Noticias

11/08/2010

1947

Discurso del Sr. Gromyko en la ONU


En la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas de 1947, con motivo de la votación sobre la partición de Palestina, la Unión Soviética, mediante el canciller Sr. Andrei Gromyko pronunció el siguiente discurso:

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as everyone knows, has had no direct material or other interests in Palestine; it is interested in the question of Palestine because it is a Member of the United Nations and because it is a great Power that bears, just as do other great Powers, a special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace. These facts determine the stand taken by the Government of the USSR on the question of Palestine. The views of the delegation of the USSR have already been expressed fully enough at the special session of the General Assembly, in May 1947, as well as in the course of the debates during the present session. I shall not, therefore, repeat what has already been stated earlier by the USSR delegation when the question of the future of Palestine was being considered. But I believe that a few additional remarks will not be useless, in view of the fact that the General Assembly at this or a following meeting will have to take a momentous decision that will decide the future of Palestine. It is natural, therefore, for every delegation to regard it as a duty not only to take up a definite position by voting for a particular proposal but also to give reasons for the stand it takes.

When the question of the future of Palestine was under discussion at the special session of the General Assembly, the Government of the USSR pointed to the two most acceptable solutions of this question. The first was the creation of a single democratic Arab-Jewish State in which Arabs and Jews would enjoy equal rights. In case that solution were to prove unworkable because of Arab and Jewish insistence that, in view of the deterioration in Arab-Jewish relations, they would be unable to live together, the Government of the USSR through its delegation at the Assembly, pointed to the second solution, which was to partition Palestine into two free, independent and democratic States— an Arab and a Jewish one.

The special session of the General Assembly, as you know, set up a Special Committee on Palestine which carefully studied the question of Palestine in order to find the most acceptable solution. After the work of this Committee had been completed, we were gratified to find that its recommendation, or to be more exact, the recommendation of the majority of the Committee, coincided with one of the two solutions advanced by the USSR delegation at the special session. I have in mind 'the solution of partitioning Palestine into two independent democratic States—an Arab and a Jewish one.

The USSR delegation, therefore, could not but support this alternative which was recommended by the Special Committee. We now know that not only did the Special Committee which studied the problem of the future of Palestine accept the alternative of partition, but that this proposal gained the support of an overwhelming majority of the other delegations represented in the General Assembly. The overwhelming majority of Member States of the United Nations reached the same conclusion as had been reached by the USSR Government after a comprehensive study of the question how the problem of the future of Palestine should be resolved. .

We may ask why it is that the overwhelming majority of the delegations represented in the General Assembly adopted this solution and not another. The only explanation that can be given is that all the alternative solutions of the Palestinian problem were found to be unworkable and impractical. In stating this, I have in mind the project of creating a single independent Arab-Jewish State with equal rights for Arabs and Jews. The experience gained from the study of the Palestinian question, including the experience of the Special Committee, has shown that Jews and Arabs in Palestine do not wish or are unable to live together. The logical conclusion followed that, if these two peoples that inhabit Palestine, both of which have deeply rooted historical ties with the land, cannot live together within the boundaries of a single State, there is no alternative but to create, in place of one country, two States—an Arab and a Jewish one. It is, in the view of our delegation, the only workable solution.

The opponents of the partition of Palestine into two separate, independent, democratic States usually point to the fact that this decision would, as they allege, be directed against the Arabs, against the Arab population in Palestine and against the Arab States in general. This point of view is, for reasons that will be readily understood, particularly emphasized by the delegations of the Arab countries. But the USSR delegation cannot concur in this view. Neither the proposal to partition Palestine into two separate, independent States nor the decision of the Ad Hoc Committee that was created at that session and which approved the proposal which is now under discussion, is directed against the Arabs. This decision is not directed against either of the two national groups that inhabit Palestine. On the contrary, the USSR delegation holds that this decision corresponds to the fundamental national interests of both peoples, that is to say, to the interests of the Arabs as well as of the Jews.

