Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
27 August 1991
FIFTH UNITED NATIONS
EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Austria Centre, Vienna
26-27 August 1991
I. Declaration adopted by the Fifth United Nations European
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine..........................9
II. Workshop reports............................................................11
III. 1991-1992 European Coordinating Committee for NGOs
on the Question of Palestine................................................18
IV. List of participants and observers..........................................21
1. The Fifth United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the Austria Centre, Vienna, on 26 and 27 August 1991. The Symposium was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 45/67 B of 6 December 1990.
2. The Symposium was attended by 125 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 75 of them as observers. It was also attended by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies (see annex IV).
3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee; H.E. Mr. Khodaidad Basharmal (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman of the Committee and Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine), Observer on the Committee.
4. The programme of the Symposium was formulated by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. Its theme was "Time for Palestine. The role of Europe in securing Palestinian rights".
Two panels were held:
(a) On Panel I entitled "Implementation of United Nations resolutions on Palestine: European collective responsibility and strategies following the Gulf war", presentations were made by the following experts:
Mr. Uri Avnery (Israel) and Mr. Hael El Fahoum (Palestinian);
(b) On Panel II entitled "International protection of the Palestinian people: The responsibilities of European States as co-signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention", presentations were made by the following experts:
Mr. Bernard Mills (United Kingdom) and Mr. Khaled Muhammed
5. Seven workshops were also held on the following topics:
(a) Effective lobby work in Europe - review of past experience and future initiative;
(b) Mobilizing public opinion in Europe - end the occupation now;
(c) Contributing to fair and factual reporting on Palestinian issues in the mass media;
(d) New initiatives for securing international protection for the Palestinian people;
(e) Economic effects of the Gulf war on Palestinians - NGO actions;
(f) Jewish immigration and its impact on Palestinian rights - responsibilities of European States and public opinion; and
(g) Development projects on Palestine - how to cooperate with governmental and intergovernmental institutions.
6. The Symposium adopted a Declaration as well as proposals emanating from the workshops (annexes I and II).
7. Opening the meeting,
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo
(Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that the Symposium was being held at a particularly delicate moment in the long history of international efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestine question in particular.
8. Since 1983, when the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva, first proposed the holding of an international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, the Committee had promoted this objective in the belief that the Conference format recommended by the General Assembly provided the best opportunity for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. However, all efforts aimed at bringing the parties together with a view to a negotiating process were welcomed. In particular, the Committee was following with interest endeavours to convene a regional peace conference under the co-sponsorship of the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
9. During the past year, the international community had shown renewed determination to ensure that the principles of international law and provisions of the United Nations resolutions, in particular those of the Security Council, were respected and implemented. The Committee expressed its appreciation for the consistent efforts made by the European countries to promote a just settlement based on international principles of international law and respect for the rights of all parties concerned.
10. Since its inception, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had done all in its power to draw the attention of all the relevant United Nations bodies to the violation of the human rights of Palestinians and had condemned the Israeli repression of the
which had taken an increasing toll not only in human lives, but also in all aspects of the social, cultural and economic life of the occupied Palestinian territory. The suffering inflicted upon the Palestinians had become so acute that their very existence as a people appeared to be increasingly threatened.
11. During the past year, the Committee had received many appeals from Palestinians living under occupation calling on the United Nations to ensure their safety and protection. This question should and must urgently be addressed by the Security Council and other concerned bodies. It was their prime duty, especially that of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention which, under article I, of the Convention, were required to ensure that it was complied with in all circumstances.
12. By their numerous activities the European NGOs had contributed to creating a greater awareness of the situation and to mobilize indispensable support for the adoption of concrete measures. The countries of the European region could play an important role in advancing the peace process.
Mr. Mikko Lohikoski
(Finland), Chairman of the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), said that the one year that had elapsed since the last Symposium had been one of the most difficult periods, given the grave danger posed by the Gulf crisis, not only to the region and its people as a whole, but also to the Palestinian people.
14. The suffering of the Palestinian people continued and had become even worse owing to the economic and political consequences of the war and as a result of new harsh measures by the occupying army to stifle the Palestinian
. The occupying power was no longer trying to secure a
, but was aggressively pursuing a policy of
annexation of the occupied territories.
15. The Palestinians continued to suffer in other parts of the region, be it in Lebanon, where the Palestinian community was facing grave social and economic hardships increased by the flow of refugees from the Gulf, or in Kuwait, where many Palestinians had been subjected to extremely harsh measures.
16. Regarding the perspective of a peace conference under the Chairmanship of the United States of America and the Soviet Union, any effort aimed at reaching a just solution to the Middle East crisis, and its core, the Palestine question, must be encouraged. It was of greatest importance to get the peace process started.
17. Some of the recent developments were worrying: the refusal of the Israeli Government to withdraw from the occupied territories, and the discussion about Palestinian representation at a peace conference.
18. Without solving the Palestinian problem, the Middle East crisis would remain unsolved. The rights of the Palestinian people were inalienable rights and not favours that someone should give or take away. NGOs should continue to work for the implementation of the principles contained in United Nations resolutions and in international law and continue to call for an International Conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices as the most suitable mechanism to achieve peace.
19. Although the work of NGOs had been affected by the various events during the past year, a most significant development had happened in the field of development cooperation which was highlighted by the conference of the European NGOs in the occupied territories (NENGOOT), organized in July in cooperation with ECCP. That meeting was a serious effort to increase coordination among European NGOs and Palestinian NGOs, and between Europeans and Palestinians.
