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Summary record of the 27th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 28 October 2002 at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Wenawaser ........................................... (Liechtenstein)
Agenda item 107: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued )*
(a) Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued)*
(b) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (continued)*
Agenda item 108: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)*
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 107: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination ( continued) (A/57/3)
(a) Elimination of racism and racial discrimination ( continued)(A/57/18, A/57/83-E/2002/72, A/57/204, 333 and 334)
(b) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (continued) (A/57/443)
Agenda item 108: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued ) (A/57/178 and 312)
23. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action had made valuable recommendations for initiatives to combat all forms of racism and racial discrimination which provided a foundation to build upon.
24. In the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, almost half the Palestinian people had lived under oppressive Israeli occupation for more than three decades. Many of the measures taken, which had led to the death of 1,880 Palestinians and the wounding of more than 35,000, could not have continued were it not for the occupying Power’s racist attitude. Over the past 35 years, Israel had transformed its occupation into a colonial phenomenon with the transfer of over 400,000 Israeli settlers to those territories. Such settlement was rooted in racism because it negated the most basic rights of the indigenous people.
25. Israel had also prevented approximately four million Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes and property, in defiance of international law and United Nations resolutions, based on religious discrimination. In Israel itself, more than one million Israeli Arabs continued to suffer institutionalized discrimination. Their living conditions were considerably below those of the average Israeli citizen and they were deprived of many benefits and services. Israel had no constitution and it was the only country in the world that differentiated between citizenship and nationality.
26. Racism was becoming more blatant in all spheres of Israeli public life. High-ranking government officials, army generals and even religious leaders had made overtly racist remarks about Palestinians. Calls for the annihilation or expulsion of Palestinians — equivalent to ethnic cleansing — were being made with impunity. Yet it was the Palestinians who were being accused of incitement.
27. Her delegation hoped that the international community would make every effort to bring the occupation and the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land to an end. The rights of Palestinian refugees should be restored and Israeli Arabs should be spared institutionalized discrimination. Most importantly, the State of Palestine should be established with East Jerusalem as its capital.
28. Lastly, Palestine condemned the growing discrimination in some countries against Arabs, including Christian Arabs and Muslims, as well as statements which tarnished the name of Islam.
29. Mr. Al-Khasawneh (Jordan) said that Jordan considered that the right of peoples to self-determination was a fundamental, inalienable right and its exercise benefited global stability, peace and harmony. It agreed with the view expressed by various international legal bodies, including the International Court of Justice, that that right should not endanger the territorial integrity and political unity of independent States. However, that did not apply to peoples under foreign occupation. Accordingly, Jordan emphasized the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to freely determine their political status throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the right to establish an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. That was the goal of the peace process, which confirmed the international community’s recognition of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
30. Jordan called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian cities immediately and to withdraw its forces to their positions prior to 28 September 2000, in order to create conditions conducive to the resumption of the peace process, based on the terms of reference of the Madrid peace process, which would ensure a safer and more prosperous life for both Arabs and Israelis.
The meeting rose at 11.10 a.m.
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