Mr President and members: It never
occurred to me that my second meeting since 1974 with this esteemed assembly would take
place in the hospitable city of Geneva. I believed that with the new position and
political stands which our Palestinian people adopted during the PNC meeting in Algiers,
all of which were announced amid great international appreciation and welcome, it would
have been fitting for me to go to UN headquarters in New York to acquaint you with our
resolutions and views regarding the cause of peace in our homeland as formulated by our
PNC, which is the highest legislative authority in the Palestinian political body.
Therefore, my meeting with you in Geneva today after an
unjust US decision which prevented me from going to you there is a cause of my pride and
joy. My pride stems from the fact that I am with you and among you because you are the
main platform for all issues of right and justice in the world. My joy derives from the
fact that I am present in Geneva where justice and neutrality are words on all tongues and
a constitution in a world in which the arrogance of the strong makes them lose their
neutrality and sense of justice.
Consequently, the resolution to hold this meeting issued
by your esteemed assembly, with the concurrence of 154 states, was not a victory over the
US decision but a victory for international unanimity in upholding right and the cause of
peace in an unparalleled referendum. It is also evidence that our peoples just cause
has taken root in the fabric of the human conscience.
Our Palestinian people will not forget this noble stand by
your esteemed assembly and these friendly states in support of right and justice to
safeguard the values and principles for which the UN was established. This stand will be
translated into a feeling of confidence and reassurance by all the peoples who suffer
injustice, coercion and occupation, and who, like our Palestinian people, are struggling
for freedom, dignity and life.
On this occasion, I express the deepest thanks to all the
countries, forces, international organisations and world personalities that have supported
our people and backed their national rights, particularly our friends in the Soviet Union,
the PRC, the socialist countries, the nonaligned countries, the Islamic countries, the
African countries, the Asian countries, the Latin American countries and all the other
I also thank the countries of Western Europe and Japan for
their recent stands towards our people. I call on them to take further steps for the
positive development of these decisions in order to open up vistas for peace and a just
solution in our region, the Middle East region. I also underline our solidarity with and
backing for the liberation movements in Namibia and South Africa in their struggle, and
also our support for the African front line states against the aggressions of the racist
South African regime. I seize this opportunity too to express my thanks and gratitude to
the friendly countries which have supported us and backed our PNC resolutions, and which
also recognised the state of Palestine.
I also thank His Excellency the UN Secretary-General,
Javier Perez de Cuellar, and his assistants for their constant efforts to achieve the
international detente sought by humanity and solutions to world problems, particularly
those concerning the Palestinian issue. I also express my thanks and appreciation to the
chairman and the members of the committee for the Palestinian peoples exercise of
their inalienable rights for their efforts on behalf of our peoples cause. I also
greet and thank the nine-member committee of the non-aligned countries on the Palestinian
issue for all its constructive work for our peoples cause. To you, Mr President, I
express the warmest greetings on the occasion of your election as President of this
assembly. I am fully confident of your wisdom and knowledge. I also greet your predecessor
for his noble chairmanship of the former session. Lastly, I express my greetings and deep
thanks to the Swiss government and people for the great help, facilities and efforts they
have extended for this session.
Mr President, members: On 13th November 1974 14
years ago I received with gratitude an invitation from you to present the cause of
our Palestinian people before this esteemed assembly. I now return to you here after all
these years, which were fraught with grave events, to see that new peoples have taken
their places among you, thus crowning their victories in the battles for freedom and
independence. To the representatives of these peoples I extend the warm congratulations of
our people, and to everybody I announce that I return to you with a louder voice, stronger
determination and greater confidence to emphasise that our struggle must bear fruit and
that the state of Palestine, which we proclaimed in our National Council, must take its
place among you, so that it can take part with you in consolidating the Charter of this
organisation and the Human Rights Convention, in putting an end to the tragedies to which
humanity is being subjected, and in laying down the bases of right, justice, peace and
freedom for all, for all, for all.
