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Réunion africaine des Nations Unies à l’appui des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien Rabat, 24-26 juin 2002 - Rapport Français
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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
26 June 2002





UNITED NATIONS AFRICAN MEETING
IN SUPPORT OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Rabat
24-26 June 2002




CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
I.
II.
III.
Introduction
Opening statement
Plenary sessions
1 - 6
7 - 26
27 - 69
3
3
8
Plenary session I
Impact of the Israeli military offensive in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem
27 - 35
8
Plenary session II
Challenges to a peaceful settlement
of the question of Palestine
36 - 55
11
Plenary session III
International efforts at salvaging peace in the Middle East.
African support for the inalienable rights of the
Palestinian people
56 - 69
15
IV.NGO Workshop
70 - 81
18
V.Closing session
82 - 85
21
Annexes
I.
II.
III.
Final Communiqué
NGO Plan of action
List of participants
22
25
27


I. Introduction

1. The United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was held in Rabat from 24 to 26 June 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 56/33 and 56/34 of 3 December 2001. The theme of the African Meeting was “Achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – a key to peace in the Middle East”.

2. The Committee was represented by a delegation comprising Papa Louis Fall (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, who acted as Chairman of the Meeting; Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; Ravan Farhâdi (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; and Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco), who were Vice-Chairmen of the Meeting; Walter Balzan (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee, who acted as Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Meeting; as well as Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).

3. The African Meeting consisted of an opening session, three plenary meetings, an NGO workshop and a closing session. Plenary I reviewed the impact of the Israeli military offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. Plenary II discussed the challenges to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and Plenary III drew on international efforts at salvaging peace in the Middle East and African support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The NGO Workshop discussed possible action by civil society in Africa in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

4. Presentations were made by 18 experts from Africa, as well as other regions, including Palestinians and Israelis. Each plenary meeting included a discussion period open to all participants. Representatives of 55 Governments, Palestine, 2 intergovernmental organizations, 4 United Nations bodies and agencies and 16 non-governmental organizations, as well as special guests of the host country and representatives of the media, universities and institutes attended the Meeting.

5. Participants were informed that one Palestinian expert invited by the Committee to speak at the NGO Workshop and a number of NGO participants from the Occupied Palestinian Territory were unable to travel to Rabat due to the general closure imposed by Israel. The Committee delegation deeply regretted the absence of Allam Jarrar, Vice-President of the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace, and denounced the illegal actions of the Occupying Power, which among their many grave consequences, have a negative effect on international efforts to find a solution to the current crisis.

6. The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the Final Communiqué of the African Meeting (see annex I). In addition, the NGOs adopted a Plan of Action (see annex II).


II. Opening statements

7. The opening session was addressed by Taieb Fassi Fihri, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco. He stressed at the outset that the meeting was being held in international circumstances that would challenge the course of events and developments relating to the question of Palestine, a question which had now reached a dangerous, critical and decisive turning point. The African Meeting would promote greater international concern for the justice and legitimacy of the rights of the Palestinian people. Morocco stood in the forefront of efforts to promote and create a climate of trust between Arabs and Israelis and supported regional and international efforts to establish peace, security and stability in a sensitive area of the world. The Palestinian Rights Committee played an important role by helping to reveal the truth about events taking plane in the Palestinian area and by working to crystallize positions that better reflected that situation within United Nations agencies concerned with the Palestinian question.

8. He pointed out that King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee, was exerting every effort to make the influential international parties aware of the necessity to find a definitive solution to the Palestinian question by relaunching the peace process and returning to the negotiating table, without imposing restrictions or conditions. The King also reaffirmed the special importance of Jerusalem because it was sacred to Muslims and because it was a land in which the sons of Abraham must live together. Morocco rejected the logic of force and attempts to create an unbalanced situation to induce the weaker side to accept the conditions of the stronger. Such conditions were far removed from the common goal to enable all parties to accept the principle of coexistence with a view to achieving permanent stability in the Middle East region.

9. Ensuring the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was the key to achieving peace as a strategic option. Arab initiatives for peace had been greeted with obduracy by Israel. He hoped that wisdom and the values of peace and legitimacy would prevail and that the current impasse would be resolved. His Government supported the efforts of the “Quartet” - European Union, Russian Federation, United States of America and United Nations - as an effective contribution to the implementation of United Nations resolutions. He also supported the right of Palestinians to live in security in an internationally recognized State with permanent political and economic institutions. The achievement of such a peace would also require the return of all occupied Arab territories in Syria and southern Lebanon.

10. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a message read out by Mervat Tallawy, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), said that the realization of Palestinian rights was an essential component to any peace agreement that could bring stability and prosperity to the Middle East. However, recent developments were moving away from the realization of those rights. Israel’s disproportionate and excessive use of force in conducting its self-defence had caused the deaths of many Palestinian civilians, increased economic hardship and damaged the Palestinian Authority and its institutions, further weakening the Authority’s capacity to provide basic services to its population. He had called upon Israel to halt its settlement activity. Also, he had said on many occasions that the wilful killing of Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks could never be justified. The cause of the Palestinian people was not served by such acts and they should cease immediately. The Palestinian Authority must do more to prevent them. Both sides must do more to meet their obligations to protect civilians.

11. The Secretary-General stressed that despite recent negative trends, there was a growing consensus that the end goal of the peace process should be two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders. There could be no lasting security for Israel without an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory. Equally, there could be no permanent political settlement leading to the establishment of the State of Palestine unless there was also genuine security for Israel. Before that could become a reality, there had to be a timetable to address the permanent status issues. The leaders on both sides must make difficult decisions and painful compromises and he called upon them to assume their responsibilities and lead their people away from the abyss. For that to happen, neither side should set conditions and no extremist should be allowed to derail that undertaking. The international community needed to help all the parties chart a clear path that would lead to resolving the conflict once and for all.

12. The message said that the World Bank and the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator, together with the donor community, were assessing the damage to the Palestinian social and economic structure. A massive assistance programme was urgently needed to help Palestinians rebuild their lives and households. The United Nations was contributing to such efforts through its agencies in the region. The Secretary-General appealed to donors for help to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which remained a lifeline to 3.9 million Palestinians. The call made by the “Quartet” for strengthening and assisting the Palestinian Authority must be accompanied by reform of Palestinian institutions, led by Palestinians themselves and supported by the international community. The steps taken by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council towards enhanced accountability must be fully implemented. At the same time, coherent and determined steps must be taken to restore the political process and help the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach a permanent settlement. The support of international public opinion was indispensable in that process. The Secretary-General pledged to continue to do whatever it took to help the peace efforts.

13. Mervat Tallawy, speaking as the Executive-Secretary of ESCWA, recalled that many United Nations entities on the ground rendered valuable assistance to the Palestinian people. At the same time, they served as a warning mechanism about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The conflict was negatively affecting the entire region, foremost its socio-economic development. It undermined progress, moderation and development and the impact on the region was unimaginable. The image and prestige of the United Nations was gravely affected by the continuation of the conflict. She said that ESCWA was organizing a conference on future plans for the rehabilitation of the occupied territories. It would allow for all the components of the United Nations entity to plan how they would participate at the end of the conflict. Every year, ESCWA prepared a report on the impact of the conflict on the socio-economic life of the Palestinian people. She concluded by saying that a major challenge to the question of Palestine was the existence of the settlements. During the past 10 years the settler population in the territories had doubled, requiring the defence of borders that were about 2000 miles long. Peace and security for the people of the entire region was now hostage to the Israeli settlers.

14. Papa Louis Fall, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory remained tense and volatile. The international community was particularly concerned at the reports of grave breaches of international law and was eagerly awaiting the report of the Secretary-General in that regard. The illegal acts by the occupying Power had never ceased and had even intensified. Incursions were being conducted on a daily basis and the Israeli forces had authorization to reoccupy Palestinian population centres for prolonged periods of time. Arbitrary detentions and even extrajudicial killings continued. In violation of agreements and understandings reached between the parties, Israel continued the aggressive settlement expansion policies. Severe restrictions had also been imposed on the movement of personnel and goods of agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

15. He drew attention to the sustained attack by the occupying Power on the Palestinian Authority, its institutions and leadership. He said that there was a systematic effort to discredit the representatives of the Palestinian people in order to support the implausible argument that there was no negotiating partner on the Palestinian side so that there could be no negotiations. Nobody should buy into the argument that made the resumption of political talks conditional on sweeping reforms in the Palestinian Authority. The international community had seen what happened when one side imposed conditions and then also played the role of the judge of whether those conditions had been met. The Committee welcomed the recent steps towards reform but they were a domestic Palestinian affair and not a precondition for the peace talks.

