UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
Despite strong United States objections to Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) participation, the Security Council, meeting on May 21 at its New York headquarters, opened a debate in which Arab members accused Israel of aggression against a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon.
UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
1. GV Council chamber in session. 0.05
2. SV Council president Oleg Troyanovsky of USSR listening to US delegate Jose Sorzano. (English SOT) (2 SHOTS) 1.03
3. GV/SV President speaking (Russian SOT) (2 SHOTS) 1.24
4. SV PLO representative Mr. Lalib Terzi speaking. (English SOT) 2.01
SORZANO: (SEQ 2) "The United States opposes extending to the Palestine Liberation Organisation the same rights to participate in the proceedings of the Security Council as if that organisation represented a member state of the United Nations. We have consistently taken the position that, under the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, the only legal basis on which the Council may grant a hearing to persons speaking on behalf of non-governmental entities is Rule 39. For 35 years, the United States has supported a generous interpretation of Rule 39, and would not object in this case. We are, however, opposed to special ad hoc departures from orderly procedure. In particular, the United States does not agree with the recent practice of the Security Council, which appears selectively to try to enhance the prestige of those who wish to speak in the Council through a departure from the rules of the procedure."
TERZI: (SEQ 4) "Sir, we wish also to extend our thanks to all the members of this august council, a denial notwithstanding. To all of those who enabled the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people convey to the international community this august council the sincere aspirations and determination of our people to achieve peace in the Holy Land, in Palestine and in the region."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
Despite strong United States objections to Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) participation, the Security Council, meeting on May 21 at its New York headquarters, opened a debate in which Arab members accused Israel of aggression against a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon. US delegate Jose Sorzano declared that his government opposed granting the PLO identical procedural rights to those accepted UN member states. After statements by Arab representatives condemning Israel's intervention on May 15 in the Ein El Hilweh camp, near the Southern Lebanese port of Sidon, PLO observer Labib Terzi expressed his organisation's gratitude to the "international community and members of the Security Council" for their support of the PLO's position. Terzi added that the Council had a duty to demand respect for the United Nations charter, and other international treaties, from member states. Egypt's Ahmed Khalil said the Ein El Hilweh situation could not be judged in isolation from events in other Arab terretories under Israeli jurisdiction. Israeli envoy Yehuda Blum, speaking in reply, said that security forces searching the Ein El Hilweh camp on May 15-16 "found 25 kilograms of explosives, 40 hand grenades, mines rocket launchers, rifles, sub-machineguns and ammunition". During the resulting disturbances, two fatalities occurred at the camp. Lebanese delegate Kesrouan Labaki stated that the Security Council should transform Southern Lebanon into a security zone.