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A perfect example of this is the Israeli-Palestinian situation, which comes from Jordan, which is, incidentally, none other than Palestine (Gen.
Table of contents

That possibility was fully justified when the Security Council had to adjourn its debate on the rights of the Palestinian people, on 30 April , as a result of the veto of the United States. This was the third time since that that country had vetoed a draft resolution affirming the rights of the Palestinian people. Such an attitude to the rights of the Palestinian people can only envenom the situation in the field and lead to desperate acts with serious consequences for international peace and security.

The Committee also considered that the convening of this emergency special session was useful and timely. It lies within the powers of our Assembly, which encompasses all nations. The Committee hopes that this emergency special session will be aimed essentially at promoting the cause of peace by adopting concrete measures to support the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people. The question of the recognition of the implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people has always been at the core of the Middle East conflict.

That truth is now recognized by the overwhelming majority of the international community. The United Nations 5 which at one time had adopted an approach that did not take into account the national rights of the Palestinian people, has been taking steps to correct that error for more than a decade now. The United Nations General Assembly has thus adopted several resolutions defining the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and calling for their implementation.

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The Security Council, for its part, has unfortunately been unable to adopt the same approach because of the well-known attitude of some of its members. Those recommendations were to be submitted to the Security Council for adoption and implementation. The Council has however never been in a position to adopt a positive decision on them because of the opposition of one permanent member. To date the recommendations of the Committee which were endorsed by the General Assembly have been considered by the Security Council four times already: in , in , in June and August and finally for a fourth time in March-April The scenario has always been the same: a majority of the States members of the Council, composed of non-aligned and socialist countries, supported the recommendations; one permanent member — in this instance, the United States — was opposed, and the other members abstained.

When for the first time the Committee presented its recommendations to the Security Council, it expected that the Council would only take note of them and would affirm the rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the General Assembly. Despite that somewhat limited and moderate objective, a permanent member felt it necessary to prevent the Council from adopting a decision on the draft resolution presented by the group of non-aligned countries members of the Council by casting a veto.

Our Committee, the main aim of which has been to work positively to achieve the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people, did not allow this to prevent it from continuing its efforts. Throughout its existence it has adopted an open attitude of co-operation. It has always stated that it was ready to listen to all the parties to the conflict, including Israel. Some States however chose to boycott the proceedings of the Committee in the hope of impeding the advance of the Palestinian cause.

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The result was to delay a global settlement; for the refusal of the dialogue cannot lead to a peaceful settlement of the problem of Palestine of which all of us here in the United Nations — except perhaps for a few — are in favour. No one can state that the Committee has not demonstrated co-operation and understanding.

Not on the map: cartographic omission from New England to Palestine

During the debates in the Security Council in and concerning the question cf Palestine, the Committee twice agreed to the request of a permanent member which wished the Council to postpone its decision on the rights of the Palestinian people. That Member did not want such a decision to have a negative impact on the peace efforts that were then under way. The then Chairman of the Committee, my friend and predecessor Ambassador Fall, each time demonstrated the Committee's determination to do everything possible to encourage peace efforts to settle the problem of Palestine. It was thus that he accepted with good grace the postponement of the Council's decision on the General Assembly's recommendation, despite the urgency of the question of Palestine.

The time for reflection that had been granted was to be put to useful purpose by the Members concerned, so that positive proposals could be submitted, leading towards recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people. Unfortunately, the Committee has had to note that its patience and goodwill have not always been understood and rewarded. Those who each time requested that the Council postpone its decisions seemed to have no aim other than to delay adoption of a decision and thus prevent the Council from acting.

The proposals contained in the draft resolution prepared by the Committee and submitted by Tunisia were in consonance with the recommendations adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly on settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. Moreover, that draft respected the legitimate rights of all the parties to the conflict, including Israel.

Once again, the United States cast a veto and refused any dialogue whatsoever. The Committee's efforts to have the Security Council endorse the rights of the Palestinian people were thus impeded once again, despite the fact that the rights of the Palestinian people are supported by the overwhelming majority of the Members of our Organization.

The non-aligned countries, the countries members of the Organization of African Unity, the socialist countries and the members of the Islamic Conference have always supported, and continue to support, the recommendations of the General Assembly concerning the rights of the Palestinian people. Since the casting of the veto in the Security Council on 30 April the most highly respected international organizations have reaffirmed the entitlement of the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination through its legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the only body empowered to negotiate in its name.

That is true of the Islamic Conference, at its eleventh session, held from 17 to 22 May in Islamabad; the Summit of Heads of State or Government of the countries of the European Economic Community, held in Venice on 12 and 13 June and the seventeenth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, which was recently concluded in Freetown, having been held from 1 to 4 July Those organizations once again, moreover, reiterated the relevant decisions of the Organization of African Unity, which state that the Palestinian cause is both Arab and African, and reaffirmed their support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

In Venice, the countries members of the Economic Community supported the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. Some members of that group of countries went even further and wished an initiative to be taken to supplement Security Council resolution In truth, the inappropriateness of resolution as the framework for a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem has become increasingly obvious.

That resolution is in particular silent concerning the rights of the Palestinian people, which it erroneously turns into a simple refugee problem.