16. The Committee had joined the world community’s condemnation of attacks on civilians, irrespective of the provenance of such attacks, he said. He supported the idea of a third-party presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, perhaps within the framework of the Quartet. Moreover, the United Nations should continue to maintain its permanent responsibility towards all aspects of the question of Palestine. The heart of the question of Palestine was the illegal occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory and swift steps must be taken to bring that to an end. The vision of two peacefully coexisting States – Israel and Palestine – had to become a reality. He supported an international conference with broad participation to help define the steps and time frame for that to happen. He also supported a greater involvement of the Secretary-General. The occupying Power should not be allowed to delay indefinitely or to dictate unilaterally the terms of a final settlement. In conclusion, he called upon the international donor community to support the Palestinian people through an expanded economic relief effort in the face of the extreme devastation on the ground.

17. Rawhi Fattouh, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that the Palestinian people had hoped to achieve their inalienable rights like all other peoples in the world. In spite of their terrible suffering, Palestinians welcomed peace. The Oslo Accords of 1993 were a clear manifestation that the Palestinians had opted to live in peace with Israel. The current Israeli Government, however, objected to all agreements. The continued settlement expansion showed that Israeli claims of wishing for peace were deceitful. The city of Jerusalem was under racist Israeli policies that crushed any hope for peace. Hundreds of Palestinian houses had been destroyed under the pretext that they had been built without permits. Israel had made it clear that it wanted to undermine any effort aimed at peace. It had reoccupied all towns and villages in the West Bank, dividing the West Bank into 64 cantons and the Gaza Strip into 4 cantons. Israel was systematically destroying the institutions of the Palestinian Authority, the civilian administration, thus making it difficult to sustain the hope for peace.

18. He stressed that Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity could not undermine the Palestinians’ belief in peace as a strategic choice. However, peace would require the establishment of a Palestinian State within the borders of 1967. Peace could not be achieved as long as the refugee problem was not settled in a just way. Settlers must be forced to leave the land. Only then could there be peace, which was the wish of all people of the region. The Palestinian people condemned any act that endangered the lives of innocent civilians, Palestinian or Israeli. But the occupation itself was terrorism and the cause of violence in the Palestinian Territory. He called upon the international community, which was awaiting the moment when peace would reign over the Middle East, to put pressure on the Government of Israel and Prime Minister Sharon to pull back his military forces from Palestinian cities which each day brought death to dozens of Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others. Israel must comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions. Preparations were under way for an international conference to revive the peace process, but such a conference should have a clear framework and terms of reference, and not provide a pretext for the Israeli Government to continue the occupation. In conclusion, he expressed appreciation for the Arab peace initiative and the work of the Quartet.

19. Statements were also made by representatives of several Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations entities. The representative of Malaysia affirmed his Government’s support for the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. He encouraged the Palestinians to consistently dispute and counter allegations that President Arafat was to blame for the failure to finally resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict when he had refused to accept the proposal made at the Camp David Summit in July 2000. What had been offered to the Palestinians then was merely an Israeli scheme to detach extensive areas of the Palestinian territory, fragmenting it into cantons isolated from each other and maintaining control over a large part of the borders with the Arab world. The Palestinian people must be given renewed hope and vision for peace with a definite timetable for an independent Palestinian State through the formulation of a clear road map for a solution on the basis Security Council resolutions
242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and the 1991 Madrid Conference.

20. The representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran said that the Israeli forces continued to wage a war against the Palestinians with impunity, exacerbating injuries to the body and soul of the Palestinian people. The provisions of Security Council resolutions and the laws of armed conflict were being violated on a regular basis. Israel and its powerful sponsors not only ignored the efforts of a deprived nation struggling for its inalienable rights for decades, but also paralysed the entire international system. A selective and discriminatory approach to international law and important issues of security was paving the way for unsettling peace and security around the globe. The Council must take punitive action against Israel, authorizing sanctions and the dispatch of an international monitoring force to protect the Palestinian people.

21. The representative of the Russian Federation said that the parties themselves and the international community should pursue a comprehensive strategy that included security and freedom from violence and terror for both Israelis and Palestinians. It required serious and accelerated negotiations leading to a just political settlement and efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs and help to promote the rebuilding of strong, accountable, democratic and market-oriented institutions as the basis for a viable sovereign State. He urged the parties to overcome the crisis by meaningful dialogue, dealing in parallel with its political, economic and security aspects, fully implementing all the relevant Security Council resolutions. He said that the Quartet stood ready to assist the parties in implementing their agreements. There must be immediate parallel and accelerated movement towards tangible political progress. There must be a defined series of steps leading to permanent peace involving normalization and security between the sides, an end to Israeli occupation and an end to the conflict. He called upon the international community to preserve, strengthen and assist the Palestinian Authority. He also called upon the members of the donor community to renew their pledge to provide humanitarian assistance.

22. The representative of South Africa, speaking on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, expressed concern that Israel had developed a culture of acting with impunity when it came to United Nations resolutions. It consistently ignored the resolutions of both the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Movement had repeatedly called upon the Council to discharge its duties regarding the maintenance of international peace and security and to be sure that Israel complied with its resolutions. Unfortunately, the Council had failed to take any action, which had given Israel a green light to continue with its acts of aggression. He reiterated the Movement’s support for the Arab peace initiative as well as for the ongoing work of the Quartet and other international efforts towards reducing the violence and establishing a clearly defined political horizon.

23. The representative of the United Arab Emirates said, that confronted with unremitting developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Committee must move to end the conflict and call upon Israel to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions. He condemned the violations of international humanitarian law by the Israeli forces. His Government supported fully the Palestinian people and its leadership. It also supported their inalienable rights to self-defence, in acceptable ways, to deter Israeli crimes. He called upon the international community to encourage Israel to put an end to the situation. Israel must seek to bring about peace in the region. The Beirut Declaration embodied the principle of land for peace and should be the basis for a solution.

24. The representative of Nigeria condemned the ongoing violence and destruction of lives and property in the Middle East. He also condemned the use of human bombs against innocent civilians in Israel, the massacre of innocent refugees in Jenin, the siege of President Arafat and the systematic destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure. Nigeria reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to have their own independent State within clearly defined borders and living peacefully side-by-side with the State of Israel. He urged all parties to return without delay to genuine substantive dialogue and negotiations.

25. The representative of the League of Arab States commended the sincere and continuous efforts of King Mohammed VI of Morocco to work towards putting an end to Israel’s arrogance. Recalling the stand taken by African countries when they severed diplomatic relations following the 1967 occupation, he said that Africa continued to be a mainstay of support for the Arab nation. The preparations for an international conference to revive the peace process would provide the Palestinian people with the hope of peace. The Arab countries had expressed their support for peace when they adopted the Arab peace initiative last March in Beirut. Israel had responded to that initiative by completely overrunning the West Bank, sowing death and destruction. Despite those actions, the Arab nation remained committed to a political solution. Yet Israel continued its actions, the most dangerous of which was the construction of the wall. It was a confirmation of the Israeli intention to occupy further Palestinian lands. He proposed that a round of talks take place between the Arab countries and the United States or between the Arab countries and the Quartet later in 2002 at the General Assembly or in one of the Arab countries, to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation of Arab territories and to achieve a peaceful settlement in the context of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

26. The representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said that since the outbreak of the intifada, UNFPA had employed a two-tier strategy: responding to emergency needs and priorities, while maintaining development assistance. The Fund’s humanitarian assistance had focused on life-saving services, such as emergency obstetric care. Despite the prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty, UNFPA had reaffirmed its commitment to participate actively in the administrative and financial reform agenda put forth by the donor community and United Nations agencies and endorsed by the Palestinian Authority. He was, however, alarmed by new measures for further tightening of the closures and imposing additional restrictions on the movement of goods and people, including local Palestinian United Nations staff. UNFPA called upon the Israeli authorities to allow staff of humanitarian organizations, the donor community and United Nations agencies safe and unhindered access within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


III. Plenary sessions
Plenary I
Impact of the Israeli military offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
including Jerusalem

27. Speakers in this plenary examined Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Authority and its infrastructure, the security situation and the need for protection of the Palestinian civilian population, the destruction of the Palestinian economy and the urgency of assistance to the Palestinian people, the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in Palestine refugee camps, and international efforts at establishing facts about the Israeli military actions in Jenin and other Palestinian cities, in particular by the General Assembly, including resolution ES-10/10.