20. The Coordinating Committee to be elected by the Symposium participants would have a heavy task ahead: not only to solve the acute problem of office facilities but also to coordinate NGO activities, both in Europe and in relation to the Palestinian scene.
Mr. Faisal Aweidah
, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations (Vienna), after conveying to the participants of the meeting on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee and the Palestinian people, the regards, the gratitude and the appreciation of Mr. Yasser Arafat for all the efforts deployed in supporting the Palestinian cause, stated that the Palestinian question represented the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and was still after more than 43 years without a solution. It was now at a crucial juncture with Israel trying to liquidate it by depriving the Palestinian people of their rights and subjecting them in the occupied territory to oppression, despotism, terrorism and tyranny, violating all international treaties and conventions, particularly the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israel continued its occupation policy of illegitimate confiscation of agricultural land for building settlements, attempting to Judaize the Palestinian land, obliterate its historical and cultural features and change its demographic character.
22. The endeavours by the United States to reach a political settlement in the Middle East, despite their seriousness lacked the basic elements needed for a successful outcome: not only was Israel continuing to defy the international community by its continued building of settlements, which were regarded worldwide as an obstacle to peace, but it continued to accelerate its acts of oppression against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Those acts, to which the United States were putting no end, meant that the peace conference was to be convened in form without content. The call for a dual approach to the issue, i.e., by solving the Arab-Israeli conflict, first, then proceeding to solve the question of Palestine, was ignoring the fact that it constituted the core of the conflict in the area.
The Palestinians had made several efforts towards a just political settlement and had supported all constructive international initiatives. They felt that pressures were being exerted upon them to accept the Israeli conditions to relinquish their absolute right to independent representation, to agree to the non-inclusion of the question of Jerusalem in the agenda of the proposed conference, and to accept conditions that determined the composition of the Palestinian delegation. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which was leading the struggle of the Palestinian people and was representing it, had the sincere desire for the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace that guaranteed the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people to return, self-determination and the establishment of the independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian land, with its capital, Jerusalem.
Implementation of United Nations resolutions on Palestine -
European collective responsibility and strategies following the Gulf war
Mr. Uri Avnery
(Israel), founding member of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and columnist,
, said that the United States of America was now the only superpower in the Middle East. No country in the Middle East was able to withstand American pressure, including Israel. It was under that pressure that the Shamir Government had agreed to take part in the peace process.
24. From a pragmatic American point of view, the current situation could be considered ideal since all Middle Eastern States, while quarrelling with each other, were now totally dependent on the United States economically, militarily as well as politically; the United States now controlled all Arab oil and its prices; massive arms sales to Middle Eastern Governments helped to recycle petro-dollars; Israeli-Arab tensions as well as inter-Arab rivalries helped perpetuate that situation and kept everybody else in line. But there were some long-range dangers: the unsolved Palestinian problem which added to the frustrations and humiliations engendered by the Gulf war might add fuel to fundamentalist, nationalist and other extreme tendencies, destabilize pro-Western Arab régimes and create a new wave of revolutions, such as swept through the Arab world in the wake of the 1948 war. It was against that background that the peace process had to be asserted.
25. The outcome would depend on four main questions:
- Did the United States really desire a comprehensive peace, and how strongly?
- Did the Arab partners really desire such a peace, including the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people, and were they united and resolute enough to press for it?
- Would the Shamir Government change its resolute rejection of any withdrawal from occupied lands?
- Were there additional factors, such as Europe, the United Nations and world public opinion, that could significantly influence the outcome?
26. Obviously, there could be no real peace settlement without the full participation of the Palestinian people, under their authentic leadership, the PLO. There might be the possibility of a "second Camp David" between Syria and Israel involving the Golan Heights. The peace process which was now unfolding might follow several scripts from nothing to a comprehensive peace and many options in between. Those scripts were subject to the forces brought to bear in the negotiations, many of those forces being imponderable. The peace process itself might have a powerful psychological effect on the emotions of all the peoples concerned. Although Europe was not a major player in the Middle East and its European interests in the region were different from the American, once the peace process started, European groups, parties and media could play a useful and important role by directing public opinion efforts at specific targets such as a freeze of Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories; recognition of the PLO by European Governments and the inclusion of the PLO in the peace process; Palestinian self-determination and the like.
Mr. Hael El Fahoum
, Director, European Department of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that Europe gave massive support to the Zionist movement and that that aid and resources largely contributed to the over militarization of Israel, the achievement of its expansionist ambitions, the annexation of East Jerusalem, the expropriation of land and water resources, the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and to the exacerbation of the policy of aggression, repression, oppression, torture, deportation, destruction of homes, and the like. That massive support had run counter to international law and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. It was important that the countries of Europe restore a balance of interests. Although that goal had been pursued for a number of years, much remained to be done to rectify all the injustice committed by the State of Israel.
28. Europe's position on the question of Palestine could be recalled by referring to various declarations on the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially the Venice declaration of 1980, the Brussels declarations of 1983 and 1987, the final declaration of the meeting of the Arab Committee of 7 with the European presidency in March 1988 and the 1989 declaration of Madrid. However, the ambiguity of the European position must be emphasized, particularly in terms of the discrepancy between what was said and what was done, and especially between what was said before and what was being said now. The European Community had played an important role in the search for a solution to the Palestinian problem, based on the various international resolutions. However, that role and those efforts by Europe had encountered a number of obstacles, internal and external,
, in the development of mechanisms to implement the various European initiatives based on international law. After a long process of disengagement, Europe had become the passive spectator of a tragedy which it largely helped to create. The ethical dimension of the European contribution to the search for a peace in the Middle East remained largely inadequate in view of the issues at stake: Europe and its neighbours on the southern shore of the Mediterranean had an interest in peace in the Middle East.
