Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 August 1991
EIGHTH UNITED NATIONS
INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Austria Centre, Vienna
28-30 August 1991
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B. PANEL DISCUSSION.............................................................4
I. Declaration adopted by the Eighth United Nations
International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine................12
II. Workshop reports......................................................15
III. Statement by H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco,
President of the General Assembly.....................................23
IV. Message sent H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar,
Secretary-General of the United Nations...............................27
V. Message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the
Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization..........29
VI. Message sent by the Eighth International NGO Meeting
on the Question of Palestine to Mr. Yasser Arafat,
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Palestine Liberation Organization.....................................33
VII. International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the
Question of Palestine (1991-1992).....................................34
VIII. List of participants and observers....................................37
1. The Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Austria Centre, Vienna, from 28 to 30 August 1991. The Meeting was convened in pursuance of General Assembly Resolutions 45/67 B of 6 December 1990.
2. The Meeting was attended by 207 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 64 of which attended as observers. It was also attended by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations specialized agencies, bodies and programmes, and Palestine (see annex VIII below).
3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, H.E. Mr. Khodaidad Basharmal (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, and Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine), Observer on the Committee.
4. The programme of the Meeting was elaborated by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP). Its main theme was "Palestine Now!".
5. On Panel 1, entitled "United Nations protection, United Nations resolutions: from the Gulf to Palestine", presentations were made by the following experts: Mr. Radwan Abu-Ayyash (Palestinian) and Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel).
6. On Panel 2, entitled "Palestine update", presentations were made by Mr. Haim Baram (Israel), Mrs. Rana Nashashibi (Palestinian), Mrs. Rima Tarazi (Palestinian) and Mr. Nabeel Sha'ath (Palestinian).
7. On Panel 3, entitled "NGO forum - a call to action. What has been accomplished?", the main speaker was Mr. Don Betz (United States of America), Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
8. Six workshops were also held on the following topics:
I. The protection of the Palestinian people and its independent infrastructure in occupied Palestine: focus on education;
II. Human rights in the occupied territories: the reunification of Palestinian families;
III. Soviet Jewish immigration and its effect on Palestinian human and national rights;
IV. NGO methods and strategies for lobbying Governments on behalf of Palestinian national rights and strategies for mobilization for the International Peace Conference;
V. Regional demilitarization and disarmament: establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction;
VI. Land, water and settlements.
The Meeting adopted a final declaration as well as proposals emanating from the workshops (see annexes I and II below).
/ Messrs. Sa'eb Erakat and Raji Sourani, who have accepted to participate in the Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting, were prevented by the Israeli authorities from taking part in the Meeting.
9. The Meeting was opened by H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Statement by H.E. Mr. Helmut Türk, Deputy Secretary-General and
Legal Counsel of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Austria
10. H.E. Mr. Helmut Türk said that the tragic consequences of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait had once more shown that the manifold problems of the region could not be solved by military force and that the potential explosiveness of the Palestinian question continued to be one of the central issues of any peace settlement in the Middle East.
11. Austria had for many years advocated a comprehensive solution comprising the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as well as the right of Israel to exist within safe and recognized borders. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) constituted the most widely accepted basis for a settlement along those lines, and remained the pillars of international legality for any solution of the conflict, especially on the threshold of the convening of a peace conference. Regarding the status of Jerusalem, it should be subject to negotiations between all parties concerned on an equal footing; a just and equitable solution of the question of Jerusalem had to include the right of equal access to religious sites and the main facilities of the Holy City for all parties and religious communities.
12. The international community had for a long time considered that the best way to approach a settlement of those issues would be the convening of a comprehensive Middle East conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Multilateral endeavours to solve the Palestinian problem should not be regarded as an aim in itself but rather as a means to reach that aim. The key to that question lay less in a specific procedure than in the earliest possible start of a substantial and effective dialogue. For those reasons, Austria welcomed the declared intention of the Presidents of the United States and the Soviet Union to convene a peace conference in October. There was no doubt that careful preparation and the clarification of preliminary questions were of special significance for the Conference to succeed. Such questions included, in particular, the political representation of the Palestinians, as well as the concrete mandate of the conference. Austria considered that the right to choose their political representatives must be reserved to the Palestinians themselves. Pending free elections, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had to be considered to express the will of the Palestinian people.
13. At the current stage, confidence-building measures were of vital importance to the peace process. For that reason, Austria had asked Israel to freeze its settlements in the occupied territories and had demanded that it comply with the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and put an end to the human rights violations in the occupied territories. Progress in those areas would be an essential prerequisite for the beginning of a substantial dialogue between the parties concerned.
14. Apart from starting the peace process, one of the main concerns should be to keep it going and maintain the current momentum. All efforts were needed in order to further on a worldwide basis the sense of urgency required for promoting the cause of peace in the Middle East. Austria fully supported the ongoing endeavours to make the first steps on the road to a lasting peace and, whenever required, stood ready to play a useful role in the process.
15. A statement was made by H.E. Prof. Guido de Marco, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations (see annex III below).
16. A message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations was delivered by his representative, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights (see annex IV below).
Statement by the Chairman of the Meeting
17. H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, stated that the current meeting was taking place at an extremely sensitive time in the history of the long struggle of the Palestinian people. For many years, the Committee had stressed that the achievement of Palestinian national rights, in particular, the right to self-determination, was indispensable for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. The Committee had also called on a number of occasions for the withdrawal of Israel from all territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and for the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions. While giving priority to that goal, the Committee had consistently expressed support for any efforts designed to bring the parties together in a meaningful negotiating process.
18. In the past weeks, the Committee had followed with intense interest the initiatives to convene a regional peace conference, under the sponsorship of the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and hoped that those efforts and the renewed determination of the international community to finally resolve that long-standing conflict, would bring about peace.
19. It was, however, imperative that pending such a settlement, measures be taken to ensure full respect by Israel, the occupying power, for the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, particularly given the dramatic deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and the increase of repressive measures of all kinds, including an accelerated colonization of the occupied territory. While expressing its greatest concern at such an alarming situation, the Committee was firmly supporting the efforts of the Palestinian people to end the occupation and to exercise its inalienable national rights.
20. The restoration of respect for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory was a fundamental and urgent requirement to be addressed immediately, even with the possibility of negotiations under way.
21. The Committee was once again protesting against the arbitrary decision of the Israeli authorities who had prevented Prof. Sa'eb Erakat and Mr. Raji Sourani from taking part in the Meeting. Such a decision not only represented a violation of the right to movement and association of the Palestinians in the occupied territory, but were also contrary to the obligation of every State Member of the United Nations to permit persons under its jurisdiction to participate in a meeting organized under the auspices of the United Nations.
22. Much still remained to be done to bring to a successful conclusion the long and painful birth of Palestine. But there was the conviction that the political, economic, social and cultural convulsions afflicting the world would give way to a just and harmonious world where the State of Palestine and the State of Israel would live side by side.
Statement by Mr. Donald Betz, Chairman of ICCP
23. Mr. Donald Betz, Chairman of ICCP, said that over the past year, the Middle East had convulsed with military confrontation, stalemate, war and its aftermath. While the international community was moved to historic cooperation in order to collectively to oppose the occupation of Kuwait, Palestine remained occupied and the grinding trauma of Palestinian life under occupation continued to be chronicled by international organizations as well as by non-governmental organizations and by Palestinians themselves.
24. The challenges facing the international community were legion. The escalating settlements and Israel's request of $10 billion in United States housing loans and guarantees required urgent attention. Life under occupation, the denial of the right to be educated, the right to learn, coupled with the military occupation's policy of targeting children, had to be scrutinized and exposed, as well as the systematic economic strangulation of the occupied territory, the restrictive pass/permit system and the declining of health services and standards.
