Twenty-sixth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (4th European Regional Seminar) (Sweden, 7-11 May 1990) – Report – DPR publication




Theme:  "Peace and justice for the Palestinian people – an imperative for the 1990s"

City Conference Centre Stockholm, Folkets Hus


7-11 May 1990





1 – 4





Opening statements

Panel discussion

Conclusions and recommendations

5 – 31








Motion of thanks



Message from the participants in the United Nations European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine to

H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization



List of participants



1. The Twenty-sixth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fourth European Regional Seminar) on the general theme "Peace and justice for the Palestinian people – an imperative for the 1990s", was held in Stockholm from 7 to 11 May 1990. The Seminar had been mandated by General Assembly resolution 44/41 B of 6 December 1989, and was part of the continuing efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation consisting of Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee and head of delegation; Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Seminar; Mr. Hadi Thayeb (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman; and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Palestine).

3. Seven meetings were held and 20 panellists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 47 Governments, Palestine, 1 United Nations specialized agency, 1 United Nations body, 1 intergovernmental organization and 17 non-governmental organizations, the latter as observers, attended the event (for the list of participants and observers, see annex III below).

4. The participants in the Seminar adopted a message to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (annex I) and a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Sweden (annex II).

A. Opening statements

Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden

5. The opening ceremony of the Seminar was addressed by H.E. Mr. Sten Andersson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.   In the address, he emphasized that the Seminar took place at an important juncture in the Middle East process. For more than a year the opening of a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians had been at the centre of efforts to create momentum in the peace process. Currently, prospects for progress seemed less hopeful which gave rise to great concern. In that situation it was more important than ever to investigate all possible avenues that could contribute to momentum and progress, one being the increasing number of seminars and conferences that served as meeting places between ever larger groups of Israelis and Palestinians.

6. He expressed the conviction that a dialogue between the Israeli Government and the PLO, representing their respective peoples, was necessary. History was full of examples when parties who refused to talk to each other finally sat down around the negotiating table. He said that it was in that context of promoting dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis that Sweden had offered to host the current meeting.

7. The role of the United Nations in the peace process in the Middle East was crucial. The United Nations and its various organs, including the Security Council, and the Secretary-General, could at that juncture of impasse play a particular role of injecting momentum and contribute to the furthering of the peace process. Sweden had constantly maintained that an international peace conference, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO, remained the best means available to achieve a stable and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict and the question of Palestine. An initial dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians should, it was hoped, lead to such a conference with proper international guarantees and means.

8. He appealed to Israel to face realities and to accept the rights of the Palestinians. To build an existence on false premises was a serious mistake and could only lead to disaster. The Palestinian people could not be wished away.

9. He stressed that Sweden had repeatedly appealed to Israel to state openly in the United Nations that it had no intention to remain in and acquire for itself the territories occupied by force in 1967. Actions by Israel in the occupied territories had spoken a different language. The anatomy of the occupation did not seen to be one of temporary administration awaiting a peace settlement, but rather aiming at gradually incorporating the territories into Israeli society. The economic and social infrastructure of a Great Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza, was step by step becoming a reality. Instead of waiting negotiated solutions, new facts were being created every day. The intifadah had changed all that. The Palestinian territories showed every sign of resisting foreign occupation.

10. It was necessary to continue to observe closely Israel's actions and whenever appropriate to criticize Israel for its policy and deeds. He made absolutely clear that Israel's existence and right to exist may not be questioned. Sweden was one of the countries that had taken an active part in the establishment of the State of Israel through General Assembly resolution 181 (II). It remained firmly committed to that, as well as to the right of Israel and of other States in the region to secure and guaranteed borders.

11. There was in Sweden, as in many other countries, a basic understanding and sympathy for Israel, and an affinity with the noble goals behind the establishment of the Jewish State. By recognizing resolution 181 (II), Sweden had also recognized the principle of a two-State solution. It welcomed the fact that that principle was given gradually wider acceptance in Europe, in the United States, and in Israel. A political solution must be based on Security council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which contained the principle of the right of all States in the region, including Israel, to exist within secure and recognized borders and the principle of exchanging land for peace, and on the principle of self-determination for the Palestinian people, including the right to establish a State of their own.

12. The historic decision by the Palestine National Council in November 1988 to support the principle of a two-State solution, and the renunciation of terrorism had fundamentally improved prospects for peace. It was therefore imperative that the international community give its full and active support to that policy of peace. Before the fall of the Israeli Government, there had been a broad general agreement about the modalities for such a dialogue to start in Cairo. The PLO, Egypt, the United States, and one half of the Israeli Government had convergent views on that. Against that background, it was more important than ever not to despair, but to build upon what had been achieved. It was necessary to redouble the efforts to inject momentum into the peace process. To give in and to abandon the road to peace would be to give in to the extremism on both sides.

Statement by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

13. The opening meeting was addressed by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Under-Secretary-General Ronald I. Spiers. In welcoming the participants, Mr. Spiers stressed that Sweden was a country whose dedication to peace was unquestioned and whose commitment to meeting global economic, social and humanitarian needs was long proven. He said that the decision of the General Assembly to convene regional seminars on the question of Palestine reflected the international community's deep concern about the problem of Palestine and the conflict in the Middle East, which the problem of Palestine intensified. There was overwhelming agreement among the Members of the United Nations that a just and equitable solution to that issue, which affected not only the parties directly concerned but also the world community as a whole, was more urgent than ever.

14. He referred to the fact that a number of European nations were involved in the creation of a single market and pointed out that the reasons for that was the shared conviction that the current challenges and problems were too complex to be met and resolved by individual nations, which was also true of the United Nations.

15. European countries had actively participated in efforts undertaken over the years by the United Nations to find the way to a just and durable peace in the Middle East. European soldiers had done and continued to do service for peace in the Golan Heights, the Sinai and Lebanon since the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization had been established in the Middle East in 1948. The countries of Europe had played a valuable role and would play an even more important one in the future direction of events in the region. European nations had been concerned with developing as many links as possible with the nations in the Middle East, and had sought co-operative rather than adversarial relationships. They shared a strong awareness of the need for a dialogue which could help ultimately to lead to stability in the region. For all those reasons, he emphasized, the nations of Europe should be encouraged to take an active role in the search for a negotiated solution to the conflict, as well as to support the wider efforts of the United Nations. One positive step in that direction had been European support for the convening of an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations.

16. He pointed out that the uprising in the occupied Palestinian territory, the intifadah, had now entered its third year and remained a matter of serious international concern. The message of the intifadah was direct and unequivocal, namely that the Israeli occupation was not acceptable to the Palestinian people. Over the past two years, confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians had continued unabated, with much bloodshed. Hundreds had been killed and thousands had been wounded, including many children. During that period, the Secretary-General had repeatedly expressed anguish at those violations of human rights and had joined the Security Council and General Assembly in calling upon Israel to abide by its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. In that atmosphere, it seemed imperative that a way must be found to begin an effective negotiating process that could restore hope that a just and durable peace could be attained.

17. The General Assembly at its current session, had adopted a resolution, supported by all European State Members of the United Nations, which called once again for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Conference, to be held under the auspices of the United Nations, would bring together parties to the conflict, including the PLO, and the five permanent members of the Security Council. In the view of the Secretary-General, it should meet on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and take fully into account the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.

18. The General Assembly had also invited the Security Council to consider measures needed to convene the Conference, including the establishment of a preparatory committee. It had also requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned and, in consultation with the Security Council, to facilitate the convening of the Conference. Mr. Spiers stressed that as East-West discussion moderated and opportunities for co-operation widened, the Security Council and its five permanent members in particular, may now begin to play a role in a comprehensive settlement. Such a settlement should ensure the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right to  self-determination, with the goal of bringing peace and security to all States in the region.

19. The Representative of the Secretary-General emphasized that despite those prolonged and intensive activities, the situation in the Middle East still seemed as volatile as ever, and the tragedy of Lebanon had added another danger-filled dimension to the problem. For the moment, progress towards a settlement in the Middle East appeared to be stalled, and the prospects were not bright in the light of recent political developments in the area. For that reason, the Secretary-General had maintained constant contact with all the parties to the Middle East conflict with a view towards trying to establish some common basis for peace. Many Governments were continuing their efforts to assist the parties in the Middle East towards a settlement. He expressed the view that there was no option but to pursue such efforts, in spite of discouraging developments: continuation of the current situation was a constant threat to international peace and the ability of the international community to focus its energy and resources on the loaning issues which confronted it, for instance, in the fields of environment, human rights and narcotics. Also, much of the terrorist activity the world had witnessed had its roots in the conflicts in the Middle East. An enlightened public opinion could bring pressure to bear to advance the peace process in the Middle East. Support for the principle of self-determination for the Palestinian people by the influential participants in the Seminar could help contribute to the mobilization of public opinion in Europe. Wide support was indispensable for a just solution to the question of Palestine.

Statement by the Chairman of the Committee

20. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee and of the Seminar, stressed that the choice of the capital of Sweden to host the Seminar was by no means a coincidence. Because of its deep attachment to international peace and security, Sweden had worked unfailingly for peaceful coexistence among all nations. It had always demonstrated its full and complete solidarity with the Palestinian people. Many of its illustrious citizens had made considerable sacrifices for that cause. She drew attention to the historic contributions made by Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, by Count Bernadotte, the United Nations Mediator in Palestine in 1948, by Ambassador Jarring, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General following the 1967 war, and by Olof Rydbeck, former Commissioner of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  She referred in particular to the presence of Mr. Sten Andersson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, who had played a personal role in the initiation, in 1988, of the dialogue between the United States and the PLO.