29. Europe's rapid disengagement in response to United States pressure after the Gulf war, was an evasion of its responsibilities. Europe's role was the extension of its historic responsibility since, as a party to the establishment of the State of Israel, Europe had made the creation of that State an intra-European matter before it became a Middle Eastern question. It was only right that the Palestinian people, which had suffered the most from that convergence of the interests of Europe with those of zionism, should demand that those who acted in the past take responsibility for the consequences of their actions by working for a just peace.
International protection of the Palestinian people:
ibilities of European States as co-signatories
of the Fourth Geneva Convention
Mr. Bernard Mills
, Director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, said that at a time when the possibility of convening meaningful peace talks on the Middle East hung in the balance, it was more important that the Symposium addressed its responsibilities to ensure that the Palestinians had a proper and significant place at those talks.
31. There had been much talk about a two-track peace negotiation, the original idea coming from Israel with talks between Israel and Arab countries running in parallel with discussions between Israel and the Palestinians. In reality, there was also a third track, as Israel was also negotiating with the European Community for a special relationship and status for itself after 1992. Therein, European NGOs may find positive methods to protect the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory and at the same time advance the cause of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. While Israel did not recognize the
applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territories, the European Community along with the vast majority of all the world's States, including the United States, held that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable to the Israeli-occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and had voted in favour of United Nations resolutions calling on Israel to recognize that
applicability and to desist from practices which violated the terms of the Convention.
32. The Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Conventions and regulations set forth mandatory rules governing the conduct of the Israeli State as an occupying power. Adequately observed and enforced, they offered an important degree of protection of the most basic human rights of the civilian population of the occupied territories putting an absolute ban on the deportation or transfer of protected persons, on the transfer of the civilian population of the occupying power into the occupied territory, as well as on collective punishment, pillage and reprisal against protected persons or their property. Although the European Community had tried to secure Israeli compliance with its international legal obligation through various condemnations,
and individual protests, none of those efforts had had the desired effect.
33. It was time for European countries to fulfil their obligations, and NGOs could play a role by working in parallel on both their respective national Governments and parliamentarians and on the European Commission and the European Parliament. At the national level, NGOs should demand that their Governments press for the meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention called for by Security Council resolution 681 (1990), that they put pressure directly on Israel to respect the Convention called for in that resolution, and that they make their stance on Israel's post-1992 status with the community conditional on its observance of the Convention and its cooperation in the peace process. At the community level, NGOs should lobby the President of the Commission and the Commissioner for Mediterranean Policy to make any post-1992 concessions to Israel conditional on its strict observance of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and lobby their European members of Parliament not to ratify this year the new Financial Protocol with Israel unless it observed the Convention and not to ratify any future special status for Israel unless it had cooperated fully in a peace conference based on land for peace and self-determination for the Palestinian people.
Mr. Khaled Muhammad Batrawi
, Field Work Coordinator for Al Haq in Ramallah, West Bank, said that a report published by Al Haq Foundation showed that human rights violations had not begun with the
but with the Israeli occupation. The
had only made the situation more serious: there was a total disrespect for human rights in the occupied territories and the international community had not been able to secure human rights there. Al Haq had set up an action committee and was working on a project on how the rights of the civilian population were to be respected in the territories.
35. The member States of the European Community had reiterated their commitment to achieve a just peace in the region, including the right to self-determination of the Palestinians. The Community had the political weight, he said, and a lot of room for action. It was the legal obligation of each State party to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure that all the other States parties implemented the measures set out in the Convention. Al Haq had organized meetings in London and in the Netherlands and would soon convene another meeting in Ireland on the implementation of the Convention.
36. If the international community would ensure the implementation of the rights secured by the Convention, Palestinians could benefit directly. Organizations like Al Haq, Amnesty International and the Red Cross could bring their great experience to NGOs, to point out to politicians the dangers of sitting back and not doing anything.
37. By publishing data on the size of confiscated land and on the number of settlers, Al Haq had brought to light the human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory. Despite the provisions of the Convention, Palestinians continued to be deported, expelled and prevented from returning to Palestine. This was a grave violation of human rights. It was most important that the articles of the Convention be implemented: it would be a long-term programme and all parties concerned had to combine their efforts.
Mr. Mikko Lohikoski
, Chairman of the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, presented the final declaration on behalf of the Symposium participants. He said that the participants had taken note of developments concerning a Middle East Peace Conference, and did not wish to exclude any serious effort which could contribute to that process, such as the initiative of the United States and the Soviet Union.
39. An international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations would still be the best mechanism to achieve peace. The right of people to nominate their own representatives was of the greatest importance and therefore the participants had strongly affirmed that the Palestinian people be represented by their own chosen representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
40. Given Israel's continued repression of the Palestinian people and its efforts to uproot and stifle the
, the participants were calling on all European Governments to implement effective measures against Israel, particularly as High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfil their obligations. Europe's role in the peace process could not be limited and Europe had the right and the historical obligation to be part of that process.
