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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
28 April 2000



UNITED NATIONS NGO MEETING
ON PALESTINE REFUGEES


UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
28 April 2000





CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
I.INTRODUCTION
1 - 7
3
II.OPENING STATEMENT
8 - 9
3
III.PLENARY SESSION
10 - 13
4
IV.NGO WORKSHOP
14 - 28
5
V.CLOSING STATEMENTS
29 - 32
8
Annexes
I.NGO statement
9
II.List of participants
12





I. INTRODUCTION

1. The United Nations NGO Meeting on Palestine Refugees was convened pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 54/39 and 54/40 of 1 December 1999, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the Headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization in Paris, on 28 April 2000, immediately following a two-day International Conference on Palestine Refugees.

2. The Meeting was attended by the representatives of 65 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 10 Governments, a delegation of Palestine, 3 intergovernmental organizations, 2 United Nations bodies and agencies.

3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee and head of the delegation; Ravan A.G. Farhâdi (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman; Walter Balzan (Malta), Rapporteur; Sotirios Zackheos (Cyprus); and M. Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).

4. The NGO Meeting was opened by Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Vice-Chairman of the Committee and head of the delegation. The plenary session was chaired by Mr. Don Betz, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine. Presentations were made by Mr. As'ad Abdul Rahman, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Head of the Refugees Department; and by Ms. Joyce Ajlouny, Programme representative, Oxfam United Kingdom.

5. The plenary was followed by a workshop focusing on such themes as the experience of NGOs in delivering basic social services to refugee communities, promoting awareness of Palestine refugee rights internationally, promoting stronger support for UNRWA and the role of NGOs in empowering the refugee communities.

6. The NGO Meeting was closed by Mr. Ravan A.G. Farhâdi, Vice-Chairman, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

7. The participating NGOs adopted a Statement.

II. OPENING STATEMENT

8. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, stated that it was important, in the view of the Committee, to hold the United Nations NGO Meeting on Palestine Refugees immediately following the International Conference on Palestine Refugees to give an opportunity to civil society organizations from all regions of the world to share their experiences and coordinate their actions, while developing specific action-oriented proposals. He recalled that at the International Conference, participants had expressed the hope that permanent status negotiations would bring about a long-overdue solution of the issue of Palestine refugees, based on relevant United Nations resolutions and international legitimacy. On the other hand, they had voiced disappointment that more than 50 years after the inception of the Palestine refugee crisis and the adoption by the General Assembly of its landmark resolution 194 (III) setting forth the inalienable right of the refugees of return and restitution, the solution remained elusive.

9. The Committee maintained that without a just solution to the Palestine refugee issue, the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East would be bleak. He stressed the important role played by NGOs with regard to finding a solution to the Palestine refugee problem. NGOs informed and shaped public opinion, and represented the views of constituencies before policy makers. Many NGOs had assistance projects in the field. In 1997, NGOs, meeting in Geneva, had adopted an NGO Plan of Action, reaffirmed at the NGO meeting held in Cairo in 1998, containing a set of concrete measures, which were still relevant. He expressed the Committee's appreciation for the initiatives taken by the NGOs, in particular in the European region, to inform and educate policy makers and parliamentarians about the Palestine refugee crisis.

III. PLENARY SESSION

10. Mr. As'ad Abdul Rahman, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Head of the Refugees Department, stated that a just solution to the Palestine refugee issue lay in the scrupulous implementation of the international community’s will as expressed in General Assembly resolution 194 (III). The return of refugees would not mean the destruction of the State of Israel, as claimed by some. The maintenance of the racial and ethnic purity of Israel could not be accepted as a legitimate objective, whereas preserving the Jewish character of Israel had some validity as an argument. Israel must acknowledge the right of return in principle; then discussions on the modalities and time frames of implementation could be held. He stated that many supporters of the Palestinian cause mistakenly thought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was over with the signing of the Oslo accords, but the Palestinians still faced the twin ongoing battles of national liberation and nation-building, and needed the support of NGOs on both of these fronts.