25. It was difficult, even painful, to listen to the global promotion of a peace process reducing the United Nations to a silent note-taker at ceremonial meetings, and Palestinians to second-class participants. Without Palestinians and their chosen representatives, there was no peace at the end of the process.
26. The reality of the occupation and the quest for Palestinian self-determination continued and the task before the United Nations and the NGOs persisted. The current Meeting was a unique opportunity to review honestly all the efforts in the light of the latest challenges, to plan common strategies at the national, regional and international levels and to reinforce and bolster one another while searching for ways to impact public opinion and government policy.
27. For Palestinians, international silence, public silence, was co-conspirator in the occupation. NGOs were an integral element of the international protection needed and deserved by the men, women and children of Palestine. Through their action, tangible support and refusal to accept nothing short of peace with justice rooted in self-determination, the NGO network would serve as a global conscience of NGOs to deny the world's public and its leadership any possibility of ignoring the struggle, and to assist the Palestinian people to the fullest extent of their capabilities and interests, particularly at a time when the sheer urgency of the moment demanded it more than ever.
28. A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO was read out by Mr. Faisal Aweidah, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations Office at Vienna (see annex V below).
B. Panel discussion
United Nations protection, United Nations resolutions
from the Gulf to Palestine
Mr. Radwan Abu-Ayyash
, former Chairman of the Union of Palestinian Journalists, stated that the current Meeting coincided with a most delicate and dangerous phase of the development of the Palestinian question and the Palestinian people, who were currently up against an unprecedented challenge to their rights, aimed at reducing them, ignoring them and swooping upon them. The title of the Meeting "Palestine Now", gave a precise expression to the need to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people at the social, economic and human levels and in all aspects of life. The international changes as well as the Arab changes witnessed by the Gulf area had direct repercussions on the Palestinian cause and on the Palestinian people. The continued occupation of the Palestinian land, the non-stop colonization operations, changing the features of the Palestinian land, and the accelerated settlements scheduled to reach the amount of one million people by the year 2000, not only hampered any peace efforts, but rendered peace itself impossible. That, coupled with the seizure of the natural resources of the Palestinian people, had the only aim of converting the remainder of the Palestinians into refugees.
30. Israel continued, in spite of repeated appeals of the international community and numerous resolutions adopted by the United Nations, to ignore international legality and to oppress Palestinian citizens by a long series of harsh military measures and acts of repression. It was for that reason that the Palestinians were asking the international community to ensure international protection for them on their own land. The Palestinians no longer felt secure either in terms of their land or their person, their identity or their very existence.
31. Israel was every day placing obstacles on the road to peace. International legality could only be achieved through full recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and its right to self-determination in particular; recognition that the Palestinian representation was an internal affair for the PLO alone to settle without any outside interference; recognition that the Palestinian land was an indivisible whole and that Jerusalem was part and parcel of that land; recognition that ending the building of Israeli settlements as well as ending the violations of the rights of the Palestinian citizen were prerequisites for ensuring a climate conducive to entering the peace process; recognition that the 1988 Palestinian peace initiative continued to be an important basis for reaching a just peace.
32. The Palestinian people, which had been guaranteed, by the international community, its right to live on its own land in full sovereignty, its right to self-determination, its right to set up its own independent State, as well as its national rights, was now asking this international community to exercise its role by giving effect to this international legality in Palestine and putting an end to Israeli occupation.
33. If the world had rallied to put the Security Council resolutions into effect during the Gulf war, why was not it today rallying behind the Security Council's resolutions adopted on the question of Palestine?
34. The Palestinians had provided every possible evidence to prove to the world that they were ready for peace based on justice in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
35. In order to put an end to the policy of oppression of the occupying power and adhere to the principles formulated by the international community, all participants were invited to adopt the following decisions: ensure international protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory by sending observer forces to guarantee their security; launch an international political campaign to stop the Israeli colonization of Palestinian land; constitute an international commission to monitor the violations of human rights under the full supervision of the United Nations; ensure linking the Palestinian national institutions to the United Nations institutions for purpose of supervision and coordination until the Palestinian people were able to exercise their legitimate national rights; hold an NGO conference to study methods and means of giving effect to international legality in Palestine and propose the holding of that conference in occupied Jerusalem; launch an urgent appeal to the United Nations Secretary-General to exercise pressure on Israel to release Palestinian captives, to re-open closed Palestinian universities and to put a stop to the violation of Palestinian rights.
Mr. Mattityahu Peled
, Chairman of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, said that although the idea that there could be some kind of linkage between the Gulf crisis and any other aspect of the situation in the Middle East was a fact not to be admitted, earlier there was a determined tendency among the allies of the war to consider its aftermath as most propitious for working out a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as some modus of a tranquillized existence for the Palestinians.
37. While the military operation against Iraq required full United Nations approval and had been carried out under the umbrella of the United Nations, the attempts to structure a new relationship among the nations of the Middle East were being made not only without any recourse to the United Nations, but even with a declared intention not to allow the United Nations any role in the process. As a consequence of that situation, the efforts now directed towards achieving a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were entirely divorced from the basic principles laid down by the United Nations since 1967. In place of an international peace conference, a regional conference was proposed where the United Nations would at best be allowed a status of a mute observer, and which should be dissolved within hours or a day of its opening. After its dispersal, a series of bilateral talks between Israel and each of the Arab countries participating in the conference were expected to take place. Significantly, the Palestinian people were to be left out of that conference and no provision was made for bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
38. The Palestinian problem was at the core of the Israeli-Arab hostility and no solution which did not address that core issue had any chance of terminating the crisis.
39. In the new proposal for a regional peace conference, Security Council resolution 242 (1967) was no longer considered the basis for any future solution. In fact that resolution was intended to be re-examined in the conference itself as well as in the subsequent bilateral talks.
40. By accepting the Israeli position that the meaning of Resolution 242 (1967) was subject to re-examination, the United States was signalling its readiness to consider Israel's argument that: (a) the principle of "territories for peace" could not serve as a basis for a solution; (b) the Palestinian question concerned only the population of the West Bank exclusive of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip and the degree to which they may enjoy some form of autonomy; (c) the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab countries should not be conditioned upon any territorial concessions on Israel's part; and (d) Israel should not be required to stop the gradual annexation of the occupied territories.
41. The international community should call upon the Security Council to adhere to its resolutions on the question of Palestine. It should be insisted upon that the General Assembly resolutions calling for an international peace conference where the PLO took its place along with all other parties on an equal footing, be fully implemented. The discussions should be guided by resolution 242 (1967) and revolve around the means and conditions of enabling the Palestinians to establish their own sovereign Palestinian State alongside Israel. Those were some of the issues that should constitute the agenda for an international peace conference as defined by the United Nations and that was what the Security council should insist upon.
Mr. Haim Baram
, founding member of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, said that the Palestinian current position could not be seriously predicted without understanding the new international context and the newly emerged arena.
43. Since superpower rivalry had always affected regional politics in the Middle East, it would be impossible to ignore the recent great events in the Soviet Union. In the light of those events, the lesson for the Middle East was clear: if the world was able to keep the would-be rulers of a vast power at bay, why did it seem unable to demonstrate the same firmness and determination when dealing with Mr. Shamir? Where were the United States, Europe and the United Nations Security Council when they were so badly needed to impose a just and lasting peace in that region?
44. While it was not known whether the October conference would take place, one factor was not in dispute: the Americans seemed to be in the driver's seat and even Egypt and Syria recognized the United States as honest brokers. Although it was true that the bi-polar international system was more balanced, it was equally true that the new international environment dominated by the White House could not be willed away - the Soviets were no longer capable or willing to sustain the Syrian war machine or to support the Palestinians in any meaningful way. That was the source of Shamir's newly found optimism, who became convinced that some accommodation with the Arab States could be achieved, without withdrawal and with no Palestinian self-determination. That grim, but also very realistic picture was not conducive to the achievement of real peace.