Reverend Father Ibrahim Ayyad
, President of the Palestine Committee for NGOs, said that Europe, which had created Israel and injected it with financial, economic, political and military support had largely contributed to the occupation of the whole of Palestine and other Arab territories. But in the light of events and interests and the principles of international law, Europe had reconsidered its position on the question of Palestine by issuing various declarations on different occasions. The Americans were moving towards a peaceful solution, but on Mr. Shamir's terms. Although Europe had to assume its role for a just and lasting peace, it was barred from participating at the peace conference.
42. Almost every week, new settlements were constructed in the occupied Palestinian territory. The massive Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia was continuing on a very large scale and with it a demographic explosion which could accelerate the rhythm of the expulsion of Palestinians.
43. The Europeans had to fulfil their role and their obligations and work seriously for a lasting peace by taking the initiative for a peace conference based on United Nations resolutions. The first step was to stop the construction of settlements in the occupied territories, to stop the migration, to send European troops to replace the Israeli occupation forces under United Nations supervision to ensure the safety and security of the Palestinians living in the occupied territories. The European NGOs should mobilize public opinion in their respective countries to push forward for a real international peace conference and call for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine.
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo
, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that the preceding year had been marked by a serious deterioration in the situation of the Palestinian people. The renewed outbreak of repression in the occupied Palestinian territory and the implementation of a continued policy of
in the occupied territory has exacerbated the situation and given rise to a climate of profound frustration and pessimism.
45. The war, the repressive measures, the restrictions on movement and all other punitive decisions imposed by the Israeli authorities had created an alarming economic situation. For that reason, the Committee was redoubling its efforts to promote the achievement of a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the question of Palestine in conformity with the relevant United Nations resolutions.
46. The participants in the Symposium had expressed their support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to put an end to the Israeli occupation and to recover and exercise its inalienable national rights, in particular the right to govern itself and to create an independent Palestinian State. While awaiting the achievement of progress towards a peaceful settlement, it was necessary to take effective measures to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation.
47. The European peoples and their Governments had a central role to play in moving the Palestinian question towards a peaceful settlement. They also had an important role to play as parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in all efforts aimed to guaranteeing the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory. Unless a way out of the current impasse was found, there was a risk of far greater and more deadly confrontations.
* * * * *
DECLARATION ADOPTED BY
THE FIFTH UNITED NATIONS EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
1. We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), gathered at the Fifth United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine meeting in Vienna on 26-27 August 1991, are very conscious of meeting at a time when it is crucially important for the Governments of all European countries to play a much more active role in securing a settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. Such a settlement must be based on the exercise of Palestinian rights including the right to return, to self-determination and to an independent Palestinian State on the currently and illegally occupied territories including Jerusalem. We remind all European Governments that they have repeatedly supported Palestinian rights in words. We now call upon them to implement their words without further delay by action based on all existing United Nations resolutions.
2. We call upon all European Governments to support the international peace conference repeatedly called for in General Assembly Resolutions since 1983 and supported by all European Governments. We affirm strongly that the Palestinian people must be represented in this and all conferences whether international or regional under whatever auspices by their chosen representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This meeting calls upon all concerned to support the PLO in participating in all regional and international forums on the Middle East with all parties to the conflict on an equal footing.
3. We are of the view that all European Governments should play a major role in this process towards the international peace conference under United Nations auspices. Since three European countries, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union are permanent members of the Security Council, we call upon their Governments in particular to play a significant role in securing peace.
4. We note the proposal currently under discussion to hold a peace conference under United States and USSR auspices. We regard this conference as one possibility to open the way to the peace conference under United Nations auspices, which we continue to see as the most effective means to achieve peace.
5. We reject the Israeli and all non-Palestinian attempts to decide which Palestinians should be involved in international gatherings concerned with peace. We call upon all European Governments to oppose and reject such attempts, reaffirming the PLO's right to be present on an equal footing with all other parties.
6. We are appalled at the continuing repression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli Government and by its endless and accelerating violations of human rights, both in Israel and in occupied Palestine. We fully support the Palestinian struggle for self-determination expressed in the
. From the repeated statements of certain members of the Israeli Government, we recognize its ultimate policy to drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and to replace them with settlers including immigrants from the Soviet Union.
7. We call upon all European Governments to exercise effective political and economic measures upon Israel, to make it respect the rights of the Palestinian people and comply with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. We remind all European Governments of their obligations as High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention to take measures to ensure respect for the Convention. In that respect, we draw attention to the fact that the European Community is Israel's largest export market and that these exports are made on privileged terms not afforded to other countries. We therefore note that the European Community is in an especially strong position to exert pressure, as it has to a limited extent in the past, in support of Palestinian rights. We call for positive European Community actions. We also call for Security Council action to take active measures for the enforcement of all United Nations resolutions on the Middle East and on the question of Palestine.
8. Much of our work in this Symposium was conducted in workshops. Their conclusions and recommendations are appended to this declaration.
9. We urge the United Nations to convene a European regional symposium of NGOs in 1992. We request the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session as part of the Committee's report.
10. We warmly thank the Committee for convening this Symposium and we greatly appreciate the presence of the Committee Delegation. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all others of the United Nations Secretariat including the interpreters who so valuably assisted us. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here and added valuably to our deliberations. We express our strongest protest against the action of the Israeli Government in preventing the distinguished expert, Mr. Sa'eb Erakat of An-Najah University from attending. We express our thanks to the Austrian Government for making available the Austria Centre for our Symposium.
* * * * *
Effective lobby work in Europe:
review of past experience and future initiatives
After an opening statement by Mr. Hael El Fahoum, resource person, concerning the efforts of the PLO to establish relations with Europe since 1983, the discussion centred on the review of past experiences and future initiatives by European NGOs and Palestinian representatives.
