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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 March 1992
Vol. XV, Bulletin No. 3
I. COMMITTEE ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR 1992
At its 186th meeting on 18 March 1992, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted the following programme of work for 1992 (see A/AC.183/1992/CRP.1/Rev.1)
"I. MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
“1. The Committee’s mandate for 1992 is contained in General Assembly resolutions 46/74 A, B and C of 11 December 1991, the relevant parts of which are paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5 of resolution 46/74 A, paragraph 2 of resolution 46/74 B, and paragraph 2 of resolution 46/74 C.
“2. In paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 46/74 A, the General Assembly endorsed the Committee’s recommendations and requested it to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine as well as the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate.
“3. In paragraph 4 of the same resolution the Committee is authorized to continue to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations, including representation at conferences and meetings and the sending of delegations, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of seminars and symposia and meetings for non-governmental organizations as it may consider necessary, to give special emphasis to the need to mobilize public opinion in Europe and North America, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session and thereafter.
“4. In paragraph 5 of the same resolution the Committee is requested to continue to extend its cooperation to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their contribution towards heightening international, awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee’s recommendations, and to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.
“5. Resolution 46/74 B deals with the work programme of the Division for Palestinian Rights. In paragraph 2, the Secretary-General is requested to provide the Division with the necessary resources, including a computer-based information system, and to ensure that it continues to discharge the tasks detailed in the pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance.
“6. Resolution 46/74 C deals with the programme of work of the Department of Public Information. In paragraph 2, the Department is requested, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme on the question of Palestine for the remainder of the biennium 1992-1993, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America.
“II. PRIORITY ISSUES IN THE COMMITTEE’S PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR 1992
“7. In the recommendations contained in its report to the forty-sixth session of the General Assembly in 1991, the Committee welcomed the convening, under the sponsorship of the United States of America and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of a conference for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and on the land-for-peace principle, and expressed the hope that the role of the United Nations would be generally intensified in this process. The Committee recalled that an international consensus has already been achieved on the essential principles for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine based on internationally recognized principles and United Nations resolutions. Those essential principles were reaffirmed most recently in General Assembly resolution 46/75 of 11 December 1991.
“8. The Committee also stressed the utmost urgency of taking all necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in accordance with the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention and numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Committee called in particular on the High Contracting Parties to the Convention and the United Nations system as a whole to ensure that Israel abides by its obligations as the occupying Power and in particular, to implement Security Council resolution 681 (1990) and subsequent resolutions.
“9. The Committee expressed the deepest concern with regard to Israel’s settlement policy and practice, and called on the Security Council to review the matter urgently and to undertake appropriate measures, in conformity with the Geneva Convention and the relevant principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to deal with the situation.
“10. In addition, the Committee reaffirmed that the United Nations has a duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the social and economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory in preparation for the full exercise of national sovereignty, and reiterated its call upon the United Nations system and the international community as a whole to sustain and increase their assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“11. In the light of the above and of the ongoing efforts to advance the peace process, the Committee has decided to prioritize the following issues in its activities during 1992:
“(a) The imperative need to end human rights violations and to ensure the international protection of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention and Security Council resolutions, and the promotion of measures to be taken by the High Contracting Parties to the Convention to ensure respect for its provisions;
“(b) The adverse impact of Israel’s settlement policy and practice on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the achievement of a just settlement of the question of Palestine;
“(c) The deteriorating economic situation of the Palestinian people and the urgent need for international assistance to promote the independent social and economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem;
“(d) The promotion of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region based on internationally recognized principles and United Nations resolutions, and the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations.
“III. ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE AND THE DIVISION FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS
Action by the Committee
“12. In its report to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session, the Committee stated that it had decided to do everything possible to strengthen its role in monitoring the situation of Palestinians under occupation and promoting the adoption of concrete measures by the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. In accordance with past practice and with paragraph 3 of resolution 46/74 A, the Committee will continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights, and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate. The Committee Chairman, through his letters addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council on behalf of the Committee will continue to draw attention to urgent developments affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
“13. In its recommendations to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session, the Committee once again extended an invitation to all Governments, including those of the United States and Israel, to participate in its work and in the events organized under its auspices. The Committee requests its Chairman, as in the past, to address a letter to the Secretary-General requesting him to inform all States of the Committee’s concerns and to convey the Committee’s invitation to them to participate in, and contribute to, its work. Consultations will also be held with interested representatives of Member States in this regard.
“14. The Committee intends to develop its role further as the United Nations organ primarily responsible for the promotion and exercise of Palestinian rights in accordance with international instruments and United Nations resolutions. In particular, the Committee will seek to follow up on political developments and on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory by establishing concrete and ongoing contacts with the Secretary-General and relevant officials in the United Nations system, with the Security Council and other relevant United Nations organs and with government representatives as appropriate.