45. He was still hoping that peace between Israel and a PLO-led Palestinian State could be attained. The main thrust of the endeavour should be directed to Western Europe and perhaps Japan, which could be persuaded to lean heavily on the Americans in order to realize the international consensus: meaningful, real peace, in return for all the occupied territories, including Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem.
46. A progress towards peace required tactical flexibility, without capitulation or humiliation. Many in the Israeli peace camp expressed admiration for the Palestinian people and the
, as long as the ultimate aim was to set up a Palestinian State alongside Israel and not instead of Israel. The Palestinian claim for East Jerusalem was justified. The peace-loving people in the area had to do their utmost to facilitate negotiations, to involve the international community, to turn the United States-dominated framework into a multi-national system.
47. The aim to be attained during the current decade was the freedom from occupation for the Palestinians, peace and security for all nations in the region, total disarmament of unconventional weapons, leading to a drastic reduction of the conventional ones, elimination of the use of torture and administrative detention. Humanitarian standards should apply to all nations, Governments and liberation organizations in the Middle East in addition to Israel.
48. American involvement in securing interim and final agreements was vital. If the October Conference was to be the "only game in town", then that game should be played skilfully and carefully, in order not to let the enemies of peace off the hook.
49. The campaign for justice in the Middle East had to be enhanced by new skills in order to chart the new global neighbourhood, and to improve it. Only in such a context was peace a feasible goal and not just a lofty, almost abstract ideal.
Mrs. Rana Nashashibi
, Chairperson of External Affairs of the Union of Palestinian Working Women Committees, said that the past year had been for the Palestinian people probably one of the toughest. Since the last Geneva Conference, many things had happened: first the massacre in October against civilian Palestinian worshippers which was condemned by the Security Council, but unfortunately no further action taken, not even the dismissal from their jobs of the commanders and officers involved. Then the massacre had been followed by a period of (Gulf) war and now, the Palestinian people were experiencing the aftermath of war.
51. The incidents that had occurred during the past year had affected the Palestinian conception and perception of what was happening in the world and how that was reflected to them. Because of those incidents, many Palestinians had lost hope in the international legitimacy. During the Gulf war, the Palestinians had been going through very difficult times, left unprotected, without even at least the protection of a gas mask.
52. The Israeli authorities had used the time of the Gulf war to escalate its harassing policies in many ways: one of the major ways was the high degree of unemployment and the high percentage of people who lost their jobs and were replaced by immigrants. The other thing was that Jerusalem was completely cut off from the whole occupied territories, a situation which still existed, and a whole system of permits and passes was imposed barring anybody from going from north to south of the occupied territories.
53. One of the most frightening issues facing the Palestinian people at that moment was the escalating number of settlements and settlers in the occupied territories. That was all the more frightening because there was nothing to negotiate about where almost all the land was being confiscated for settlements and other reasons. The land, its control and ownership was slipping away from the Palestinians.
54. The Palestinian people felt that there was no support for them and no international or any other concern for what was happening to them.
55. In the months that had passed, especially after the Gulf war, they were hoping that the international community would live up to its promises that the next issue to be tackled would be the Palestinian issue. But what they were faced with was an American plan.
56. Palestinians wanted a peaceful resolution of the conflict that would be based on international legitimacy and on resolutions that had been adopted by the international community, and by Member States that were now asking to accept much less than what they had signed many years ago.
57. Palestinians were not against going into a peace process, but needed guarantees, namely, how would the process end. Was there any guarantee that they could exercise their right to self-determination?
58. If such a process was going to lead to a lasting peace, it had to answer those issues.
59. While any peace proposal should be one that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the present peace plan was leading only to the ending of the state of belligerency between Israel and the Arab States. There were very high risks for the Palestinians to go into a peace process without being able to choose their own representatives, without having the right to exercise their own right to self-determination.
60. The help of the international community was needed to exert pressure in order to have the Security Council adopt and implement measures in relation to the Palestinian question. That would be the only hope for a lasting peace.
Ms. Rima Tarazi
, member of the Board of Trustees of Bir Zeit University, Ramallah, West Bank, said that Palestinians were angry because they, the victims, always stood accused, no matter to what extent they had been willing to sacrifice for the sake of peace and the prosperity of others, while those carrying the guilt of half a century continued to be regarded generously.
62. They were angry because friends and foes alike were casting upon them the responsibilities of all the misfortunes of the region. When it came to their problem, all concepts and values got distorted; conspiracies aiming at liquidating their rights were called "peace processes", the shooting of their innocent children was called "security" and the blatant aggression against their unarmed defenceless people was called "self-defence".
63. Palestinians were angry because their people born and brought up in Palestine were denied the right to return and settle amongst their own people and families in their homes and on their own property, while strangers who had never set foot in Palestine before were immediately accorded citizenship and the right to expropriate Palestinian land and property.
64. Another cause of anger was that the United Nations, which for half a century had failed to find the means to implement its standing resolutions concerning the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, had suddenly and unexpectedly found it opportune to wage and legitimize one of the most devastating wars to resolve a short-lived conflict that could have been easily resolved by abiding by the principles upon which the United Nations had been established.
65. At this time, a shadow of conspiracies was threatening the very survival of the Palestinian people. It came under the guise of peace processes which were doomed to fail and were sowing within them the seeds of further conflicts, because they refused to take into consideration the truth and realities of all the dimensions of the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation.
66. What would happen in Palestine within the next decade could usher in a new phase in the history of humankind. If the rights of the Palestinians continued to be ignored and pressures continued to be exerted on the Palestinians for more concessions, thus shaking the very foundation upon which any peace process in the region should be built, that would give way to a long period of disarray and catastrophes. If on the other hand, all forces were combined towards a just solution to the Palestinian problem by implementing United Nations resolutions and adhering unequivocally to internationally recognized norms and principles, then there was hope for the Palestinian people.
67. Peace was both vital and possible and could only be achieved between two equal partners. It could never be imposed by aggression.
Mr. Nabeel Sha'ath
, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestine National Council, said that the year 1990-1991 had been very hard for the Palestinian people, both inside the occupied territories and outside of them. The inflow of large numbers of Soviet immigrants had caused new problems of land confiscation for the Palestinians living across the green line, new difficulties in the exercise of their rights, increasing unemployment and difficulties in education. Palestinians in the occupied territory of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem had had a very difficult year since the brutal attempts at repressing them had reached unprecedented levels during the war. Palestinians in Kuwait had to undergo a year of persecution and deportation with about 250,000 of them having been deported over nine months.
69. Palestinians in Lebanon, particularly in the southern region, were facing very grim days. The major problem was the continued political denial of their right of return to their homeland.
70. Such a situation called for an immediate energetic action, for the immediate application of the Fourth Geneva Convention; it was an unbelievable situation that the occupying Power remained in defiance of the
application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Palestinian people of the occupied territory and escaped any sanctions. The dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa could not have been achieved without conditions and sanctions.
71. Despite that bleak position of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory and outside of it, there were some glimmers of hope: one important glimmer was the very active unity and close consultations that had been taking place between Palestinians in the occupied territory and Palestinians outside the occupied territory under the auspices of the PLO during the last six months, with as a result, a draft of Palestinian suggestions for an American-Soviet-European letter of guarantee and terms of reference for the peace process. The Palestinian people in the last year had demonstrated a very high degree of unity and of consultation to draft a platform for a Palestinian peace process that might achieve success.