11. He stated that the Palestinians had adopted a step-by-step approach to the realization of their inalienable rights. No occupied country had ever achieved independence immediately. The Palestinians were still struggling with interim issues, in addition to permanent status issues. He stated that the struggle for the right of return would be continued, regardless of whether the declaration of a Palestinian State came before this goal was achieved or afterwards. He stressed that there were no plans to forfeit the right of return. NGOs should continue to work with Israeli public opinion to promote the recognition of the right of return. Lebanon and Gaza refugees needed particular help from the NGOs as their needs were the greatest. He endorsed the recommendations contained in the paper prepared by Ms. Joyce Ajlouny of Oxfam United Kingdom.

12. Ms. Joyce Ajlouny, programme representative, Oxfam United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the Coordinating Committee of International NGOs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (CCINGO), stated that International NGOs had been working to assist Palestinian refugees since 1948, but usually did not extend their interventions past immediate emergency responses. More NGOs had started to work with refugees on a sustained basis after 1993, out of concerns that aid flows were bypassing the refugee population, and concerns about UNRWA's budget deficit. NGOs had recognized that camp refugees formed a particularly disadvantaged sector, characterized by poverty, low status, limited opportunity and vulnerability. CCINGO members' activities included credit programmes, income generation, capacity-building, gender equity programmes, rehabilitation centres, women's legal aid and counselling, infrastructure, information technology training, and advocacy in their home countries. She emphasized the need to implement development strategies in a way that was compatible with the refugees' firm adherence to their refugee identity.

13. Although a few international NGOs officially advocated for the right to return and compensation, even those few fell short of concrete action. The CCINGO Working Group on Refugees would produce a position paper on refugees, targeting the international community in general and their head offices in particular. The priorities should include increased commitment to UNRWA services; development and empowerment of refugee community structures, increasing the capacity of refugees to address their own socioeconomic needs; full refugee participation in aid programmes; protecting services in the case of the future dissolution of UNRWA, engaging international NGOs in a search for modalities of return and compensation; ensuring that the Palestine refugees were not excluded from the internationally accepted refugee frameworks; promoting refugee representation in political processes; and ensuring that the refugees did not pay the price of the international community's failure to act on its convictions.


IV. NGO WORKSHOP

14. Mr. Ali Gawhar Al Jammali, Head of the Palestinian Consultative Council, Egypt, stated that the international community had created the Palestine refugee problem and had done nothing to enforce the solution. The only support provided had been humanitarian, in the form of assistance through UNRWA, which was facing a financial crisis. The victorious powers of the Second World War had created a national home for the Jewish people by uprooting the Palestinian people. There had been plenty of apologies and compensation available for the Jewish people, but none for the Palestinians, who faced racial discrimination, persecution, instability and ethnic cleansing on a daily basis. Compensation could not be a substitute for return. There was international unanimity on the right of return, which could not be extinguished by any authority. The denial of return and restitution would create an explosive situation in the region.

15. Ms. Amneh Suleiman, General Union of Palestinian Women, stated that UNRWA had not been able to solve the refugee problem. UNRWA services had been undermined, with 60 per cent of refugees in Lebanon living in poverty. In 1999, many women's programmes had been suspended. Education services had been reduced, health services remained inadequate. Overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in the camps were deteriorating. She stated that the civil rights of Palestinians in Lebanon had been circumscribed, and access to the job market curtailed. NGOs had held preliminary meetings with Lebanese officials to discuss those issues; however, they had been discontinued without explanation.

16. Mr. Uri Avneri, Gush Shalom, stressed the need for greater cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian peace organizations. Regrettably, in Arab circles, cooperation with the Israeli peace movement was stigmatized as "normalization". The Israeli public mood, which opposed return, needed to be changed before the Israeli Government could take any action on the refugee issue. Palestinian voices of reason needed to be heard before Israeli audiences. He cited Israeli-Palestinian efforts to rebuild demolished houses as a positive example of cooperation, which had had an impact on Israeli public opinion. Unfortunately, there was less cooperation now than at the beginning of the Oslo process. Not enough was being done to mobilize the media with regard to Palestine refugees. He proposed holding an NGO conference on refugees in Jerusalem, which would be extensively covered by the Israeli and Palestinian media. He stressed the need to boycott the products of Israeli settlements and stated that Gush Shalom would publish a list of such products. The European Union (EU) supported the settlements economically, by importing some $200 million worth of their products, in contravention of the Israeli-EU trade agreements, which specifically excluded settlement products.

