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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Revocation of Resolution 3379 by the United Nations General Assembly

1991-12-16

We welcome today's vote in the United Nations General Assembly to revoke the 1975 determination that equated Zionism with racism. The United States rejected this determination from the day it was passed because it branded as illegitimate the national aspirations of the Jewish people and the national existence of Israel. This action also worked to undermine the UN's moral standing and its ability to contribute to peace in the Middle East.

The President is gratified that his call for repeal in his speech to the UNGA in September has now received the overwhelming support of the international community. We commend those governments that co-sponsored or supported this resolution, and we salute the United Nations. Today's vote has enhanced the UN's credibility and serves the interests of peace that have been advanced significantly by the Madrid Conference and subsequent bilateral negotiations.

Prime Minister Shamir called the President to express his gratitude for the President's efforts to revoke the determination. The Prime Minister said the Jewish people are grateful for the President's leadership and rejoice in the outcome of the UN vote.

Last Friday and again today, the President spoke with Dutch Prime Minister and EC Council President Ruud Lubbers. On Saturday, he spoke with Chancellor Kohl and today with Prime Minister Major. These conversations centered on GATT and the Uruguay round. All the leaders agreed on the need to achieve a successful conclusion to the round and reaffirmed their countries' efforts in this direction.

In addition, the President spoke with President Mitterrand on Sunday concerning GATT and the Uruguay round. They also discussed the situation in the Soviet Union and the Republics and the United States' call for an international conference. The President noted that the United States will continue working with and consulting with all its allies on humanitarian needs for the Soviet Union and the Republics. The two also discussed the situation in Yugoslavia and the need to work urgently for an end to the violence.

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