As for past experiences in lobbying, there was not much concrete information to be gathered. The discussion swerved to different kinds of cooperation between NGOs on a local and regional level as well as between European and Palestinian NGOs. The call for professionalism was followed by the sad insight that the necessary funds for obtaining professional lobbying services were hard to come by. The opening of a lobbying office in Brussels - and perhaps future seat of the ECCP office - was subject to the same need for funds. An interesting idea was put forward concerning the recruitment of distinguished retired politicians and public personalities who could create informal relations with local and international authorities. The need for a sober assessment of the present political situation in Europe with reference to promoting the Palestinian cause was also mentioned - changes in the political map of Europe should be considered. The discussion then turned to the need for stricter implementation of resolutions and sketched programmes of the annual ECCP meetings. There is a danger of a sense of futility if year after year no concrete results can be reported. The question of a possible cohesion between the national lobbying efforts of European and Palestinian NGOs remained inconclusive.
On the whole, there was agreement that the European NGOs need direction from their Palestinian friends and that the European NGOs should try to gain cooperation of professional NGOs that are at present not attracted to the Palestinian cause. As a priority, it was seen by all that more and precise information about the continuous human rights violations by the Israeli authorities and the dissemination of that information in the public mind of the respective European countries must be achieved.
Mobilizing public opinion in Europe: end the occupation now
In furthering the role of Europe in securing Palestinian rights, we recognize that after the Gulf war and the changes in Eastern Europe, public opinion in Europe is not focusing sufficiently on the question of Palestine.
Our task as NGOs is to work to improve the situation by mobilizing public opinion in order to put pressure upon European Governments to play an active and positive role in securing peace with justice. Our aim is to end the occupation now. This can be achieved by the following means:
(a) Sending specialized and political delegations to occupied Palestinian territories reporting back to either the press in general or their specialized groups. This would also attract more interest and support for development projects;
(b) Inviting Palestinians from occupied Palestinian territories to inform the European target groups directly;
(c) Using declarations and visits of Israeli peace forces to mobilize public opinion;
(d) Taking advantage of local political party gatherings asking them to include the question of Palestine in their activities (have Palestinians living in the area as speakers);
(e) Network of (regional) speakers who could visit schools, health centres and congregations;
(f) Journalists joining our NGOs;
(g) Using regional radio broadcastings;
(h) ECCP needs to investigate the possibilities of publishing a regular newsletter and occasional briefing papers to be sent not only to European NGOs but to local institutions and authorities.
(a) Sponsoring children and twinning schools;
(b) Planting olive trees in Palestine;
(c) Boycott campaigns;
(d) Protesting to European Governments and bodies for financing occupation;
(e) Sending protest letters to Israeli authorities about violations of human rights;
(f) Fund-raising for specific projects in occupied Palestinian territories;
(g) Volunteers working in the occupied Palestinian territories for a period of time.
Actions around Europe
(a) There is a proposal made by the END in Moscow for human chains to be organized connecting PLO Offices and Israeli Embassies in major European cities, possibly on 4 or 5 October;
(b) The newly elected ECCP to organize and coordinate actions in Europe on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.
Contributing to fair and factual reporting on Palestinian issues
in the mass media
(a) The workshop praises the high level of Palestinian information resource centres available to the Western media in the occupied territories and commends the courage of those involved.
(b) The workshop stresses the need for European NGOs to set up networks amongst their members to praise good media coverage; be critical of inadequate coverage and condemn bad or false coverage or programmes on the Israeli/Palestinian problem;
(c) NGOs need to write articles for newspapers and magazines based on their experience in the occupied territories, particularly human interest stories;
(d) NGOs with good Middle East experience should establish relations with their national media as resource centres and be prepared to supply information and speakers at short notice;
(e) The representatives of the media in the occupied territories further requested that the workshop should recommend:
(i) Networking amongst people/organizations present by circulating names and addresses;
(ii) Networking with Palestinian journalists and asking them to write articles for NGO publications and distribution;
(iii) Demand the release of the writers and journalists under administrative detention and the cancellation of their green cards which restrict their freedom of movement;
(iv) Protest against the lack of freedom of expression, censorship, closures and denials of licences for the Palestinian media;
(v) Demand the protection of the right of the Palestinians to receive and give out information;
(vi) Encourage NGOs to use Palestinian resources in Palestine for an alternative view of events.
New initiatives for securing international protection
for the Palestinian people
Mr. Khaled Batrawi, resource person, outlined Al Haq's ideas about the international protection issue. Their main function is to provide the information for NGOs and Governments to act upon.
Mr. Batrawi sees three levels of action:
1. On the government level:
NGOs could contact the human rights desk of the parties in their respective countries.
A good form of action could be responding to the yearly United States State Department reports, clarifying points that are not correctly represented, etc.
2. On the NGO level:
There are possibilities for special campaigns, e.g. the family reunification campaign that is prepared by Al Haq. The function of the NGOs in this respect can be the marketing of the campaigns in their respective countries. They also can try to involve national groups like the Bar Association, Amnesty International or other human rights groups to take part in their national campaigns.
3. The third level would be the implementation of international law, e.g. through using provisions within national constitutions for bringing to trial anyone who breaks the Geneva Conventions.