17. Mr. Pierre Galand, Chairman, European Coordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), stated that the violation of Palestinian rights continued unabated against a background of increasing public indifference in the West. Oxfam had not managed to convince either public opinion or the policy makers in Europe to address the issue. Europe had waited too long to move beyond its historical guilt complex vis-à-vis the Jewish people and needed to refocus on its current debt to the Palestinians. Public awareness campaigns were urgently needed. Europe had rules on its books against the importation of goods produced in the Israeli settlements; however, those rules were not enforced. European parliamentarians should be made aware of that situation. He stated that paying contributions to UNRWA was not sufficient. For May, ECCP had scheduled a meeting with parliamentarians to sensitize them to the refugee issue. He stated that the previous week, the General Assembly of European NGOs had adopted a resolution on the question of Palestine.

18. Mr. Fernand Tuil, Association des Villes Françaises Jumelées avec des Camps de Réfugiés Palestiniens, stated that the twinning of Palestine refugee camps and French cities had been going on for the past 10 years. In addition to political statements, those activities involved the establishment of human bonds between French citizens and Palestine refugees. Twinning also involved individual hospitals and schools in France and in the refugee camps. A project had been implemented to provide 59 camps with Internet access, as part of a plan to preserve the collective refugee memory and to allow camps to communicate with each other. NGOs should work to publicize the dire situation of the refugees, which was unknown and unnoticed in Europe. He proposed the establishment of an information clearinghouse for NGOs.

19. Dr. M.M. Nairab, Association of Palestinian Academics, stated that hundreds of resolutions had been passed on the Palestine refugee issue, but had not been implemented. He stated that civil society could make a difference in this regard. The United Nations followed the mandates given by the Member States. The NGOs must exert pressure on Governments so that they would in turn galvanize the United Nations into action.

20. Mr. Lionel Brisson, Director of Operations, UNRWA, pointed out that despite the financial crisis, UNRWA's basic services to the refugees had not been affected. The management of UNRWA had cut support costs and reduced salaries of UNRWA staff to bring them closer to the prevailing wage rates in the host countries. These cost-cutting measures had been unpopular with some staff, who had waged campaigns against UNRWA. He stated that the refugees in Lebanon and Gaza were most severely affected by the financial crisis at UNRWA. Unfortunately, UNRWA was not in a position to provide jobs for the refugees in Lebanon or to protect their civil rights. On a positive note, the Government of Italy had decided to increase its contribution to UNRWA to improve, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent, the hospital facilities for the refugees in Lebanon. He stated that UNRWA provided employment to 22,000 staff, most of them refugees themselves.

21. Mr. Michael Warschawski, of the Alternative Information Center, stated that UNRWA was experiencing a political crisis, not a financial crisis. He said that the United States wanted to extinguish UNRWA as a continuing reminder of the refugee issue's existence, while Canada proposed to disperse the refugees throughout the world. In his opinion, grass-roots refugee organizations had not been duly acknowledged during the current meeting. Refugees organized themselves into self-help NGOs, which should be recognized for the important work that they did. A degree of progress had been made as far as the Israeli public opinion was concerned, insofar as awareness was emerging that Israel bore at least some responsibility for the refugee situation. He stated that Israel might acknowledge its responsibility for Palestine refugees, but could balk at implementing a solution. The threat to Israeli security posed by the return of Palestine refugees and the lack of space to accommodate them were myths meant for outside consumption. He proposed organizing an awareness-raising campaign highlighting Israeli violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

22. Ms. Barbara Petersen, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), stated that IFRC focused on emergency services, hospital services, and education for the disabled. IFRC continued to strongly support the Palestine Red Crescent, while wishing to avoid being embroiled in politics. She cited the controversy surrounding the proper designation of the relevant Israeli Society. She stressed the need for closer cooperation between the Palestinian and Israeli Societies. On a positive note, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and its Israeli counterpart had implemented joint youth and disaster prevention programmes. Those programmes had political implications because they had to be implemented in close cooperation with relevant government authorities. The legal situation and mobility of Palestine Red Crescent staff remained a concern; however, various PRCS chapters had not even been able to meet in the region for some time.