21. For well over 40 years, the United Nations had continued its efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, which would take account of the needs and interests of all the parties concerned. As part of those efforts, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had been established in 1975. Since its establishment, the Committee had consistently stressed that peace could be achieved only through the implementation of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 providing for the existence of two States. It had therefore regularly called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 in order to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its national rights, in particular the right to self-determination and independence. Because of the stalemate in the peace process resulting from the military occupation and serious violations of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Committee had intensified its efforts to inform the world public in order to make it more aware of the need for even stronger support for United Nations recommendations with a view to a peaceful settlement.

22. The Committee was undertaking all those initiatives because it was firmly convinced that, in order to arrive at a peaceful solution to that most complex question, it was essential to inform the public worldwide in order to promote a thorough understanding of the issues at stake and to encourage rational discussion free from the fears and ideologies of the past, thereby creating a climate conducive to bringing the parties together in a negotiating process under the auspices of the United Nations. Of particular importance was the fact that the Committee had continued to press for the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with the guidelines and principles reaffirmed by the General Assembly in its resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. That Conference was the most constructive and widely accepted proposal for breaking the impasse and for advancing towards a just settlement. It was also evident that partial and bilateral approaches would not of themselves lead to the achievement of the desired objective.

23. The hope of the Committee in organizing the Seminar was to contribute to the peace process by providing Palestinians, Israelis and Europeans with an ideal forum for discussion so as to identify the specific and effective steps to be taken to promote a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. That approach deserved particular attention since it was now clear that violence, ill-treatment and intimidation could not blunt the will of the Palestinian people to win back its freedom and exercise its inalienable rights to the full. The intifadah had confirmed that determination, since it had already irreversibly laid the foundations for a future independent Palestinian State. It had also strengthened the nationalism of that oppressed nation which resolutely set foot on the road to full independence when the State of Palestine was proclaimed at Algiers in November 1988.

24. The Committee regretted that the Government of Israel had so far not responded positively to the Palestinian peace initiative and that it had not agreed to recognize the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, Israel continued stubbornly to reinforce its occupation of Palestinian territory by a reign of terror and violence. By its recent decision to settle Jews from the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory, the occupying Power had once again defied the international community and had sought to undermine the peace effort.

25. The Committee welcomed the fact that many sectors of Israeli public opinion were opposed to the policy of their Government. In addition, Israeli strategic thinkers had come to the conclusion that the two-State solution was the best option from the perspective of Israel's fundamental security and economic needs. Israeli military officers had expressed the belief that Israel's security was no longer dependent on holding the occupied territories and that a political solution was essential. Some government personalities had begun to understand that their country must withdraw from the occupied territories and engage in dialogue with the true representatives of the Palestinian people namely, the PLO. All those considerations gave the Committee additional reasons for hope since other sectors of Israeli public opinion were also evolving in that direction and engaging in joint activities with the Palestinians, including representatives of the PLO. The intensification of contacts between the two sides on so many different levels showed that a decisive historic turning point had been reached in the Middle East conflict and that a negotiated solution was possible.

26. The Committee's hope was strengthened by the changes which were now taking place throughout the world, which encouraged the settlement of old conflicts by political means and which were paving the way for a new era of peace and co-operation in promoting the common interests of mankind. She expressed the hope that the winds of peace and solidarity which prevailed throughout the world, would also prevail in the Middle East and make 1990 the year of the definitive settlement of the question of Palestine, which was now the oldest regional conflict on the United Nations agenda.

Message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization

27. A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO was read by Mr. Eugene Makhlouf, representative of the PLO in Sweden. In the message, high appreciation for the effective role and great and important efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and of the Secretary-General, was expressed. The message said that Sweden's hosting of the Seminar showed its continuing support for the work of the United Nations, accentuated its constant role in the development of the peace process in the Middle East and reaffirmed its support for the rights of the Palestinian people and the role of the PLO.

28. The message referred to the theme of the Seminar, "Peace and justice for the Palestinian people – an imperative for the 1990s", and stressed that that slogan must be turned into reality. But that could not be done amid occupation, the "iron-fist" policy, and organized state terrorism practised by the Israeli occupation authorities. It was therefore essential to give prompt and immediate attention to providing protection for the Palestinian people. Peace and justice could not be achieved as long as Israel refused to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and sought by every means to strike at the PLO, its sole legitimate representative, and to eliminate its existence as a people.

29. The message said that the tremendous influx of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union and elsewhere made the situation in the Middle East more dangerous. The way in which the movement of the Soviet immigrants had been effected was an exercise in abduction whereby they had been transported from their place of origin to the occupied Palestinian territory, where the authorities, without giving them an opportunity for free choice, had settled them. That was a flagrant violation of all international pacts and laws, in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention and of the Palestinian people's right to live in the territory of its homeland and its right to freedom of movement and to return to its homeland. It also meant the confiscation of more of the land and property for the purpose of settling these immigrants. That would intensify tension and explosiveness in the region. The confrontations and the clashes with Jewish immigrants that had taken place in Jerusalem were but a proof of the Palestinian people's insistence on defending its right to its land and its homeland and to the protection of its property. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the Government of Israel was exploiting the influx of immigrants to wreck opportunities for peace by using those immigrants for the implementation of its expansionist and aggressive policy for the establishment of Greater Israel. There was no doubt that that immigration was encouraging Israel to reject the peace process by adopting a policy of prevarication with regard to all peace initiatives put forward, with the aim of perpetuating Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land, which constituted a blatant threat to peace and security in the region and in the world.

30. The uprising of the Palestinian people had served to reaffirm the objectives for which it had been struggling since the outbreak of its revolution, which were the termination of the Israeli occupation of the occupied land, the restoration of its people's inalienable national rights and the establishment of its independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital. The intifadah would continue, because its continuation was the guarantee of the achievement of justice for the Palestinian people and for the Israeli people. It was therefore necessary to break the current deadlock in the peace process in the region by directing efforts towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations resolutions and under United Nations auspices, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties concerned with the conflict, including the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, on a footing of equality with the other parties, in order to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the region. That placed on the peoples and the Governments of Europe and on all peace-loving States of the world major responsibilities for exerting the necessary pressures on the party that rejected peace in order to persuade it to adopt the peace option and participate in the International Conference.

31. The message called upon the United States Administration to adopt a position in favour of the convening of the International Conference. It appreciated certain positive statements by President Bush and Secretary of State Baker concerning the situation in the occupied territories and the advancement of the peace process in the region, but the Palestinian people expected the United States Administration – in order that it may have an effective role – to cease its continuous support for Israel, which enabled Israel to perpetuate its occupation of the Palestinian land and to continue its aggression.

B. Panel discussion

32. Three panels were established. The panels and panellists were as follows:

Panel I: "The intifadah: its impact on and significance for advancing towards a just solution based on the principle of two peoples, two States":

Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi (Palestinian), Mrs. Marisa Cinciari Rodano (Italy), Mr. Igor Khvorostiany (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus (Federal Republic of Germany), Mr. Nikko Lohikoski (Finland), Mrs. Nelly Maes (Belgium), Mr. Evert Svensson (Sweden), and Mr. Dedi Zucker (Israel);

Panel II: "Breaking the impasse – the urgent need for a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine: the International Peace Conference and the role of Europe" :

Mr. Michele Achilli (Italy), Mr. Moshe Amirav (Israel), Mrs. Marie-Christine Aulas (France), Rabbi Balfour Brickner (United States of America), Mr. Joseph Cassar (Malta), Ms. Viola Furubjelke (Sweden), Mr. António Lacerda de Queiroz (Portugal), Mr. Wan Jingzhang (China), Mr. Martin Weiss (Federal Republic of Germany), and Mr. Andrei Zakharov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics);

Panel III: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the political, economic, social and cultural development of the Palestinian people":

Khalid Al-Hassan (Palestinian).

Panel I

"The intifadah: its impact on and significance for advancing towards a just solution based on the principle of two peoples, two States"

33. Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi, Dean of the Faculty of Literature of Bir Zeit University, said Palestine was a tortured land and had daily encounters with death. Jerusalem was violated and settlements were devouring the land. It was a very harsh reality she carried with her. She had come to seek to check the Israeli violence and oppression, and to relay to the world what was going on. There were two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian question. The Israeli occupation was brutalizing, but did not deter the Palestinians from the peace plan. There was a devaluation of Palestinian lives and rights on the ground while Israel tried to confront people with a fait accompli through its annexation policies. Despite everything, the Palestinians intended to remain on their land. A sense of impotence was felt by many Israelis of conscience. There was a disfranchisement of the people by the politicians. It was a bankrupt Government, one that could only hold the peace process hostage. On the Palestinian side of the asymmetrical equation, there was the intifadah, the only antidote to the occupation. On the political side, there was the historic decision by the PLO and the Palestine National Council. Instead of reciprocity, the Israeli response was an exercise in reconstruction. The Israeli proposal suggested "elections" and the world seized on that as though it were the panacea to the problem of the Palestinians. Between the Israeli and Palestinian positions was the Egyptian 10-point programme. Israel had also rejected that. Then came the Baker proposal calling for dialogue. The Palestinians had agreed, provided they could be represented adequately.  Israel had added to that further restraints which had resulted in trivializing the process. The Palestinians had exhibited a sense of responsibility by moving with every proposal presented, picking out the constructive points. A deadlock had, however, developed. The Israeli Government was proposing further steps for dialogue with the United States as though such talks were needed. Israel would have to respond to the challenge of peace. Despite the heavy price the Palestinians were paying, they were still willing to negotiate a peaceful settlement. A just solution was not necessarily two peoples, two States. She believed it should be one State for all, even though that idea had been rejected. She stressed that the intifadah had refocused attention on the land of Palestine; emphasized a political rather than an armed struggle; zeroed in on the Palestinian issue as the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict; imbued the PLO with enhanced legitimacy and emphasized the indivisible unity of the people and the leadership; it had increased popular commitment to and implementation of the democratic process; accelerated politicization of the Palestinian people; there was the emergence of institutions and infrastructure of the State, building it from inside out; it had increased internal and external contacts; it had redressed the political and military imbalance by adding moral ascendancy to the Palestinian side; it had dismantled the Israeli informer network; there was a more realistic assessment of Israel and the need to address it as a negotiating party if there was to be peace; a partnership with other Arab nations; a better understanding of the international political scene; the emergence of a United States-PLO dialogue resulting from the Palestine National Council's decision; employment of new political discourse with the PLO itself and internationally; and the intifadah had brought Israel face to face with the consequence of being an occupier. She concluded by saying that the two-State solution could be implemented within a comprehensive peace plan but before there was peace, the process had to be freed from its present stranglehold. The proper conditions for peace had to be created.