Fourteen years ago, when you said to us in the General
Assembly hall yes to Palestine and the Palestinian people, yes to
the PLO and yes to the firm national rights of the Palestinian people, some
people thought that your decisions would have hardly any effect. They failed to realise
that these decisions were among the most important springs that watered the olive branch
that I carried on that day. This branch, after we watered it with blood, sweat, and tears
became a tree with its roots in the ground and its branches in the sky, promising the
yields of victory over repression, injustice and occupation. You have given us hope for
the victory of freedom and justice, and we have given you a generation from the sons of
our people that have devoted their lives to achieving this dream. This is the generation
of the blessed uprising, which today is carrying the stones of the homeland to defend the
homelands honour, so that it may be worthy of belonging to a people that yearn for
freedom and independence.
Greetings to all of you from the sons of our hero people
men and women and from the masses of our blessed uprising, which enters its
second year with a huge momentum, meticulous tactics and a democratic civilised method of
confronting the occupation, oppression, injustice and the bestial crimes which the Israeli
occupiers are committing against them daily.
Greetings to you from our young men and women in
occupation prisons and mass detention camps. Greetings to you from the stone-throwing
children, who are challenging the occupation and its aircraft, tanks and weaponry,
recalling the new image of the defenceless Palestinian David opposing the heavily-armed
At the conclusion of my speech during our first meeting I
said that as Chairman of the PLO and leader of the Palestinian revolution, we emphasise
our desire not to see a drop of Jewish or Arab blood spilled. Nor do we want to continue
the fighting for one minute more. At that time I appealed to you to end all this suffering
and pain and to hasten to draw up the basis for a just peace based on the guaranteeing of
our peoples rights, aspirations and hopes and the rights of all peoples.
At that time I appealed to you to support the struggle of
our people to exercise their right to self-determination to enable our people to return
from the compulsory exile into which they had been pushed at bayonet point, and to help us
end this injustice which generations of our people have been suffering for several decades
in order that they can live free and sovereign in their homeland and country while
enjoying all their national and human rights.
The last thing I said from this platform was, that war
erupts from Palestine and that peace starts in Palestine. Our dream then was to set up the
democratic stage of Palestine, in which Muslims, Christians and Jews would live on an
equal footing, in terms of rights and duties, in a single, unified society, like other
peoples on this Earth and in our contemporary world. We were greatly astonished when we
saw Israeli officials interpreting this Palestinian dream which is inspired by the
heavenly messages that have illuminated the skies of Palestine and by the civilised and
humane values that call for coexistence in a free and democratic society as a
scheme that aims to destroy and annihilate their entity. It was our duty, Mr President, to
learn a lesson from this difficult situation and to note the distance between this
situation and the dream. We in the PLO began searching for realistic alternative formulas
which would be applicable in order to find a solution to the problem based on the possible
and not on absolute justice, which would guarantee our peoples rights to freedom,
sovereignty and independence; guarantee peace, security and stability to all; and avoid
the wars and battles in Palestine and the Middle East which have, regrettably, been going
on for 40 years.
Mr President: Did we not adopt the UN Charter and its
resolutions, the declaration of Human Rights and international legitimacy as a basis for
solving the Arab-Israeli conflict? Did we not welcome the 1974 Vance-Gromyko declaration
as an initiative which could serve as a basis for a plan to solve this conflict? Did we
not support Brezhnevs peace plan for the Middle East? Did we not welcome and support
the declaration issued by the EC countries in Venice concerning the establishment of a
just peace in the region? Did we not welcome and support the initiative of Presidents
Gorbachev and Mitterrand concerning the preparatory committee for an international
conference? Did we not welcome scores of political statements and initiatives put forward
by African, Muslim, non-aligned, socialist, European and other nations with the aim of
finding a peaceful settlement, in accordance with the principles of international law, and
with the goal of establishing peace and resolving the conflict? What was Israels
reaction to all that? Please note that all these peace initiatives, plans and statements
to which I have referred were even-handed.
None of these initiatives ignored the demands and
interests of any of the parties involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel reacted to
all that by building more settlements, escalating its expansionist policies and
exacerbating the conflict. Israel engaged in a policy of destruction and bloodshed, and
widened the front of hostility to include fraternal Lebanon. The occupation armies of
Israel swept over Lebanon in 1982. The invasion of Lebanon was accompanied by the
slaughter and massacre of the Lebanese and Palestinian people, including the Sabra and
Shatila massacres. Israel is still at this moment occupying a part of the Lebanese south.