72. While in the occupied territory, the Palestinians continued to build and protect their own independent institutions and push for voluntary education, the PLO, with the participation of representatives from inside and outside of the occupied territory, was leading intensive negotiations with almost all European Governments, including, in particular, those of the EEC; Europe as a result had significantly come to replace other sources of funds in direct support of Palestinian institutions in the occupied territory. That had maintained strong ties between Europe and the Palestinian people, based on shared visions and shared interests. It also reflected the wisdom and the responsibility of Europe, and its awareness of the inter-linkage of the future of Europe and the future of the Arab world in which Palestine would always play a very important and central role.
73. Regarding any peace proposals, be it the American proposal of Mr. Baker, the 10-point proposal of President Mubarak or the Shamir plan, the Palestinians had played the very constructive role of saying that they were interested and that they should look into the conditions. When they sensed the existence of minimum conditions for success, it was indicated that they would go through with it. It included the willingness to conduct at any time an internationally supervised election for the Palestinian people inside and outside of the occupied territory to determine the issue of representation and other issues, and make a head start for a political process.
74. In the American peace process, there was no guarantee that it would lead to peace, or that peace could be achieved before settlements ate out every inch of Palestinian soil. All the minimum guarantees and minimum conditions suggested by the PLO were aimed at making the process succeed. From the very beginning, the PLO was not looking for reasons to say no, but for reasons to say yes. In the process of doing so, three very important negotiating conditions were noted: the application of international legality - leading to a total withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the occupied territory; the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights to self-determination and sovereignty; and a negotiated peace with Israel. While that process would be proceeding, the Palestinian people should be protected.
75. If a peace process should be started, it should not be one leading to an impasse. Therefore, terms of reference were needed as well as a third party. The Israelis were doing their best not to have third parties, particularly the United Nations, and/or Europe, engaged in the process. In addition, the Israelis were trying to use procedural arguments to create precedents that could destroy the substantive issues at the time of substantive negotiations, like the question of the Palestinian representation.
76. Given that situation, the PLO had submitted to the co-sponsors of the Conference a letter setting the minimum terms of reference such as the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the necessity of stopping settlements and applying the Fourth Geneva Convention while the process was going on.
77. The PLO and Israeli peace camp had regained their relations totally and had established a common agenda on the questions of procedure and substance relating to successful negotiations. The Palestinians were willing to continue side by side with the Israeli peace camp on that joint effort towards a just and lasting peace process.
NGO forum - a call to action. What has been accomplished?
Mr. Donald Betz
, Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and Chairman of the Meeting, said the purpose of the forum was to examine the work being done in the various regions, as well as to devise initiatives and strategies for the coming year. Observing that there had been a time when NGO activity concerning the question of Palestine did not exist, he said, that over the last several years, there had been tremendous growth in the work between the United Nations and NGOs. In the years between 1984 and 1986, NGOs began to create the coordinating mechanism which was at work today, and in various regions, Coordinating Committees began to be established.
79. NGOs had changed the United Nations agenda on the question, and he believed that Palestinians understood the commitment of NGOs and appreciated their contribution. The individuals who worked on the question of Palestine were well-intentioned and competent had tremendous talent and could make a difference, he said.
80. As to the challenge of the future and how to increase the level of coordinated activity, he said NGOs could cooperate quite well when a goal was specific and articulate; when it remained vague and general, the level of influence and impact diminished substantially. The purpose of today's meeting was therefore to discuss how to go forward.
81. In her concluding remarks,
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo
, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, said that the Meeting had given the participants the opportunity to analyse in depth the current situation, identify the possible measures that the international NGO community might undertake for the purpose of supporting the Palestinian people and advance towards a peaceful and lasting solution of the question of Palestine.
82. In the present situation, dominated by the continued denial by Israel to recognize the national inalienable rights of the Palestinian people dominated also by the brutal repression of the
and the increasing colonization of the occupied territories, the work of the International Meeting had been focusing on the search for means of insuring the application of the United Nations resolutions.
83. The worsening of the conditions in the occupied territories was among the first concerns of the participants who repeatedly insisted on respect for human rights of the Palestinian people by the occupying power.
84. An urgent appeal should be addressed to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure the application of the Convention and put an urgent end to land confiscation and to the expansion of the settlements.
85. Only a settlement based on the internationally recognized principles of the Palestinian question, which was at the heart of the conflict in the Middle East, would lead to a just and lasting peace in the region.
86. It was to be hoped that the international community, by demonstrating the same logic and the same cohesion it had shown during the Gulf crisis, would strongly object to the occupation of the Palestinian territories as well as to the repressive policies and practices used by Israel, and would show the same eagerness in implementing the resolutions adopted by the Security Council. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was determined to intensify further its efforts to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people living under occupation, and to facilitate the peace process in accordance with the principles defined by the United Nations resolutions.
87. The Committee was counting on the support and participation of the international community of NGOs for achieving the common objective of attaining the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The Committee would continue to cooperate regularly with the international community of NGOs and its Coordinating Committee in accordance with its mandate and to the degree permitted by the resources available.
DECLARATION ADOPTED BY
THE EIGHTH UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
1. We, the non-governmental organizations gathered at the Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, representing millions of people concerned with a peaceful resolution of that question, believe that the situation has acquired great urgency subsequent to the Gulf war. We are aware that we have convened at an historic moment of great challenge and great opportunity. We reaffirm our conviction that the conflict can be solved only through an international conference under United Nations auspices at which all parties to the conflict, including Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing, are represented. Such an international conference should be convened with the utmost urgency.
2. We unconditionally affirm the rights of self-determination, statehood and return of the Palestinian people as guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations and all relevant United Nations resolutions.
3. We are motivated by the genuine desire to establish a durable and just peace in the Middle East on the basis of international legitimacy as provided by all relevant United Nations resolutions, and mutual recognition of the right of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples for self-determination and the right to live in sovereign independent States alongside each other.
4. We note with utmost concern the continuous systematic policy of violating the rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories conducted by the Israeli occupation authorities. We deplore and denounce the continuation of the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab territories including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, and Israel's brutal measures against the Palestinians, including the current policy designed to dismember the West Bank by restricting movement of Palestinian individuals and goods through the City of Jerusalem. We condemn the use of torture and brutality in the interrogation of Palestinian prisoners, including women and children.
5. We observe with great concern the simultaneous occurrence of the illegal colonizing settlement of Israelis in the occupied Palestinian territories with the escalation of the continuing process of the alienation of the indigenous Palestinians and the annexation of their land, and attempts to expel them out of their national homeland. We demand the immediate cessation of the construction and expansion of all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine as a precondition to any peace process.
6. We draw attention to the fact that Jewish immigration poses a great threat to Palestinian survival on their land and is an obstacle to the resolution of the Palestinian problem due to the ensuing demographic changes. This is especially true while the Palestinians continue to be denied their right to return. We call upon new immigrants to Israel and all Israelis to refuse to settle in the occupied Palestinian territories, and thus contribute to the efforts for a just settlement of the question of Palestine. We furthermore call upon the Soviet Union to refrain from facilitating Jewish immigration to Israel.
7. We denounce the double standard of the United States Government, characterized by its attitude with respect to the Palestinian right of self-determination as compared to that of Israel. We also condemn the United States Government's attempt to evade the need to convene the International Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, and its reluctance to take the necessary measures in order to overcome Israel's refusal to accept the principle of "land for peace" and bring a halt to its settlement activities in the occupied territories of the Golan, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
8. We oppose the massive and unconditional aid to Israel provided by the United States and other States which underwrite the continuing occupation. We call upon all Governments to condition all aid, loans and guarantees to Israel on the cessation of Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. We call on all Governments and the United Nations Security Council to institute sanctions against Israeli occupation.
9. We unanimously recognize and support the
as a national liberation struggle for the achievement of the State of Palestine and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
10. We condemn the American and Israeli endeavours to by-pass the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in the proposed regional conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict. We insist that Palestinians, as do all other peoples, have full right to choose their own political representatives in any peace process. It is unacceptable and illogical that Israel be permitted to choose both the Israeli and the Palestinian delegations. Israel should have no say in naming or vetoing any representative chosen by the Palestinians - whether on the basis of his or her political views, place of birth, present whereabouts or for any other reason.