34. Mrs. Marisa Cinciari Rodano, member of the Italian Peace Association, stressed that the Palestinian uprising had introduced extraordinary developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the Middle East situation. That massive, non-violent struggle involved the majority of the Palestinians of the occupied territories. As a first very important result, the intifadah had put before world public opinion and the decision-makers of the Western countries the fact that the Palestinian question was a national question, a problem of self-determination, a liberation smuggle against a foreign occupation. She emphasized that the Palestinian people were a nation. The uprising had also shown that the Palestinians in the occupied territories considered the PLO as their only legitimate representative. She expressed the view that the intifadah appeared to be both the result and the condition of the new PLO policy. The 1988 Palestinian National Council had marked a renewed consensus among the main Palestinian political groups and contributed to the creation of the political background of the uprising. At the same time, it had given the PLO the strength to design new scenarios and to abandon military practices in favour of a realistic political approach. The PLO had also succeeded in an intense diplomatic activity. Mrs. Cinciari Rodano pointed out further that the intifadah had created a new awareness of the Palestinian question within Israel. But the problem was still far from solution, taking into consideration the growing polarization within the Israeli society and a drift towards the right. She highlighted the activities of the peace movements in Israel but said that they were only a small minority, while fundamentalist religious groups claiming the absolute rights of Israelis over the entire land and calling for the expulsion of all Palestinians from the Holy Land were very active and aggressive. Referring to the current Israeli Government crisis, she stressed that the developments in the occupied territories and the question of negotiation would be the main political problem for any Israeli Government. She then pointed out that through the uprising, Palestinians were building the basis of a pluralistic democratic society, an absolute novelty in the Middle East. Both local communities and the joint national leadership of the intifadah were composed of representatives of the five major Palestinian groups. Finally, she said that the democratic developments in Eastern Europe had a strong psychological impact on the Palestinians having achieved democracy by means of non-violent struggles. At the same time, Israel's new relations with Eastern European countries as well as the growing number of Soviet Jewish immigrants were creating apprehension. She concluded by saying that the attention of the international community should also be drawn to the issue of nuclear disarmament in the Middle East in the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

35. Mr. Igor M. Khvorostiany, Deputy Director of the Institute of History of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, said that the intifadah, as a non-violent struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation, had demonstrated a great power potential. He described the intifadah as a mass civil resistance demanding self-determination and an end to occupation. The main goal of its participants was to build an independent Palestine alongside an independent Israel. He stressed that the intifadah had already had a decisive impact on the occupied Palestinian community, galvanized it to action and unified it as never before. It should not only be considered as an uprising against the Israeli occupation. It was one of the most important parts of the Palestinian State-building process. Step by step, through that process the Palestinian people were persistently withdrawing the generalized obedience exacted through force by the Israeli authorities and were transferring it to their national authorities. Restoration of self-respect among the Palestinians and the achievement of a higher degree of unity had made it possible for their leaders to take bold initiatives in the search for a peaceful settlement. He emphasized that the intifadah was a practical implementation of the Palestine Declaration of Independence, which he considered as a point within a process of Palestinian State-building. By proclaiming the State of Palestine, the Palestinian movement had created a new opportunity to launch a sustained and successful peace initiative. He highlighted the fact that during the uprising, the process of Palestinian economic disengagement from Israel had been strengthened, the boycott of Israeli goods had became more effective and had played a significant role in encouraging the development of local industry. He said that the intifadah had created political turmoil within Israel. He indicated changing attitudes and perceptions to be found in the press, in the Knesset, and in the statements of individual political leaders. There were signs of a re-evaluation within Israel of the PLO reality. The Israelis had realized that the occupied territories were not only a threat to the future security of their State, but they had become a clear and present danger to Israeli political stability. The intifadah had influenced and split Israeli public opinion on the problems of continued occupation and recognition of an independent Palestine alongside an independent Israel. It had also encouraged world public opinion and diplomatic efforts to assist in settling the conflict. He concluded by saying that the intifadah would continue because it had proved to be one of the most effective factors in the State.

36. Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus, of the Federal Republic of Germany, Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation, said that since the outbreak of the intifadah, there had been two important stages. The year 1988-1989 had seen many changes. After 40 years of various stages in exile, the Palestinian struggle came back home. That was also a culmination of 40 years of maturation of the Palestinian national movement. The second stage had been the shift of attention to Europe, particularly Eastern Europe. He disagreed with fears that the growing focus on Eastern Europe could have negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East. Self-determination and democracy were the two items on the East-West agenda; they were also the guidelines for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He expressed the view that as a result of recent developments, a number of problems had arisen, among them the emigration of Soviet Jewish citizens, and a new complacency on the part of the United States Administration and Congress. In the latter case, a pro-Israel lobby in the United States managed to influence the activities of members of both Houses. One hopeful aspect of his visit to the United States had been his impression that the Political Action Committees were separated more and more from Jewish American public opinion. Another difficulty was the stalemate within the Israeli Government. All these difficulties posed a challenge, setting the agenda for immediate political actions and initiatives. Eastern Europe should improve relations with Israel, but it should also maintain certain principles such as support for the Palestinians. On the problem of the emigration of Soviet Jews, all agreed on the principle of freedom of movement for every human being. All agreed with emigration so long as those who left their homelands were not settled in the occupied territories. He believed the vast majority of those who wanted to emigrate did not want to go to Israel but to the industrialized countries. However, they were not being given that choice. A question which should be asked was what was the absorption capacity of Israel within its 1967 borders. Europeans, Palestinians and Israelis did not believe there was much time left to solve the Middle East problem. The United States, its Congress and public opinion should be influenced to develop a more urgent attitude towards the peace process. Through political contacts and institutions, Europe should indicate support for the Israeli pragmatists. Towards the Israeli Government, it was necessary to be firm. In certain situations, punctual reactions, including sanctions, had proved effective. Governments must act now. He hoped that meetings such as the present one would lead to recognition of the principle of two peoples, two States, but with a common future.

37. Mr. Nikko Lohikoski of Finland, Chairman of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), said that without doubt, the intifadah was the most significant development in the occupied territories since the Israeli occupation in 1967 began. It was a people's unarmed revolution, a powerful demonstration that the Palestinians would settle for nothing less than an independent State. It had changed the life of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, its values and society forever. Its impact on the solution of the Palestine question was no less crucial. By mobilizing the whole Palestinian society, it had made it possible for the PLO to initiate a bold and realistic peace policy, which found expression in the 1988 Palestine National Council and its decisions. The vision of one State, two peoples had been replaced by the vision of two peoples, two States. The message of the Palestinian people was that the aim of its struggle was Palestinian independence, but independence not at Israel's expense. That policy had removed an important barrier from the development of European and Palestinian relations. Unfortunately, Israeli leaders, while cherishing their own independence, refused to recognize the other half of the United Nations partition resolution and continued to obstruct peace efforts. He stressed that there was wide international consensus about the legal basis for settling the Middle East crisis, manifested in various resolutions. An international conference under United Nations auspices had proved to be the most acceptable and useful framework for dealing with all aspects of the conflict. Participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO, was necessary at all stages of the process to ensure its success. The stagnation in the peace process must be overcome so that the idea of the international peace conference would gain in momentum. That was all the more urgent since the Israeli Government seemed to accept, even encouraged the settlement of immigrants in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem. He pointed out that Europe should insist that Israel stop establishing settlements in the occupied territories and should secure, with the co-operation of the Soviet Union and the United States, that Jewish emigrants leaving the Soviet Union would be able to choose the country where they wanted to go. Anti-semitic and other racist and chauvinist deeds and attitudes should be uprooted, so people did not have to feel threatened and had less reasons to leave their own country. Europe had a special role in the Middle East and should take more initiative in the search for a settlement. A clearer political and economic message could be sent to the parties, through trade with the occupied territory and upgrading the status of the PLO. There should be more political, economic, moral and other support to the people in the occupied territory. His organization had been doing much but needed more support and co-operation from European Governments in helping the Palestinian people.

38. Mrs. Kelly Maes, Member of Parliament of Belgium, said peace prevailed in Europe but not everywhere else, and not for the Palestinian people. Since the onset of the intifadah, nothing had or would be the same again. Europe was going through a period of centrism and tended to forget that the world was very small and that problems elsewhere would affect it. The greatest difficulty in establishing peace was encountered in the Middle East. The efforts of the PLO and other political forces must be recognized in Israel. She had seen first-hand the suffering of the Palestinian people and she marvelled at the way they had held up. But their patience would not last forever. She hoped a solution to the problem could be found soon. In that connection, she said, a resolution had been tabled in the Belgian Parliament which urged the 12 members of the European Community to make a greater effort on the Palestinian question. Europe did not always take a worthy stand with respect to other peoples. Only through negotiations and the convening of an international conference would peace be achieved in the Middle East. The Middle East region was part of the common heritage of mankind and all shared a common responsibility towards it. She hoped, therefore, that it would be possible to seek peace through peaceful means in the region.

