June 1993

Volume XVI, Bulletin No. 6

Contents

Page

I.

THIRTY-THIRD UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE HELD AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK ON 28 AND 29 JUNE 1993

1

II.

EXCERPT FROM STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MINISTERIAL COUNCIL OF THE GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL AT ITS FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION, HELD AT RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA ON 7 AND 8 JUNE 1993

2

III.

EXCERPT FROM FINAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE DAMASCUS DECLARATION STATES AT THEIR MEETING HELD AT ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ON 12 AND 13 JUNE 1993

2

IV.

UNITED NATIONS SPONSORS JOURNALISTS' ENCOUNTER IN LONDON ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

3

V.

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTES $A 300,000 FOR UNRWA EMERGENCY PROGRAMMES

4

VI.

ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

5

VII.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS:  ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION

9


I.   THIRTY-THIRD UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

     HELD AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK ON 28 AND 29 JUNE 1993

The thirty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Ninth North American Regional Seminar), entitled "Priorities for United Nations Actions", was held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on 28 and 29 June 1993.  The Seminar was convened in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/74 A of 11 December 1991.  It preceded the Tenth United Nations North American NGO Symposium which took place on 30 June and 1 and 2 July 1993, also at New York, as mandated by the same resolution.

H.E. Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, acted as Chairman and Rapporteur of the Seminar.

A total of three meetings were held, chaired by three moderators.  Ten experts presented papers relating to the theme of the Seminar.  Representatives of 43 Governments, 8 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, 2 intergovernmental organizations as well as 10 non-governmental organizations attended the meetings.

The opening session was addressed by the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Chinmaya R. Gharekhan, Under-Secretary-General and Special Political Adviser to the Secretary-General.  A further statement was made by Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto.

A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was read out by Mr. Nasser M. Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations.

The first panel, moderated by Mr. Andrew Whitley, Executive Director of Middle East Watch, was entitled "The United Nations and the implementation of international human rights instruments and relevant Security Council resolutions".  The speakers were:  Ms. Daphna Golan, B'Tselem, Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; Mr. Muhammad Hallaj, Director, The Centre for Policy Analysis on Palestine, Washington, D.C.; and, Ms. Lynn Welchmann, European Field Representative, Centre for Human Rights Enforcement.

The second panel, moderated by Mr. S. Kazemi, Director, Special Unit (Palestinian People), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, was entitled "The United Nations and the promotion of the economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem".  The speakers were:  H.E. Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto; Mr. Roger Guarda, Special Representative, United Nations Development Programme Office in Jerusalem; Ms. Lee O'Brien, Research Officer in the West Bank, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; Mr. Ephraim Ahiram, Professor, Hebrew University; and, Mr. Fadle Naqib, Economist, Waterloo University, Ontario, Canada.

The third panel, moderated by Mr. Richard Curtiss, Executive Director, Washington Report, was entitled "The United Nations and the peace process".  The speakers were: Mr. Johan Nordenfelt, Director, Programmes against Apartheid and for Palestinian Rights; Mr. Richard Curtiss, Executive Director, "Washington Report"; H.E. Mr. Nabil A. Elaraby, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations; Mr. Nabil Qassis, Vice-Chairman of the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks; and, Mr. Shibley Telhami, Associate Professor, Cornell University.

Concluding statements were made by the Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations and by the Chairman.

The final report of the seminar will be issued in due course as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

II.    EXCERPT FROM STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MINISTERIAL COUNCIL OF THE

      GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL AT ITS FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION,

      HELD AT RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA ON 7 AND 8 JUNE 1993

"…

"The Ministerial Council considered the developments of the peace process in the Middle East in the light of the end of the ninth round of bilateral negotiations and welcomes the agreement of the parties concerned to hold the tenth round in June of the current year.  The Council renews its full support for the peace process, which is aimed at reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of land for peace, the achievement of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, first and foremost Jerusalem, the guaranteeing of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination, and the establishment of firm foundations on which to guarantee security and stability in the Middle East.

"The Ministerial Council urges the international community to take what steps are necessary to induce Israel immediately to lift the state of embargo imposed on the occupied Arab territories, to respect the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories, which are guaranteed by the Fourth Geneva Convention, to begin implementation of Security Council resolution 799 (1992), to refrain from violating the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon and to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) calling upon Israel to withdraw unconditionally from all Lebanese territory in conformity with the spirit of the peace efforts being exerted and confidence-building measures. …"   (see A/48/205-S/25923)

III.    EXCERPT FROM FINAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

        OF THE DAMASCUS DECLARATION STATES AT THEIR MEETING HELD AT

       ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ON 12 AND 13 JUNE 1993

"…

"The Ministers considered the developments in the peace process in the Middle East and reaffirmed the commitment of their States to support the peace negotiations aimed at arriving at a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), the principle of land for peace, the achievement of a complete Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan and southern Lebanon, the guaranteeing of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination and its establishment of its independent State on its national territory, in order to guarantee security and stability in the region.