Lebanon is coming under daily Israeli land, air and sea attacks and raids against its
towns and villages, a fate shared by our camps in the south of that country.
It is painful and regrettable that the US government alone
should continue to back and support these Israeli expansionist and aggressive plans;
support Israels continuing occupation of Palestinian and Arab territory; and support
its crimes and iron-fist policy against our children and women. It is sad and painful,
too, that the US government should continue to refuse to recognise the right of six
million Palestinians to self-determination. This is a sacred right to the American people
themselves and to all the peoples of the Earth.
I remind them of the stand of President Wilson, the
architect of the two universal principles of international relations: namely, the
inadmissibility of occupying the territories of others by force, and the right of peoples
to self-determination. When the Palestinian people were consulted in 1919 by the
King-Crane commission, they chose the USA as the mandate country. But circumstances
prevented this and Britain took its place. I ask the American people; I ask the American
people: Is it right, is it right that what President Wilson decreed should not be applied
to the Palestinian people? Subsequent US administrations know that the only birth
certificate for the establishment of the state of Israel is international Resolution 181,
which was issued by the UN General Assembly on 29th November 1947. At that time, the
United states and the Soviet Union approved this resolution. It stipulates the
establishment of two states in Palestine a Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish
How can the US government explain its stand, which
acknowledges and recognizes this resolution as it pertains to Israel, while simultaneously
rejecting the other half of this resolution as it pertains to the Palestinian state? How
can the US government explain its non-commitment to implementing a resolution which it
repeatedly sponsored in your esteemed assembly: Resolution 194, which provides for the
Palestinians right to return to their homeland and property from which they were
expelled, or for compensation for those who do not wish to return.
The US government is aware that it is neither its right
nor the right of others to divide international legitimacy and break up the provisions of
international laws. Mr President and members of the assembly: The continuing struggle of
our people for their rights dates back scores of years, during which our people have
offered hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded and suffered all kinds of tragic
tortures. But these people have not relented and their determination has not faltered.
Rather, it has consolidated their determination to cling to their Palestinian homeland and
their national identity.
Israels leaders, who were overtaken by deceptive
intoxication, believed that, after our departure from Beirut, the sea would swallow up the
PLO. They did not expect that the departure into oblivion would be transformed into a road
leading back to the homeland, the real arena of the struggle, and to occupied Palestine.
The valiant popular uprising inside our occupied land broke out and will continue until
our goals of freedom and national independence are realised.
I have the honour, Mr President, of being one of the sons
of these people, who record with the blood of their children, women and men, the most
splendid epics of national resistance and who create daily miracles of which legends are
made, so that their uprising can continue and so that this uprising can develop and grow
stronger until they impose their will and until they prove that right can defeat might.
I extend greetings of admiration to the masses of our
people who are now carrying out this unique revolutionary and democratic experiment. Their
faith has not been shaken by all of Israels war machine, has not been terrorised by
all kinds of bullets and has not been affected by people being buried alive or having
their bones broken, or by causing pregnant women to abort or by the seizure of water
sources. The resolve of the masses has not been weakened by detention, imprisonment,
deportation and expulsion outside the homeland. The collective punishment and demolition
of houses, the closure of universities, schools, trade unions, societies and
establishments, the suspension of newspapers and the besieging of camps, villages and
towns have only established this faith more firmly. The revolution has spread to every
house and taken root in every inch of the homelands soil. A people with such conduct
and history cannot be defeated.
All the forces of repression and terrorism cannot dissuade
the people from their firm belief in their right to their homeland and in the values of
justice, peace, love and tolerant coexistence. The rebels rifle has protected us and
precluded our liquidation and the destruction of our national identity in the fields of
hot confrontation. We are fully confident of our ability to protect the green olive branch
in the fields of political confrontation. The fact that the world is rallying around our
just cause to achieve a just peace brilliantly indicates that the world realises in no
uncertain terms who is the executioner and who is the victim, who is the aggressor and who
is the victim of aggression, and who is the struggler for freedom and peace and who is the
terrorist. The daily practices of the occupation armys forces and the fanatical
armed settler gangs against our people, children and women expose the ugly face and
aggressive nature of the Israeli occupation.