The representatives of the Arab States claim that the partition of Palestine would be an historic injustice. But this view of the case is unacceptable, if only because, after all, the Jewish people has been closely linked with Palestine for a considerable period in history. Apart from that, we must not overlook—and the USSR delegation drew attention to this circumstance originally at the special session of the General Assembly—we must not overlook the position in which the Jewish people found themselves as a result of the recent world war. I shall not repeat what the USSR delegation said on this point at the special scission of the General Assembly. However, it may not be amiss to remind my listeners again that, as a result of the war which was unleashed by Hitlerite Germany, the Jews, as a people, have suffered more than any other people. You know that there was not a single country in Western Europe which succeeded in adequately protecting the interests of the Jewish people against the arbitrary acts and violence of the Hitlerites.

In connexion with the proposal to partition Palestine, the representatives of some Arab States referred to the USSR and attempted to cast aspersions on the foreign policy of its Government. In particular, the representative of Lebanon twice exercised his ingenuity on the subject. I have already pointed out that the proposal to divide Palestine into two separate independent States, and the position which the USSR has taken in this matter, are not directed against the Arabs, and that, in our profound conviction, such a solution of this question is in keeping with the basic national interests not only of the Jews but also of the Arabs.

The Government and the peoples of the USSR have entertained and still entertain a feeling of sympathy for the national aspirations of the nations of the Arab East. The USSR's attitude towards the efforts of these peoples to rid themselves of the last fetters of colonial dependence is one of understanding and sympathy. Therefore, we do not identify with the vital national interests of the Arabs the clumsy statements made by some of the representatives of Arab States about the foreign policy of the USSR in connexion with the question of the future of Palestine. We draw a distinction between such statements, which were obviously made under the stress of fleeting emotions, and the basic and permanent interests of the Arab people. The USSR delegation is convinced that Arabs and the Arab States will still, on more than one occasion, be looking towards Moscow and expecting the USSR to help them in the struggle for their lawful interests, in their efforts to cast off the last vestiges of foreign dependence.

The delegation of the USSR maintains that the decision to partition Palestine is in keeping with the high principles and aims of the United Nations. It is in keeping with the principle of the national self-determination of peoples. The I policy of the USSR in the sphere of Nationality problems, which has been pursued ever since its creation, is a policy of friendship and self-determination of the peoples. That is why all the nationalities that inhabit the USSR represent a single united family that has survived desperate trials during the war years in its fight against the most powerful and most dangerous enemy that a peace-loving people has ever met.

The solution of the Palestine problem based on a partition of Palestine into two separate states will be of profound historical significance, because this decision will meet the legitimate demands of the Jewish people, hundreds of thousands of whom, as you know, are still without a country, without homes, having found temporary shelter only in special camps in some western European countries. I shaft not speak of the conditions in which these people are living; these conditions are well known. Quite a lot has been said on this subject by representatives who share the USSR delegation's point of view in this matter, and which support the plan for partitioning Palestine into two States.

The Assembly is making a determined effort to find the most equitable, most practical, most workable and at the same time the most radical solution to the Palestine problem. In doing so, the Assembly bases itself on certain irrefutable facts which led to the Palestinian question being raised in the United Nations. What are these facts? Fact number one is that the mandate system has been found wanting. I shall say more: the mandate system has failed. That the mandate system has failed we know even from the statements of the United Kingdom representatives. These statements were made at the special session as well as at the present session of the Assembly. It was just because the system of governing Palestine by mandate had failed, had proved inadequate, that the United Kingdom Government turned to the United Nations for help. The United Kingdom asked the Assembly to take the appropriate decision and thus to undertake itself the settlement of the problem of the future of Palestine.

Fact number two: the United Kingdom Government, having turned to the United Nations, stated that it could not be responsible for implementing all the measures which will have to be put into effect in Palestine in connexion with a possible decision of the General Assembly. In so doing, the United Kingdom Government has recognized that the General Assembly can, by virtue of the rights and powers conferred upon it by the Charter, assume responsibility for settling the question of the future of Palestine.

The USSR delegation considers it advisable, nevertheless, to draw the Assembly's attention to the fact- that up to now the Assembly has not been getting from the United Kingdom the kind of support which we have the right to expect. On the one hand, the United Kingdom Government has applied to the Assembly for help in settling the question of the future of Palestine; on the other hand, the United Kingdom Government during the discussion of the question at the special session as well as during the current session of the Assembly, has entered so many reservations that willy-nilly one asks oneself whether the United Kingdom is really anxious to have the Palestinian problem settled through the United Nations.