28. Kamal Al-Sharafy, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Gaza, pointed out that Israel had refused to accept the core requirements contained in the Oslo Accords, such as the halting of all settlement activity, and continued to reject any solution based on international legitimacy. This had led to the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Referring to the provocations of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, he said that nothing was more telling than Mr. Sharon’s remarks that he regretted not having killed Chairman Arafat in 1982. Mr. Sharon brought into office a history of hatred of Chairman Arafat personally and of the refugee camps. Palestinian resistance had developed in response to the extreme actions of the Israelis who had destroyed much of the Palestinian infrastructure and institutions. There also had been a devastating impact on the economic and social situation. The Israeli invasion and occupation had resulted in the loss of jobs by large numbers of the population, with 75 per cent of the Palestinian workforce being unemployed either partially or totally. Living standards had fallen and 40 per cent of Palestinian families had incomes below $200 or barely $2.00 a day per person. The situation of the wounded and disabled, the bombardments of hospitals, the inability of the severely ill to access medical care either locally or abroad had no acceptable justification. The interference with the freedom of movement affected numerous aspects of life, from the lack of food to the inability of students to complete their education. Occupation was the determining factor in the crisis, which exceeded the original one of 1948, having demolished all the institutions. Any attempt to rebuild the infrastructure could not progress as long as the persecutor was equated with the persecuted, notwithstanding the fact that the persecutor had nuclear weapons.

29. The right of the Palestinians to nationhood was clear and was the first condition for fidning a way out of the crisis. There must be an end to the genocide and an understanding that the occupation was the source of the terrorism. Despite all the Israeli crimes, the Palestinian nation maintained its humanity. There currently were 4 million refugees. Of all the Palestinians, it was they who were the poorest and suffered in their daily lives more than any other segment of society. They were the driving force of the intifada. All of their suffering had no other meaning than to foster the hope to rid themselves of the occupation. The right to return would not fade from view. That right had acquired a legal and moral power and all the relevant international resolutions referred to that right. He concluded by saying that the refugee problem was present at the beginning of the question of Palestine and its solution would mark the end of it.

30. Teddy Katz, peace activist, historian and author, said that almost 55 years after the 1948 war, not only had Israel and the Palestinians not learned their lessons, but they also appeared to have reconstructed those horrors. Suicide bombers, being incapable of threatening the existence of Israel, did everything in their power to make Israelis as miserable as possible. Meanwhile, Israel was turning the daily routine of Palestinians into an intolerable chronicle of pain and misery. In Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and other parts of the West Bank there were people who had had become refugees 54 years ago only to have it happen to them for a second time. He opined that the war continued because the leaders on both sides wanted it to and because their peoples did not demonstrate sufficient resistance. If it were not for the war, Mr. Sharon and his friends could never have reached their high positions. They now used the war to create the atmosphere of a struggle for survival. As long as people were convinced that they were fighting for their bare existence, they would put everything else aside and stand behind their leader. Moreover, Israelis were still haunted by the Holocaust and no matter what happened, they would see themselves as the victim, and the enemy as the brutal attacker. Any suggestion that Israel might do things resembling what had been done in the Holocaust would be classified automatically as an expression of anti-Semitism and treachery.

31. He continued that Israelis were sick of seeing their economy collapse. They were desperate and confused. Although the majority was consistently unsatisfied with the security, political and socio-economic situation, it increasingly supported the Government’s policy and was willing to do anything to make the situation go away. The problem was that many Israelis had been raised to see war as a natural condition and the Palestinians as their eternal enemies. Real peace could only be achieved if both sides stopped regarding at each other as enemies with contradictory interests but as partners who shared the interests of living together in coexistence, cooperation and prosperity. Even though the Israeli peace forces had declined in the past two years, there were still several thousand who kept up the struggle. Recently, the Israeli peace camp had come to life and groups of Jewish, Arab and international activists had engaged in direct non-violent actions, including demonstrations and protest watches, transporting food, medicine and humanitarian aid to besieged areas in the Occupied Territory and physically preventing the Israeli military from destroying Palestinian houses. The number of conscientious objectors who refused to do their compulsory service in the Occupied Territory or in the army altogether was increasing. Together, the supporters of peace could increase worldwide public consciousness of the problems and the alternative. They could urge both sides of the conflict to strive together for a just, peaceful solution on the basis of Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territory to the 1967 borders and ending the Israeli occupation; full evacuation of the settlements; a just and agreed solution to the refugee problem; and the foundation of a Palestinian independent State, alongside Israel.

32. Said Kamal, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine Affairs of the League of Arab States, said that the heart of the matter was the question of land and refugees. No one could argue that the Palestinian people had not lived in the region all along. Those who knew the history of the land also knew who had started the acts of terrorism. Such terrorism had begun with the Israeli massacre of Deir Yassin. Documentation was available to show that there had been five waves of massacres by Jewish bands, the most recent occurring in 1989. Now, all of a sudden, the situation had been turned around to accuse the Palestinians of terrorism and portray the Israelis as the innocent lambs. There must be a review of the history so that the Palestinians could address themselves to Western public opinion to counter the lies about who were the real terrorists.

33. He said he had been the first to enter into dialogue with the Jews. He had proposed to the Israelis “Lets live in peace”, but they did not want to do that. To illustrate the mentality of the people who were making the Israeli decisions, he said that Ariel Sharon had told former Secretary of State Al Haig that he would “finish off the Palestinians in a matter of days.” He said that, of all the recent events, the collapse of the peace process was the most disturbing sign. The situation had moved from interruptions to endless violence. The Arabs, led by Saudi Prince Abdullah, had launched a new initiative that provided for withdrawal of Israeli forces in return for normalization. The Israeli response to the Arab initiative had been to undertake incursions into the Occupied Territory in order invalidate the initiative. But the peace initiative implied a political vision that transcended the temporary. The original Bush plan called for freezing settlement activities and dismantling the blockade. The idea of a provisional State, however, was meaningless. One could talk about a State without permanent borders, but what happened if the peace option failed? Nations must think of the future. It was incumbent on Israel to declare that it would commit itself to the choice of peace. He warned that the current situation might lead to war in the entire region.

34. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, New York, referring to the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report on the recent Israeli incursion into the Jenin camp, said that during their assault, the occupying forces had used civilians as human shields. A number of Palestinian fighters, armed with rifles and in some places with crude explosives, had resisted. The occupying forces had prevented outsiders from entering the camp during its operations and continued to bar entry to international humanitarian agencies, observers or the media even after the attacks had subsided. They had not allowed even the delivery of medical assistance to the wounded or sick, including to the elderly or children. Some people were still missing and many more had been traumatized by the event. The incursion into the camp had come as part of the overall Israel military assault that began on 29 March 2002, lasting about 40 to 50 days. The offence was intended to bring about the collapse of the Palestinian economy. The political aim was to take the Palestinians back to a pre-Oslo situation with severely deprived living conditions for the Palestinian people. There was no doubt that the occupying forces had committed war crimes, as defined in the Fourth Geneva Convention, not only in Jenin but in other areas as well.

35. He recalled that the Secretary-General had reached an agreement with Israel on the dispatch of a fact-finding team to Jenin, but once the Security Council had acted on a resolution to that effect, the Israeli Government began to back-pedal. The decisive element in reversing the Israeli decision was the position taken by the Israeli Army, and the Army Chief of Staff was personally behind that objection. The Secretary-General had explained to the Council that the Israeli Government had rejected the fact-finding team. He had informed the Council of his decision to disband the team. The Arabs were against disbanding, the United States was for it and the Europeans, as usual, stood in between. He emphasized that the Council had completely failed to respond to the situation in spite of the fact that it was basically a United States resolution. There had followed a resumption of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, which requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on what had happened in Jenin and other Palestinian cities based on available information. Although Palestinians had supplied large amounts of documentation to the Secretary-General, the Israelis had refused to cooperate. The conclusions of the Secretary-General’s report must be to ensure respect of the Fourth Geneva Convention by acting on the Declaration of the resumed Conference of the High Contracting Parties of 5 December 2001; establish an international presence through a proposal by the Secretary-General for a multinational force or other means to observe the situation and protect the Palestinian people; and the investigation and prosecution of war criminals on a national level in countries with the appropriate legislation, or regionally or internationally through the establishment of an international court.