39. Mr. Evert Svensson, Member of the Swedish Parliament, stressed that the intifadah entailed the emergence of the Palestinian people before the eyes of the world. It had placed the issue of national rights of the Palestinian people on the world agenda and set in motion diplomatic and political machinery for the purpose of securing them. It had helped awaken public opinion in Israel to the need to respect the national rights of the Palestinians and to dialogue with the Palestinians. Today a significant portion of the Israeli public found it in the best interest of Israel that a settlement be reached along the principle of two peoples, two States. Many Israelis were struggling to convince their fellow countrymen that it was necessary and possible to have trust and confidence in the Palestinians and that respecting the rights of the Palestinians did not imply giving up the rights of Israel. Mr. Svensson pointed out that the intifadah had brought about popular structures which would be of value in building an administration of a Palestinian State. He then turned to the problem of immigrants settling in the occupied areas and said that they were violating international law. The Nordic Ministers for Foreign Affairs had expressed their concern. The recent occupation of the Greek Orthodox St. John's Hospice in Jerusalem was highly troublesome. The Swedish Parliament had stressed the importance of an international peace conference under United Nations auspices with participation of the parties concerned, including the PLO. It had condemned Israeli crimes against international law and human rights during the occupation. He appealed to Israel to enter into dialogue with the Palestinian people before it was too late, and to all true friends of Israel throughout the world to help bring that about.

40. Mr. Dedi Zucker, Member of the Israeli Knesset, said that it should be clear that the discussion about Israelis and Palestinians was about two peoples and there was no solution for one without the other. He highlighted the impact of the intifadah on the Israeli society and stressed that it had shaken tremendously the status quo in the Middle East. It had brought Israelis and Palestinians back to the point where they were fighting each other as in 1948. Many Israelis had held the idea that the occupied territories were easily occupied, an idea that had collapsed. Israelis were now forced to pay the price for the occupation – a political, economic, moral and military price. However, the price was still not unbearable in the view of many Israelis who favoured occupation. He outlined that another impact of the uprising was a growing attitude of pragmatism among Israelis. Many Israelis had became pragmatic despite their ideology, nevertheless, far too many held on to their ideologies and stereotypes. He pointed out that the grassroots, unlike Palestinians, were more dynamic and pragmatic than the leadership, leading to a growing gap between public opinion and the politicians. The deep cleavage in the political system and in the parliament had frozen the peace effort begun two years before. The conclusion to be reached was that there was room for direct efforts by people, bypassing the political institutions because the latter were blocking the grassroots development of accepting reality. He welcomed the Palestinian approach of talking directly to the Israeli public. He expressed the view that the Palestinians had overcame fear and had regained their pride by standing up to the Israeli army for more than two years. The 1988 PLO decision was the end of a very long process, and after a long history of rejecting any compromise, which could not have been reached before the Palestinians had overcame their fears and regained their pride. On interrelations in the occupied territory and in Israel, he said that the intifadah had brought the pragmatic elements among the Palestinians closer to the pragmatic elements among the Israelis.  That included many centrists in Israel. Turning to the question of immigration, he spoke against settling the immigrants in the occupied territory, but called on the Palestinians to be very clear about their policy, because the right to immigrate would affect to a great extent the Palestinians as well. Palestinians should respect the right of freedom of movement and only on that basis could they reject settling the immigrants in the West Bank. He warned Israelis and Palestinians against radicals among the right wingers and religious fundamentalists, whom he called common enemies of the pragmatic forces on both sides. The present conflict, which was national and political, should not be allowed to become a religious one. Many of those opposed to the peace process introduced religious elements, which would further jeopardize peace among the two peoples. He concluded by saying that there were two halves among the Israelis, the bigger half was pragmatic, the other rejectionist. But the former half was growing and no one should lose hope for the future.

Panel II

"Breaking the impasse – the urgent need for a just and lasting

settlement of the question of Palestine;

the International Peace Conference and the role of Europe"

41. Mr. Michele Achilli, President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Italian Senate, analysed at the outset the changes in the relationship between the two super-Powers and their influence on the situation in the Middle East. He expressed the view that the current situation in Israel might open the door to right-wing extremist groups and throw Israel into total international isolation. He said that the question of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East enjoyed unanimous support with the exception of the United States and Israel. To break the impasse, recently, Italy's Foreign Minister had proposed the establishment of a Mediterranean "Helsinki" within the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe. That idea should be examined without delay. He said Italy would take on the chairmanship of the European Community in July, and the initiative of a "Mediterranean Assizes" was a signal of its willingness to act quickly to allow for the opening of talks that were essential to the convening of the International Peace Conference. Europe was guilty by its absence from Middle Eastern affairs. And even though the intifadah changed the attitude of Europeans towards the Palestinians from mute suspicion to open sympathy, there still had been no tangible evidence of Europe acting to put an end to Israel's brutal repression. He believed the time had come for Europeans to find the determination and to unite efforts to help the Middle East find its way to peace. The time had also come for Israel to cease depending solely on its friendship with the United States and to turn more towards Europe at a time of new relations between East and West.

42. Mr. Moshe Amirav, Secretary-General of the Shinui (Liberal) Party of Israel, said that the conflict was based on the dreams, hopes, fears and sufferings of two peoples – Jews and Palestinians – who were very much alike and who would have to stay in the same land, their homeland. For both peoples, it was necessary to be brave enough to admit past mistakes on both sides and to find a solution based on partnership in the land rather than that of "territorial compromise". He pointed out that the mistakes of Israel were that its people had dreams – of Israel as a solution for the Jewish people, and of the land as a Jewish State. They refused to "see" the Palestinians; they also failed to see the real partner in the negotiations for peace, namely the PLO. On the Palestinian side, their mistakes were in their perceptions of Jews. Until a few years ago, it was their goal to destroy the State of Israel. Historic compromises were rejected by Arabs and Palestinians. He said that being today against immigration to Israel was a fatal mistake. Only a strong Israel would be ready to make peace. The immigrants presented Israel's hope of permanence in the area. Palestinians should support that process. He agreed that the new immigrants should not go to the occupied territories but added that less than 1 per cent of those who had gone to Israel had settled there. He was against a "two peoples, two States" solution. His dream was of one homeland, two States. Jerusalem would have to be one city, an open city, but two capitals. The Palestinian refugee problem would also have to be addressed. They would have to be told that they could no longer return to their homes in Jaffa or Haifa.  He presented a confederal solution made out of three States – Israel, Palestine and Jordan, with open borders and one economic market, and probably, one currency. Two elements of citizenship would be desirable, one of the particular State and one of the confederation. He emphasized that that was the only idea acceptable to right wingers in Israel and to extremists among the Palestinians. The creation of a Palestinian State would not happen immediately. It would take time. He said that Europe had a role to play in finding a solution to the Palestinian question, but sanctions were not the answer because they would be seen as a threat to the very existence of Israel. Europe could help bridge the two sides through dialogue, support for joint Israeli-Palestinian efforts and assistance on such problem;; as the refugees. The intifadah should become more constructive and demonstrate the possibility of co-operation between Palestinians and Israelis. He was optimistic about the future because the trend in Israel was becoming less idealistic and more pragmatic.

43. Mrs. Marie-Christine Aulas of France, Member of the European Parliament, said it was important to consider the role which Europe now played in breaking the current impasse on the question of Palestine. Two parallel dynamics witnessed in recent years were the regional dynamic where, after half a century of suffering and ale, successes and failure, the question of Palestine had become the centre of attention as a result of and thanks to the intifadah; and the international dynamic, which had been so mach a part of the region's problems ever since the West had had to deal with the question of the East. Despite the new situation, the functional and sometimes even impassioned relationship between Israel and the United States remained. the same. It was responsible for the refusal of a peace conference, for the ongoing diplomatic impasse and for the continued "drip-feeding of the Israeli economy". While the position of Israel and the United States became ever more deeply bogged down in the determinist approach which characterized their view of the world, the rest of the planet was changing direction. Europe, in particular, was rediscovering the continent after 45 years of division, and at last. recovering from the consequences of its last war. That was important especially as far as a solution to the question of Palestine was concerned. She pointed out that Europe was gradually regaining its freedom of initiative. It was now no longer the countries of Western Europe which maintained diplomatic relations both with Israel and with the PLO; diplomatic relations between the Eastern European countries and Israel had resumed.  Awareness was slowly being gained of Europe's historical responsibility vis-à-vis the Palestinians, the indirect victims of a history that was not their own. There were also stronger initiatives by the European Economic Community to alter Israeli behaviour against the Palestinians and to provide assistance to the occupied Palestinian territories. The European Parliament adapted many emergency resolutions nearly every month to denounce and condemn Israeli practices in the occupied territories, and the Commission and Council had been just as vigilant. The EEC had made considerable progress on the question of Palestine. Having long benefited from exclusive sympathy, Israel now understood that times had changed. A new strategy had been implemented with the opening in Brussels of a permanent Israeli Mission to the EEC and the establishment of a lobby along the same lines as Political Action Committees in the United States. Analysing the overall situation, she said that there was. on the one hand, a desire for peace leading to an international conference under United Nations auspices and, on the other, a strategy aimed at pushing back deadlines and gaining time by making use of all the different contradictions. None the less, the goal of a just and lasting peace still had to be achieved, and it had to be determined haw an international peace conference could be convened in the face of a United States veto and Israeli-American opposition. The European Community was currently in the best position both historically and politically to take such an initiative. She belonged to a group which had requested that a preparatory committee be established to work on the agenda, membership and methods of work of the international peace conference. By initiating the creation of the infrastructure for such a conference, the dynamics would be set in motion to keep fatalism and determinism at bay and pave the way for a just and lasting peace for all.