During the discussion, several more or less concrete proposals came up:
- Lobbying with European Governments on conditions to be put on ratification of financial protocols with Israel;
- Cooperating with national organizations on special issues related to their specific areas of work;
- Closer cooperation with European Community bodies to put some economic pressure on Israel and to relieve the economic need of the Palestinians;
- The International Red Cross in Geneva can provide anyone with the integral texts of the Geneva Conventions, so that this can be used in national human rights campaigns;
- There is a lot of information available on several human rights issues for anyone who asks. Maybe it is handy to have some kind of manual about who to address with what material. Also there are standard letters for addressing Governments about certain issues;
- In the occupied territories, the implementation of international law can be supervised by international bodies who are present there, e.g. the Interna- tional Red Cross or by diplomats in the area, who can be asked to go and see what is happening;
- It would be a good idea to have a list of existing reading material concerning the protection issue. Al Haq has, apart from the written material, a number of experts who can answer specific questions.
Economic effects of the Gulf war on Palestinians: NGO actions
The economic effects of the Gulf crisis and war on the Palestinian community can be reduced to three stages: (1) the pre-war economic crisis, (2) the war-time period and (3) the post-war economic crisis. Each had a different impact on the economic situation of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. During the pre-war period, there was a rapid downturn in the economy due to the following factors:
1. In 1986, remittances from Palestinian migrant workers and residents in the Arab countries amounted to $412 million per year (approximately 20 per cent of the GNP). During the
, this dropped to $200 million, and since the war, has gone down to $50 million (or $4.5 million per month).
2. Export of industrial products through Jordan has been reduced from $40 million per year to $16 million.
3. During the immediate pre-war period, the tourist industry almost came to a complete halt.
During the war, a general curfew imposed for a period of 40 days paralysed the whole economy, preventing 120,000 Palestinians from working in Israel, and leading to economic losses of $5 million per day. During this period, there was a loss to the economy of $200 million, or 10 per cent of the GNP. At the end of the curfew, hunger and malnourishment were widely reported and most families had depleted their savings.
Since the war, Israel has put into effect new economic policies in the occupied territories, with major political and economic consequences. During this year, 2 per cent of the whole land of the occupied territories has been expropriated. Of the current population of the occupied territories, 11 per cent are Israeli settlers. Israel controls 67 per cent of the land and 37 per cent of the water. The clearest sign of the new economic policies is the
presented as an economic plan for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. This report claims that the only option for economic development in the Gaza Strip is through increasing economic absorption to the Israeli economy. The plan views agricultural development negatively and is largely geared to promote sub-contracting industrialization.
In this last period, the number of Palestinian workers working in Israel has dropped from 120,000 to 80-90,000. Those displaced workers have been pushed from the service, tourist and industrial sectors. The vast majority of these workers are working in construction to meet the housing needs of Soviet and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. This work does not provide long-term security since it will only last as long as the current housing boom. Once this is over, these workers will have to be re-absorbed into the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, thus creating major economic strains in an already run-down economy.
During the war, due to the curfew, the Palestinians were not in a position to defend their economic rights. At this time, the international NGOs created a network for reporting and monitoring the situation of the wartime curfew. The success of these activities led to an emerging awareness that there was a need for more coordination between the NGOs themselves and the Palestinian NGO community.
1. More effective coordination among Palestinians, more coordination between the Palestinian and international NGOs inside the occupied territories and better coordination between the European NGOs, the Governments in the East and the European Economic Community.
2. The need to assist Palestinian NGO efforts in setting up appropriate data banks and practical research.
3. Need to set up economic programmes to help absorb returnees from the Gulf, who now have no significant source of income.
4. There is a need for much more research on issues associated with Palestinian economic development and the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on development.
5. There is a need for more significant NGO campaigning on the right to development, which is concomitant with the Palestinian goal of self-determination and a need to raise the issue of the Palestinian right to development with appropriate international and government agencies.
Jewish immigration and its impact on Palestinian rights
responsibilities of European States and public opinion
Jewish immigration is affecting various aspects of Palestinian living standards. A demographic aspect is the increase in Jewish population with respect to the Palestinian. The way to achieve this is to transfer part of the Jewish population to the occupied Palestinian territories and expel at the same rate Palestinians living there. New arrivals have to be housed and the policy is to install them in settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories. The building of these settlements is closely linked to land and water source confiscation. New immigrants mean alternative work force to Palestinians, increasing Palestinian unemployment at present to 65 per cent. Living on confiscated land and commuting to work from occupied Palestinian territories is related to security and the presence of Israeli forces in the occupied territories.
On the other hand, the Palestinian people suffer from the security procedures, obstacles and intimidations, areas closed by settlers, house demolitions and denial of the right to reside. Palestinian unemployment is increasing, their land is being confiscated, their trees uprooted and water sources diverted to Israeli settlements.
- Pressure European Governments to open their borders to Jewish immigration to allow them to choose their destination and avoid in this way mass Jewish immigration to Israel;
- Inform Soviet Jews about political and social conditions in Israel;
- Facilitate Jewish education in the USSR for the Soviet Jewish community.
Development projects on Palestine: how to cooperate with governmental and intergovernmental institutions
Mr. Tomás Duplá del Moral, resource person, presented a written accounting of European Community budgetary items devoted to the occupied territories, and those used in various ways, including assistance to the Palestinians. The main aid is for improving the Palestinians' economic and social situation, with an emphasis on employment-generating projects, training and upgrading of local Palestinian institutions. Most of this aid is disbursed directly to Palestinian NGOs and some through European NGOs. Applicants must be either Palestinian or European Community NGOs. There are no standard application forms. The European Community relies in its decisions on contacts, quality and reliability of applicants and projects. It conforms as closely as possible to the wishes of the Palestinians themselves, through ongoing contacts inside and outside the occupied territories.