“15. The Committee also envisages organizing meetings focused on one theme in order to examine in depth each of the priority issues mentioned earlier and to exert a direct and effective influence on the course of action of Governments and intergovernmental and other bodies in that regard. The groundwork for such meetings should be laid carefully in advance through appropriate consultation with all concerned so as to ensure high-level expertise, political participation and adequate follow-up. The Committee will invite prominent personalities, experts and others for the purpose of such meetings or for consultations with the Committee whenever considered appropriate, by using existing resources, including funds earmarked for the use of the Committee in section 4.A of the 1992-1993 programme budget.
“16. Budgetary provision has been made for seminars to be held in the following regions in 1992: Asia (held at Nicosia from 20 to 24 January 1992); Europe; Latin America; North America. The North American Seminar is scheduled to be held in New York on 22 and 23 June, immediately preceding the North American NGO Symposium, in accordance with past practice. Venues and dates for the European and Latin American seminars remain to be decided. [
“17. The Committee will continue to review its recent experience with regard to the format, topics and invitees at the regional seminars, in the light of the priority issues to be addressed in 1992, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness and impact.
/ At its 187th meeting on 29 April, the Committee was informed that the Government of Malta had agreed to host the European Seminar, which .has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 27 to 30 July 1992.
Cooperation with NGOs, including regional symposia and international meeting of NGOs
“18. Budgetary provision has been made for the holding of NGO symposia in Asia (held at Nicosia together with the Seminar); Latin America, North America; Europe; and for an International NGO Meeting as well as for preparatory meetings for the North American Symposium and the International Meeting. The date and venue for the Latin American NGO Symposium still have to be decided. The preparatory meeting for the North American NGO Symposium was held at New York on 3 and 4 February and recommended that the Symposium be held in Washington, D.C., subject to the agreement of the Government of the United States. The Bureau of the Committee explored that possibility and subsequently the Committee decided to hold the Symposium in New York from 24 to 26 June 1992. The European NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting will be held consecutively at Geneva from 24 to 28 August; the preparatory meeting will also be held at Geneva on 30 and 31 March 1992.
“19. In addition to its cooperation with NGOs in the preparation and holding of the above-mentioned meetings, the Committee has requested the Division for Palestinian Rights to ascertain from NGOs what specific supports might be usefully provided in order to help them improve their effectiveness.
Studies and publications
“20. The programme of studies and publications of the Division for Palestinian Rights for 1992 includes the following:
“(a) Monthly bulletins covering action by the Committee, other United Nations organs and agencies, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned with the question of Palestine;
“(b) Reports of regional seminars, as well as regional symposia and international NGO events;
“(c) Special bulletin on the commemoration in 1991 of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;
“(d) A compilation of relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council in 1991;
“(e) Monthly and bimonthly monitoring reports on developments relating to the question of Palestine, as reflected in the Arabic, English and Hebrew press for the use of the Committee.
“21. The Division will continue to update periodically its information notes on the work of the Committee and the Division, and on the activities of the non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine.
“22. The Division will continue to prepare monthly issues of the publication entitled ‘Approaches towards the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine’.
“23. In the course of 1992, the Division will continue the work of updating studies prepared in the Division during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Division has finalized the draft of the study entitled ‘Water resources of the occupied Palestinian territory’ and has sent it to members and observers of the Committee for comments. The Committee requested the Division to give priority to updating the study on ‘Acquisition of land in Palestine’ during the year. The Committee, in consultation with the Division, will also continue to review the format and presentation of the various publications, and to evaluate their dissemination, so as to achieve maximum effectiveness and impact.
Computer-based information system
“24. The Committee stresses the high importance it attaches to the establishment of the computer-based information system as soon as possible. Initial steps continue to be taken by the Division, in cooperation with the relevant services in the United Nations Secretariat, for the acquisition of the necessary equipment and software within existing financial resources and by utilizing any savings in other parts of the programme, and for determining the exact requirements of the system. A preliminary study indicates that, in order to become fully operational, the system would necessitate an additional appropriation for extra staff, the details of which will be made available to the Bureau in the near future.
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
“25. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will be observed on Monday, 30 November 1992. The Committee has decided that the observance at Headquarters, United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere should follow the same format as in 1991.
“26. As in the past, the Committee decided to invite the Office of the Permanent Observer of Palestine to provide an exhibit to be displayed at United Nations Headquarters during the week of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
II. UNRWA PROTESTS HARASSMENT OF ITS STAFF
BY ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES
The following press release was issued by UNRWA on 13 March 1992 (see PAL/1773):
“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East .(UNRWA) has protested to the Israeli authorities over an incident in Ramallah, West Bank, on 12 March, in which border police threw a sound bomb and tear-gas canister in the direction of two UNRWA staff members.