44. Rabbi Balfour Brickner, of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in the United States, said that his presence at the meeting was a compelling responsibility in the quest for peace in the Middle East and a responsibility to his own Jewish identity. He had come as an American Jew with a long Zionist tradition, one committed to the two-State solution and who was concerned about what he saw going on. The world would not go to war over many regional conflicts, he said, but it could go to war over the issue of how Israeli and Palestinian rights were resolved. Moreover, a religious passion existed in that region not found anywhere else in the world. People were always willing to die :tee the sacred. It was that reality which should cause the principals in the conflict to give thought, as their decisions could affect more than themselves. He was not blind to the mistakes on both sides, Israelis and Palestinians.  However, the hopeful and longed-for changes that were unfolding had brought the participants to the Seminar. He pointed out that in their e torts to fulfill their rights, Palestinians had resorted to the intifadah.  PLO officialdom had had to struggle to catch up. The intifadah had drawn world attention to the Arab cause as no other event could, and so had the Israeli response. It had also widened the gap between Israelis and the Jewish Diaspora, with the Jewish community sometimes offended by the actions of Israel. However, he added, while the American Jew might be critical of certain facets of Israeli behaviour, he did not reject the State of Israel. The intifadah had created Israel's biggest problem and its biggest threat. The threat was not to external security but to Israel's internal unity. That was far more formidable and challenging. As a result, Israel was a nation divided as to what to do with 1.7 million Palestinians. Into the vacuum of internal tension, extremists from both sides would crowd out and pre-empt the moderates. Only a reasonable peace process could contain if not eradicate those forces. Likud was as far from accepting such demands as were Arab extremists. Among the numerous proposals, there had been one subject that needed to be discussed – the question of security. To this day, Israelis feared Palestinians. A sense of security for Israel could lead to acceptance of a Palestinian State on the West Bank. Something was needed to protect against those who would harm both States. Also, all legal restrictions to the dialogue process must be removed. There must also be a distinction between "State" and "homeland". He stressed that there was a role for those who did not live in the Middle East. The United States, for its part, had played a role during the "who is a Jew" debate in Israel. More recently, the American-Israel Political Action Committee had repudiated the settlement of Jews on property owned by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The United States and the Soviet Union must be partners in any international conference which might ensue. Israel now recognized the Soviet Union's role in any process leading to peace. Sweden, too, had been very involved in that process. The role of the United Nations to facilitate dialogue must continue to grow. No military solution to the Middle East problem was possible. There must be acceptance of land for peace with security guarantees, and changes in Palestinian thinking, from rejection to acceptance of Israel.

45. Mr. Joseph Cassar, President of the Administrative Council of the Maltese Nationalist Party, stressed at the outset that acknowledgement of the full sovereignty of nations and respect for the democratic will of the people had helped break a decades-long impasse in Eastern Europe. Those same criteria, which ensured regional security and mutual co-operation, formed the basis of United Nations recommendations and declarations calling for an international peace conference for a lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. A solution was urgent. The key words to achieve consensus amongst all concerned were dialogue and regional security. He then elaborated on Europe's role in promoting peace in the Middle East which was motivated by a duty due to its historic affinities and responsibilities in the region, and a right since the regional conflict constituted a security threat to the continent. He emphasized the need for a co-ordinated stance adopted by the European Community and other European States. He said that in 1968, the Maltese Government introduced the concept of "Common Heritage of Mankind" at the United Nations. Awareness of a common heritage helped identify common problems – rather than differences – and hence new patterns of coexistence and co-operation. After half a century of Middle East conflict, suffering and insecurity were the common heritage of the Israeli and Palestinian people. That heritage could either form the basis of greater understanding or else become the source of renewed conflict. He recalled the fact that off Malta, in December 1989, the two super-Power leaders had buried the cold war era when full recognition had been granted to the sovereign and democratic rights of peoples. Those same principles, he concluded, were the parameters for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

46. Ms. Viola Furubjelke, Member of the Swedish Parliament, emphasized that now was the time to gather all good forces, friends of Israel as well as friends of Palestine, in order to bring about direct talks between Israel and the PLO. Sweden's engagement derived from the fact that it considered itself as friend of both Israel and Palestine, which was of special value when trying to assist in the peace process. Characterizing the intifadah, she said that it was the low level of violence that had made it successful in the sense that it had made ordinary people, Governments and NGOs all over the world aware of the unjust situation. Although the Israelis had military advantage in the conflict, it was the Palestinians who were stronger, due to their moral and political conviction of their rights. She expressed the hope that the Palestinian people could keep the intifadah as non-violent as possible. She pointed out that the most obvious hindrance to proceedings in the process was the ongoing governmental crisis in Israel as well as the stand of the United States not to put pressure on the Israeli Government. The United States Administration should use its influence to prevent Israel from an undemocratic development, which seemed to be the result of the oppression in the occupied territories. She said that for the Israelis, it was important to change their attitudes towards the Palestinians to get rid of an irrational fear. In general, the current more talkative political climate had shown great progress in solving different regional conflicts. The United Nations had the obligation and the right to accelerate the movement towards a solution of the prevailing problems in the Middle East.

47. Mr. António Lacerda de Queiroz, Member of the National Assembly of Portugal, said a major victory for the Palestinian cause had been that of winning the sympathy of European public opinion and the recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The intifadah had drawn world public opinion to the Palestinians' suffering, simultaneously with anger and revolt against the oppressors and occupiers. Any just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question required the participation of Israel – and its American ally – and the PLO. Dialogue was essential. He emphasized that Europe had moral obligations towards its most immediate neighbours, the Mediterranean countries, and must be in the forefront of that region's defence. Self-determination and a homeland for the Palestinians must come at the top of Europe's list of preoccupations. He favoured an international conference, open to all parties, including the PLO, on the Palestinian-Israeli question; accepted the proposal for elections in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem if part of a global negotiation framework; and called for increased economic aid, particularly in health and education, for the population of the occupied territories. Most of Israel's arrogance and stubbornness was due to the blind backing of the United States. America's European allies should pressure it into realizing haw important the Arab world was to Europe and that nothing should jeopardize that relationship. A large share of Israeli exports was absorbed by the EEC. Because the trade agreement had to be ratified every three years by the European Parliament, the latter could block it, which it did in 1988 when Israel placed restrictions on the export of farm products grown by Palestinians in the occupied territories. That veto had obliged Israel to change its practice. He wondered whether the friends of the Arab nations should not lobby the European Parliament in order to get more substantial concessions from the Israelis.

48. Mr. Nabeel Shaath, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestine National Council, said that there was much more common ground between Palestinians and Israelis than between Palestinians and Americans. There had so far been one-sided support from the United States. The Administration did not feel strongly about the fate of Palestinians in the Middle East. The current driving force in the Middle East was the Palestinian peace plan fuelled by the intifadah. However, that drive was being blocked by a number of factors. The fact remained that no progress was being made in the Middle East situation. The risks of the impasse were many, and included a radicalization of the two sides; an Israeli nuclear attack, even by mistake; and a wider Arab-Israeli confrontation. He said that the Jew, seeking a solution to his tragedy, had made the Palestinian his victim. The Palestinians were thrown out of their land, literally thrown into the sea. He then elaborated on the decision of the PLO to develop a two-State policy in November 1988. That decision was a major compromise, one that was difficult to accept. The thinking leading up to that decision had been long in coming, dating back to 1974. When the Palestinian peace plan was announced in 1988, the time was ripe for the solution of many difficult issues. All those factors led the PLO to believe it was the proper time for concessions. The decisions announced at Algiers, Geneva and Paris included full recognition of Israel, renunciation of terrorism, a decision on the status of Jerusalem, and for the total end of the "stage" theory. In its deeds, the PLO stopped all actions against individuals; attacks by its military units were suspended; it began to dialogue and negotiate with any Israeli willing to engage in dialogue, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, even though he world not openly admit to it; the green line was re-established, concretizing the idea of two States; it began planning and building for the new State of Palestine; it also held meetings with businessmen on buying technology to build a new State; and discussed trade with Europe for the export of fruits and clothing. Those were not the actions of people who set "stages" or who dreamed of continuing warfare. He stressed that the Palestinians had accepted the many peace proposals tabled provided they moved towards a final peaceful settlement. But Palestinians and Israelis were still enemies working towards friendship. That would finally happen when there were negotiations. The Palestinians were unwavering on those points: the right of self-determination in all their territory; Israel must withdraw from all territory occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem; equality and the right to feel as Palestinians; for those in the Diaspora, the right of return; a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace; and an international conference leading to security guarantees for Arabs and Israelis. He said that Palestinians were the ones always asked to be tested; the Israelis were never asked. He called for an end to the dehumanization of Palestinians. Palestinians understood and sympathized with the sufferings of the Jews and the continuing subtle discrimination they faced. But there must be understanding without patronizing. The testing of the Palestinians alone must cease. There was a change throughout Israel; the Government there had fallen on the question of peace. There were those in Israel who wanted to see an independent Palestinian State. Everybody wanted peace yet the Americans passed resolutions in Congress which inflamed the situation. If America would not move, Europe must take the high ground and push for an international peace conference. There must be initiative to break the impasse. The Palestinians would extend their hand to anyone willing to move towards peace.

