MONTREAL (Mar. 27)
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has agreed “within the limits of its constitutional responsibilities” to cooperate with the United Nations Secretariate’s Palestinian Committee which the General Assembly set up last year to promote the “inalienable rights” of the Palestinian people.
The decision was taken by a consensus vote of the 30-member ICACO executive council after four days of heated debate in which the United States, Canada, France, and West Germany objected to the inclusion of a political question that had nothing to do with the ICAO’s technical role. The Asian and African delegates insisted that every UN resolution applies to all UN agencies and therefore the ICAO had to act on it. After the General Assembly set up the Palestinian Committee, UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim sent out a request to all UN agencies asking for their cooperation with it.
Zvi Caspi, Israel’s Consul General in Montreal, who was permitted to address the ICAO meeting, charged that “by giving tacit or indirect encouragement, recognition or affirmation to organs such as the Committee on Palestinian rights, ICAO will contribute further to the introduction of extraneous political issues into UN specialized agencies unrelated to its workings. The aim of those to whom the proposal before us may give indirect encouragement is a monologue of terror and destruction.”
Caspi declared that it was “inconceivable that ICAO will offer cooperation to a committee and unit which are political instruments of the PLO terrorist organization.” He was interrupted several times by Arab delegates.