This growing world awareness has affected Jewish
communities themselves inside and outside Israel. It has opened these communities
eyes to the reality of the problem and the essence of the conflict, particularly to
Israeli inhuman daily practices which destroy the very spirit of the tolerant Jewish
religion itself. It has become difficult, almost impossible, for a Jew to declare his
rejection of racial oppression and his adherence to freedom and human rights while
remaining silent over Israels crimes and violations of the rights of the Palestinian
man, the Palestinian people and the Palestinian homeland, particularly over the abominable
daily practices of the occupiers and gangs of armed settlers.
Mr President: We differentiate between the Jewish citizen,
whose awareness and (word indistinct) of his conscience have been subject to the Israeli
ruling circles continual efforts to obliterate and falsify, and the practices of
Israels leaders. Furthermore, we realise that both inside and outside Israel there
are honourable and courageous Jews who do not agree with the government of Israel over the
policy of repression, massacres, expansion, settlement and deportation, and who admit the
equal rights of our people to life, freedom and independence. In the name of the
Palestinian people, I thank them, thank them, thank them for this courageous and frank
Our people do not want any right to which they are not
entitled and which is not compatible with international legality and laws. They are not
seeking any freedom that encroaches upon the freedom of others or any destiny that negates
the destiny of another people. Our people refuse to be more privileged than others, or for
others to be more privileged than they are. Our people want equality with all other
peoples, with the same rights and obligations. Today I address this appeal to all the
people of the world, particularly those who suffered from the Nazi occupation and who
believed it to be their duty to turn the page of repression and injustice by one people
against another and to extend help to all the victims of terrorism, fascism and Nazism, so
that they can clearly see the responsibilities which history dictates to them for our
suffering people, who want a place under the sun for their children in their homeland in
which they can live like the rest of the children of the world. They want a place under
the sun for their children in their homeland in which they can live like the rest of the
children of the world, free in their liberated land.
Mr President, members: It is a cause for optimism that our
march of struggle has culminated in the ongoing uprising at a time when the international
climate is one of earnest detente and prosperity. We have been following with great
satisfaction the successes of the UN and the UN Secretary-General in bringing about
solutions to many problems and in many areas of tension in the world in this new climate
of international detente. The improvement in the international climate cannot be
consolidated without attention being paid to regional problems and areas of tension. We
need to forge a human conscience that is more sensitive and responsible in assessing the
efforts of man and the policies of nations and more capable of carrying us into the next
century. We have new challenges and responsibilities to face (to take us) away from, away
from wars and destruction, and for more, for more freedom, prosperity, peace and progress
for all mankind.
Mr President: It is indisputable that the Palestinian
issue is the most complicated problem of our time. It is the earliest problem on UN
records, the most intricate issue and the most menacing to international peace and
security. Therefore, the Palestinian issue, more than any other international problem,
should be a cause for concern to the two superpowers and other nations of the world.
Efforts should be made to find a solution to this issue. A just solution of the
Palestinian problem would be the best guarantee for peace in the Middle East.
The PLO leadership, being responsible for the Palestinian
people and its future, faithful to the struggle of the Palestinian people, loyal to the
memory of the martyrs, responsive to the climate of detente, aware of the need to engage
in peaceful political efforts and desirous of a political solution ending the course of
war and fighting and opening the door to a peaceful existence governed by the norms of
international law, called for an extraordinary session of the PNC in Algiers from 12th to
15th November of this year. The goal was to define and clarify our position as a major
party to the Arab-Israeli conflict, a party without the participation and endorsement of
which a solution to this conflict cannot be achieved.
I am very proud to tell you that our National Council,
completely democratically and in complete freedom, once again proved its ability to
shoulder its supreme national responsibilities, and made serious, constructive and
responsible decisions that have paved the way for deepening and showing our desire and our
contribution towards finding a peaceful settlement that will guarantee the national and
political rights of our people and that will ensure security and peace for everybody.
