United Nations General Assembly Resolution 42/230

March 23, 1988


The General Assembly,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General of 11 and 16 March 1988,1/

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and, in particular, the provisions of Chapter XVI,

Recalling its resolutions 42/210 B of 17 December 1987 and 42/229 A and B of 2 March 1988,

Recalling that the United Nations was created with the aim, inter alia, as defined in the Charter, "to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained",

Recalling that the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, dated 26 June 1947,2/ was drawn up in accordance with the Charter, in particular Articles 28 and 105 thereof,

Concerned that the application to and enforcement against the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York of Title X of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989, would impede the realization of the aims of the United Nations,

Expressing its appreciation to the International Court of Justice for having unanimously adopted an order on 9 March 1988 accelerating its procedure on the request submitted by the General Assembly for its advisory opinion on "the applicability of the obligation to arbitrate under section 21 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement of 26 June 1947",

Expressing grave concern about the attitude of the Government of the host country as expressed in the letter dated 11 March 1988 from the Acting Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Secretary-General,3/ which states, inter alia, that "the Attorney General of the United States has determined that he is required by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987 to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York, irrespective of any obligations the United States may have under the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations",

Expressing serious alarm at the warning contained in that letter that "if the PLO does not comply with the Act, the Attorney General will initiate legal action to close the PLO Observer Mission on or about March 21 1988",

1. Strongly supports the position taken by the Secretary-General and expresses its great appreciation for his reports;1/

2. Reaffirms that the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York is covered by the provisions of the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations 2/ and that the Palestine Liberation Organization has the right to establish and maintain premises and adequate functional facilities and that the personnel of the Mission should be enabled to enter and remain in the United States to carry out their official functions;

3. Affirms the crucial importance of the Agreement and consequently the arrangements mentioned in paragraph 2 above concerning the functioning of the organs of the United Nations, including the General Assembly, at Headquarters in New York;

4. Determines that the application to and enforcement against the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York of Title X of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989, is inconsistent with paragraph 2 above and is contrary to the international legal obligations of the host country under the Headquarters Agreement;

5. Reaffirms that a dispute exists between the United Nations and the United States of America, the host country, concerning the interpretation or application of the Headquarters Agreement, and that the dispute settlement procedure provided for under section 21 of the Agreement, which constitutes the only legal remedy to solve the dispute, should be set in operation, and requests the host country to name its arbitrator to the arbitral tribunal;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to ensure the proper constitution of the arbitral tribunal provided for under section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement;

7. Deplores the failure of the host country to comply with its obligations under the Headquarters Agreement;

8. Urges the host country to abide by its international legal obligations and to desist from taking any action inconsistent with paragraph 2 above;

9. Notes the fact that, within the text of its order, the International Court of Justice on 9 March 1988 took note of paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 42/229 A;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to take adequate measures on a preliminary basis, if necessary, in order to ensure the discharge of the official functions of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York;

11. Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly without delay on developments in this matter;

12. Decides to keep the matter under active review.

* * *



1/ A/42/915/Add.2 and 3.

2/ Resolution 169 (II).

3/ A/42/915/Add.2, annex I.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 42/230 B: 148-2-0

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Byelorussia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Democratic Kampuchea, Democratic Yemen, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, USSR, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: None.

Absent: Haiti*.

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*Later advised the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.


Source: The United Nations.