"The Ministers express their appreciation for the efforts being made by the two sponsors of the peace conference and call on the United States in particular to play the role of full partner and to develop it in an effective and objective way so as to ensure full and faithful adherence to the foundations, principles and authority of the peace conference, in particular the principle of land for peace and the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

"The Ministers regard all of Israel's continued practices and acts of aggression against the Palestinian people and the Arab occupants of the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories as a flagrant violation of international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the principles and authority of the peace process and as a genuine threat to chances of success for this process, for which Israel bears responsibility vis-à-vis the international community.  They also call on the Security Council to take practical and immediate measures for the implementation of resolution 799 (1992) for the return of the Palestinian deportees to their homes.

"The Ministers welcome the coordination between the Arab States participating in the bilateral peace talks at their meeting held at Amman on 6 June 1992, with the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the agreement to intensify contacts with the two sponsors of the peace process, with the aim of ensuring their serious intervention to achieve an essential advance in the talks. …" (see A/48/209-S/25937)

IV.   UNITED NATIONS SPONSORS JOURNALISTS' ENCOUNTER IN LONDON

     ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

From 9 to 11 June, the United Nations Department of Public Information held a journalists' encounter in London, co-sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and with the support of the British newspaper, The Guardian.  The theme of the encounter was entitled "Promoting a culture for peace in the Middle East".

The event was the third in a series mandated by General Assembly resolution 47/64 C of 11 December 1992.  Each such encounter seeks to bring together prominent media representatives from Europe or North America with Israeli, Palestinian and other Middle East experts to engage in informal, frank discussion and promote better understanding of the question of Palestine, including its Jerusalem dimension.

The London encounter was moderated by the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Vladimir Petrovsky, and coordinated by Mustapha Tlili, Chief of the Anti-Apartheid, Decolonization and Palestine Programmes Section of the Department of Public Information.  It was opened by Douglas Hogg, Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.

The meetings were attended by some 35 media representatives as well as experts on the subject.

The panelists were:  Graeme Bannerman, former Staff Director of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Sir James Craig, Senior Associate Member, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, and President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies; Avigdor Feldman, Member of the Board of Directors of B'Tselem, a human rights advocacy group in Israel; Major-General Shlomo Gazit, former Director of Israeli Military Intelligence and Senior Fellow at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies; Khalil Hindi, Palestinian representative at the multilateral negotiations on economic development and Professor of Economics at Manchester University, United Kingdom; Asa Kasher, Professor of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University; Yossi Olmert, former Director of the Israeli Government Press Office; Afif Safieh, Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) delegation in the United Kingdom; Hanna Seniora, Publisher of Al-Fajr, Jerusalem; Nabeel Sha'ath, Adviser to the President of the PLO, Mohammed Sid-Ahmed, senior columnist of Al-Ahram, Cairo; and Ephraim Sneh, Member of the Israeli Knesset.

During the three-day meeting, there were widely differing assessments by Palestinian and Israeli speakers about what was being offered by Israel in the peace negotiations which were then about to enter their tenth round in Washington.  The Palestinians felt that the interim phase of autonomy must proceed to full sovereignty, whereas the Israelis were not prepared to accept a Palestinian State on their borders unless and until the interim phase has passed peacefully.

The encounter provided a platform for a lively and informative exchange of views between Arabs and Israelis and the other expert panellists, affording valuable insights among participants.  The fear, anxiety and mistrust on the part of both Palestinians and Israelis was plainly expressed, but there were many solid suggestions on how to overcome these emotions.  Taken with the current high level of violence in the occupied territories, journalists and other observers at the encounter found it quite understandable that the peace process should be so slow.

V.   AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTES $A 300,000

    FOR UNRWA EMERGENCY PROGRAMMES

The following press release was issued by UNRWA on 16 June 1993:

"The Australian Government has announced a special contribution of $300,000 Australian dollars (about $202,000) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the Agency's programme of Extraordinary Measures in Lebanon and the Occupied Territory.  The programme covers emergency relief, including food and cash aid as well as expanded medical services to Palestinian refugees.