11. The issue of the status of Jerusalem should not be excluded from negotiations, nor should Palestinian residents of that city be excluded from participation in the negotiations.
12. We consider it most urgent that the United Nations provide immediate and sustained protection for the Palestinians under occupation, and that the Security Council establish in East Jerusalem an authority responsible for the monitoring of human rights violations in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We urge the establishment of a subcommission of the Security Council to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their inalienable rights. We call for the establishment of a United Nations force to protect the Palestinian nation and to stop Israel's attempts to destroy it.
13. We also observe that the Palestinians in Israel are subjected to a policy of legal and political discrimination. We further demand that Israel apply the principles of justice and individual and national equality to the Palestinians in Israel. We condemn the Israeli policy of continued confiscations of Arab lands and destruction of Arab homes for the purpose of settlement of Soviet immigrants inside Israel. We alert the NGO network to monitor and publicize these injustices.
14. We condemn the actions of the Government of Kuwait in forcibly relocating more than 300,000 Palestinians who had lived in Kuwait prior to 2 August 1990. We further condemn the collective punishment of an entire community based on the alleged actions of some of its members. Furthermore, we remain concerned about the fate of the 50,000 Palestinians still residing in Kuwait, especially the 25,000 who carry Egyptian refugee documents. It is incumbent upon the Government of Kuwait either to allow these Palestinians to stay and work in Kuwait and to cease treating them in a discriminatory manner, or to secure their admission to a country of their choice, including the country in which they or their families were born. We NGOs hereby notify the Government of Kuwait that we are monitoring its actions concerning these Palestinians and those still detained in Kuwaiti prisons and detention centres. We NGOs will bring violations of their rights to the immediate attention of the international community through all possible means.
15. We conducted work together in workshops and specific recommendations for actions are appended here. We consider these practical, action-oriented proposals to be the central focus of our collective agenda for the coming year. To enhance our effectiveness, we are organizing task forces among NGOs worldwide to concentrate our energies on specific projects. A number of special interest group meetings were also convened within the context of the international meeting and their proposals for actions are also appended. We believe that the implementation of these projects by NGOs worldwide is a step on the path to a just and realistic peace in the Middle East.
16. We express our strongest protest against the action of the Israeli Government in preventing the distinguished experts, Mr. Sa'eb Erakat of An-Najah University and Mr. Raji Sourani of Gaza from attending. We know of other Palestinians living under occupation who were denied the possibility of participating in this meeting by the Israeli Government, such as Ahmed Hatibbi and Rezeq Shuqeir, and we most forcefully denounce this action.
17. We warmly thank the Committee for convening this international meeting and we greatly appreciate the presence of the Committee delegation. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all others of the United Nations Secretariat including the interpreters who so valuably assisted us. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here and added valuably to our deliberations. We express our thanks to the Austrian Government for making available the Austria Centre for our Meeting. We wish to express a special note of thanks and appreciation to H.E. Mr. Guido de Marco, President of the General Assembly, for his important and insightful comments. We all consider his participation in our meeting to be a distinct honour.
The protection of the Palestinian people
and its independent infrastructure in
occupied Palestine: focus on education
The workshop on protection of Palestinian education listened to the presentations of several well-informed resource persons. Dr. Gabi Baramki, Acting President of Bir Zeit University and Chairman of the Council on Higher Education, gave a detailed report on Israeli harassment, interference and denial of education to the Palestinian people, noting also the effects of these policies on children and young people. His written statement is available as part of the documentation of the workshop. In his conclusion, Dr. Baramki enumerated six points, to the effect that Israel does not respect the right to education; that Israel's actions are against international law; that Israel amends its actions only under strong external pressure; that sanctions such as cultural, academic, research and other relations are appropriate measures; that NGOs have a role to play in employing such measures; and that the United Nations and UNRWA in particular are appropriate mechanisms to monitor and protect Palestinian educational institutions.
Additional comments were provided by Ghassan Abdallah of the Palestinian Teachers Democratic Committees. He noted that over 13,000 teachers in public schools were denied the right to join a union by Israeli military order. Further, teachers had been subject to harassment and dismissal for participating in "popular education" programmes, had been subject to arrest and detainment, and that large numbers had been given compulsory leave without pay. The curriculum of Palestinian education has been altered to include outdated and erroneous information, and relevant material on Palestine and other subjects excluded. Even texts such as Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and the World Atlas have been banned. As a practical measure to heighten awareness and opposition to these measures, he proposed that NGOs participate in a conference on Palestinian education in Jerusalem. He also suggested that NGOs appeal directly to UNESCO for action in this regard.
Dr. Ruchama Marton of the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights reported on the severe need for physical, psychological and social rehabilitation services for the disabled in the occupied territories. In addition to the disabilities which afflict people in every society, during the
the Palestinians have experienced an enormous upsurge in the number of trauma-related disabilities. At present, in sharp contrast to conditions in Israel, the Israeli Government provides no rehabilitation services in the occupied territories. Dr. Marton appealed for NGOs to support efforts to create Israeli government services in the occupied territories.
In the discussion which followed, a number of proposals were put forward. The workshop endorsed a proposal from the special interest group for the "protection of children" which called for the initiation of an international campaign to protect Palestinian children and the formation of a network of NGOs. Another proposal from the National Union of Students (United Kingdom) contained nine specific actions to be taken in defence of Palestinian education. The most comprehensive proposal, for a campaign entitled "1992: The year for open schools in Palestine", would gather many such activities together, also including lobbying of Governments of the European Community, and the Council of Europe. A committee was formed to continue the work on this proposal (see below).
The following organizations indicated their interest in forming a network to develop and implement proposals arising in the above workshop.
Palestinian Teachers Democratic Committees
Center for Applied Research in Education
P.O. Box 17421
Tel. (02) 957238, Fax (02) 954438
National Union of Students (NUS)
461 Holloway Road
London N7 6LJ
Tel. (071) 272 8900
General Union of Palestinian Women
Rue Zoubeir ibn al Awam Menzah VI
Tel. 236 581-11
Council of Higher Education
c/o Gabi Baramki
P.O. Box 14
Birzeit, via Israel
Tel. and Fax 02 956229 (0)
c/o Scuola "A. Avogadro"
Corso S. Maurizio 8
Friends Boys School
P.O. Box 66
Ramallah, West Bank
Pierre Galand, Chairman
c/o Oxfam Belgique
Rue du Conseil, 39
Tel. 32 2 512 99 90
Fax 32 2 514 28 13
Basil Safadi, Mehrnaz Safadi
Terre des Hommes France
4 Rue Franklin
93000 St. Denis, France
Campaign for Children of Palestine
c/o Fujidenko No 3, Bldg 212
Tokyo 169, Japan
Human rights in the occupied territories
the reunification of Palestinian families
Ms. Candy Whittome made a presentation on the question of family reunification stressing that it was one of the most central issues of the Palestinian problem: the right of the Palestinian people to live in their homeland. Tracing the history of the problem from 1948, with a focus on Israeli policy and practice since 1967, she emphasized the human rights aspects of the problem.
She then presented the family reunification campaign that Al Haq had launched at the end of May and made a few suggestions on how the NGOs could respond and participate in the campaign. She specified that the family reunification problem could be tackled from many different angles, such as humanitarian, international law, children's rights, psychological, economic and women's issues.
The floor was then given to the NGOs attending the workshop.
Some of the NGOs presented what had already been done for that campaign.
The following suggestions for actions were made:
1. The launching of a campaign in order to get a day for the Palestinian families during the United Nations 1994 International Day for Families.