Mr President: The first and decisive resolution adopted by
our National Council was the declaration of the establishment of the Palestinian state
with Holy Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the natural, historic and legal right
of the Palestinian Arab people to their homeland and the sacrifices of successive
generations in defence of their homelands freedom and independence. It also stems
from the resolutions of Arab summits and from the strength of international legitimacy,
which is embodied by the UN resolutions since 1947. This is the Palestinian Arab
peoples exercise of their right to self-determination, political independence and
sovereignty over their lands in accordance with your successive resolutions.
I would like to reiterate before the international
community that this historic resolution now that it has become an official UN
document is irreversible and that we will not cease working until the occupation
ends and our people exercise their sovereignty in their own state, the state of Palestine,
for all Palestinians wherever they are. In this state they can develop their national and
cultural identity, enjoy full equality of rights and have their religious and political
beliefs and their human dignity upheld in a democratic parliamentary system, established
on the basis of freedom of opinion, the formation of parties, due regard by the majority
for the rights of the minority, respect by the minority for the decisions of the majority,
social justice and equality, and no discrimination on the basis of race, religion and
colour, or between men and women under a constitution that imposes the rule of law, the
rule of law, and an independent judiciary and on the basis of full loyalty to
Palestines spiritual and cultural heritage of tolerance and generous coexistence
among religions throughout the centuries. The state of Palestine is an Arab state and its
people constitute a part of the Arab nation in terms of heritage, culture and ambitions
for social development, unity and liberation. This state abides by the Arab League
Charter, the UN principles, the Universal declaration of Human Rights, and the principles
It is a peace-loving state committed to the principles of
peaceful coexistence and to working alongside all countries and peoples to establish a
just, lasting peace based on justice and the respect of rights. It is a state which
believes in the settlement of international and regional problems through peaceful means
in accordance with the UN Charter and resolutions. It rejects threats of violence, force
or terrorism against its territorial integrity and political independence, and the
territorial integrity of any other state, as well as any encroachment on its natural right
to defend its territories and independence. It is a state which believes that the future
will only bring security to those who have acted justly, or even to those who have
returned to justice.
This, Mr Chairman, is the state of Palestine, which we
proclaimed and which we will consolidate so that it will assume its position among the
worlds countries and participate and excel in building a free world in which justice
will prevail and peace will be enjoyed. Our state will have its own provisional government
at the first opportunity, God willing.
The PNC has entrusted the PLO Executive Committee with the
obligation of assuming the tasks of this provisional government until it is formed. In
order to implement this decision, the PNC adopted several important decisions which
emphasise our determination to forge ahead seriously in the process of reaching a just,
peaceful settlement and to exert the utmost efforts to render it a success.
Our National Council stressed the need to convene an
international conference on the Middle East problem, with the issue of Palestine as its
core, under UN auspices and with the participation of the permanent member states of the
Security Council and all parties to the conflict in the region including the PLO, the sole
legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing since the
international conference will convene in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242
and 338 and on the basis of guaranteeing the legitimate national and political rights of
the Palestinian people, the foremost being their right to self-determination.
Our National Council also emphasised that Israel must
withdraw from all Palestinian and Arab territories which it has occupied since 1967,
including Arab Jerusalem including Arab Jerusalem; that the Palestinian state must
be set up; that all the annexation decisions must be cancelled; and that the settlements
which Israel has established in Palestinian and Arab territories since 1967 must be
removed. Arab summits, particularly the Fez and Algiers summits, endorsed this.
Our National Council asserted that efforts must be made to
place the occupied Palestinian territories, including Arab Jerusalem, under UN supervision
for a limited period in order to defend our people and create the appropriate climate to
ensure the success of an international conference, achieve a comprehensive political
settlement and establish peace and security for all the peoples and states in the Middle
East with their mutual consent, so that the state of Palestine can exercise real power in
these territories. This also has been emphasised by resolutions adopted at Arab summits.
Our Council also emphasised the need to settle the issue
of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with the UN resolutions. It also emphasised that
freedom of worship and to perform religious rites in the holy places in Palestine will be
guaranteed to the followers of all religions. The National Council reaffirmed its previous
decisions regarding the distinguished and special relationship between the fraternal
Jordanian and Palestinian peoples. It affirmed that the future relationship between the
state of Palestine and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will be established on a confederal
basis and on the basis of a voluntary and free choice of the two fraternal peoples in
order to strengthen the historical bonds and vital interests between them.
