Press Release (3 December 1997)

Response to the "Amendment" on the draft resolution on the Full participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations:

The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, the Arab Group and the cosponsors of the draft resolution on "Full participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations", contained in document A/52/L.53, were surprised to see the tabling of an "amendment" to this draft by a group of Member States, contained in document A/52/L.59. In fact, the "amendment" seems to kill the original resolution. Yesterday the Arab Group decided to oppose the "amendment".

The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, as the party concerned, affirms its opposition to this "amendment". It calls upon the cosponsors, which it highly regards, not to insist on a vote on their "amendment". If the situation should arrive at such decision, it calls upon Member States to oppose the "amendment".

The reasons for this clear position are the following:

  1. The so-called "amendment" is in fact a substitute draft resolution. It replaces the whole operative part. By no stretch of the imagination can it be considered as an amendment to the original text. We hope therefore that the Assembly will deal with it as such.
  2. The "amendment" is structurally flawed. Operative paragraph 1 is superfluous. Operative paragraph 2, which "decides to review whether the rights currently enjoyed by Palestine…", contradicts operative paragraph 3, which "requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on this issue…".
  3. It cannot be fair to request the Secretary-General to solely carry such a burning issue at a time when Member States appear to evade deciding on the matter.
  4. The practical effect of the "amendment" is to kill the initiative with regard to the full participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations.

We reaffirm once more that draft resolution A/52/L.53 does not seek full membership for Palestine at the United Nations and does not seek recognition of the Palestinian State. Furthermore, it has always been within the realm of Member States to decide on issues relating to observers. No Member State should appear as if it is punishing the Palestinian side at a time when the Israeli government is continuously committing political and practical atrocities. The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine accordingly hopes that Member States will support the original draft without any forced amendments.