“The incident occurred after an UNRWA international official and her assistant, on duty in Ramallah just before noon, came upon a clash between local residents and Israeli border police. The border police pushed and verbally abused the UNRWA international official. A sound bomb was then lobbed behind the Agency vehicle she was using.
“Some 45 minutes later, a tear-gas canister was fired over the head of the same UNRWA official from a distance of approximately two metres. It landed near her assistant and both were severely affected. She required treatment at Ramallah hospital and was later released.
“UNRWA’s Field Office in the West Bank immediately protested to the Civil Administration.
“Today, UNRWA headquarters made a
to the Israeli Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna requesting that the incident be investigated with a view to preventing harassment of UNRWA personnel in the future.”
III. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION
Preparatory meeting of NGOs recommends programmes for International NGO Meeting and European NGO Symposium
A preparatory meeting for the International NGO meeting and the Sixth European NGO Symposium took place at the United Nations Office at Geneva on 30 and 31 March 1992. The Meeting was attended by all the members of the International and the European Coordinating Committees for NGOs. The provisional programmes recommended by the preparatory meeting were later adopted by the full Committee and are reproduced below:
1. SIXTH UNITED NATIONS EUROPEAN REGIONAL NCO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Palais des Nations, Geneva
24-25 August 1992
Theme: Working for Peace - European Coordination
Monday. 24 August
8.30 a.m.- 9.30 a.m. - Registration
9.30 a.m.- 10.30 a.m.- Opening meeting:
- Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;
- Representative of Palestine;
- Chairman of the European Regional Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
10.30 a.m.- 12.30 p.m. - Plenary meeting:
The responsibilities of European governmental and non-governmental bodies towards the Palestinian people.
12.30 p.m. - 2.30 p.m. - Lunch break.
2.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. - Workshops:
- Workshop I: Lobbying of Governments and Parliamentarians;
- Workshop II: Raising of public awareness of the Palestine issue by European NGOs.
Tuesday, 25 August
Development for Peace - European Coordination
9.30 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Report by the ECCP members on the Committee’s activities during the last year (August 1991-August 1992).
11 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. - Break.
11.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. - Question-and-answer session with the panel; comments by Network NGOs.
12.30 p.m. - 1.30 p.m. - Reports on ongoing projects initiated at the last Symposium.
1.30 p.m. - 2.30 p.m. - Lunch break.
2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. Report of workshops; Coordination and adoption of the final declaration.
4.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m. Closing meeting.
2. NINTH UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Palais des Nations, Geneva
26-28 August 1992
Theme: Protection and Statehood
Wednesday, 26 August
8 a.m. - 10 a.m. - Registration
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Opening meeting.
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Plenary I: Protection.
Plenary to begin with a multi-media presentation (video or slides);
Topics to be addressed include: Land, water and settlements; Human rights; United Nations role and sanctions; Refugees.
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Lunch break.
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Working groups and task forces:
1. Land, water and settlements;
2. Protection needs of children;
3. Human rights (especially deportations;
4. Family Reunification Campaign;
5. Protection needs of women;
6. Arts and culture.
Thursday, 27 August
10 a.m.-1 p.m. - Plenary II: Statehood:
Topics to be discussed include: Political initiatives; Palestine institution-building; Regional security and disarmament; Jerusalem.
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Lunch break.
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Working groups and task forces:
1. Supporting education;
2. Demilitarization and regional security;
3. Mobilizing United Nations support;
4. Housing rights;
5. Water planning;
Friday, 28 August
9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. - Plenary III: The NGO Process (ICCP):
1. Reports from the regions;
2. NGO Networking;
3. Introduce Final Declaration.
12.30 p.m. - 2.30 p.m. - Lunch break.
2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. - Wrap up:
1. Consideration and adoption of the Final Declaration;
4.30 p.m.-5.30 p.m. - 2. Closing meeting.
B. Information received from NGOs
In the course of March, the following information was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights:
Newsletter of the Middle East Justice Network
, available from: P.O. Box 558, Cambridge, MA 02238, United States of America.
Israel and Palestine Political Report
, available from: Magelan, Boite Postale 130, 75463 Paris CEDEX 10, France.
Middle East International
, bi-weekly publication, available from: P.O. Box 53365, Temple Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.
, bi-monthly bulletin of l’Association Medicale Franco-Palestinnienne, available from: 14, rue de Nanteuil, 75015 Paris, France.
Women for Women Political Prisoners
, available from: P.O. Box 8537, Jerusalem 91083.
, commentary available from: AVP, 604 Barbera Place, Davis, California 95616, United States of America.
The Other Front
, weekly bulletin on developments in Israeli society, available from: The Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.
Une Terre, Deux Peuples
, publication of the Association pour l’union entre les peuples juif et palestinien, available from: C.P. 43, 1247 Anières, Geneva, Switzerland.
, newsletter of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, available from Information Department, P.O. Box 5386, Nicosia, Cyprus.
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