30 September 1994 (Not distributed)

Note from Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: (Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine Resolution) 

The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations presents his compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honor to refer to His Excellency's note verbale (48/158-GA/P), dated 18 August 1994, regarding General Assembly resolution 48/158 D, entitled "Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine", and seeks to convey the position of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which retains the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of Palestine, on this matter.

The cosponsors of General Assembly resolution 48/158 D, while retaining essential elements, introduced important changes in comparison with previous years. The resolution provides support for the peace process and a more active and expanded role for the United Nations in this process. It also provides the basis for the just settlement of the Question of Palestine by the end of the process. As such, the resolution should provide a more acceptable basis for all parties to work on these important issues.

In operative paragraph 2 of resolution 48/158 D, the General Assembly ""expresses its support for the ongoing peace process, which began in Madrid, and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

Since that resolution, further positive developments on the Palestinian-Israeli track of the peace process have taken place, in particular the signing on 4 May 1994 in Cairo of the first implementation agreement of the Declaration of Principles, namely the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area (A/49/180, S/1994/727). Other secondary agreements on early empowerment were also reached, and the two parties recently declared their intentions to negotiate the second implementation agreement on the elections, which is of central importance to the Palestinian side, and also on the extension of the self-government arrangements to the rest of the West Bank.

There have been delays in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles and there has also been some lack of compliance with the provisions of the agreement reached, such as the absence until now of the safe passages between Gaza and Jericho. The Palestinian side, nevertheless, hopes for positive progression of the situation, and wishes to stress the importance of the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles within the agreed time framework. The same period has also witnessed positive developments on the Jordanian-Israeli track, and it is imperative to have similar progress on the Syrian-Israeli track, as well as the Lebanese-Israeli track, for advancement towards a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Operative paragraph 3 of the same resolution "stresses the need for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles." The Palestine Liberation Organization welcomes the progress made in this regard, particularly in the field of providing economic, social and other assistance to the Palestinian people. The creation of a coordinating mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the Occupied Territory, through the appointment of the United Nations Special Coordinator, at the under-secretary-general level, is a welcome development. The Palestine Liberation Organization hopes, however, that the United Nations will be more involved in the peace process itself. In this regard, the participation of the United Nations in the steering committee of the multi-lateral working groups would be a normal step forward. In general, the Palestinian side believes that there is a need for broader acceptance of the United Nations in order for it to play its natural role in the historic search for peace in the Middle East. It is worth mentioning that the Security Council played a very useful role, and directly contributed to the peace process, when the Council adopted its resolution 904 (1994). The Palestine Liberation Organization seeks the full implementation of the said resolution and further involvement of the Security Council.

In operative paragraph 5, while stressing the upcoming negotiations on the final settlement, the General Assembly reaffirmed the principles for the achievement of a final settlement and comprehensive peace. The Palestine Liberation Organization strongly believes that the international community and the General Assembly should always uphold the United Nations Charter, international law, international humanitarian law and the validity of Security Council resolutions. As such, the General Assembly has to uphold its positions related to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and it should maintain its positions related to the elements of the final settlement (final status issues), where Israel has already created illegal, de facto situations, until negotiations on those issues take place and conclude in the second stage of the peace process and the final settlement is effectively achieved.

Finally, the Palestine Liberation Organization, as it did in previous years, would like to underscore the request made by the General Assembly in resolution 48/158 D for the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter. The Palestine Liberation Organization stands ready to fully cooperate with the Secretary-General to carry out those efforts in an effective and successful manner and, in light of the changes made and the new language of the resolution, it expects the other parties to do the same.