2. Each NGO can write a letter to the Emir of Kuwait expressing the concern about the future of the Palestinians in Kuwait and stressing that the international community will pay particular attention to the actions he will be taking.
3. Use and publicize the particular problem of the Palestinians in Kuwait as an example of the Palestinian problem of reunification of families as a whole.
4. NGOs should lobby the United Nations so that the family reunification issue will be dealt with by all the divisions of the United Nations and therefore be treated from various points of view.
Soviet Jewish immigration and its effect on
Palestinian human and national rights
The workshop resource persons provided valuable information about the history of Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel, the illegality under international law of Israeli settlement policy and practice, and the impact of the current wave of immigration resulting in the denial of human and national rights to the Palestinian people.
Other workshop participants added valuable information about the impact of the current wave of immigration on the occupied Golan Heights; on the rapidly expanding settlements in Jerusalem; on the conditions among the new immigrant communities themselves, principally Soviet Jews but also on other new immigrants from Latin America and on Oriental Jewish communities who are all suffering the impact of unemployment and lack of housing. Participants also exchanged information about current changes in Soviet passport policy; about immigration policies and quotas of Western countries; about the annexation of land in Israel as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories; about various efforts such as those of the Committee To Open Borders to do educational and lobbying work among Oriental Jews and immigrant communities in Israel and in relation to Soviet Jewish communities in the Soviet Union.
The overall workshop objective was to initiate programmes and campaigns to protect the human and national rights of the Palestinian people by addressing the impact of Soviet Jewish immigration and Israeli settlement policy on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. The NGOs participating in the workshop generally agreed on the following proposals for action:
1. To monitor and share information through the ICCP newsletter: on the impact of Soviet Jewish immigration on the population of the occupied Palestinian territories (e.g. settlement expansion, land confiscation); on the Palestinian population inside Israel (e.g. unemployment, land confiscation, etc.); and on the Soviet Jewish and other new immigrants themselves;
2. To demand that the Governments which are being asked to provide housing loan guarantees or other aid to Israel to condition such loans and aid on the cessation of the illegal Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories;
3. To demand through effective lobbying that Soviet Jews who have already immigrated to Israel be granted Soviet passports, as are all other Soviet citizens under the new Soviet law implemented on 1 July 1991.
In addition, the following actions are being implemented or were recommended by particular NGOs, though there was no unanimity about these actions among all the NGOs present:
(a) Educational work among Soviet Jews in the Soviet Union itself, by Soviet NGOs and by visiting delegations of other NGOs, about the realities of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel;
(b) Calling on the Soviet Government itself to control racist and anti-semitic groups such as Pamyat in the Soviet Union;
(c) Lobbying European and United States Governments to open doors to Soviet Jewish immigration to specially challenge the hypocrisy of these Governments who demanded that the Soviets allow free immigration of Jews while refusing these same Jews free immigration into their own countries;
(d) To demand that the money being requested for housing loan guarantees for Soviet Jews be instead earmarked to facilitate the return of Palestinians to their pre-1948 home in Israel.
NGO methods and strategies for lobbying Governments
on behalf of Palestinian national rights and strategies
for mobilization for the International Peace Conference
Professor Rais stressed that the struggle for Palestinian rights and liberation must also take place in Washington. There was a need to open a counter lobby in Washington and NGOs should create such a lobby to counter the powerful Jewish lobby there. Mr. José Francisco Aguilar Bulgarelli focused on the media and proposed that an information campaign should be designed for the different world regions. He pointed out that in Latin America, for example, the population knew little about the case of the Palestinians. A programme giving the history, their present situation, their rights and the United Nations resolutions etc., should be presented for television and radio.
In the discussion that followed, it was reiterated that all lobbying should centre on the protection of the Palestinians and on the convening of the International Peace Conference under United Nations auspices, with the direct and equal participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Given that possibly, 2 million Soviet Jews may immigrate into Israel and thousands of Palestinians who lived in Kuwait are now homeless, the question of the right of the Palestinians to return to Palestine must be put high on the list also, as well as a halt to the construction of settlements in the occupied territories.
A more effective use of the media, both the main and the alternative media, was needed to inform and mobilize the public and to counter the dis- and mis-information as was the case most recently on the Palestinian position concerning the invasion of Kuwait. Media programmes should be positive and innovative.
Activities such as the planned Peace March from Amman to Jerusalem, Peace Witness in the occupied territories, should serve to dramatize the Palestinian cause for the media.
A concerted effort at lobbying was necessary. Concrete suggestions were made:
- From this NGO meeting, a strong statement should be made and presented by small delegations to the President of the General Assembly and meetings should be held with the regional groups or their coordinators at the General Assembly.
- The statement should be presented also to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the non-aligned movement and the different regional institutions.
- Lobbying at the national level should be through political parties with the parliaments. Delegations should meet with Government Ministries, especially the Ministries for Foreign Affairs.
- There should be more efforts made to involve trade unions, teachers, organizations, etc.
- More lobbying should also be undertaken at the various United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, and with other international NGOs, e.g. the Inter- Parliamentary Union.
- A media campaign should be designed and adapted to the needs of countries. Tours for joint Israeli Palestinian delegations should be organized in mobilizing and lobbying efforts.
- A strong plea was made to call for sanctions against Israel until it halts the building of settlements, respects the Geneva Conventions and respects all United Nations resolutions relating to Palestine.
Regional demilitarization and disarmament
establishment of a zone free of weapons of
Mr. Romesh Chandra opened the workshop and informed the participants on the organization and methods of work of the workshop. Mr. Mattityahu Peled, Chairman, Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, started the debate by making a few remarks. He stated that the issues of conventional and non-conventional weapons must be discussed. Conventional weapons as well as being a threat to the region, also served many interests: they were important for economic reasons and were used to justify national security. The superpowers wanted to dispose of their weapons and they must find markets for that transaction. The non-conventional weapons were a threat to world peace. However, non-conventional weapons were proliferating in many parts of the world. That would never have happened without the support of the superpowers. These weapons could not be made locally without the support of the Governments of the superpowers.
The Gulf crisis had highlighted the danger and authority that existed to disarm Iraq. But there were other countries which possessed non-conventional weapons. There were no means available to limit the influx of weapons but through political agreement. In the case of the Middle East, that was utopian for the time being. Thus, weapons would continue to flood the Middle East. One of the ironies was that after the proposals of President Bush to limit the flow of weapons to the Middle East, American weapons sent to the region had increased. Mr. Peled emphasized his disappointment that the countries exporting arms would not stop their activity in the near future. In the field of non-conventional weapons, there was only a slim chance to stop the proliferation. Mr. Peled concluded that the picture was not bright in the region concerning that issue.
It was pointed out that differences between the conventional and non-conventional weapons were diminishing. Exporting of arms had become an economic issue.
A discussion followed Mr. Peled's presentation:
1. In response to a question on the American military industrial complex, Mr. Peled said that the United States was increasing its arms exports by creating false pretexts. The United States was in a dilemma. It claimed that it was working for peace and at the same time did not want to lose its arms market.
2. It was noted that many countries produced weapons and helped to proliferate weapons in the Middle East. There was a need to monitor the proliferation of weapons in the Middle East. Mr. Peled stated that the Palestinian issue was at the core of the Middle East problem but there were other problems: Iraq-Iran, Yemen-Saudi Arabia and Egypt-Sudan.
3. The issue of the nuclearization of Israel was discussed. A nuclearized Israel was a great threat to the region and to the world. The world had closed its eyes to a nuclearized Israel. There was a need to disarm not only Iraq but all the countries in the region including Israel.