"Senator Gareth Evans, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, informed UNRWA Commissioner-General Ilter Türkmen of the contributions during their meeting in Vienna on 15 June.  The special contribution came in response to urgent Agency appeals to donor Governments to increase their regular and emergency contributions.  UNRWA is facing a financial deficit of $28.5 million at a time when its emergency programmes are critically needed, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip where economic conditions have sharply declined since the occupied territory was sealed off from Israel at the end of March.

"The closure of the occupied territory continues to prevent up to 100,000 Palestinian labourers from returning to work Israel, causing daily wage losses of some $2.5 million.  The local economy has also been severely disrupted by restrictions on movement resulting from the closure, which led to millions of dollars of losses in agriculture, industry, transport and commerce.  Unemployment is at an all-time high in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Australia is a major donor to UNRWA's regular health, education, relief and social services programmes for more than 2.7 million Palestine refugees in the Middle East.  In 1993, Australia is contributing $ 2.65 million Australian dollars (about $ 1.7 million) towards the Agency's regular budget.  UNRWA recently built a new preparatory school for girls in the West Bank, using a special 1988-1989 contribution of $ 1 million Australian dollars (about $ 795,000) from the Australian Government."

VI.   ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON THE

      SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

At its fifty-eighth ordinary session held in Cairo, Egypt from 21 to 26 June 1993, the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity adopted the following resolutions (see CM/Res. 1452 and 1453 (LVIII)):

Resolution on the situation in the Middle East

"…

"Having considered the report of the OAU Secretary-General on the situation in the Middle East as contained in document CM/1773 (LVIII),

"Guided by the principles and objectives of the OAU and United Nations Charters and the common determination of the African and Arab peoples to pool their resources in order to safeguard their sovereignty and recover their legitimate fundamental rights,

"Recalling that the Palestinian question constitutes the basic aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East:

"1. Reaffirms all the previous resolutions of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Council of Ministers and expresses its total support to the Palestinian people and the Arab countries victims of Israeli aggression;

"2. Strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces for expelling from their homes over 400 Palestinian citizens who were stranded, in disastrous conditions, in the occupied Lebanese territories.  Such act is a flagrant violation of the principles of human rights, of the provisions of international law and of international agreements and charters, notably the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, as well as a violation of the sovereignty of Lebanon and its unity and territorial integrity.  It also poses a threat to international peace and security and to the pursuance of peace negotiations in the Middle East;

"3. Supports the position of the Lebanese Government in rejecting the Israeli policy aimed at using the Lebanese territory as a deportation location for Palestinians;

"4. Reaffirms that the question of Jerusalem and Palestine constitutes the basic element of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that a just and global peace cannot be established in the region unless Israel totally withdraws from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and South Lebanon, while enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their intangible and inalienable national rights;

"5. Expresses its support to the negotiation process and to the efforts made to bring about a just and global solution to the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict, in accordance with international resolutions, notably Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425 and on the basis of the principles of peace for land, the granting of national and political rights to the Palestinian people and the solution of the Palestinian refugee problem, in compliance with United Nations resolutions, namely General Assembly resolution 194 and Security Council resolution 237;

"6. Calls on all States, international organizations as well as investment enterprises to refrain from providing any assistance to Israel for whatever activity it carries out in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and engaging in any cooperation relation that will enable Israel to exploit the resources of the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.  It calls on Israel to put an end to its acts of violation in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories;

"7. Invites the United Nations Organization and its institutions to play a more active and effective role, notably in the field of economic development of the occupied territories, bearing in mind the responsibility that the United Nations should continue to assume with regard to the Palestinian question;

"8. Demands the implementation of the resolutions adopted by international organs on Israel which still violates the United Nations resolutions, namely those of the Security Council and all international rules, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and Security Council resolution 299 to avoid a double standard in the implementation of international resolutions;

"9. Condemns Israel for its constant refusal to abide by the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency that subjects all the atomic installations to its system of guarantees.  It urges Member States to continue their cooperation within the framework of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other concerned international fora so as to compel Israel to abide by international resolutions, open its atomic installations to international control and present a full report of its stockpile of atomic material to the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency;

"10. Approves once again the proposal made by President Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to eliminate all mass destruction arms in the Middle East.  It condemns Israel which flouts the prohibition against the production and stockpiling of atomic armament.  It also calls on the United Nations Secretary-General to make all the necessary provisions for the destruction of this armament;

"11. Reiterates its former request to the two States sponsoring the peace conference to invite the OAU Secretary-General to take part in the peace conference, in view of the importance the OAU attaches to the establishment of peace in the Middle East and the pursuit of a just and global solution to the Palestinian problem;

"12. Requests the OAU Secretary-General to follow the developments in the Middle East situation and report thereon to the next session of the Council of Ministers."
Resolution on the question of Palestine

