands and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Jamaica notes with regret the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem and the occupied territories which has claimed so many lives.  These developments underscore the need to achieve as quickly as possible a negotiated and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict, which will undoubtedly constitute a significant contribution to international peace and security.

Jamaica reiterates its support for the relevant resolutions of the United Nations which provide the foundation for a comprehensive settlement ensuring not only the rights of the Palestinian people, but also the territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

MEXICO

[Original: Spanish]

The Government of Mexico is deeply concerned about the course of events in the Middle East, characterized by violence and the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Therefore, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Mexico reaffirms its belief that a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East can be achieved only through the full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national rights.

The Mexican Government likewise reaffirms its commitment to support all efforts and initiatives aimed at finding a regional solution that will put an end to the continuing loss of human life and destruction of property.  The initiation of a peace process and the solution of the Palestinian problem represent the cornerstone of the socio-economic development of the region in a climate of understanding and cooperation.

Mexico has emphasized, in every international forum, that a peaceful and lasting settlement to the conflict in the Middle East is only possible through the rigorous implementation of all United Nations resolutions which set forth the basic principles for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of all the States of the region, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized frontiers, including the State of Israel and the Palestinian State.

D.  Messages from intergovernmental organizations with observer status at the United Nations

ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY

H.E. Mr. Dr. Salim A. Salim,

Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an important occasion for the international community to renew its solidarity and support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable right of self-determination and independence.  The intifadah, which is now in its third year, symbolizes this struggle inside the occupied Palestinian territories and proves that it will continue till its rights are regained.  It is no surprise that the international community is expressing its outrage and indignation at the brutal treatment by Israeli authorities against the civilian population in the occupied territories.

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) has been steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people and its national movement – the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  Every year, African heads of State and Government reiterate this support.  During the last African Summit in July 1990 in Addis Ababa, they issued a special declaration on the Palestinian question in which they expressed their deep concern over the dangers threatening the future of peace and security in the region and the escalation of tension which leads the region to the verge of war as a result of Israel's intransigence and the continued occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories.

OAU has also followed with grave concern Israel's expansionist settlement policy, as embodied with the policy of the transfer of Soviet Jews to occupied Palestinian and other Arab occupied territories which is a prelude to the deportation of the Palestinian people from its homeland and the confiscation of its properties.

Africa is very much interested in the establishment of durable peace and security in the region and fully supports the proposal of convening the International Peace Conference, with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO.

On this solemn occasion, we reiterate our conviction that the international community is duty bound to increase its pressure on Israel in order to comply with decisions of the United Nations on the issues of Palestine and the Middle East.

ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE

H.E. Dr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary-General

of the Organization of the Islamic Conference

[Original: French]

It is a great honour for me to join you in observing the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B, adopted on 2 December 1977.  Through that resolution, the General Assembly sought to give concrete expression to the international community's communion and solidarity with the Palestinian people in the just and legitimate struggle it is waging under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to recover its inalienable and imprescriptible national rights based on international law, as established by various United  Nations  resolutions,  in  particularly  resolution 181 (II) dated 29 November 1947, concerning the partition of Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish.

I wish to take this opportunity to express to you and to your august Committee my deep appreciation and gratitude for your commendable and unremitting efforts to win victory for the just cause of the Palestinian people and to increase international support for the valiant Palestinian people in its just struggle to unmask the crimes perpetrated by the Zionist occupier and to recover its inalienable and imprescriptible rights.

Today, as the world commemorates the forty-third anniversary of this resolution, the Palestinian people has yet to be able to exercise its sovereignty over its land because Israel refuses to comply with international law.  In fact, in defiance of the principles of human rights, that entity has been steadily intensifying the massacre of the Palestinian people and raising material and demographic obstacles with a view to undermining all peace initiatives, thus blocking the road to any possible solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  In this context, the transfer of large numbers of Soviet and other Jews is an attempt to create favourable demographic conditions for Israeli expansionism and the realization of the Zionist dream of building a "greater Israel".

Israel, which owes its own existence to a United Nations resolution, is flouting United Nations resolutions and refusing to implement them.  It is even refusing to co-operate with the United Nations.  Israel's intransigence, its refusal to receive the emissaries sent by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 673 (1990), to investigate the horrendous butchery committed on the esplanade of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its rejection of the Secretary-General's request for a meeting of all States signatories to the 1949 Geneva Convention to consider ways and means of ensuring the protection of the Palestinian populations of the occupied territories, are but further proof of Israel's obduracy in forging ahead with its aggressive practices, which threaten international peace and security.  In addition, the press agencies have reported a recent statement made by Yitzhak Shamir and broadcast by the Zionist enemy radio in which the head of the Israeli Government said:  "The earlier Likud leaders have left us a clear message and an injunction that we should keep the land of Israel from the Mediterranean Sea to Jordan, to provide shelter for the Jewish people and the new Jewish emigres."