Plenary II
Challenges to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

36. The participants considered the following sub-themes: ending the Israeli occupation – a key prerequisite for achieving peace in the region; finding a just and fair solution to the Palestine refugee problem; illegality of the Israeli settlement construction; the present and the future of the Holy City: the status of Jerusalem; and realizing the vision of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State.

37. Rawhi Fattouh, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that for hundreds of years, Palestinians had lived in peace and security on Palestinian territory until Israel occupied it, transforming Palestinian lives into a nightmare. He reviewed the history of the peace process, stating that Israel had continued to flout the peace accords, pursuing a policy of establishing Israel’s occupation as a fait accompli and escalating its campaign of violence against the Palestinian people and its leadership. There were now 140 Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, housing 370,000 settlers, and the Israeli Government was seeking to increase the number of settlers to 400,000. The settlements were an effort to transform the demographic structure in violation of agreements between the parties. The Israeli authorities also sought to bring in thousands of Jews and to settle them on Palestinian land while at the same time demolishing hundreds of Palestinian homes.

38. He said that the Israelis had adhered to a policy of rejecting the return of Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, clinging to Israeli settlements, rejecting the right of return of Palestine refugees and not recognizing Israel’s liability to compensate those who might choose not to return. Meanwhile, the Palestinian position was clear and flexible, especially with respect to exchanging land, limiting the number of refugees returning and compensating the rest, and granting religious Jews the freedom to visit the holy places. Following Ariel Sharon’s provocative September 2000 visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which had caused violence to rage throughout the Palestinian Territory, the Israeli Government had waged war against the Palestinians, resulting in the total destruction of most governmental and non-governmental buildings and institutions. The Government of Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the massacres at Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah.

39. He emphasized that peace was a strategic choice for the Palestinian people. A just and lasting peace could be achieved only by the removal of Israeli occupation from all Palestinian territory occupied on 5 June 1967; a just solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees; the establishment of an independent Palestinian State; and the removal of the Israeli settlements established on Palestinian land. Aggression and tyranny, however great, would not cause the Palestinians to swerve from condemning all acts of terrorism. He condemned and disapproved of any act likely to injure or endanger the lives of peaceful civilians of either the Palestinian or the Israeli people. He called upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli Government and to rein in its Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose military forces each day brought death to dozens of Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others in addition to destroying infrastructures and installations, bulldozing crops and perpetrating the closure and blockade of all towns, villages and whole areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

40. Abdelmoughit Benmessaoud Tredano, Professor of International Law, University of Mohammed V and Vice-President of d’Alternatives, Rabat, referred to a recently delivered statement by United States President Bush on the Middle East and said that it had continued the recent leitmotif of reform in the Palestinian Authority and the security forces, and reflected no change in the idea of temporary borders. The essence of the problem, settlements, had been totally shelved. It was difficult to impose justice in an area that had so many important natural resources. The whole sequence of events illustrated the most astonishing process of hostage-taking in the history of international law. He expressed the view that the partition itself had been a violation of the mandate of the League of Nations. The United Nations did not have the right to split up a State or to declare a partition. From the beginning, the issue had been occupation and there was still no solution. The Arabs had tried to progress towards peace, but the more they tried to move foreword, the more the Israelis had moved back. The Arab world had tried to identify the Palestinian people in the 1974 Arab Summit. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was declared the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. A few days later the United Nations had offered the PLO Observer status. The question of Palestine remained a critical issue because of Jerusalem since the Palestinian people belonged to both the Arab world and to the Islamic world.

41. He observed that it had become more and more difficult to make the voice of Palestine heard in the media. The media used biased and judgmental language, often speaking of Israeli “incursions” on the one hand while referring to “terrorist” bombings on the other. There was a mystification of Taba and Camp David and it was said that the Palestinians had missed the boat for peace. The real question was, who had stopped the negotiations? In fact, the Israeli representative, at the express command of the Israeli Prime Minister, had ended the talks. The tendency was to forget the heart of the issue while focusing on the details. Peace and security could not be achieved as long as security was the precondition of the Israelis and the United States. A few days ago, 400 Palestinian intellectuals had called for an end to the suicide attacks. Their position could be debated, but did the Palestinians have any other choice or option that was viable or plausible, he asked. The PLO had not been able to launch a true liberation war like other countries.

42. He referred to a recent article by Ariel Sharon in the New York Times and deplored that President Bush’s speech echoed the Sharon plan in which he stated that Israel would not go back to the 1967 borders and would not give up Jerusalem or its secure borders. He said that Israel feared peace and needed a permanent external threat. As long as peace was close there was an identity problem within Israel because of all differences between the Israeli citizens from different cultures and parts of the world. The differences between the secular and religious Jews also presented difficulties for the Israelis. It was up to the Palestinians themselves to deal with the situation, he continued. There must be an intra- Palestinian dialogue. Mr. Sharon had unsuccessfully tried to incite a Palestinian civil war. The suicide bombings had provoked a lot of public reaction, but public opinion should be used for the benefit of the Palestinian people.

43. Latif Dori, Secretary of the Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue, said that Ariel Sharon’s purpose was to bring about the total destruction of the Palestinian Authority and the removal of President Yasser Arafat. Yasser Arafat, however, was full of strong will, life and activity. He had demanded that the suicide bombing be ended and that Palestinian youth not be sent on those missions. Resistance within the territory was legitimate and would lead to the end of the occupation, but the suicide bombings were counterproductive. They did not contribute to peace but rather helped Mr. Sharon to continue his war of aggression against the Palestinian people.

44. He recalled that United States President George Bush had repeatedly postponed his policy speech on the Middle East. In his statement the previous night, President Bush had once again expressed criticism of President Arafat, whom he had never met. Yet he had met with Mr. Sharon seven times. Both parties had addressed the statement but had agreed to different things. The Palestinians would not accept a new leadership, and the Israelis would not go back to the 1967 borders. That meant that the path was heading towards a dead end. Proof of Israeli intentions was further illustrated by the recent Israeli invasion of Hebron and the murder of five Palestinian police officers. President Bush had failed to perfect his rope-dancing exercise. He would have to deliver another speech in the near future to say why his proposals had failed.

45. Mr. Dori called upon the Israeli Labour Party to lead the Government, in view of the failure of the current Government. Shimon Peres should not serve as a cover-up for Ariel Sharon or try to embellish his image. There was no hope of reaching peace as long as Mr. Sharon was at the head of the Israeli Government. It might be that peace would have to be imposed on both parties through an international mandate and with the introduction of an international force. Still, he said, there was a modicum of hope in the apparently growing peace campaign in Israel and there had been demonstrations in Israel against the Israeli actions. A poll the previous week had showed that 80 per cent of the Israeli population was for peace and 50 per cent would support the establishment of a Palestinian State; 52 per cent would agree to the dismantlement of settlements.

46. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Director of Studies at the South African Institute of International Affairs, said that the basic assumption for any sustainable settlement of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict must be the recognition and acceptance by both sides of the right of each State to coexist as a viable political and economic entity. A sustainable negotiation process, however, could not occur when one side was under siege. Two processes must commence: negotiations on a final settlement and internal reform of the Palestinian Authority. In the current climate, breaking the cycle of attack, counter-attack and reoccupation would require substantial international pressure on Israel and the engagement of Arab States with the Palestinian Authority to stay the course of reform and to attempt to contain the suicide bombing. The policy of fencing in the West Bank could not form the basis of the future status of the territories, nor could it lead to a comprehensive and sustainable peace. A wall around the West Bank might technically be a withdrawal, but it was also the creation of a huge jail complex where development and peace could not be achieved.

47. She said that President Bush’s long-awaited “vision” for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict once again placed the onus on the Palestinians. The Israeli response was that internal and leadership reforms within the Palestinian Authority must come before the halting of settlements or the establishment of a State. She stressed that withdrawal and negotiations on final status could not wait on an “ideal” reform of the Palestinian Authority, nor could they be held hostage to extremist actions. They had to start now. Ending the Israeli occupation was an essential prerequisite for peace. Moreover, building up peace required a top-down and bottom-up approach. Peace could not be imposed from above alone, nor could it be achieved through the actions of the citizenry without the political will of the leaders. The process should be inclusive and not neglect the fact that there could be no development without peace and no peace without development. Moreover, there must be a process of reconciliation, both within and across borders.