49. Mr. Wan Jingzhanq, Associate Research Fellow, China Institute for International Studies, said that to break the present impasse and let history turn over a tragic leaf by restoring the long overdue peace to the Middle East, both sides should subject themselves to the simple wisdom of "live and let live". However, it took both sides. The PLO's sincerity for peace had so far not been reciprocated by the Israeli side. Rather, the hard-liners had attempted to create new obstacles to the process. To undo that intertwisted knot, the Israeli authorities must change their position of intransigence. He said that at a time when the world situation was moving towards relaxation and several regional conflicts had achieved or were nearing political solutions, the solution of the question of Palestine, the world's thorniest problem, was all the more pressing. A peace conference was the best way to look for a solution. The United Nations could play an important role, while the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council could lend more authority to relevant United Nations resolutions. To create the necessary conditions, the concerned parties, including the PLO and Israel, should conduct a dialogue in good faith. Israel must recognize the reality of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Only through negotiations with the PLO on an equal footing could a solution be found. Further, Israel should withdraw from the occupied Arab territories and cease its suppression of Palestinian residents there. The State of Israel and Palestine should recognize each other and assure each other's security. To promote the Middle East peace process, the international community could continue to exert political, economic and moral pressure on Israel to force it to change its obdurate position. He said that the past year had seen some encouraging signs of change in the development of the Middle East situation. There had been frequent diplomatic activities around the issue, and Egypt and other countries had put forward proposals. All had supported the appeal for an early convening of the Middle East peace conference and called on Israel to change course. The PLO's adherence to its strategy of peace and the heroic struggle of its people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were winning sympathy and support world-wide. In sharp contrast, the hardliners of Israel were finding themselves more and more isolated.

50. Mr. Martin Weiss, Parliamentary Adviser of the Federal Republic of Germany, said that like many Germans, he was questioned very often in recent of days about which role a unified Germany would play in the European political concert.  He expressed the view that the German role in Middle East politics, which had been rather unimportant until now, would not change very much.  Also, a new and bigger Germany had to bear the burden of its Nazi history – the burden of the holocaust.   Therefore, there would never be a principal change in the relations between Germany and Israel.  One subject of German Middle East politics would be constant. That was the duty to guarantee Israel's right of existence within secure borders.  In the future, therefore, one of the biggest pressure groups in the German Parliament would be the pro-Israel lobby. It would not be very helpful for the career of German politicians to deal with Arab  countries too much or even to criticize the Israeli Government.  At the same time, consciousness of the Palestinian question had increased in Germany owing to the positive effect of the intifadah.  He hoped that in the future, German politicians would have a bigger influence on Israel towards a peace process.  He stressed that there would be no movement towards a peace process in the Middle East, and in particular towards a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem, unless all concerned parties were willing to make compromises. After a long period of stagnation, three of the main parties had already moved:  the PLO had recognized Israel's right to exist within secure borders and had renounced the use of force; the United States had given up its reservations against the PLO and had commenced a dialogue with the PLO leadership; and the Soviet Union had emerge from its self-imposed isolation and was willing to become an active member of the peace negotiations. All three initiatives were aimed at an international peace conference.  The only missing component was a clear signal from Israel. Israel should give such a signal by accepting the PLO as a negotiating partner. The question was who would give such a signal in the current government crisis in Israel. All efforts by Israel to control the occupied territories and its illegal settlement policy had failed to solve the basic problem, that of the living together of the two peoples in one area.  The problem could be solved neither by repressive administrative practices nor by military force. It could be solved only through negotiations and compromises based on the principle of the right of existence of both peoples. The first step had to be freedom and self-determination of the Palestinian people. He emphasized that Europe's role in that process should be more important than ever before. In addition to the problems and challenges it now had to face in the Eastern European countries, Europe should not forget its responsibility to the Palestinian people. It had a duty to convince its Israeli friends that a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question was in their own interest. If necessary, more political pressure had to be applied. At the same time, Europeans should prove their solidarity with Palestine by giving more help to the oppressed Palestinian population. The danger of radicalism and fundamentalism on both sides was increasing. What was needed for the Middle East region was well-functioning democratic States. Palestine could be one of then. He hoped that self-determination of Palestine would be realized, and that Israelis and Palestinians would have the chance to live side by side as two free and independent peoples in a more peaceful Middle East

51. Mr. Andrei Zakharov, Member of the Presidium of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, said that amid favourable changes in the world today as a result of the new thinking, the situation in the Middle East was intolerable and disturbing. A radical improvement was necessary there in the interest of the peoples of that region and in the interest of international security. That required, above all, a fair solution of the most crucial aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict, that of Palestine. A crucial impulse in the search for practical solutions was the now two-and-a-half-year-old uprising of Palestinians against Israeli occupation and to secure their lawful national rights. Of fundamental significance for developments in and around the Middle East were the constructive modifications in the position of the PLO in favour of a fair political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict through the fulfilment of the relevant United Nations resolutions, its readiness for dialogue with Israel and its condemnation of terrorism. He said that the main obstacle to the start of the peace process was that Israel continued to cling to its rigid and uncompromising position. It had not budged an inch in recognizing the Palestinians' right to self-determination, and had no intention of returning the lands seized from the Arabs in 1967 and categorically refused to have any dealings with the PLO. By its policy of suppression, repression and deportation of Palestinians and the establishment of more settlements on Arab land, Israel was deliberately erecting new obstacles to the peace process, using various pretexts to continue the occupation, among them, the recent statements that it was necessary to keep the captured Arab lands in order to settle immigrants coning to Israel, including those from the Soviet Union. He said that the Soviet Union was convinced that the most acceptable and effective instrument for a truly all-effacing settlement in the region would be an appropriate international conference in which all parties involved in the conflict, including the PLO, and the five permanent members of the Security Council would take part. The idea of the conference was gaining greater support and it had no sensible alternative. There was international consensus that the conference was necessary. Collective international efforts were required to secure an effective Middle East settlement, to promote a comprehensive and all-effacing solution of the region's acute problems with consideration for the legitimate interests of all parties to the conflict. He expressed the view that mutual concern could be relieved by a thoroughly considered and internationally backed system of security guarantees for all sides in the framework of a comprehensive mutually acceptable settlement. As for preparations for the international peace conference, the Soviet Union was in favour of a more active use of the possibilities of the United Nations. It would also be useful for the Secretary-General to appoint a special representative to the region. The substance of any settlement boiled down to resolving the central problem of the Middle East conflict, that of enabling the people of Palestine to exercise its right to self-determination, and assuring security with its recognized frontiers to all States. In addition, all Arab territories occupied since 1967 should be returned.

Panel III

"The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the

economic, social and cultural development

of the Palestinian people"

52. Mr. Khalid Al Hassan, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Palestine National Council, said that the Palestinians had lost their citizenship in 1948 when they had become stateless.  They had become non-citizens and lost their property, belongings and their past.  That created a feeling of non-existence which contradicted the fact that Palestinians existed physically. They had, therefore, to struggle in order to practice their existence.  . Struggling to restore citizenship, identity, history and the process of making one's future was important to get self-respect and satisfaction. The more the Palestinians were suppressed, the more militant they became.  He pointed out that to the Palestinian people the family represented the core of the society; it had played the role of ministries of education, employment and social welfare.  Politically, the Palestinians decided to remain refugees since they wished to return home and not to be settled outside their homeland. He emphasized that United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) was the only practical way of solving the Palestinian refugee problem. The catastrophe and tragedy that happened to the Palestinian people had led to its rebirth. The Palestinians had maintained their education and other structures even though they had lost their citizenship and were unable to demonstrate their political identity. He said that in the fifties, the Fatah was founded by the people. The movement was a public one and various organizations had come together, subsequently to found the PLO. The Palestinians were united despite the differences of the various organizations. The Palestinian leadership had been able to assess the desires of the people, leading to the decision of the Palestine National Council in Algiers in 1988. Through ups and downs, the PLO had managed to lead the people and had set up many social establishments, including free medical care, sewing programmes and, until recently, support, for the families of imprisoned Palestinians. He pointed out that in 1968 the PLO announced the one democratic State on a solution based on the Swiss example, where the entities were independent and different languages were used. But the idea had been rejected. Already in 1974 the Palestine National Council adopted in principle a two-State solution. In 1988 the idea was clarified completely. He emphasized that, in launching the "peace offensive", the PLO was influenced by a general atmosphere of detente which came to dominate the international scene. If conflicts were to be resolved peacefully, that should include the Middle East. He expressed the view that in the future, an independent State of Palestine and Israel would be part of a much larger economic and possibly political grouping, which would include other countries of the region. The leaders of Israel would switch their thinking from seeking victory in the battle field to searching for victory in the social and economic battlefield. The Palestinians would be the only people who would be able to help the Israelis in that process. Palestinians and Israelis together would be a part of the economy of the Middle East.  There would be a new generation in Israel ready to face the challenges of a settlement of the conflict.

C. Conclusions and recommendations

53. The participants in the Seminar took note with appreciation of the sustain efforts of the European countries to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, in accordance with United Nations resolutions. They stressed the great importance of the valuable contribution which the European countries could make towards the achievement of an equitable settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The participants expressed their conviction that negotiations based on the "two peoples, two States" principle, and which adequately addressed the rights and concerns of both parties, Israelis and Palestinians, would result in peace with justice in the region. They noted with satisfaction that the Seminar had made a positive contribution to the peace process by providing a forum for a balanced and constructive discussion of the relevant issues by speakers representing viewpoints of the parties concerned, and by participants from European and from other regions at the governmental as well as non-governmental levels.

54. The participants were encouraged by the fact that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, had created a new momentum for bringing about a just solution to that complex and dangerous conflict on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. The intifadah and the Palestinian peace initiative of November 1988, were a manifestation of the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable right:, primarily the right to self-determination. Those developments and the current international climate, characterized by a new political will to resolve : regional conflicts in a peaceful manner with the assistance of the United Nations, had opened new possibilities for breaking the impasse and progressing towards peace. Important sectors of the Israeli public were opposed to the unbending policies of their Government and had become active in support of the two-State solution. It was therefore imperative that that historic opportunity not be missed and that efforts be redoubled in 1990 to overcome reining obstacles so that the process of negotiations could be initiated without further delay, particularly through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle Fast.