Suggestions for NGO involvements:
1. Participation of NGOs in the seminar convened by the NGO Special Committee for Disarmament at Geneva, on 24 and 25 October 1991, entitled "Armaments and Disarmament: Implications for the South", which would draw special attention to the Middle East demilitarization and the establishment of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
2. Participation of NGOs during the United Nations Disarmament Week (24-31 October 1991) and in the International Peace Wave through various activities.
3. Participation of NGOs in the NGO International Conference For Peace and Security in the Middle East to be held in Florence, Italy, from 6 to 8 December 1991. The Conference was being sponsored by 18 international NGOs and several national NGOs.
NGOs willing to coordinate proposed activities:
1. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Contact person: Edith Ballantyne
2. World Peace Council
Contact person: Romesh Chandra
Contact - ICCP Office Geneva
Tel: (41-22) 791 64 80, 791 64 81
Fax: (41-22) 798 10 50
Land, water and settlements
The overall objective of the workshop was to encourage and facilitate relevant and coordinated NGO opposition to Israel's settlement and land confiscation policies.
Through the deliberation of the NGOs participating in the workshop, the following objectives were identified:
1. To support Palestinian efforts to develop agriculture, housing and infrastructure to resist confiscation measures and enable Palestinians to remain on their land, e.g. fencing and reclamation of Palestinian land, renovation of urban neighbourhoods, construction of cisterns, improvement of agricultural access roads and planting of olive trees.
2. To encourage research, mapping and documentation of Israeli measures to confiscate Palestinian land and to construct settlements which encroach on Palestinian land, and all measures which affect the eradication of Palestinian land tenure and de facto annexation of the occupied territories.
3. To engage in broad public education efforts to raise general awareness of the significance of settlement of the Palestinian people and to the peace process, in order to encourage various constituencies to call on their respective Governments to bring effective pressure on Israel to halt the land confiscation and settlement process.
The following organizations are prepared to cooperate in the coordination of these activities:
1. Settlement Watch
1747 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20009, USA
Contact person: Virginia Tilley
2. CAABU - Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
The Arab British Centre
21 Collingham Road, London SW5 ONU, England
Contact person: John Gee
3. Dutch Palestine Committee
P.O. Box 10520, 1001 EM Amsterdam
Contact person: Mia Van Boxtel
STATEMENT BY H.E. PROF. GUIDO DE MARCO,
PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The subject of this Eighth Meeting of United Nations International Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine encapsulates in its theme a message and a programme "Palestine Now!".
I think we have to look at this theme with a realistic approach. Is Palestine Now a realistic possibility?
We intend to analyse briefly the realities of the situation. The Palestine question has been with us for over four decades. Since 1967, the Palestine refugees from Israel have become refugees in their own country.
1.7 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza. Of these, 910,000 are refugees registered with UNRWA comprising almost half a million in Gaza and 414,000 in the West Bank.
Palestinian refugees live in squalid conditions and in overcrowded dwellings that are inadequate to keep out the cold and rain in winter and stifling heat in summer.
Over the long years that this problem has been with us, many mistakes have been committed.
However, the Algier's Declaration of 1986 was for many a ray of hope and for all a solid basis for negotiations within the parameters of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
The repeated resolutions on the part of the United Nations General Assembly, to convene an international peace conference, failed to materialize. The
, itself a manifestation of desperation, but also of the determined will of the Palestinian people, has brought great sufferings as well as a regained faith in Palestine.
Events in the Gulf have certainly not helped the Palestinian cause. It did give rise to the accusation of international double standards in dealing with, on the one hand, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and, on the other hand, 23 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
The Kuwait invasion has also brought out a logic of desperation. An evaluation of events applicable to the invasion of Kuwait by a neighbouring State did not generate a unanimous reaction on the part of the Palestinians. Unfortunately, a different evaluation was made by some. This in itself created a double standard approach; a rightful condemnation for the invasion of Palestinian territory and the ill-concealed support for President Saddam following the invasion of a brotherly Arab State.
The sacrifice of over 900 Palestinians killed in the first three years of
and over 60,000 injured in clashes and confrontation with the Israeli security forces are being wrongly overlooked by some in the international community who mistake what they may consider to be errors, with the justice of the cause of the Palestinian people.
The effects of the
and the Israeli reaction to it, go far beyond the tragic toll of casualties. The education system has been seriously disrupted. In the West Bank, schools were closed almost continuously for the first 18 months of the uprising, while universities have been closed for almost the entire three years. In Gaza, schools have functioned throughout the
but have been affected by strikes, curfews and individual closure orders. On 4 January 1991, I met in Jerusalem the Federation of Women's Voluntary Societies. They were very concerned about the future of their children. According to UNRWA figures, more than 150 children under 15 years of age were killed and over 21,000 were injured in the first three years of the
. The women of Palestine not only mourned their lost children but also looked with great concern at the future of their children and at the long-term effects of this violence, in particular, at the social and psychological consequences of such disruption in a whole generation of Palestinian children. May I also at this moment pay homage to the women of Palestine. Their long sufferings, the disruption of family life, the lack of a home and the loss of their country have not affected their patriotism. A day will come in the future when this valour will be recognized and when these sufferings will become a lesson for many in history.
Palestinians are facing the immigration of Jews from various parts of the world - lately from the Soviet Union - impinging on the sources of their livelihood and forcing even more the settlements of Israelis in occupied territories. For these settlements are an open defiance to a future solution of the problem.
When we raised this matter with the Israeli authorities, we affirmed that these settlements can only create further acrimony in an exasperated Palestinian population. Indeed, this is a time bomb which provokes violence and can ultimately cause suffering to those Israelis who will eventually have to abandon these settlements.
The international scenario is certainly not at the moment helpful to the Palestinian cause. Recent events in the Soviet Union have focused attention to an area where repercussions have global implications. The initiatives of Secretary of State James Baker for a conference on the Middle East have to be taken up further, lest the momentum of such activity be lessened and prejudiced. We have to stimulate the international support which the Palestinian cause deserves and demands. For many, unfortunately the Palestinian cause may be an issue far removed from their daily political, social and economic concerns. For others, it may be a closer political reality and concern but which dampens itself in the light of certain events and reactions thereto. Those who see the justice of the Palestinian cause identify themselves with it.
It is within this context that one had to objectively examine the Israeli approach. Some may look at Israeli expansion in the occupied territories as a return to biblical dimension existing millennia ago. If we have to redefine geography and nations in the light of millennia, we will all find ourselves displaced. For others it is a return back from centuries of oppression and exile in other lands and cultures. I have just come back from Kiev and Warsaw. In both places, one feels humiliated at the cruelty and destruction where millions of Jews suffered a Holocaust putting past pogroms in the shadow of insignificance. As we stood by these monuments, we felt the soul of Israeli suffering and not being able to forget. But equally suffering is the soul of the Palestinian people and of the Arab nation which we cannot forget.
Within this context, one has to underline that whilst the past and not so past history may point accusing fingers at many nations, certainly the Arab nation right up to the creation of the State of Israel can in this regard look at its past
the people of Israel with no qualms.
It is relevant within a realistic approach to understand the siege mentality in Israel. This is why a proper understanding on the part of all concerned is essential for a dialogue to take place. But a dialogue is never a one way traffic. So far we have assisted to a dialogue between the deaf. We believe that it is in the interest of Israel as a semitic nation to live in peace with its neighbours within secure and guaranteed frontiers. But Israel has to accept the obvious: that the Palestinians exist and they have the right to live as Palestinians in their own land and that as a free people, have the right to self-determination and to proclaim a State of their own. For the pseudo strategists, the only security which is offered, may I say, is not a strategy which comes from a state of war and a mentality of aggression. The Gulf war may have shown the potential of Israel but also its weakness.
May I repeat what I said elsewhere that to those in Israel who believe that international guarantees arising from a conference on peace in the Middle East does not offer the necessary security, the lesson of the Gulf, the commitment to so many nations in a coalition led by the United States of America are certainly an eye opener; if so much was done to free Kuwait, certainly not less will be done were Israel's survival's to be threatened.