48. She emphasized that for a sustainable peace, the occupation must end. The only solution was ultimately a political one based on compromises. There must be a resumption of serious negotiations, not when there was no longer any violence, but now. The burning issues were Jerusalem, the settlements, the rights of refugees, water and borders. Leadership was essential and the mark of a true leader would be to show the way to genuine security, which was not to be found in the force of arms. Meanwhile, the final document should be put to a referendum in both countries under international monitoring. Other actors in the international community should be involved to facilitate the process, particularly during the current impasse when external pressure on both sides was critical. In particular, the region should be involved in the process. Moreover, the first-track diplomacy must be complemented by the second-track diplomacy among the elements of civil society, which could play a role in developing expertise by supporting the government structures or paralleling them. Finally, there must be an establishment of codes of conduct, greater accountability and democracy within the Palestinian Authority. The deployment of a peacekeeping force between the West Bank and Israel might be the necessary catalyst for the process to begin.

49. Mohamed Barakeh, member of the Knesset, Secretary-General of the Hadash Party, said that Prime Minister Sharon would not accept President Arafat , who had complied with international resolutions and decisions, as a participant in the peace negotiations. Moreover, Ariel Sharon, described as man of peace, said he regretted that he had not killed Arafat in 1982. Yet he himself had an unparalleled record of killing and should be sitting beside Miloševiæ in The Hague before the International Tribunal. The United Nations should request the release of political prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti, who were being arbitrarily detained while the demographic character and territorial unity of Palestinian land was being changed. He opined that the acceptance of President Bush’s speech did not reflect the true position of the Palestinian people, but was an attempt to go into a political process whatever it might be at this stage.

50. He described Israel’s methods as clearly reflective of the South African apartheid regime. Palestinians were not allowed to use certain roads and were not allowed to leave their area, whereas in South Africa, Blacks had not been allowed to go into other areas. In fact, with the erection of walls and fences, Palestinians were being put into collective concentration camps. Any Israeli officer could seize Palestinian land under the pretext that it was needed for military purposes. The land the Palestinians needed to develop was given to the settlers. Meanwhile, the land was administered under two separate systems -- a military system for Palestinians and another system for Israeli settlers living in the 166 West Bank settlements. The settlements were recognized as privileged communities which were exempt from the laws of the Palestinian Authority. In order to encourage settlements, the State gave incentives to settlers that were not even given to other Israeli citizens. Loans were turned into grants and the departments of housing, education, finance, labour and social welfare all gave priority to the settlements. About 30 per cent of the budget for industry and finance was given to the settlers. They also received support and special benefits from international Jewish organizations that did not necessarily abide by Israeli law.

51. As a result, Palestinians were isolated in areas with no territorial continuity, making a viable economy and the provision of basic public services impossible. Settlements were a contradiction to any kind of peace process. Other issues were nothing compared to what was happening on the ground. Mr. Sharon’s envisioned long-term transitional state would make it impossible to have a Palestinian State. The Israeli Government did not want a fair and just peace. It wanted to stop being responsible for the lives of the people while controlling most of the land. There needed to be a different world order for all oppressed people.

52. Edward Abington, lawyer, Washington, D.C., former Consul General in East Jerusalem, said that after more than three decades of work in the Middle East, the goal of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians had never seemed so distant; yet paradoxically, the possibilities of such a peace might be greater than ever. The Palestinians had put forward in Washington a positive and realistic vision of peace with Israel. And United States President George Bush had outlined American ideas about peace. There were many common points between the two visions, making it possible to build an international consensus that could lead to meaningful negotiations. There was a contradiction, however, between the broad diplomatic consensus about what a peace agreement should look like and the realities of the violent situation on the ground.

53. He enumerated the problems that must be faced: the continuing and escalating violence and terrorism; the need for reconstituted Palestinian political, security and economic systems in preparation for statehood; and the absolute requirement for a credible and continuing political process leading to peace between the two long-suffering peoples. There were, however, grounds for hope. The Arab world had recognized that there could be no solution for the Palestinian people without real and lasting security and recognition for Israel. That had been acknowledged as such by the Israeli people, even if their Government has not responded to the Arab initiative. In addition, the international community – and much of Israel – had embraced the notion of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as the only possible solution. The majority of Palestinians did not seek the destruction of Israel, but the creation of an independent State, and the majority of Israelis genuinely believed in peace with the Palestinians.

54. He recalled that the Palestinian negotiators had spent the past three weeks in intensive consultations with officials from the Bush Administration. It was important to convey the Palestinian vision for ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at a time when the international community was seeking to formulate a comprehensive policy regarding the Middle East. The key elements of that vision included borders between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel that would be permanent boundaries between the two States. Also, there would be a permanent territorial corridor established between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip sections of the State of Palestine. East Jerusalem would become the capital of the State of Palestine and West Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel. Jerusalem would remain open to all peoples. The Palestinian side would transfer sovereignty over the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall section of the Western Wall in East Jerusalem to Israel, while retaining sovereignty over the remainder of the Old City. Moreover, future Palestine and Israel would establish security cooperation arrangements that preserved the integrity and sovereignty of each State. International forces would play a central role in those arrangements and the two sides would strive to establish a regional security regime. Neither State would participate in military alliances against the other, or allow their territory to be used as a military base of operations against the other or against other neighbours. No foreign troops might be stationed in the territory of either State unless specified in the permanent status agreement or subsequently agreed to by the two parties. Palestine and Israel’s respective sovereignty and independence would be guaranteed by formal agreements with members of the international community. There would be a just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee problem based on United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948. The issue of water would be resolved in a just and equitable manner in accordance with international treaties and norms and Palestine and Israel would be democratic States with free market economies. Importantly, the comprehensive permanent status agreement would mark the end of conflict between Palestine and Israel, and its complete implementation would mark the end of claims between them.

55. In conclusion, he pointed out that all of that required a parallel process that would create concrete and positive developments on the ground. The Israeli sense of personal security needed to be re-established and Palestinians must be allowed to begin to live a normal life without onerous restrictions. The return to the situation as it existed on 28 September 28 2000 would require a policy of de-escalation, de-occupation, ensuring the protection of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples in accordance with the rule of law and the gradual introduction of attributes of sovereignty to buttress and prepare the ground for a permanent status agreement. The Palestinians believed that there should be a fixed timeline for the process with guaranteed diplomatic international involvement.


Plenary III
International efforts at salvaging peace in the Middle East
African support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people

56. The participants discussed the Arab peace initiative; the role of the “Quartet” in efforts at restoring a peace dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians; the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine; action by African States within the United Nations system, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and other intergovernmental organizations; and civil society action in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

57. Ibrahima Fall, Secretary-General of the African Parliamentary Union, said the African Parliamentary Union had always concerned itself with the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It had adopted several resolutions and declarations expressing solidarity with and support for the Palestinians. The Israeli violence and other actions against the Palestinians served to further alienate hopes for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Peace required Israeli withdrawal and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and other relevant resolutions. He called upon the international community to rapidly put an end to the violence.

58. Moreover, the African Parliamentary Union called upon Israel to cease all military action and affirmed the claim of the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights. The Union called upon both parties to respect and safeguard life, end the violence and return to negotiations. It worked closely with the Arab Parliamentary Union. The African Parliamentary Union had joined with other parliamentary unions to repeatedly express their condemnation of Israeli actions. He reaffirmed the Union’s commitment to support and cooperate with all the parliaments of the world to help bring an end to the occupation and to support the Palestinian people.

59. Ahmed Haggag, Secretary-General of the African Society, Cairo, said that African support for the Palestinian people spanned five decades. Africans knew what it was like to suffer the injustices of occupation and colonialism, to be subjugated in their own lands and to be robbed of their rights and freedoms by others. That solidarity had been strengthened as a result of the special alliance between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa. Furthermore, as Members of the United Nations, African States had a moral duty to ensure that the resolutions and decisions of the world Organization were implemented. If they were ignored, what would prevent the international community from ignoring other resolutions and decisions, particularly those that referred to Africa, such as those pertaining to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

60. The African Group was a powerful block at the United Nations, comprising 53 States or 28 per cent of its membership. Their solidarity with the Palestinian people had often been part of the reciprocal relationship between African and Arab Member States. Moreover, the three African members of the Security Council – Cameroon, Guinea and Mauritius – had an influential say within the Council. In the past, Namibia had been the most vocal in defending Palestinian rights in the Council. He recalled that African delegates attending the World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001 had been steadfast in their support for including language on Palestinian rights and the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the final document.