23. Dr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, expressed his concern about the situation of the refugees in Lebanon, in particular about the possibility that they might be involved in a political quagmire, not of their own making. That should not stop the NGOs from addressing the legal and political climate that the refugees were faced with in Lebanon. He stated that there had not been any major resistance to the adoption of resolutions extending the UNRWA mandate, wishing to allay NGO concerns about possible threats to UNRWA's continued existence. He underscored the importance of the UNCCP refugee land records preservation project, to which PLO funds were allocated. He expressed his opposition to emblem changes at IFRC. He stated that, with the end of the transitional period, he was looking forward to Palestine's membership in the United Nations and full participation in the Millennium Summit, and was counting on NGO support for the attainment of those objectives.

24. Ms. Moyassar Taha, Association Najdeh, highlighted the association's work aimed at stamping out illiteracy and alleviating refugee suffering in Lebanon. She stressed the importance of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and of the continued work of UNRWA. NGOs should redouble their efforts to keep the plight of the refugees and their right of return alive in the conscience of the world.

25. Mr. Rafic Khouri, Palestine Red Crescent Society, stated that the Society had been in operation for 30 years in times of war and peace, with branches in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Syrian Arab Republic, Egypt and elsewhere. It delivered primary services to the refugees and operated health care centres, and had recently launched a Web site.

26. Ms. Rufaida Mikdadi, Palestinian Working Women Society, stated that Palestinian women still faced a society which was largely patriarchal, although progress was being made. NGO lobbying had made it possible for women to travel alone without obtaining prior authorization from male family members.

27. Mr. Wim Lankamp, Dutch Palestine Committee, advocated organizing a platform of NGOs to lobby European parliamentarians to convince the Government of Israel that it would not be able to enter the family of civilized nations until and unless the situation of refugees was resolved. He stated that it had been recognized that the system of apartheid was morally wrong, and a public campaign had been mounted to de-legitimize it. A similar campaign should be launched to de-legitimize the system that prevailed in Israel.

28. Mr. Salmann Tamimi, Association Iceland-Palestine, stated that NGOs in Iceland worked with the Government and mobilized public opinion in the country; as a result, the Government of Iceland now supported the return of the Palestine refugees and had adopted a resolution quite similar to General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

V. CLOSING STATEMENTS

29. Mr. Don Betz, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP), introduced the final document of the Meeting, the NGO Statement, and called upon all non-governmental organizations to join in its implementation. The Statement is attached in annex I.

30. Mr. Ravan A.G. Farhâdi, Vice-Chairman, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, stated that since its early days, the Committee had reached out to and supported the involvement of civil society in its activities. Through its programme of meetings, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had provided a forum where NGOs, Governments, international organizations, United Nations agencies and other actors came together to pursue a common mission - supporting a just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the question of Palestine, in general, and of the Palestine refugee issue, in particular, in accordance with international legitimacy and relevant United Nations resolutions.

31. He stated that during the discussions, many important and practical ideas had been expressed. The challenge ahead was to ensure that those ideas were translated into concrete actions. The parties to the current Middle East peace process had made considerable progress since the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference. However, even greater challenges lay ahead. The millions of Palestine refugees scattered throughout the Middle East, and beyond, often living in appalling conditions in refugee camps, were pinning their hopes on the successful outcome of the current Middle East peace process. Despite the passage of time, their commitment to their right of return and restitution enshrined in General Assembly resolution 194 (III) remained as unshakable as ever. He stated that the NGO Meeting and the preceding International Conference had emphasized the grave consequences for the millions of refugees and for peace and stability in the Middle East if they were denied this inalienable right.

32. He further stated that the community of civil society organizations shared the overriding commitment to the goals and aspirations of global society. Looking back at the past decade, it was evident that NGOs had left an indelible mark on the United Nations. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would encourage NGOs to highlight and bring to the forefront the problem of Palestine refugees through active participation in NGO and United Nations events, such as the NGO Millennium Forum.



ANNEX I

NGO Statement


1. We NGOs thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this Meeting at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the “role of NGOs in the promotion of a just settlement of the Palestine refugee problem”.

2. We NGOs recall that the question of Palestine refugees - today’s longest-running humanitarian problem - remains unresolved. We note that, on the threshold of the new millennium, more than 3.6 million Palestine refugees, registered with UNRWA, scattered around the Middle East and beyond, continue to live in camps and elsewhere, many away from their homeland, denied their right of return and self-determination, with bleak economic prospects, their freedom of movement restricted, families separated, their hopes and aspirations for the future dependent on the outside world. We stress that the social and economic conditions of the refugees remains very difficult and requires urgent intervention on the part of the international community.