He has therefore been urging Jews to go to live in Israel and urging Jewish émigrés to occupy the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

These remarks come after the statement made by Shamir last January in which he announced that the "great Jewish exodus needed the land of greater Israel".

The Organization of the Islamic Conference wishes to draw the attention of the United Nations and of the States and Governments of the world and world public opinion to the seriousness of these statements because, coupled with the continued migratory flow of Jews into the occupied Palestinian territories, they prove that Israel is pursuing a policy of expansion and that it is determined to occupy the territories of others and to flout the sentiments of the Islamic Ummah.  We feel that this action is part of a Zionist plan to judaize the Palestinian and occupied Arab territories, to drive the Palestinian people out from its land and to put millions of Jewish immigrants there instead.  We feel that these statements constitute a serious obstacle to a just political solution in the Middle East and threaten to embroil the whole region in a devastating war which would jeopardize international peace and security.

The international community should not remain silent in the face of this situation.  The United Nations and it bodies, in particular the Security Council and its permanent members, must shoulder their responsibilities – maintaining international peace and security, implementing United Nations resolutions, terminating the occupation and ensuring the protection of the Palestinian people – in order to achieve a just and comprehensive political solution to the Middle East problem.

We in the Organization of the Islamic Conference believe that the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices, with the participation of all the parties to the conflict, including the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, offers the ideal framework for achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region.

Today, as the blessed uprising of the Palestinian people enters its fourth year, that valiant people is looking to the international community and to all peace- and justice-loving forces to stand by it in its just fight to recover its inalienable national rights and exercise its sovereignty over its territory.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference regards the Palestinian cause as its most important cause and wishes to reaffirm that the establishment of peace and security in the Middle East depends, first and foremost, on a guarantee of international protection for the Palestinian people on the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and on Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories and the placing of these territories under provisional United Nations trusteeship.  That would be a first step towards restoring to the Palestinian people its inalienable and imprescriptible national rights, including the right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, under the auspices of the PLO, its sole legitimate representative.

In conclusion, I wish, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to express my thanks and gratitude to your Committee for its persistent efforts.

I must take this opportunity to greet with pride the fighting Palestinian people and the heroes of the blessed intifadah.

E.  Messages from non-governmental organizations

ARAB INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION

H.E. Mr. A. Bouraoui, Secretary-General

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to express the support of Arab Parliamentarians represented by the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union to the heroic struggle waged by this people against the Israeli occupation and for its inalienable rights: its right to return, to self-determination and to establish its independent State on its national soil under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization being its sole legitimate representative.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is marked this year in critical circumstances characterized by the beginning of the Israeli occupation authorities and by the increase in Jewish migration to Palestine and the settlement of new immigrants in the occupied Arab territories – an action which constitutes a serious danger to the demographic composition of these territories.  While insisting on continuing their occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories, the Israeli authorities are escalating all acts of repression and terrorism directed against the unarmed Palestinian civilians who are facing bullets and weapons of the Israeli soldiers armed only with stones and determined will.  The Jerusalem  massacre  perpetrated  by  the  Israeli  occupation  authorities  on 8 October this year is but one example of that escalation, the continuation of which would constitute a serious danger to peace in the region and in the world at large.

The United Nations is called upon more than ever to work with all its potentialities to provide the international, political and economic protection for the Arab Palestinian population in accordance with the articles stipulated in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to prevent the flow of Jewish immigrants and their settlement in occupied Palestine – an illegal action that contradicts the legitimate rights of the Palestinians in their homeland and strengthens the aggressive intentions and expansionist ambitions of Israel.

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Arab Parliamentarians confirm their solidarity with their Palestinian brothers and their categorical support to their heroic uprising, the intifadah.  Through you they call upon all international and regional organizations to declare their support to the struggle of the Palestinian people who is paying everyday the heavy tax of freedom, justice and human rights; to use all means to force Israel to submit to the international will to put an end to all measures of repression and terrorism; to stop the Jewish migration and prevent the settling of the new migrants in the occupied Arab territories.  The international community is also called upon to exert all efforts to accelerate the convening of International Peace Conference on the Middle East for the attainment of a comprehensive, peaceful and just solution to the conflict in the region in accordance with United Nations resolutions and international law.

INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS ORGANIZATION

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the International Progress Organization (IPO) declares its full support for the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine for national self-determination.  We deeply regret the fact that after several decades, the United Nations resolutions on Palestine are still being ineffective.  The continued illegal occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel should be opposed more vigorously by the Member States of the United Nations.

IPO calls upon all nations who believe in international law and human rights to protect Palestinian civilians living in the territories occupied by Israel against human rights abuses committed by the occupation army.  We call for the sending of United Nations peace-keeping troops to the area.

IPO points to the policy of double standards which so far has been applied by the international community in regard to the question of Palestine.  Internationally recognized standards of law which have been enforced in other regions of the world are being completely neglected as far as the occupation of Palestine by Israel is concerned.  This policy of double standards cannot be tolerated any longer cause the principles of international law and of human rights are indivisible and universally valid.

We sincerely hope that international non-governmental organizations will work more actively in order to influence the Member States of the United Nations to take urgent steps for the enforcement of United Nations resolutions on Palestine.

ISRAELI COUNCIL FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace expresses its wholehearted support for the rights of the Palestinian people, as reaffirmed by General Assembly resolution 32/40 B.

At the close of the third year of the intifadah, we wish to express a sincere hope that a final solution of the conflict will be agreed upon based on the principles of  Security  Council  resolution 181 (II) calling for the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian State alongside Israel.

UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF EGYPT

Public opinion is shocked and indignant of the Israeli inhuman atrocities against the Palestinians in their occupied territories and also its refusal to implement all the United Nations resolutions for more than 41 years.  Israel is also flouting the Fourth Geneva Convention which enjoins the principal responsibility for ensuring the protection of the Palestinians in the occupied Arab territories and on Israel, the occupying Power.

We hail your capacity and efficient admirable system to press Governments and heads of States in the world community to send observer committees and peace-keeping forces to secure the protection of the Palestinian people and put to action all the United Nations resolutions until the Palestinians reach their inalienable rights of sovereignty on their own State.

WOMEN'S COMMITTEE OF SUPPORT FOR THE INTIFADAH IN SYRIA

[Original: Arabic]

We, the Arab and Palestinian women of Syria, address ourselves to you on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which coincides with the entry of the intifadah of the Palestinian people into its fourth year.  We call upon you to take action for the protection of the Palestinian people languishing under the oppression of Israeli occupation, the lives of whose children, women and elderly, are jeopardized by a policy of repeated and periodic massacres of innocent and defenceless people.  The most recent of these has been the massacre at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which met with Israel's absolute rejection of all the proposals made by the Secretary-General, most recently that for a commission of inquiry into the Al-Aqsa massacre, thereby affirming the adoption of a policy hostile to peace, freedom and independence on the part of the highest government authorities in Israel.

We turn to you on this occasion in order to affirm the need for the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention and for action to stimulate international efforts to solve the Palestine issue in such a manner as to guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people to return, to exercise self-determination and to establish a Palestinian State and thereby strengthen peace in the entire Middle East region in keeping with the efforts being made for détente and affirm the right of peoples to self-determination on the basis of United Nations covenants.

IV.  CLOSING STATEMENT

H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo,

Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of

the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

[Original: French]

On behalf of the Committee, I sincerely thank the heads of State or Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Governments and organizations whose names I have read out.  I also thank all participants in today's meeting for their sustained efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and for the support they have always provided for the aims and activities of the Committee.

The statements we have heard and the messages of solidarity we have received once more indicate the international community's determination to make progress towards peace in the Middle East through the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially its right to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent Arab State of Palestine in accordance with General Assembly resolution 181 (II), whose forty-third anniversary we commemorate today.

We have taken note of the growing concern aroused by the increase in Israeli repression in the occupied Palestinian territories and of the growing feeling throughout the international community that there is an urgent need to ensure the protection and security of the Palestinian people under occupation.  The international consensus in favour of urgently convening an international peace conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 44/42 has once again been clearly reaffirmed.

The members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will spare no effort to attain those objectives, which are of such great importance both for the Palestinian people and for peace and security in the entire region.

I take this opportunity to thank all those who made it possible for us to organize today's meeting and who worked with such commitment and even-handedness.  I refer to the staff of the Division for Palestinian Rights, of the Department of Conference Services and of the Department of Public Information, not to mention all those who work to see to our security.

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