61. He called upon African States to demonstrate their solidarity through participation in open debates and voting at the United Nations on questions pertaining to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It was also important to participate in observances such as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people on 29 November and to send messages of support to show the Palestinians that they were not alone. It was essential to visit the Occupied Territory and to send official delegations to meet with President Arafat. Further, it was crucial for African States to speak out and to remain at the forefront of international and regional efforts to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. He called for the establishment of an African Solidarity Fund with the Palestinian people as an act of support. Those approaches were not revolutionary, but they were practical and implementable, he said.

62. Iba Der Thiam, Vice-President of the National Assembly of Senegal, Dakar, recalled that the African and the Palestinian people shared a similar history. They had both experienced gratuitous violence and the stigmas of colonization. The Africans, who had recently acquired independence, were involved in the struggle for peace in the Middle East. The move for solidarity had been supported by the African Parliamentary Union as the question of Palestine had a special historical significance for Africans. He reviewed the many actions on the part of African regional groups to support the Palestinian people, noting that many of the African States had not existed when the partition plan was enacted, and had played no role in the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 1947. In 1982, when Israel marched into Lebanon, the African countries had stood with the Arabs condemning the massacres in Sabra and Shatila. They also condemned any attempt to seize the city of Jerusalem. In 1987 when the Intifada broke out, the African countries had taken the same stand. In 1988, they welcomed the declaration of a Palestinian State.

63. He noted that since the advent of the Government of Mr. Sharon, the Africans had condemned the Israeli policies of extrajudicial killings, deportation of Palestinians, looting, curfews, invasions of Palestinian cities and the settlements in the Palestinian Territory. They had also condemned the planned wall around the West Bank. He warned that the resort to conventional forces always led to extreme reactions. The Palestinian sons and daughters had rewritten the meaning of courage and sacrifice and bloodshed had exceeded all limits. It was time to speak out for a vision of peace and reconciliation, in individual ways, renouncing force and recognizing the rights of all nations to live in peace. He called for an end to a double-standard policy and the attempt to undermine Chairman Arafat. The Palestinians must dare to take initiatives and explore all tracks, ending the suicide missions.

64. Larbi Messari, Moroccan writer, pointed out that the statement by President Bush of the previous day proved that the United Nations Committee must work harder to reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. That statement had set down a precondition of establishing a new leadership in the Palestinian Authority. However, the rest of the international community viewed matters in an entirely different light and called for Israel’s withdrawal and the establishment of the rights of the Palestinian people.

65. He said that the Israeli Government’s campaign of destruction over the past two years had involved the persecution of journalists, both Palestinian and foreign. Reviewing a press release issued by a number of international organizations concerned with the freedom of expression, he stated that many journalists were the targets of attacks or various forms of harassment by Israeli soldiers, especially since the start on 29 March of the current Israeli military attack in the West Bank. According to the report of the organization Reporters Without Borders, during 15 months of continuous violence against the Palestinians, the Israeli army was responsible for wounding 45 journalists, some of them critically. Israel’s Ministry of Defence acknowledged only nine cases and denied responsibility for all except one. In one instance, three different television cameras had filmed a scene in which an Israeli soldier trained his weapon on a French television correspondent and fired from 100 metres. However, most of the wounded were Palestinians. At the end of the year, moreover, the Israeli authorities had decided not to renew the accreditations of Palestinian correspondents working for the international media.

66. Compiling a list of hardships endured by the Palestinian media during the three weeks following the reoccupation of Palestinian areas, Reporters Without Borders had concluded that such acts of aggression, intentional humiliations and threats of bodily harm represented a conscious policy to conceal from the international public the truth about Israeli army actions. Attempts to suppress information extended to the Israeli media as well, with the suspension of newspapers as well as barring access to so-called military areas. He went on to say that assistance in suppressing information was provided by Jewish supporters of Mr. Sharon’s policies in various countries. Groups in the United States had decided to boycott the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post as well as numerous television networks because of their intensive coverage of Israeli violence against the Palestinians. CNN reported that it had received 6,000 email messages in a single day protesting the way in which it covered news in the Palestinian Territory. In other instances, individual writers had become the target of vehement campaigns and had been accused of being anti-Semitic when they had adopted a neutral approach to the Palestinian question. The campaigns focused on the material aspect so as to inflict damage on those who opted for a neutral stance. Still, many Jewish personalities had ventured to criticize Israel’s violence against the Palestinians.

67. Samir Diab, Ambassador of Palestine to Nigeria, noted that two thirds of the Arab world were Africans. Arab support for the uprisings and search for self-determination in African nations had taken various forms. The Palestinian liberation movement considered itself a part of the international liberation movement. In 1961, the Africans had given more attention to the question of Palestine, and with the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, there was even greater cooperation between Africans and Palestinians. The occupation of Egyptian territories in 1967 had solidified African support. Another factor had been Israeli support for the apartheid regime.

68. He reviewed the history of African/Palestinian relations and said that many of the African liberation movements had been trained in the Fatah and PLO camps. The PLO had achieved several victories on the international level, especially with the achievement of Observer status at the United Nations. Various forms of alliances and solidarity had matured and developed. In 1975, the Palestinian question had come to be considered an African issue. African countries had severed ties with Israel, given the PLO observer status at the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and declared full support for the exercise of Palestinian rights. Africans had condemned the inhuman acts against the occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands, and the disrespect of holy sites. They had expressed solidarity with the first intifada and condemned Israel for its violation of the principles of peace. They had urged the peace sponsors to stop all forms of assistance to illegitimate Israeli activities and to use every possible means to make Israel comply.

69. He recalled that during the previous year, African leaders had condemned brutal Israeli practices against innocent Palestinian citizens and the repeated invasions of territory under Palestinian Authority control. They had also asserted the absolute need for Israel to respect international humanitarian law, calling for a halt to the policy of land confiscation. They had appealed to Israel as the occupying Power to withdraw from the territories. In the wake of the latest incidents, the African States had condemned the destruction of the Palestinian Authority’s institutions and property as well as all the killings in Palestinian towns and camps. Some countries had threatened to sever their relations with Israel.


IV. NGO Workshop

Action by civil society in Africa
in solidarity with the Palestinian people

70. The NGO Workshop organized in connection with the African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People was held in the morning of 26 June 2002. The Workshop was opened by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The theme of the Workshop was “Action by civil society in Africa in solidarity with the Palestinian people”. Representatives of 16 NGOs together with the experts of the Meeting discussed regional NGO action to mobilize public opinion in support of the Palestinian people; reviewed action in pursuance of the recommendations made at the Non-Governmental Forum in Durban in August 2001; and discussed the development of action-oriented proposals by African NGOs and mechanisms for their implementation. The deliberations of the Workshop were chaired by Abdelmoughit Benmessaoud Tredano, Vice-President of the Moroccan association d’Alternatives.

71. Papa Louis Fall, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that the Committee was extremely worried about the increasing human casualties caused by Israel’s repeated military incursions into Palestinian cities and by the deteriorating living conditions of the Palestinian people. The Committee was particularly disturbed by Israel’s continued prevention of access of humanitarian organizations, which represented a clear defiance of international law. The situation called for urgent measures by all layers of the international community to contain the crisis and to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. Civil society had to play a crucial role in the achievement of that goal. For that reason, the Committee continued to strengthen its cooperation with the NGOs, academic institutions, parliamentarians and media representatives.

72. He said that the Committee was encouraged by the actions of the Israeli peace camp in opposing the Government’s policy of occupation. Boycott campaigns of Israeli products had also attracted increasing attention and were becoming recognized as a legitimate tool for influencing Government policy. Since the United States had the greatest influence on the parties to the conflict, the importance of the role of American NGOs was enormous and could help to change media reports to become less one-sided and more reflective of the real situation. He continued by remarking that the initiatives by African NGOs were gaining momentum and said that the Committee was aware of their attempt to show parallels between the current Israeli policies and those of the apartheid regime of South Africa.

73. He called for more intensified efforts by civil society organizations in support of the Palestinian people. The delivery of emergency relief should be another area of priority. Particular attention should be given to the protection of the Palestinian people. Member States should also be urged through parliaments, NGOs and public opinion to take necessary measures to uphold international law and implement United Nations resolutions. The role of NGOs in informing public opinion about the root causes of the conflict and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people remained crucial, especially when a large part of the international population still did not know the origins of the conflict or had prejudice against the Palestinian cause. The Committee was fully committed to assisting the NGO community and would hold an International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People on 23 and 24 2002 September in New York.