55. The participants highlighted the important developments which had led to the adoption of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988. They considered that those developments had given impetus to international endeavour aimed at achieving a comprehensive and just settlement of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. They noted the adoption of General  Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, the nest recent Assembly resolution on the question of Palestine, and were greatly encouraged by the overwhelming vote in favour of that balanced and comprehensive resolution which included, for the first time, all member States of the European Community. That demonstrated the international consensus on the necessity of convening 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 PLO, 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.

56. The participants called on those States which had thus far prevented the implementation of resolution 44/42 to reconsider their position and to join the international consensus. They further expressed their support for every effort by the permanent members of the Security Council to bring the positions of the parties to the conflict closer to each other, to create a climate of confidence between them, and to facilitate in that way the convening and successful outcome of the International Peace Conference.

57. The participants expressed their appreciation for the position adopted by European Governments in response to the proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian Arab State to exist side by side with the State of Israel, in conformity with the two-State principle, as envisaged in General Assembly resolution 181 (II). The participants welcomed in particular the readiness demonstrated by the Member States of the European Community to participate actively in the search for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, and to co-operate fully in the economic and social development of the peoples of the region.

58. The participants noted that there existed an international consensus on the principles for the achievement of comprehensive peace as affirmed in General Assembly resolutions 43/176 and 44/42, namely: the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories occupied since 1967; guaranteeing arrangements for the security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967; and guaranteeing freedom of access to holy places, religious buildings and sites. The participants expressed satisfaction that all European countries supported these principles and had voted in favour of resolution 44/42, adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session. The consensus thus achieved among the European countries constitutes a significant contribution to the urgently needed peaceful resolution of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

59. The Seminar noted that the intifadah had had far-reaching effects including on every aspect of Israeli politics. Specifically, it had led to a major government crisis and had helped the progressive forces working for a just peace to engage in dialogue and joint activities with the Palestinians as a way to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation and to break dawn prejudices and stereotypes. The participants endorsed the objectives of the demonstration in Jerusalem "1990, Time for Peace" held from 29 to 31 December 1989, in which Israelis, a large number of Palestinians, Europeans and others had expressed support for peaceful negotiations, respect for civil and human rights and the "two peoples, two States" principle. They agreed that the United Nations should continue to offer its good offices and organize appropriate activities to bring together Palestinians and Israelis under its auspices

60. Participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations by Israel, the occupying Power, of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, which had caused increasing loss of life, hardships and suffering with far-reaching emotional, socio-economic and demographic consequences. The international community had repeatedly declared that the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory were in violation of its obligations as a party to the Geneva convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 and also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to generally recognized norms of international law. The participants appealed to the High Contracting Parties to the Convention, including its European signatories, to take appropriate measures to ensure respect for the provisions of that Convention. The Seminar noted that certain economic measures taken in the past had produced positive results. A matter of special concern for participants was the suffering inflicted on Palestinian women and children as a result of the brutal Israeli practices. The increased restrictions on the movement of individuals and on educational institutions, health and social welfare organizations, as well as the constant daily obstacles and harassments, had produced inhuman and intolerable conditions.

61. The participants deplored the process of Israeli colonization of the occupied Palestinian territory as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements, usurpation of land and water resources, and settler vigilantism. They were alarmed at the recent establishment of additional settlements and the secret funding by the Israeli Government of a new settlement in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem and condemned those actions as insensitive and provocative. The international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, which was in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, had declared those actions null and void and had demanded that Israel dismantle the settlements and withdraw from the occupied territory. The participants deplored the recent statements by the Government of Israel regarding the increased settlement of Jewish immigrants in the occupied Palestinian territory while Israel continued to deny the Palestinians the right to return to their homes. They reaffirmed the international consensus that such actions were illegal and would further jeopardize the attainment of a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants appealed to Governments to ensure, in conformity with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that members of the Jewish community emigrating to Israel were not used as a tool to perpetuate and strengthen the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. They recalled that article 12 of the Covenant states, inter alia, that the right of everyone to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his/her residence and the right of everyone to leave any country, including his/her own "shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present covenant". In this connection, participants took note of the recent meetings of the Security Council and its consideration of the "unlawful Israeli moves to settle the occupied territories". They urged the Council to condemn the settlement of immigrants in the occupied territories, declare it illegal and consider it as a new and serious obstacle to peace and to call upon the Israeli Government to review and abandon its obstructionist position.

62. The participants welcomed the fact that the Government of the United States of America had opened the dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization and emphasized that the level of the dialogue its scope should be raised and its scope should be expanded to include the consideration in a constructive manner of substantive issues so as to enhance the process of negotiations leading to a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

63. The Seminar participants appealed to the international community particular, to the United Nations Security Council to assume and discharge its responsibilities and to take urgent measures to ensure the physical and to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. They urged the Security Council to take into account the gravity of the acts of violence and human rights violations, including the deportation of Palestinians, which have been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council and the General Assembly, and other actions taken by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians in the occupied territory. The participants again stressed the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 and demanded that Israel abide by the Convention.

64. The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to establish an alternative infrastructure as a foundation for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine and their efforts to end the Israeli occupation. The Seminar considered that intensified international action towards genuine social and economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, were a necessary corollary to renewed efforts to achieve a political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which was the question of Palestine. The participants welcomed the steps already taken by the European countries in this regard and urged them to further increase their valuable assistance to the Palestinian people.

65. The participants urged the Government of Israel to respond constructively to the peace initiative of the Palestine Liberation Organization which had been welcomed and praised by the entire international community. They stressed that Israel should recognize that it could no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and continue to deny them their inalienable rights, in particular, their right to self-determination. Israel should also acknowledge the aspirations of its own people to a future of peace and justice. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government on 15 May 1989 were inadequate, since they did not include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would enable the Palestinians to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants called upon Israel to respond positively to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which was the question of Palestine, which would ensure peaceful coexistence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and bring an end to decades of conflict in the region. The Seminar appealed to European countries to pursue their efforts vigorously to convince Israel of the urgent need for a positive and constructive response to peace efforts.

66. The participants emphasized the urgent need for progress in efforts for peace. They were unanimous in expressing concern that if progress were not made soon, extremist elements on both sides would further inflame the situation with grave consequences for international peace and security.

67. The Seminar participants expressed their appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his continuing endeavours to advance the peace process, and to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The participants urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the Conference and to adopt interim measures including the deployment of a United Nations force to safeguard the physical security of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final and comprehensive settlement.

68. The participants in the Seminar endorsed the persistent efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to bring about a solution of the question of Palestine through the attainment of the national rights of the Palestinian people and urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee’s activities and, in particular, for its efforts to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. They noted with appreciation that the Committee was intensifying its efforts to ensure that the United Nations regional seminars on the question of Palestine provided an opportunity for diverse points of view to be expressed so that a real dialogue could be held among people of goodwill on all sides. In that context, the participants expressed satisfaction that there had been a constructive and frank exchange at the Seminar between the Israeli and Palestinian participants. The Seminar noted, however, that while Palestinians representing the Palestine Liberation Organization had participated in the Seminar, the official viewpoint of Israel had yet to be expressed. The participants expressed the hope that the Government of Israel would be represented at future meetings convened by the United Nations for this purpose and that representatives who could reflect a broad range of political viewpoints were given an opportunity to participate in such meetings. The participants suggested that future seminars and NGO symposia should consider, within the context of the International Peace Conference, some of the most substantive issues which need to be addressed.

69. The participants appealed to all European Governments to support the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights the Palestinian People in its efforts and urged the same Governments to give serious consideration to participation in the work of the Committee as members or observers.  The work of the Committee would broaden the scope of its deliberations and increase its effectiveness.

70. The seminar participants took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of and in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations.

71. The participants in the Seminar were of the view that the United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine and on the measures required for the achievement of a just settlement to the question of Palestine.  The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights had an important role to play in the collection and dissemination of such information. For its part, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations Secretariat should continue to make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination and should continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine in full co-operation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America.

72. The participants in the Seminar took note with appreciation of the valuable humanitarian and other support the Government of Sweden had extended over the years to the just cause of the Palestinian people as well as its efforts towards a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. They also expressed their

Government and the people of Sweden for providing a venue for the European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, and for the facilities and warm hospitality extended to them.

Annex I


The participants in the European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, being held from 7 to 11 May 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden, express their profound thanks to the Government and people of Sweden for generously providing a venue for this meeting and for the excellent arrangements made, which greatly contributed to its success. The participants wish also to convey their sincere gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Mr. Sten Andersson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, for his constructive statement and support for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The participants also wish to express their appreciation to H.E. Mr. Anders Bjurner, Deputy Under-Secretary for Political Affairs and H.E Mr. Bjorn Elmer, Assistant Under-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for their contribution to the Seminar. The participants take this opportunity to convey their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Sweden for their consistent support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the active role they have played in advancing the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East on the basis of the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations.





We, the participants in the European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, being held from 7 to 11 May 1990, at Stockholm, Sweden, wish to express our appreciation for your gracious message of support conveyed to the Seminar by Mr. Eugene Makhlouf, representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Stockholm. We take this opportunity to express our support for your extraordinary efforts to open a substantive dialogue for peace in the Middle East.

We reaffirm our solid support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate and inalienable national rights, as dramatically demonstrated over the past two years in the intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory. We salute the historic Palestinian peace initiative launched at the nineteenth extraordinary session of the Palestine National Council, held at Algiers from 12 to 15 November 1988, as a bold and significant contribution towards the achievement of peace in the Middle East.