3. We NGOs note that the plight of Palestine refugees is among the permanent status issues being negotiated by the parties. It is emphasized, in this context, that a just solution to the question of Palestine and a lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without a just and fair solution to the question of Palestine refugees.

4. Further, we NGOs affirm that the right of return of Palestine refugees to their homes, as stipulated by General Assembly in its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, remains a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. This historically relevant resolution, which has been reaffirmed every year by its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, confirms the right of the refugees themselves to a choice of return and restitution of property, and just compensation for those wishing or not wishing to return.

5. We declare that the provisions of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and subsequent relevant United Nations resolutions remain valid and must be taken into full consideration in any final settlement of the question of Palestine. We call upon the United Nations to continue to protect the natural and inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and act as its guarantor, pending a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.

6. We NGOs reaffirm the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their land and property, abandoned as a result of the 1948 and 1967 hostilities. We consider the issue of refugee compensation to be an integral element of, but not a substitute for, their right of return. We recognize the importance of addressing the problem of compensation for the losses sustained by the refugees since 1948 in an adequate and just manner.

7. We NGOs note the assistance provided over decades by the United Nations system to Palestine refugees. We have focused, in particular, on the critical role played for over 50 years by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in assisting the refugees through the provision of humanitarian relief and social services. We call upon all Governments, including non-contributing Governments, to contribute to the UNRWA budget regularly and to consider increasing their contributions in order to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency and intensify support for its activities. We NGOs believe that, pending a final settlement, any reduction in the level of financing of UNRWA would inevitably lead to further exacerbation of the living conditions of the refugees. The international community should continue to support the vital activities of UNRWA until the question of the Palestine refugees is resolved in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and international legitimacy.

8. We especially want to focus NGO international attention on the plight of Palestine refugees living in Lebanon. We firmly reject any attempt to use their fate for issues not related to the Palestine refugee problem. Their circumstances require immediate and sustained attention by the international community, international organizations, Governments and NGOs alike. We NGOs also declare that the idea of absorption or expulsion of Palestine refugees and displaced persons by host countries is not acceptable from the political, legal, socio-economic or moral standpoints.

9. We NGOs believe that the State of Israel bears moral and political responsibility for creating the Palestine refugee problem. The clearest demonstration Israel can offer that it accepts its responsibility for dispossessing Palestinian people of their homes and lands would be that it publicly acknowledges the inalienable right of return of Palestine refugees. More than any other State in the world today, Israel should understand what this demand means to a humiliated and suffering people, as the Palestinians have been since partition.

10. We appreciate the work of the Palestinian associations and NGOs to reaffirm that negotiations on the Palestine refugee question can take place only with the active involvement of the refugees themselves. We declare our complete support of the Joint Statement of November 1999 by Organizations and NGOs of Internally Displaced Palestinians and Palestinian Refugees in Palestine and Lebanon, and for the political statement on the final status negotiations issued by the Union of Youth Activity Centres/West Bank and Gaza Refugee Camps on 18 May 1999.

11. As NGOs we call for the Palestinian refugees to be brought back into the protection framework offered to all other refugees in the world, namely, separate, additional representation, full protection and enforcement.

12. We strongly emphasize that during this period, all of the Palestinian refugees are entitled to the rights of protection recognized for all refugees, especially those defined by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“Refugee Convention”), which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is empowered to uphold and enforce. The Palestinian refugees also have the right to the social, medical and educational support of UNRWA.

13. We NGOs pledge to utilize our expertise and experience in communication, education, advocacy and assistance in locally and internationally coordinated efforts on behalf of Palestine refugees. Areas of serious concern that require immediate governmental and non-governmental attention include: increased commitment to UNRWA services; the need to ensure both quantity and quality of service coverage; development and empowerment of refugee community structures, especially relating to women; increased capacity of refugee communities to address their own socio-economic needs; full refugee participation in development aid programmes; ensuring the refugee service provision is fully protected in the case of future handover of UNRWA services, following the achievement of a just and durable solution; engaging international NGOs in a process of re-examining legal principles underlying the refugee arguments and searching for feasible modalities that allow Palestine refugees to exercise their right of return and compensation; ensuring that Palestine refugees are not excluded from the internationally accepted frameworks that have guided solutions to other refugee populations; promoting refugee representation in political processes regarding their future; and ensuring that the refugees do not pay the price of the international community’s failure to implement its own proposed solutions to the refugee problem.

