Once Again, Palestinian Rights to Top Agenda at U.N. Conference
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Once Again, Palestinian Rights to Top Agenda at U.N. Conference

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The question of Palestine and the Israeli-administered territories will once again be No. 1 on the agenda at the annual conference of the 43-nation U.N. Commission on Human Rights, according to Jam Martenson, director general of U.N. headquarters here.

Martenson, who also heads its human rights division, held a news conference on the eve of the gathering, which runs from Jan. 30 to March 10.

He said some 1,200 delegates, representing 120 U.N. member states and 120 non-governmental organizations, are attending.

The agenda items on the Middle East are Palestinian self-determination and “Israeli practices in the occupied territories.”

Israel, which has observer status at the conference, will be represented by Pinchas Eliav, its ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, and Rafael Walden, counselor to the Israeli Mission.

Israel plans to maintain a low profile this year. Its diplomats intend to make only two speeches.

They will refrain from attacking the Soviet Union on the subject of Jewish emigration, which is rapidly on the rise. But the Israelis can be expected to refer to the situation of Jews in Syria and, possibly, Ethiopia.

The Arab states seem to be divided over strategy. Some hard-liners want the usual all-out attack on Israel. Other Arabs say it would be wiser to strive for resolutions on the territories, which will be better balanced and likely to gain Western support.

The American delegation will be headed by Armando Valladares, a Cuban exile, who led the U.S. delegation last year.

Jewish organizations participating with NGO status are the World Jewish Congress, WIZO, World Union of Reform Judaism and B’nai B’rith.

The East German Democratic Republic, a member of the Human Rights Commission, will once again be represented by a reputed former Nazi. According to diplomatic sources here, he is Rudolph Frambach, who served in the SS during World War II.

East Germany sent an alumnus of the Hitler Youth to represent it at the human rights conference five years ago. The Israeli Mission protested and he took an carly departure.

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