We sincerely hope that the results of the Seminar will contribute positively to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which the question of Palestine is the core. We reaffirm our unconditional commitment to support the people of Palestine until the full realization of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State is achieved.

We regard the significant results achieved at the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly and in particular the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, which reaffirms the provisions of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 as a demonstration of the emerging international consensus on the necessity of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and express our genuine support for the Secretary-General of the United Nations in his endeavours aimed at early realization of this objective as demanded by the international community

Annex III


Delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the

Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Mrs. Absa Claude DIALLO

Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, Chairman of the Committee

Mr. Alexander BORG OLIVIER

Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, Rapporteur of the Committee


Ambassador of Indonesia to the United Kingdom

Mr. Zuhdi Labib TERZI

Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations


Mr. Michele Achilli (Italy)

Mr. Khalid Al-Hassan (Palestinian)

Mr. Moshe Amirav* (Israel)

Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi (Palestinian)

Mrs. Marie-Christine Aulas (France)

Rabbi Balfour Brickner (United States of America)

Mr. Joseph Cassar (Malta)

Mrs. Marisa Cinciari Rodano (Italy)

Ms. Viola Furubjelke (Sweden)

Mr. Igor Khvorostiany (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic)

Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus (Federal Republic of Germany)

Mr. António Lacerda de Queiroz (Portugal)

Mr. Nikko Lohikoski (Finland)

Mrs. Nelly Maes (Belgium)

Mr. Nabeel Sha'ath (Palestinian)

Mr. Evert Svensson (Sweden)

Mr. Wan Jingzhang (China)

Mr. Martin Weiss (Federal Republic of Germany)

Mr. Andrei Zakharov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)

Mr. Dedi Zucker* (Israel);


*These panellists informed the United Nations Secretariat that since they were attending the Seminar as experts and not as participants, they should be excluded from any messages to anybody and from the conclusions and recommendations adopted at the Seminar.

Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Mr. Ronald I. SPIERS

Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services

Member States


Mr. Mustapha Benzaza

Ambassador to Sweden

Ramdane Mekdoud


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Garcia Vat Contreiras

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Guido Castelbranco

Third Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Ashfaqur Rahman

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Luiz Eduardo Maya Ferreira

Second Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

Mr. Andrei O. Sannikov

Second Secretary

Ministry of Foreign Affairs


H.E. Mr. Tang Lungbin

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Gao Feng

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Ms. Ulla Aslund


Embassy to Sweden

Ms. Patricia Contreras Jaramillo


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. S. Epaminondas


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. G. Spans

Press Councellor

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Jan Polack

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Byron Morejón


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Fabian Pa'liz

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Abdel Rahman Marei

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Nofal El-Sayed


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Sakari Vuorensola

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Renaud Levy

First Counsellor

Embassy to Sweden

German Democratic Republic

Mr. Erich Wetzl


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Georgios Paizis


Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Inacio Semedo


Embassy to Nordic Countries

Mr. Bacar Intchasso

Third Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. R.K. Tyagi

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Mr. G.N. Vyas

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Mr. G.K. Wadhwa

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. M. P. Luhulima

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Budiman Darmosutanto


Embassy to United Kingdom

Mr. Tatang Deradjat


Embassy to United Kingdom

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Mr. Abdullah Edrisi

Third Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Hussiaa A. Abdul

Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Mohammed al-Rani

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Lucio Forattini


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Yuji Ooka Counsellor

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. G.C.O. Maroko

Head of Chancery

Embassy to Sweden

Lao People's Democratic Republic

H.E. Mr. Soutsakhone Payhammavong


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Thongkhoun Sengphachanh

Second Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. C.H. Looi


Embassy to Sweden

Ms. Wan Napsiah Salleh

Second Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Mr. M.H. Arshad

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Benito Andion


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Erendira Basques


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Hassan Moutahir


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Boukhari Abdellatif

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Antonio Munatela

Second Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Amir Ali Shah

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Akhtar Hussain Kazmi


Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr. Honorio T. Cagampan


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Eduardo V. Aro

Second Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Stanislaw Szumski


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Ilie Derobantu


Embassy to Sweden

Saudi Arabia

Mr. All Yousef


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Laurent Diatta

First Cansellor

Embassy to Sweden

Sri Lanka

H.E. Mr. G. Wijayasiri

Ambassador to Sweden

Mr. Ahmed A. Jawad

Third Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


H.E. Mr.  Omar Gorani


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Abdelrahman Dhirar

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Anders Bjurner

Deputy Under-Secretary for Political Affairs

Mr. Bjorn Elmer

Assistant Under-Secretary

UN Division

Mr. Mathias Mossberg

Assistant Under Secretary

Africa and Middle East Division

Mr. Mats Staffansson

First Secretary

Africa and Middle East Division

Ms. Lisette Lindahl Owens

First Secretary

Press Department

Ms. Boel Greder

First Secretary

UN Division


Ms. Veka Inal


Embassy to Sweden

Ukainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Mr. Vladimir Y. Belashov

First Secretary

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Mr. Guennadi P. Tarassov

Assistant to the Foreign Minister

Mr. Dmitri Berkov

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Mr. V. Khanzhenkov

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

United Republic of Tanzania

Mr. Hassan Omar Kibelloh


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Maio M. Mazzini

Minister Counsellor

Embassy to Sweden

Viet Nam

Mr. Le Ky Giai


Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Dusan Crnogorcevic

First Counsellor

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Jackson V.B. Mukupa


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Lukonde Willie Chintu

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden


Mr. Tatenda Nakano

First Secretary

Embassy to Sweden

Non-member States represented by observers

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Mr. Han Chang Hyop


Embassy to Sweden

Mr. Hong Ryul


Embassy to Sweden

United Nations specialized agencies, bodies and programmes

International Labour Office

Ms. Catherine Comtet

Equality of Rights Branch



Ms. Mari Sandstrom

External Affairs Officer


Intergovernmental organizations

League of Arab States

Mr. Farouk Kobba Abdennabi


League of Arab States, Stockholm

Other organizations having received a standing invitation

to participate in the sessions and the work of the

General Assembly as observers


Mr. Eugene Makhlouf

PLO Representative to Sweden

Mrs. Kaoru Makhlouf


Ms. Rima Hamadeh


Ms. Nora Hurlburt

Mr. Adnan Kaiss

Information Officer

Mr. Karam Farraj


Non-governmental organizations

Finnish-Arab Friendship Group of the Parliament

Ms. Mardatta Stenius-Kalikonen

Ms. Silva Kauko

Ms. Susanne Dahlgren

International Commission of Jurists

Mr. Per Stadig

Mr. Frank B. Orton

International Progress Organization

Mr. Jean Claude Njim

Palestinagruppeina (PGS)

Mr. E. Manni

Ms. Bitte Isacsson

Palestine Committee of Norway

Ms. Helga Hvidsten

Palestine Groups of Norway

Mr. Jon Halvard Eide

Palestine Workers' Union

Mr. Emad Olwan

Mr. Awad Olwan

Palestinian Solidarity Association in Sweden

Ms. Margareta Sjöberg

Ms. Margaretha Boman

Ms. Anne Sörman

Mr. Sven Olof Bengtzon

Swedish Organization for Individual Relief

Ms. Gunhild Johansson

Ms. Ingrid Gunnas

Swedish-Palestine Archive

Mr. Adnan Al Hajeh

Swedish-Palestinian Friendship Union

Mr. Bertil Fastman

Save The Children (Sweden)

Mr. Hakhan Andersson

Task Group for Palestinians of World Alliance of YWCAs

Ms. Barbro Thorén

United Nation Association, District of Vastmanland

Ms. Birgitta Altan

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Ms. Kerstin Grebäck

Ms. Ulla Lovén

Ms. Tyra Spanberg

Ms. Ingela Martensson

World Federation of UN-Associations (WFUNA)

Mr. Karl-Erik Svartberg

Mr. Ove Johansson

YWCA-YMCA of Sweden

Mr. Sören Olsson


Ms. Ulla Lindskog

Ms. Marie Braneke

Mr. Stefan Hjerten

Ms. Lis Höjer Christensen

Ms. Inger Persson

Ms. Eva Janzon

Mr. Arthur Max

Ms. Cecilia Lonnell

Mr. Olof Santesson

Ms. Rebecca Khazaal

Mr. Lars Kobbe

Mr. Jackie Jakabowski

Mr. Joao Lius de Albuquerque

Ms. Beatrice Zeidler-Blomberg

Mr. Claes-Adam Wachtweister

Ms. Ann-Marie Bostrom

Mr. Bjorn Lund

Mr. Jan Palmers

Mr. Paolo Rodriguez

Ms. Bitte Hammargren

Mr. Lars Pehrson

Mr. Jan Flodby

Mr. Bo Karlström

Mr. Azariah Kiros

Mr. Bill Schiller

Ms. Eva Ahlberg

Mr. Arne Lapidus

Mr. Lars Nyberg

Sveriges Riksradio

Sveriges Riksradio

TT News Agency

TT News Agency

TT News Agency

Associated Press

Associated Press

Associated Press

Dagens Nyheter

Newspaper Vänstertidningen

Swedish National Radio Co.

Judisk Krönika

Radio Sweden – United Nations

Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Swedish Television

Swedish Television

Swedish Television

Swedish Television Aktuellt

Svenka Dagbladet

Svenka Dagbladet

Swedish Radio

Swedish Radio

Radio Sweden

Radio Sweden




Foreign press

Mr. Taras Lariokhin

Mr. Musa Sardawi

Mr. Francis Walsh

Mr. Qais M. Qadri

Tass (USSR)

PLO Unified Information (Tunis)

Evening Echo, m.m. (Ireland)

Bisan Press (France)


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