74. Abd El Raouf Arnaout, representative of LAW, the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, said that the decision of the Belgian authority to close its case against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should not deter attempts to bring Israeli war criminals to trial. He referred to President Bush’s statement of Monday 24 June 2002 as a flagrant interference in Palestinian affairs. He went on to say that the United States Secretary of State was defining the prerequisites for a Palestinian leader and laying down the rules for holding elections. If the leader-elect was not approved by the United States, American aid to the Palestinians would be withdrawn. He added that with the United States condoning the crimes against the Palestinian people the responsibility of civil society working in Palestine had multiplied. Civil society must expose Israeli war crimes. It should also stand up for ensuring the Palestinians the right to free elections without any interference. Following the Israeli Government’s move to isolate the media from the scene of its crimes, NGOs were trying to document Israeli war crimes for use in international courts. Practical steps must be taken to amass documents to be used in trying Israeli war criminals.

75. He said that an international network of organizations should be set up to address the Palestinian cause on a daily basis to influence decision makers. He also proposed the establishment of a multilingual web site that would, among other things, carry news of the activities of NGOs that addressed the Palestinian question. Documentaries could be made for broadcast on national networks. NGOs must find creative ways to have the Palestinian problem broadcast on all television networks and stress that the core problem was the Israeli occupation. NGOs must call for the release of Palestinian political detainees. They should also call upon the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility vis-à-vis the Palestinians. He noted that the persistence of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people made the responsibility of civil society an onerous one and the need for their assistance by the Palestinian people more urgent.

76. Na’eem Jeenah, of the Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa, said that in general, African public opinion was on the side of the Palestinian people. He recalled that at the World Conference against Racism the previous year, there had been an unprecedented display of support for the Palestinian people with a great deal of coverage by the international media. At the NGO Forum, African civil society had developed a strong declaration. The Palestinian cause had lost support following the events of 11 September, which were then used as an excuse for the brutal actions by the Government of Ariel Sharon.

77. He cautioned that African public opinion and its support for the Palestinian people should not be taken for granted, but must be carefully nurtured and strengthened. NGOs, religious groups and the media were extremely important. At the World Conference against Racism, African NGOs had symbolically launched a movement called the International Movement against Apartheid Israel, with the aim of isolating Israel. A move for consumer and trade boycotts had received wide support throughout South Africa. An academic boycott had gained ground. There was also talk of mobilizing in South Africa a cultural boycott against Israel. The campaign operated also at the government level.

78. Despite all that had been said, there still were some African Governments that continued to sell to Israel military equipment or purchase riot gear, apart from other kinds of trade. The world scene had not changed so substantially that exclusion would not work. It must be used as a strategy in the international arena. He asked if the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League were willing to call upon Governments around the world to support such tactics. It was also important to develop person-to-person linkages between countries. There was an added role for religious organizations and the media, which needed to be used much more effectively to mobilize public opinion. Palestinian solidarity workers must develop a clear platform on which Palestinian solidarity could be based.

79. Ben Jellou Andalouss Mohammed, President of the Moroccan Association for the Support of the Struggle of the Palestinian People, said that the Association had been operational since the beginning of the Palestinian intifada. It had collected $400,000 to purchase medical supplies for hospitals in the Occupied Territory. It had encouraged the media to keep track of and publish accounts of all relevant events and had mobilized private channels to broadcast every aspect of the Palestinian struggle. The Association had also encouraged social movements to express support for the Palestinians and to undertake a boycott of all Israeli products. He called for the mobilization of the Moroccan nation to better understand that Israel considered itself above the law and did not feel bound to implement United Nations resolutions.

80. He said that all Israeli war criminals should be brought before an international court. Israel, which had always sought to misrepresent the facts and its intentions, had turned its back on all efforts to bring it to the negotiation table. It had tried to liquidate Palestinians and the Palestinian cause as well. When that failed, it had tried to destroy the Palestinian Authority itself. Through all of this, the Security Council had sat with its hands folded. Moreover, President Bush’s statement on 24 June 2002 was an adoption of Ariel Sharon’s goals aimed at undermining the Oslo Accords. Mr. Sharon had attempted to liquidate all elements of resistance and to impose a de facto situation to postpone the establishment of the State of Palestine. The plan as outlined in the statement by President Bush served as a premise to redraw the borders between Israel and the future Palestine. It was a dangerous precedent.

81. At the end of the Workshop, NGO participants discussed and adopted a Plan of Action (see annex II).


V. Closing session

82. Walter Balzan, Rapporteur of the African Meeting, introduced the Final Communiqué of the Meeting (see annex I).

83. Mohammed Bennouna, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, New York, emphasized that the Palestinian people was in dire need of support by the international community. African countries had always reiterated their firm support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It was urgently required to implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002). Rightly, the participants in the African Meeting had condemned the reoccupation by Israel of Palestinian cities, the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and had demanded that Israel return to the negotiating table. International initiatives, such as those of the “Quartet”, the Arab countries, the African and the non-aligned States had showed the path towards peace. Moreover, a lasting and mutually beneficial peace could not be realized by attempts to isolate the Palestinian people and its leadership. It was high time to set into motion a new negotiating process based on a firm timetable, in order to find a permanent settlement in accordance with international legitimacy.

84. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, noted the importance of the African continent for a just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine. Referring to the statement by United States President Bush the previous day, he highlighted the fact that President Bush had reaffirmed the support for the creation of a Palestinian State, that the Israeli occupation of Arab land of 1967 had to end, that there was a need for a time limit of three years to reach a final solution, and that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory were an obstacle to peace. He expressed astonishment about some animosity contained in the statement against the Palestinian leadership and even the Palestinian people. Finally he asked that the United States statement be converted into pragmatic positions and concrete steps to be implemented. The first test of the declared positions would be the actions by Israel in the near future. He welcomed the work of the Quartet and reiterated the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine. It was urgent to implement measures to protect the Palestinian people. An international presence on the ground would bring about immediate positive results.

85. Papa Louis Fall, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that the Meeting had noted with grave concern the adverse effect the Israeli military offensive had had on the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority infrastructure. In view of the different testimonies heard in the plenaries, it was the right time to press once again for a mechanism of international protection of the Palestinian civilian population to be deployed on the ground. From the discussions it had become apparent that the various elements of a permanent solution required strict adherence to the norms of international law, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967),
338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and General Assembly resolution 194 (III). He welcomed the commitment by African Governments and peoples to continue their moral, political and material support of the Palestinian people until it attained its inalienable rights.



ANNEX I

Final Communiqué

1. The United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was held in Rabat on 24 and 25 June 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participants in the Meeting included eminent political personalities and experts from Africa, other international experts, representatives of Governments, Palestine, intergovernmental organizations, entities of the United Nations system, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to further increasing awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people and enlisting support for the resumption of political negotiations leading to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The participants assessed the impact of the Israeli military offensive in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem; considered the challenges to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine; and discussed international efforts at salvaging peace in the Middle East, as well as African support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

3. The participants agreed that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory remained the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They emphasized that the continued reliance of Israel on massive military force throughout the Palestinian Territory, the relentless Israeli attacks against the Palestinian Authority, its institutions and its elected leadership, the closures, buffer zones and economic blockades, the repeated incursions into and reoccupation of Palestinian-controlled areas, the extrajudicial detentions and the killings of civilians, the destruction of public infrastructure and private property and all other illegal actions against the Palestinian people must be brought to an immediate end. They demanded that United Nations Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) be implemented without delay and that Israeli troops withdraw immediately to the positions they had occupied before the start of the intifada in September 2000.

4. The participants welcomed resolution ES-10/10 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations at its resumed tenth emergency special session on 7 May 2002 and said that they looked forward to the publication of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the tragic events that had taken place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities during the recent Israeli offensive, as mandated by the aforementioned resolution.

5. The participants called upon the Government of Israel to honour its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and immediately terminate all acts of violence against innocent civilians, stop destroying civilian and personal property, and cease forthwith all other illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including settlement construction. They also demanded that the Israeli Government immediately cease construction of the system of barriers designed to separate arbitrarily the West Bank from Israel.