"…

"Having considered the report of the OAU Secretary-General on the question of Palestine contained in document CM/1774 (LVIII),

"Recalling the relevant resolutions adopted by the previous sessions of the Council of Ministers and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU on the question of Palestine,

"Reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle waged by the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO, their sole and legitimate representative, aimed at recovering their occupied territories and exercising their imprescriptible and unalienable national rights,

"Further reaffirming its support for the Middle East peace conference and expressing its concern at the slow pace of progress as a result of the obstacles placed by Israel:

"1. Reaffirms all previous resolutions and recommendations adopted by the sessions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, and the Council of Ministers of the OAU, on the question of Palestine;

"2. Reaffirms that the Palestinian question constitutes the fundamental aspect of the Middle East conflict, and that the establishment of a just and global peace in the region implies the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories as well as the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital;

"3. Strongly condemns all terrorism acts and collective sanctions imposed by Israel, such as the isolation of the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, the "iron-fist" policy applied against Palestinian citizens and the heinous crime perpetrated by the Israeli Government in implementation of its collective deportation policy, the final measure was the expulsion from their homes of 400 Palestinians from the occupied territories, in flagrant violation of human rights and of international laws and charters, notably the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949;

"4. Strongly condemns Israel for its refusal to implement Security Council resolution 799, in violation of Article 25 of the United Nations Charter; this refusal calls for the application of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter to Israel, which also rejects all the other international resolutions on the Palestinian question;

"5. Affirms that the Israeli Government is fully and directly responsible for the tragic situation of the Palestinian deportees and that it should be compelled to allow international and humanitarian organizations to provide them with indispensable food supplies and medicines;

"6. Considers that the escalation of Israeli aggressive and inhuman acts against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, particularly the isolation of the holy city of Jerusalem, should induce the international community to take the necessary measures with a view to securing international protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and putting these territories under provisional international control in accordance with Security Council resolutions 605, 607, 681 and 736.  This situation also requires that appropriate pressure be brought to bear to compel Israel to allow the return to their homes of all Palestinians, who were formerly deported and put an end to the acts of oppression it perpetrated against the Palestinians in the occupied territories;

"7. Pays tribute to the popular Palestinian uprising "intifadah" and expresses its full solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just and legitimate struggle, under the leadership of the PLO, their sole legitimate representative, to recover their national unprescriptible and inalienable rights, including the right to return to their country, to self-determination and to establish their independent State, with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital;

"8. Strongly condemns the Jewish settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and calls on the international community, particularly the United States of America, to bring the necessary pressure to bear on Israel, in accordance with its declared position, so as to put an end to illegal Jewish immigration to the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories;

"9. Strongly condemns the inhuman practices of Israel against the populations of the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as its desecration of holy places;

"10. Expresses its grave concern at the slow pace of the peace conference because of the obstacles placed by the Israelis and reaffirms that the success of this conference depends on the following bases and considerations:

"a)  Enabling the peace conference to repose on international legitimacy and on ensuing resolutions particularly Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 whose implementation should be ensured in all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, so that Israel would withdraw from all these territories, including Jerusalem, and apply the principle of land for peace;

"b)  Affirming that Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Arab territories, and therefore all that applies to those territories should also apply to it, in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly;

"c)  Putting an end to establishment of settlements in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and providing international guarantees in this regard, in accordance with international resolutions, including Security Council resolution 465;

"d)  Ensuring a link between the various phases that would lead to a final global settlement on the basis of international legality, and that each transitional provision should include the right of sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their land, water and other resources as well as political and economic affairs, and settling the problem of Palestinian refugees, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 194 adopted by the General Assembly;

"e)  Recognizing the right of the PLO to fully and solemnly participate in the peace talks as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people;

"f)  Expressing its appreciation for the efforts of the Palestinian delegation to the bilateral and multilateral peace talks in order to reach just and peaceful solution to the Palestinian question;

"11. Urges the United States to resume its dialogue with the PLO, as this would be a helping factor in reaching a just global solution based on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination;

"12. Requests the OAU Secretary-General to follow the developments of the Palestinian question and report thereon to the next session of the Council of Ministers."

VII.   NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS:  ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION

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

1. The Yale Journal of International Law, volume 18, no. 1, containing an article by Adrien Katherine Wing entitled "Legal Decision-Making During the Palestinian Intifada: Embyonic Self-Rule".

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

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

4. Israel and Palestine Political Report, available from: Magelan and Association Mashdek Développement, ISSN 0294 1341, Boite Postale 130, 75463 Paris CEDEX 10, France.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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