At the special session of the General Assembly, the United Kingdom representative, on the one hand, declared that the United Kingdom prepared to implement the United Nations decisions, provided that the responsibility for the action that would possibly have to be taken did not rest with the United Kingdom alone.

By this declaration, the United Kingdom delegation made it unequivocally clear to the other States that it was prepared to cooperate with the United Nations in the solution of this problem.

On the other hand, however, at that same special session, the United Kingdom representative stated that his Government was prepared to give effect to the relevant decisions of the General Assembly only if the Arabs and Jews agreed on some kind of a solution of the problem. It will be clear to everyone that these two statements contradict each other. If the first statement shows the readiness of the United Kingdom to cooperate with the United Nation in this matter, the second statement shows that the United Kingdom Government may disregard the Assembly's decision.

Similar reservations have been made by the United Kingdom representative during the present session. We have heard, today, Sir Alexander Cadogan's statement on this matter. He repeated in a slightly modified form the idea that the United Kingdom was prepared to implement the Assembly's decision provided the Jews and the Arabs came to an agreement. But we all know that the Arabs and the Jews have failed to reach an agreement. The discussion of this problem at the present session shows that an agreement between them is impossible. There seems to be no prospect of any such agreement being reached between Arabs and Jews.

This is the opinion not only of the USSR delegation but of all those delegations that have come to the conclusion that a definitive decision on this question must be reached during the present session.

All these reservations by the United Kingdom delegation show that the United Kingdom has no real desire, even now, to cooperate fully with the United Nations in solving this problem. While the vast majority of the delegations represented at the General Assembly were in favour of reaching forthwith a definite decision on the question of the future of Palestine, hi favour of partitioning Palestine into two States, the United Kingdom Government declares that it will comply with the Assembly decision only when the Jews and the Arabs agree between themselves. I repeat that to put forward such a stipulation is almost tantamount to burying this decision even before the General Assembly has taken it. Is that how the United Kingdom should behave in this matter, especially now, when, after lengthy discussion, it has become clear to everyone, including the United Kingdom, that the overwhelming majority of countries are in favour of partitioning Palestine?

In the course of the first session in which the question of the future of Palestine first arose, it was still possible, at least to understand the reservations made by the United Kingdom delegation. But now, after the views of the overwhelming majority of the United Nations Members have become clear, the lodging of such reservations is tantamount to stating in advance that the United Kingdom does not consider itself bound by any solution the General Assembly may adopt.

The USSR delegation cannot share this view. We have a right to expect the cooperation of the United Kingdom in this matter. We have a right to expect that, should the Assembly adopt a certain recommendation, the United Kingdom will take that recommendation into account, especially since the present regime in Palestine is hated equally by both Arab and Jew. You all know what the attitude towards that regime is, especially on the part of the Jews.

I think I should also mention yet another aspect.

From the very outset of these discussions, a number of delegations, mainly the delegations of Arab States, have tried to convince us that this question was ostensibly not within the competence of the United Nations. In so claiming they were unable, as might have been expected, to adduce any convincing arguments apart from various general and unfounded statements and declarations.

The General Assembly, as well as the United Nations as a whole, not only has a right to consider this matter, but in view of the situation that has arisen in Palestine, it is bound to take the requisite decision. In the view of the USSR delegation, the plan for the solution of the Palestinian problem which has been drawn up by the Ad Hoc Committee, and according to which the practical implementation of the measures necessary to give it effect rests with the Security Council, is in full accord with the interest of maintaining and strengthening international peace and with the interest of increasing cooperation between States. It is precisely for this reason that the USSR delegation supports the recommendation to partition Palestine.

The USSR delegation, unlike some other delegations, has from the outset taken a clear cut, definite and unequivocal stand in this matter. It is consistently maintaining this stand. It has no intention of maneuvering and manipulating votes as unfortunately is done at the Assembly, especially in connexion with the consideration of the Palestinian question. 

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