6. The participants expressed their belief that peacemaking efforts by the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, working in the framework of the “Quartet”, as well as by other international and regional actors should continue and should be intensified. It was essential that a meaningful political dialogue be immediately resumed, in parallel with improvements in the security situation and economic rehabilitation efforts. In that regard they noted the Declaration on the Middle East adopted by the European Council at the EU Summit in Seville, Spain, on 22 June 2002, as well as the statement made by the President of the United States George W. Bush on 24 June 2002 in Washington, D.C. They expressed the hope that the aforementioned initiatives would lead to the realization of the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders, as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002.

7. The participants urged the Security Council to exercise fully its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and to use all means at its disposal to ensure implementation of all its relevant resolutions. They reiterated that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine could only be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and the “land for peace” principle.

8. The participants noted that the League of Arab States Summit had endorsed, on 28 March 2002, in Beirut, the important peace initiative put forward by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which called for full Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, the achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations between the Arab countries and Israel. The participants viewed this initiative as a very positive and constructive contribution to the overall efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East.

9. The participants endorsed the idea of deploying some form of international presence to monitor a ceasefire and restore confidence in the security and political fields.

10. The participants reiterated their support for the Palestinian leadership in its efforts to end the current impasse and also welcomed the reform process initiated by Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian leadership with a view to improving the institutions of the Palestinian Authority. In that regard the participants reaffirmed their recognition of the sovereign right of the Palestinian people to democratically elect their leadership without any interference.

11. The participants reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with respect to all the aspects of the question of Palestine, until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and norms of international law, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized.

12. The participants commended Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his consistent support for the rights of the Palestinian people and his tireless personal efforts in the quest for peace and stability in the Middle East. They also expressed appreciation for the important work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Office.


13. The participants noted with appreciation the important role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in rendering varied humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees for over 50 years and called upon the occupying Power to take all necessary measures to assist the Agency in meeting the urgent challenges, to ensure the safety of its personnel and the security of clinics, schools and other installations and infrastructure, and to facilitate its access to all areas and persons under its responsibility.

14. The participants stressed that scaled-up international assistance was central to maintaining the viability and sustainability of the Palestinian economy and livelihood of the Palestinian population. It was of crucial importance for the donors to review their assistance programmes in order to develop quick, effective and efficient mechanisms of disbursing emergency assistance.

15. The participants acknowledged the increasingly important role played by civil society in providing emergency relief to the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, mobilizing support for the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

16. The participants expressed appreciation for the role of African States, at various levels, including the Organization of African Unity, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and within the United Nations itself, in promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

17. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, H.E. Mr. Papa Louis Fall, and the delegation of the Committee were greatly honoured by an audience granted to them by His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco. His Majesty stressed the importance of supporting the Palestinian people at this time of great hardship and of persevering with efforts at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict, and welcomed the efforts of the Committee in that regard. The Committee delegation expressed its deep appreciation of the active and constructive role played by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in his capacity as Chairman of the Al Quds/Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and by Morocco in various international forums, including the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in the search for peace in the Middle East and the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

18. The participants also expressed gratitude to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Mr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, and to the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.

Rabat, 25 June 2002




ANNEX II

NGO Plan of Action

The NGOs participating in the United Nations Workshop of African NGOs on the Question of Palestine at Rabat, with a view to engaging the Palestinian question as a daily issue, instead of a seasonal one that is linked to events such as the intifada, and convinced of the urgency of an agenda of continuous activities, adopted the following Plan of Action:

· To establish an international network of NGOs in support of the Palestinian people that communicates and coordinates action online through the establishment of a web site. The site should also reveal, on a daily basis, the atrocities and other oppressive actions that are carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people;

· To produce documentary films about Israeli violations of international law and human rights;

· To exploit all possible means to reveal to the world the real nature of Israel as an occupying force that practises occupation, repression, discrimination, segregation and torture of the Palestinian people;

· To take all possible actions and exert efforts to organize and institute the prosecution of Israeli war crimes;

· To organize coordinated activities and actions (among NGOs) at the regional and international levels in support of the Palestinian people;

· To bolster continuous coordination between NGOs working for the Palestinian cause and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;

· To carry out actions in tandem with priorities defined by Palestinian leaders and civil society. Palestinian priorities and concerns would have to be periodically reviewed and made public in order for NGOs to meet Palestinian needs;

· To devote the forthcoming African Year, among others, as a year of support and solidarity by the peoples of Africa with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause;

· To implement the declaration of the NGO Forum of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that was issued at Durban in 2001 on Palestinians and Palestinian refugees;

· To encourage the Secretary-General of the United Nations to follow through on his proposal for a multinational mechanism for the protection of the Palestinian people by sending letters, publishing articles and collecting petitions;

· To ask African Governments to halt normalization of diplomatic and other relations with Israel as a policy of exerting pressure on Israel to cease its atrocities;

· To promote a boycott of Israeli products by Africans and rally the support of NGOs in other countries in order to persuade them to boycott products manufactured in Israeli settlements;

· To ask Arab Governments to reactivate the Israel Boycott Bureau of the League of Arab States;

· To help deliver humanitarian relief to the victims in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

· To campaign against the Israeli deportation of the families of Palestinian resistance militants and political leaders;

· To study the feasibility of and rally the support of international organizations for the establishment of an international satellite TV station devoted to the Palestinian cause;

· To appeal to different United Nations agencies for further assistance and protection for Palestinian women and children living under Israeli occupation, closures and constant curfews.
Rabat, 26 June 2002




ANNEX III


List of participants

Speakers


Mr. Edward Abington
Lawyer
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kamal Al-Sharafi
Member, Palestinian Legislative Council
Gaza

Mr. Abd Elraouf Arnaout
Media staff member, LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment
Jerusalem

H.E. Mr. Samir Diab
Ambassador of Palestine to Nigeria
Abuja

Mr. Latif Dori
Secretary, Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue
Tel Aviv

Mr. Ibrahima Fall
Secretary-General, African Parliamentary Union
Abidjan

Mr. Rawhi Fattouh
Secretary-General, Palestinian Legislative Council
Rafah

Mr. Ahmed Haggag
Secretary-General, African Society
Cairo

Mr. Na’eem Jeenah
Palestinian Solidarity Committee of South Africa
Cape Town

Mr. Said Kamal
Assistant Secretary-General, League of Arab States
Cairo

Mr. Teddy Katz
Peace activist and historian
Jerusalem

H.E. Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations
New York

H.E. Mr. Larbi Messari
Moroccan writer
Rabat

H.E. Mr. Abdelwahed Radi
Speaker, House of Representatives of Morocco
Rabat

Ms. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
Director of Studies, South African Institute of International Affairs
Braamfontein

Mr. Iba Der Thiam
Vice-President, National Assembly of Senegal
Dakar

Mr. Abdelmoughit Benmessoud Tredano
Professor of International Law, University of Mohammed V
Vice-President of d’Alternatives (NGO)
Rabat

Delegation of the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

H.E. Mr. Papa Louis Fall
Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations,
Chairman of the Committee and Head of Delegation

H.E. Mr. Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla
Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations
Vice-Chairman of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Ravan A.G. Farhâdi
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Vice-Chairman of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Walter Balzan
Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations
Rapporteur of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Bennouna
Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations

Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Ms. Mervat Tallawy
Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)


Governments

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Japan, Jordan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela, Yemen


Non-member States maintaining permanent observer missions at Headquarters

Holy See, Switzerland


Entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the
work of the General Assembly and maintaining permanent observer missions at Headquarters

Palestine

Intergovernmental organizations

League of Arab States, Sovereign Military Order of Malta


United Nations organs, agencies and bodies

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA)
World Food Programme (WFP)

Non-governmental organizations

Alternatives
Association Marocain pour le Soutien à la Lutte du Peuple Palestinien
CARE – Centre for Applied Research in Education
Confédération Mondiale du Travail - CMT
Democratic Front for Peace and Equality
General Forum of Arab African NGOs
Groupe d’étude pour la recherché, méditerraneenne
International Secretariat in Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Neda Institute for Scientific-Political Research
Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment
Societé générale de l’Association marocaine pour le soutien de la Cause Palestine
Union Marocain du Travail
World Assembly of Muslim Youth
World Association of Writers, Palestinian PEN and Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom,
Palestine Section
World Confederation of Labour


Media

Al-Israr Al Maghribi, Algeria Press Service (APS), Al-Sada, Morocco Arab Press (MAP), Moroccan Radio, Palestine News Aency, R.T.M., Soread 2M, Television Morocco, ‘WAM” News Agency


Public

Mr. Driss Assou Qaddouri
Dr. Hassain Terjaowi


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