The Council reasserted the need for the Security Council
to lay down and guarantee the security and peace arrangements among all the states
concerned with the conflict in the region. I would like to point out here, Mr President,
that these decisions reflect as it is clear from their content and phraseology
our firm conviction with regard to peace and freedom and with regard to our deep
understanding and appreciation of the climate of the international rapprochement and
detente and of the eagerness of the world community to achieve balanced solutions which
meet the basic interests and demands of the parties to the conflict.
These decisions also reflect the seriousness of the
Palestinian stand towards the issue of peace, its eagerness for it, and the need to
guarantee and ensure it through the Security Council and under the supervision of the UN.
These decisions convey the clear-cut and decisive answer to all the excuses, preconditions
and pretexts which some countries have used with respect to the positions and policy of
At a time when our people have been voting for peace
through their uprising and their representatives in the PNC, at a time when our PNC has
been voting for peace, stressing its response to the prevailing trend which is being
strengthened by the era of a new detente in international relations to resolve world
conflicts by peaceful means, the Israeli government is nurturing aggressive and
expansionist tendencies and religious fanaticism in order to stress its adherence to the
option of aggression and of ignoring our peoples right. The Palestinian side, for
its part, has formulated clear-cut and responsible political stands that are in line with
the will of the international community, in a bid to help convene an international peace
conference and to ensure its success. The courageous international support, as
demonstrated by the recognition of the state of Palestine, which we appreciate,
constitutes irrefutable evidence of the soundness of our course, the credibility of our
decisions and their compatibility with the international will for peace.
Despite our great appreciation for the free US voices
which have hastened to explain and support our positions and decisions, the US
administration still has no unified criterion to apply to the parties to the conflict,
requiring us alone to adopt positions that cannot be resolved (Arabic: la yumkin hasmaha)
before negotiations and dialogue start within the framework of an international
conference. I would like to state that acknowledging the equality and rights of the two
parties to the conflict on a mutual basis is the sole prelude to answering the
clarifications requested by any quarter.
If policies and deeds are any indication of intentions,
the Palestinian side has a better reason to worry and demand clarifications and assurances
about its destiny and future with regard to the state of Israel, which is armed with the
most modern weapons, including nuclear weapons.
Mr President, members: Our PNC reiterated its adherence to
UN resolutions endorsing the right of nations to resist foreign occupation, imperialism
and racial discrimination, as well as the right of nations to struggle for freedom. The
PNC reiterated its rejections of terrorism; it reiterated its rejection of terrorism of
all kinds, of terrorism of all kinds, including state terrorism, including state
terrorism. In this respect, the PNC underlined its commitment to its own previous
resolutions, to the resolutions of the Arab summit in Algiers in 1988, to UN Resolutions
159/42 of 1987 and 40/61 of 1985, and to the Cairo declaration issued on 7th November 1985
in this regard.
Our position, Mr President, is clear and unambiguous.
However, in my capacity as Chairman of the PLO, I declare from here once more, declare
from here once more: I condemn terrorism in all its forms, but at the same time I salute
all those in front of me in this hall who have been accused by their executioners and the
colonialists of being terrorists during the battles for the liberation of their land from
the yoke of colonialism. They are today the faithful leaders of their people and sincerely
devoted to the principles and values of justice and freedom.
I reverently salute the martyrs who have fallen at the
hand of terrorism and terrorists, chief among them being my life-long comrade, my deputy,
Khalil al-Wazir, alias Abu Jihad, and the martyrs of the massacres which were inflicted on
our people in many areas, towns, villages and camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and in
Mr President: members, the situation in our Palestinian
homeland can no longer be tolerated. The masses of our people, our heroes, are leading the
way and holding high the torches of freedom. They die every day so that the occupiers will
leave and so that peace will be established in their free and independent homeland and in
the entire region. Therefore, the PNC based its resolutions on a realistic understanding
of the conditions of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The goal of these resolutions
is to establish a climate of tolerance between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The UN has a historic and singular obligation towards our
people, their cause and their rights. Over 40 years ago, the UN issued Resolution 181
setting up two states in Palestine, as I have mentioned one to be an Arab
Palestinian state and the other a Jewish state. Today, despite the historic injustice that
has been committed against our people, we still see that this resolution continues to
provide international legitimacy to the right of the Arab Palestinian people to
sovereignty and national independence. Therefore, the acceleration of the peace process in
the region requires additional efforts by all the parties concerned and by international
powers, particularly the United states and the Soviet Union, both of which have a great
responsibility towards the issue of peace in our region. The UN, the permanent members of
the UN Security Council and all international groups and organisations have a vital and
essential role to play at the current stage.