Discussants raised the question of Israeli actions and European Community contacts with them. Mr. Duplá emphasized that European Community policy is to take decisions without any contact or information sharing with the Israeli authorities, but noted that the Israelis are informed once a project has been approved, in order to minimize the likelihood of interference with the implementation of projects. He stated that when harassment takes place, the attempt is made, with some success, to eliminate it through low-level contacts, although the European Community reserves the right to resort to all kinds of
, including formal complaints. He also noted that passing through Israeli banks was desired by the European Community, in the attempt to ensure correct use of funds and prevent currency speculation. Israel has not interfered much in the monetary transactions so far.
There is no set budget for a given sector, but the emphasis is on economic development projects, mainly through credit institutions. The rest is principally divided between health and education. The lack of reliable data and statistics compounds the problem. Projects are approved on merit, and there are no set percentages for each field.
The question of establishing a European Community office in the occupied territories is still under discussion with the Israeli authorities. But the European Community will not give in on its principles, including independent dealing with the occupied territories and considering East Jerusalem a part of them. There is therefore as yet no agreement in sight.
Financing in the wake of the Gulf war has been directed to balance-of-payments assistance to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, to helping Israel repair damage through loans (127 million ECUs) and to helping the occupied territories recover economically, particularly in combating unemployment, through 60 million ECUs in grants. It is taking time because of the procedures of the European Community, notably due to the fact that Parliament approved the grants in July.
A discussant asked whether the European Community was not in fact exacerbating rather than reducing inter-Palestinian coordination problems. Mr. Duplá stated that many rumors abound, including this one, which is absolutely false. The problem of coordination is in fact a serious one with respect to development projects in the occupied territories, and its lack has led to waste and duplication, particularly in the field of health. If freely elected and universally accepted coordinating bodies were to be established, they would become an essential factor in the decision-making process of the European Community Commission. In some areas, notably education, this is already a fact.
Discussants noted that coordination was advancing in the fields of agriculture and economic planning, and that efforts were being made in the area of health.
Mr. Duplá stated that greater human resources would be engaged in the European Community development effort in the occupied territories, and that already considerable aid levels (twice as much per capita as for any other people in the area) would likely be increased.
Any "Marshall plan" by the European Community for the Palestinians would have to await a general peace settlement.
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EUROPEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
21 Collingham Road
London SW5 ONU
Tel: 71. 373.8414
Representative: Bernard Mills
71 Charlwood Street
London SW1V 4 PG
Tel: (Country residence: 359 25 8830)
Greek Committee for International Democratic Solidarity
25 Spiron Trikoupi Street
Fax: 00 301/36.22.547
Representative: Maria Gazi
Tel: 00. 301/29. 25.575
Treasurer and Representative to ICCP
Society for Austro-Arab Relations
Vienna 1070 Lindengasse 61.63/2/V
Tel: 43-(222) 526.78.10
Fax: 43-(222) 526.77.95
Representative: Fritz Edlinger
Tel: 43-(222) 319.91.26
Fax: 43-(222) 319.91.25
4. Arci Cultura e Sviluppo (ARCS)
Via G. B. Vico 22 00196
Tel. and Fax: 0039.6.32.18.687
Representative: Pippo Costella
Tel: (home) 010/28.15.01
5. Berliner Missionwerk
D-1000 Berlin 41
Representative: Rev. Paul E. Hoffmann
176 Rue de Grenelle
Tel: (1) 45.50.3443
Fax: (1) 48.24.1648
Representative: Blandine Destremau
Tel: (1) 43.000.656
7. Comité Español de ONGs Sobre la Cuestión Palestina
c/o Asociación Derechos Humanos
Jose Ortega J. Gasset
Representative: Luisa Sirvent
Tel: (1) 564-9374
8. Danish Palestinian Friendship Association
Representative: Hans Nebel
9. International Jewish Peace Union
Cedex 10, France
Tel: (331) 4246.8247
Fax: (331) 4246.5177
Representative: Maxim Ghilan
10. Russian Palestinian Foundation
USSR Academy of Sciences
Representative: Oleg I. Fomine
* * * * *
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
ANTI-ZIONIST COMMITTEE OF THE SOVIET PUBLIC
ARAB COORDINATING COMMITTEE IN AUSTRIA
ARCI CULTURA E SVILUPPO (ARCIRAGAZZI)
ASSOCIACION PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE ESPAÑA
ASSOCIATION MEDICALE FRANCO-PALESTINIENNE
ASSOCIAZIONE MEDICA ITALO-PALESTINESE
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE CROVECIA
COMITE DE SOLIDARITE AVEC LE PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL AND MEDICAL RELIEF FOR PALESTINIANS
COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARAB-BRITISH UNDERSTANDING
CZECHOSLOVAKIA SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE WITH THE PEOPLES OF AFRICA,
ASIA AND LATIN AMERICA
DANISH-PALESTINIAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
DUTCH PALESTINE COMMITTEE
FINNISH-ARAB FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY
FRIENDS OF PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITIES
FRIENDS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN
GERMAN PALESTINIAN ASSOCIATION
GREEK COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC SOLIDARITY
GRUPPO DI RICERCA SUL MEDIO ORIENTE CONTEMPORANEO (GRMOC)
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION (INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT)
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF JOURNALISTS
INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS ORGANIZATION
ITALIAN METAL WORKERS FEDERATION (FIOM-CGIL, Milan)