14. As to a plan of action to address these concerns in support of the Palestine refugees, we propose the establishment of national committees for the recognition of the right of return in each State represented by NGOs here today, with international coordination to network national information among each of the States. These committees would have to work in close cooperation with the Palestinian associations and NGOs in order to prepare and share the documented arguments on the right of return, and to define the role of NGOs in their work on this issue with Governments, political parties, trade unions and others. Special emphasis should be given to the development and enhancement of Palestinian-Israeli NGO collaboration on all issues impacting Palestine refugees. The Israeli peace movement can play an important role in convincing Israeli public opinion and the Israeli Government that the just solution of the refugee problem in no way endangers the State of Israel, but rather will help Israel to achieve peace and reconciliation with its Arab neighbours.

15. Further, we propose that an international NGO committee should assist in networking among the national campaigns and dispatch information and results among the various national committees, relevant international organizations and the media.

16. In this way the NGOs active on the question of Palestine, in close cooperation with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, can mobilize their members and their individual networks, in pursuit of this initiative on behalf of Palestine refugees which we consider vital to any lasting, humane outcome to the current processes.

17. Fundamentally, we NGOs view the right of return as a matter of the restoration of Palestinian identity, dignity and legitimacy as well as a matter of the proper interpretation and application of international law. We ask the international community to work towards the speedy implementation of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).




ANNEX II


List of participants


Non-governmental organizations

Al-Haq
All India Indo-Arab Friendship Association
Alternative Information Center
Arab Network for Environment and Development
Association des Palestiniens en France
Association des Villes Françaises Jumelées avec des Camps de Réfugiés Palestiniens
Association France-Palestine
Association Iceland-Palestine
Association Médicale Franco-Palestinienne
Association Najdeh
Association of Palestinian Academics
Association pour la Promotion des Jumelages entre Villes de France et Camps de Réfugiés Palestiniens
Association pour le développement des initiatives citoyennes et Européennes
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency
Canadian Auto Workers Union
CEDETIM
Centre for International Studies and Research
Centre for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies, Athens
Centre for Studies and Research on the Contemporary Middle East
CEPAL
CERI/CERMOC French Research Centres
Commission Arabe des Droits Humains
Communities Forestry and Social Development Organization
Darbar-E-Chishtia Complex
Dutch Palestine Committee
Enfants réfugiés du monde
European Coordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine
French Platform of NGOs on Palestine
Forum Nord/Sur
General Union of Palestinian Women, Lebanon Branch
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
Groupement des Rétraités Educateurs sans Frontières (GREF)
Gush Shalom
Instituto de Investigación, Documentación y Derechos Humanos
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Jewish Peace Union
International Observatory for Palestinian Affairs
International Social Science Council (ISSC)
Lutfia Rabbani Foundation
Médecins du Monde
Medical Aid for Palestine
Medical Aid for Palestine (Map-Canada)
Mercy Corps International, Lebanon Field Office
National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training
Oxfam Great Britain
Oxfam Solidariteit
Palestine National Centre for Strategic Studies (MAQDIS)
Palestine Red Crescent Society
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace
Palestinian/European/American Cooperation in Education (PEACE) Programme
Palestinian Pen Centre
Palestinian Working Women Society (PWWS)
Save the Children Sweden
Save the Global Masses Organization
Secours Islamique (Islamic Relief)
Shadow United Nations
Society for Austro-Arab Relations
Union des Avocats Arabes
United Nations Association of Sweden
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Work in Progress
World Alliance of YMCAs
World Student Christian Federation



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

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations,
Vice-Chairman of the Committee and head of the delegation

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

Walter Balzan
Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations,
Rapporteur of the Committee

Sotirios Zackheos
Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations

M. Nasser Al-Kidwa
Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations

Governments

Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Italy, Qatar, Uruguay


Intergovernmental organizations

League of Arab States
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries
Organization of the Islamic Conference



Other 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


United Nations organs, agencies and bodies

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)


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