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A problem as old and as serious as that of Palestine must be approached in such a way as to ensure that a just solution can be found, a solution that will take into consideration the legitimate rights of all the interested parties. Today everybody is in agreement in recognizing that the question of Palestine lies at the core of the Middle East conflict.

Without a solution of the Palestinian problem, no solution of the Middle East problem is possible. Today there is a wide political support for such an enterprise. Only one member of the Security Council and Israel continue to oppose it. The representatives of those two countries argue that tripartite negotiations are the only possible choice in the search for peace in the Middle East. Oar Committee, however, considers that a solid edifice must always rest upon secure foundations. That is not true of the negotiations on Palestine, which do not have the support of a considerable number of States of the region, and, what is even more serious, they exclude the Palestinians, who are most directly concerned.

The assertion that such talks are the only possibility in the search for peace does not, in the Committee's view, show much realism. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which has frequently affirmed its support for any peace effort that would settle the problem of Palestine on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, is, however, unable to subscribe to an enterprise that is designed to deprive the Palestinians of their inalienable national rights.

Why Palestine can’t be Freed

With the support of the United States, Israel is acting as if, alone and against the whole world, it could achieve its biblical dreams by territorial expansion and domination of the entire region. By force and intimidation, by a policy of faits accomplis, Israel thinks that, alone, it will prevail against the majority in this Assembly. The current Israeli leaders, who often talk about history but have perhaps understood nothing about it, and who think they will be able to subjugate the Arabs and Palestinians by the force of arms, must remember that far more powerful and extensive empires have crumbled precisely where they wish to impose their domination today and that Napoleon, who throughout his life fought real battles, won wars and conquered peoples, and distant lands, finally recognized:.

Naum Goldmann, former President of the World Jewish Congress, expressed a similar concern when he stated, in an article published in issue No. In addition, the Assembly requested the Committee, in the event of the Security Council failing to consider or to take a decision on those recommendations by 31 March , to consider the situation and to make the suggestions it deemed appropriate.

The hopes in that regard were dashed on 30 April , with the veto by the United States in the Security Council. It is appropriate to recall that the Charter of the United Nations contains provisions for a broad range of collective coercive measures to ensure the implementation of United Nations resolutions. It should also be recalled that on certain occasions the Security Council warned that it intended to act in implementation of the Charter. Thus, in its resolution 54 of 15 July , the Security Council declared that the failure by any of the Governments concerned to comply with its order to desist from military action in Palestine would lead it to take such further action under Chapter VII of the Charter as it might deem appropriate.

Although Israel took no heed of those warnings but, on the contrary, renewed its attacks and acts of aggression, the Security Council has taken no coercive measure against that country to bring it to heel. The reason for that is well known — there is no need for me to dwell on it.

Moreover, it may be recalled that on 1 March the Security Council for the first time decided, in its resolution , to call upon all States "not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connexion with settlements in the occupied territories. In a statement made on 23 August , President Carter ruled out the possibility of suspending economic or military assistance to exert pressure on Israel, so as to compel that country to withdraw from the territories occupied since It is therefore obvious that the question of Palestine has to date eluded resolution by mediation, conciliation, or the adoption of mere resolutions.

The most illustrious mediators and the most patient conciliators have been unable to attain a concrete result. Over resolutions have left the situation entirely unchanged.

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The consistent attitude of Israel has always been to reject and to flout United Nations resolutions, frequently insolently and arrogantly. Moreover appeals, censures, expressions of regret or condemnation have been completely ineffective in ensuring the implementation of United Nations resolutions. It is our belief that only coercion can achieve that end. At the time of the Suez attack, Israel trampled under foot the resolutions of the General Assembly calling for its withdrawal from the territories it had occupied, and even President Eisenhower was moved to state:.

Pressure proved to be successful, and Mr. Recourse to coercion, therefore, becomes inevitable and indeed necessary if we are to implement United Nations resolutions on Palestine.


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As opposed to international law, which, except in the case of war and acts of reprisal, lacks a means to ensure implementation of its rules, the United Nations Charter, in the fashion of the Covenant of the League of Nations, established a system of collective measures in its Chapter VII, some of which involve the use of force. In accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, the Member States of the United Nations entrusted the Security Council with the major responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Before deciding what measures should be adopted and whether those measures should involve the use of armed force, the Security Council must, under Article 39, determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.

With regard to Palestine, the Security Council already made such a determination in its resolution 54 , of 15 July , which was adopted in the wake of the first hostilities between Israel and the Arab States. It stated that the situation in Palestine constituted a threat to the peace in the terms of Article 39 of the Charter, and in paragraph 8 the Security Council decided that the truce which had been called for should remain in force:. However, that desirable result has not been achieved because since that time new wars have taken place — in , and ; more territory has been conquered, and more refugees have been displaced.

Recent events, among them the attempted assassination of Mayors and Palestinian elected officials and the expulsion of those persons from the West Bank, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August , corroborate this fact. The Security Council has not taken coercive measures, essentially because of the attitude of the United States Government, which has opposed the idea that the United Nations should have recourse to sanctions or any other form of constraint against Israel.

This has not always been the case, as we have seen, for in Israel did withdraw from territory it was occupying at the time, in response to pressure exerted by the United States and Soviet threats. The United States has abused its right of veto on the question of Palestine. Since the United States attitude towards Israel's actions and aggressive acts has become so categorical that it sometimes seems to imply acquiescence.