LIGUE INTERNATIONALE POUR LES DROITS ET LA LIBERATION DES PEUPLES
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS
MOUVEMENT CHRETIEN POUR LA PAIX
PALESTINE COMMITTEE IN NORWAY
PALESTINE GROUPS OF NORWAY
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION OF SWEDEN
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
PALESTINE STUDIES PROGRAMME - UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION FOR EURO-ARAB COOPERATION
PAX CHRISTI (VIENNA)
SALAAM RAGAZZI DEL'OLIVO
SOCIETY FOR AUSTRO-ARAB RELATIONS
SOVIET AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
SOVIET COMMITTEE OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH ARAB PEOPLE OF PALESTINE
SOVIET WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
TERRE DES HOMMES/FRANCE
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF SWEDEN
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SERVICE (UNAIS)
WAR RESISTERS INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
WORLD PEACE COUNCIL
WORLD UNIVERSITY SERVICE
ABNA EL-BALAD MOVEMENT
ACADEMY OF ORIENTAL SPIRITUAL HERITAGE
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (AAPSO)
AL-JAMAHEER PRESS CENTRE
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL AID
ARAB ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
ARAB STUDIES SOCIETY
ARBEITSKREIS FUR EINE PALASTINENSISCHE GESUNDHEITSVERSORGUNG IM BAZ
ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS (PAKISTAN)
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE POUR LE SOUTIEN A LA LUTTE DU PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
ASSOCIATION WORK-HEALTH-PEACE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
ASSOCIAZIONE CULTURALE ALCATRAZ
BEIT HANINA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
BETHLEHEM ARAB SOCIETY FOR REHABILITATION
BIZAN CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
CENTRO REGIONALE D'INTERVENTO POR LA COOPERAZIONE
CGIL - FILCEA
COMMITTEE FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE
COMMITTEE FOR PALESTINIAN AND JEWISH STUDIES, JAPAN
DEMOCRATIC ARAB ORGANIZATION
DEMOCRATIC FRONT FOR PEACE AND EQUALITY
FOUNDATION FRIENDS OF NAZARETH
FRIENDS WORLD COMMITTEE FOR CONSULTATION
FUNDACION ARGENTINA PARA EL TERCER MUNDO (FATEM)
FUND FOR PALESTINIAN PROSPERITY
GENERAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
GERMAN-PALESTINE FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS WAR RESISTERS
ISRAEL SECULAR HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
ISRAELI COUNCIL FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE
LAND AND WATER ESTABLISHMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINE (CANADA)
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS (JORDAN)
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION - WEST BANK
MIDDLE EAST QUESTIONS FORUM
NADI AL-TIFL AL FALASTINI IN ISRAEL
NATIONAL INSTITUTION OF SOCIAL CARE AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN THE USA
NEAR EAST CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF CANADA
NORWEGIAN AID COMMITTEE
NORWEGIAN PEOPLE'S AID
PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY (EGYPT)
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
PALESTINE UNION OF WOMEN'S ACTION COMMITTEES
PALESTINIAN AGRICULTURAL RELIEF COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN COMMUNITY IN VIENNA
PALESTINIAN HYDROLOGY GROUP
PATIENT'S FRIENDS BENEVOLENT SOCIETY - GAZA STRIP
PRISONERS FRIENDS ASSOCIATION
PROGRESSIVE LABOUR FRONT
PROGRESSIVE LIST FOR PEACE
RUSSIAN PALESTINIAN FOUNDATION
RICERCA E COOPERAZIONE
SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND
SUPPORT GROUP ISRAELI GROUPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
THE ASSOCIATION OF FORTY
THE TRUST OF PROGRAMMES FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION LTD.
UNION OF AGRICULTURAL WORK COMMITTEES
UNION OF DEMOCRATIC TEACHERS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN HEALTH CARE COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN MEDICAL RELIEF COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WORKING WOMEN COMMITTEES IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN COMMITTEES IN THE OCCUPIED LAND - JERUSALEM
UNITED HOLY LAND FUND
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION IN EGYPT
WOMEN IN BLACK
NGO coordinating committees
AFRICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
ASIAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
EUROPEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
NORTH AMERICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mr. Uri AVNERY (Israel), founding member of the Israeli Council for Israeli- Palestinian Peace and columnist,
Mr. Khaled Muhammed BATRAWI (Palestinian), Field Work Co-ordinator for Al Haq in Ramallah, West Bank
Mr. Hael El FAHOUM (Palestinian), Director, European Department of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Tunis
Mr. Bernard MILLS (United Kingdom), Director, Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, London, United Kingdom
Mr. Khaled Muhammed Batrawi (Palestinian) (see list of panelists above)
Mr. John Bulloch
(United Kingdom), foreign correspondent for
Mr. Tomás Duplá del Moral (Spain), human rights lawyer; Principal Administrator, Commission of European Communities
Mr. Samir Huleileh (Palestinian), Economist, currently an Economic Consultant with the Welfare Association, Geneva
Members and observers of the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York and Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mr. Khodeidad Barshamal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations in New York and Observer on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
States Members of the United Nations represented by Observers
Brunei Darussalam Nigeria
Byelorussian SSR Oman
Iran, Islamic Republic of Thailand
Non-Member States maintaining Permanent
Observer Missions at Headquarters
United Nations specialized agencies and bodies
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
League of Arab States
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Other organizations having received
a standing invitation to participate in the sessions
and the work of the General Assembly as observers
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