I hereby present the following Palestinian peace
initiative in my capacity as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, which assumes the
tasks of the provisional government of the state of Palestine: (1) Serious work be
undertaken to convene the preparatory committee of an international conference for peace
in the Middle East under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General in accordance with the
Gorbachev-Mitterrand initiative, which has been supported by many countries and which
President Mitterrand was pleased to present to your assembly at the end of last September,
prior to convening an international conference, which is supported by all the worlds
countries with the exception of the government of Israel.
(2) Proceeding from our faith in the UNs vital role
and the international legitimacy, we believe that the UN should assume temporary
supervision of our Palestinian land; UN forces should be deployed to protect our people;
and, at the same time, the UN forces should supervise the withdrawal of the Israeli forces
from our country.
(3) The PLO will work to reach a comprehensive peaceful
settlement between the parties involved in the Arab-Israeli struggle, including the state
of Palestine and Israel, as well as the other neighbouring states, within the framework of
an international conference for peace in the Middle East in order to realise equality and
a balance of interests, particularly the right of our people to freedom and national
independence, and the respect of the right to life and the right of peace and security for
everyone, namely, all the parties involved in the struggle in the area, in accordance with
Resolutions 242 and 338.
In the event that these bases are recognised within the
framework of such a conference, we would have made a major stride towards a just solution
which would pave the way for an agreement covering all the security and peace
Mr President: I hope that it is clear that, just as our
Palestinian people are eager to attain their legitimate national right to
self-determination and their return, and to secure an end to the occupation of their
Palestinian land, of their homeland, our Palestinian people are also eager to safeguard
the peace process so as to achieve these goals within the framework of an international
conference under UN auspices and in accordance with its Charter and resolutions.
I stress that we are a people who yearn for peace like all
the peoples on earth; perhaps more enthusiastically, because of our long suffering over
the years, because of the harsh life that confronts our people and children, and because
of their deprivation of an enjoyable, normal life without wars, tragedies, agonies,
displacements and harsh sufferings in their daily life.
Let voices be raised in support of the olive branch, the
policy of peaceful coexistence and the climate of international detente. Let hands unite
in defence of a historic opportunity, which may not be repeated, to put an end to a long
tragedy which has claimed the sacrifices of thousands of souls and resulted in the
destruction of hundreds of towns and villages. When we extend our hand with an olive
branch, a branch of peace, we do so because this branch stems from the tree of the
homeland and freedom planted in our hearts.
Mr President, members: I have come to you in the name of
our people to extend my hand so that we may establish a real, just peace. It is from this
premise that I call on the leaders of Israel to come here, to come here, under UN auspices
to create this peace. I also tell them that our people want dignity, freedom and peace.
They want peace for their state just as they want it for all the countries and parties to
the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I hereby address greetings to all Israeli factions, forces
and sections led by the forces of democracy and peace. I tell them: move away from fear
and intimidation so that we can make peace, make peace, make peace; move away from the
spectre of the wars of this conflict which have been raging for 40 years; and away from
the flare-up of coming wars whose only fuel will be their children and our children. Come,
let us make peace. Come let us create peace the peace of the brave and move
away from the arrogance of the strong and the weapons of destruction, and away from
occupation, coercion, humiliation, killing and torture. Say: people of the book, come to
common terms to establish peace in the land of peace the land of Palestine. Glory
be to God in the heavens, peace on Earth and joy to the people. God, you are peace, peace
comes from you and peace returns to you.
Make us live in peace, O Lord; and admit us to paradise,
the house of peace.
Finally, I tell our people: the dawn is coming and victory
is coming. I see the homeland represented in your sacred stones. I see the flag of our
independent Palestinian state flying over the hills of the dear homeland. Thanks and
Gods peace and blessing be with you.