General Assembly 325th Plenary Meeting
DOC-E  11
Date  14/12/1950
Collection  UN
Subject  General Assembly 325th Plenary Meeting
External Archive Reference  A/PV.325
Sharett's words para 180-186


180. Mr. SHARETT (Israel): The views of the delegation of Israel on the draft resolution were exhaustively stated in the Ad Hoc Political Committee.7
181. The Government of Israel has consistently declared its readiness to enter into direct negotiations with its neighbours for the peaceful settlement of all outstanding questions. It is the firm conviction of my government that peace can be attained only by direct negotiations, with or without international assistance. This elementary procedure of direct negotiations has been emphatically rejected by the Arab governments concerned. We, for our part, have found it impossible to conceive that a government which refuses to talk to its neighbour, even to sit with him at one table, should be in a mood to reach a peace settlement with him. Needless to say, the mere adoption of a procedure of direct negotiations does not, in itself, guarantee success. Negotiations may prove futile; yet the absence of negotiations, nay, the expressed refusal to negotiate certainly predetermines failure.
182. The method of indirect negotiations or of mere conciliation has been tried out without success for the past two years. The Conciliation Commission itself came to the conclusion that the continuation of this method would be of no avail. In its supplementary report to the General Assembly [A/1637/Add.1], the Conciliation Commission recommended the placing of an obligation upon both parties to enter into direct discussions, either under the Commission’s auspices or independently, with a view to the settlement of all questions outstanding between them. Had that recommendation of the Conciliation Commission been put to the vote here, we should have been happy to vote for it.
183. To our regret, however, a formulation was adopted by the majority in the Ad Hoc Political Committee which has set direct negotiations as only one of the possible alternative methods of reaching peace, leaving it open to the parties to seek settlement by negotiating, according to the wording of the resolution just adopted, with the Conciliation Commission - as if the conflict were between each of the parties and the Conciliation Commission - and not between the parties themselves. Such ambiguity, in my submission, invites deadlock. Each party can choose the method it likes better and claim to be acting in accordance with the resolution of the General Assembly.
184. In these circumstances, the delegation of Israel could not possibly accept responsibility for the resolution, and it therefore abstained from the vote.
185. At the same time, my delegation voted for the Soviet Union amendment which proposed the rewording of a paragraph in such a way that the Assembly would urge the parties to enter into direct negotiations.
186. I should like to take this opportunity of reiterating the continued readiness of my government to enter into direct negotiations with each of the States with which we have armistice agreements, either independently - and we prefer the negotiations to be conducted independently - or, if agreeable, in the presence, with the assistance and under the auspices of the Conciliation Commission.

(7) For the discussion on this subject in the Ad Hoc Political Committee, see Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Ad Hoc Political Committee 31st to 36th and 61st to 72nd meetings inclusive.
Source Document 1 
Source Document 2  Official Record
Notes  duplicates - erase one of them
language  eng
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