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UN Assembly Officers Set Unprecedented Session on Mideast Investigating Unit Problems

The 17 vice presidents of the United Nations General Assembly will meet next Monday, at the request of Secretary-General U Thant, to tackle the problem of naming a three-nation committee “to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights” of Arabs in occupied territories.

Sixty-seven of 94 nations queried last month by Mr. Thant on the best method of solving the problem agreed to this procedure, which UN observers called unprecedented. The vice presidents will name one of their number to carry out the task.

Mr. Thant questioned all the member states about their views on several proposed methods of creation of the committee which was left undone by the late Assembly president Emilio Arenales at the time of his death earlier this year.

The Assembly voted last Dec. 19 to establish the special unit. Israel opposes any investigation of the Arabs’ condition unless the status of Jew in Arab lands is similarly probed. One of the proposals offered by Mr. Thant was a special Assembly session, which, he noted, would involve “considerable time, effort and expense.” He said in his memorandum at the time that UN rules of procedure did not contain any provision covering the current situation.