This is why we believe that it is also in the interest of Israel to accept to the full the Security Council resolutions and the international conference on the Middle East which has been repeatedly demanded by the United Nations General Assembly. We are living in times when 7 days have swept away 70 years of absolute power and this is a lesson to all. The past and the present continue to impose on us a sense of responsibility to this and to future generations. It is that political responsibility which needs vigour, courage and determination of all concerned. It is important not to inhibit any conference which may lead to some measure of understanding on the Middle East situation. The parameters set by resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) are there and they will be observed. Those who think that the United Nations should be left out of this scenario are not realizing two very important factors:
1. The United Nations presence is not one directed against any party but rather to help bring the parties together;
2. The United Nations will only find itself against any party if that party persists in aggression, in the threat or in the use of force.
It is within this context that we can approach the theme of "Palestine Now!".
I believe that a free Palestine is an inevitable and irreversible process. It can best be achieved through peaceful means.
Many are those who are serving the cause of peace in the Middle East. The Security Council adopted on 20 December 1990 resolution 681 (1990), in which it requested the Secretary-General "to monitor and observe the situation regarding Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation, making new efforts in this regard on an urgent basis, and to utilize and designate or draw upon the United Nations and other personnel and resources present there, in the area and elsewhere, needed to accomplish this task and to keep the Security Council regularly informed." The Secretary-General subsequently asked UNRWA to take the lead in conformity with the Security Council resolution.
May I pay credit to UNRWA for all the work which it is doing, in particular, in the occupied territories. Many are the unknown but dedicated servants of the United Nations - doctors, nurses, social workers, the present Commissioner-General Ambassador Tuerkmann, the previous Commissioner-General Georgio Giacomelli and some others: Klaus Worn, Director of Operations in Gaza; Yves Besson, Director of Operations in the West Bank and others, the men of the United Nations peace-keeping force for they deserve the appreciation of us all. There are many in my view, both in Israel and in occupied territories who have the will to peace. They may be passing through moments of discouragement, some apathy and disappointment. But any long drawn issue is bound to pass through such critical phases. What is important is for all to perceive both in Israel and in Palestine that their interest lies in the peaceful coexistence of both Israelis and Palestinians. A day may come when, as was suggested, Israel, Jordan and Palestine may become politically independent and autonomous but economically linked States along the formula of the Benelux model.
This is what one can describe as realism. It may be void of rhetoric, free from harmful adjectives, clear in its finalities. A realistic approach is not counter to idealism. It is the realization that an ideal needs the ripeness of events to become a reality.
It is within this context that we must all work for this ripeness of events to come about. Not shedding our responsibilities by merely giving time to time but by molding time in the interest of a timely solution.
It is within this context that we can bring peace in freedom to the Middle East. It is with this realistic approach that we can speak of "Palestine Now!".
For the cause of Palestine is also the cause of freedom.
MESSAGE SENT BY H.E. MR. JAVIER PEREZ DE CUELLAR,
SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
I am very pleased to welcome
ou, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to the Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine. It is an honour for me to address this very important audience and to pay a special tribute to you, Mr. Helmut Türk, Deputy Secretary-General and Legal Counsel of the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for the efforts you and your country have made in promoting international cooperation in the search for peace and justice, especially in the troubled region of the Middle East. Austria's devotion to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and its commitment to resolving the question of Palestine which would protect the legitimate rights and interests of all parties is well known.
The convening of this Meeting on the question of Palestine, held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in accordance with the resolutions of the General Assembly, is testimony to the concern with which the United Nations views the continuation of the stalemate in this long-standing conflict, and the urgency it attaches to the need to promote a just and lasting settlement in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law and morality.
The European countries have actively contributed to the ongoing efforts undertaken at the United Nations to bring a just peace to the Middle East. Their sustained participation in the search for peace will be an important factor in advancing towards a comprehensive solution of this conflict. The presence here of eminent personalities from all parts of Europe and from other regions, together with Palestinians and Israelis, as well as non-governmental organizations from all parts of the world, reaffirms the commitment of the international community as a whole to resolving the question of Palestine in a just and comprehensive manner, thereby contributing to the establishment of a lasting peace in the entire region. Support for such a solution by all the participants in this Meeting is certain to make an important contribution to the dialogue which is now taking place. It would also help mobilize public opinion in Europe and elsewhere in support of the peace process.
The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territory, the
, which is now in its fourth year, remains a matter of serious international concern. It confirms in no uncertain terms that the Israeli occupation, which has lasted for over 24 years, is not acceptable to the Palestinian people. Since December 1987, confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians have continued, with much bloodshed. Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been wounded, including many children, and expulsions of Palestinians have taken place, despite Security Council calls against them. The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed grave concern at the violence and deportations and has joined the Security Council and General Assembly in calling upon Israel to abide by its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
There is a wide measure of agreement within the international community that a settlement should be based on the following three considerations: withdrawal of Israeli forces from Arab territories occupied since June 1967; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally a satisfactory solution of the Palestinian question based on the recognition of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. In this context, the question of Jerusalem also remains of primary importance.
Pending the achievement of a settlement, the Secretary-General at the request of the Security Council submitted a number of recommendations, in his report of January of 1988, on ways to promote the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians living under occupation. Following the tragic incidents at Al-Haram Al-Sharif in October 1990, the Secretary-General, in another report to the Security Council, again noted measures that the international community could take to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians. The Council in resolution 681 (1990) of 20 December 1990 deplored the decision of Israel to resume deportation of Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory and asked the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for its obligations under the Convention. The Council also asked the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, to develop further the idea put forward in his report of convening a meeting of the States parties in order to examine measures that might be taken by them under the Convention.
For its part, the General Assembly, in its resolution 45/68 of 6 December 1990, has called for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.
I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express appreciation, on behalf of the Secretary-General, to all the non-governmental organizations who have come to Vienna from all parts of the world to strengthen international and national efforts aimed at reaching a just settlement of the question of Palestine. Your presence here in such a large number testifies to your resolve to strive for a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
I would also like to express our appreciation to the members of non-governmental organizations from the occupied territories and from Israel, who represent differing points of view but have joined in an international endeavour to this end.
The situation in the Middle East remains volatile. For this reason, the Secretary-General has maintained constant contact with all the parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is gratifying to note, in this regard, that a number of Governments are actively engaged in assisting the parties in the Middle East in a process that could lead towards a settlement. The Secretary-General has been following these efforts with great interest and is encouraged by developments which indicate that progress is being made, and that the prospects for launching a negotiating process have been significantly enhanced.
In this connection, you will be aware that on 21 March 1991 the Secretary-General designated Mr. Edouard Brunner, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations, to succeed Ambassador Jarring of Sweden as his Special Representative to the Middle East. Ambassador Jarring had been appointed pursuant to resolution 242 (1967) by which the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contact with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles of that resolution.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under your able and dedicated leadership, has continued to work untiringly in order to achieve a just solution to the question of Palestine. I take this opportunity to extend to you and the Committee my best wishes for the success of your important endeavours.
I would also like to express the profound appreciation of the Secretary-General, as well as my own, to the Government of Austria for providing the venue for this event and for its gracious hospitality. I wish the participants a successful meeting.
MESSAGE FROM MR. YASSER ARAFAT,
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
It is my pleasure, on the occasion of the Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, to greet you all, most warmly in the name of the Palestinian people, on behalf of my colleagues, members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and in my own name. I also wish to express to you our gratitude and our appreciation of the valuable efforts you deploy in favour of and in support to the just struggle of our people towards reaching a just and peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region, based on the termination of the Israeli occupation, the withdrawal of the occupying forces from our land and the restoration by our people of its inalienable rights - rights which have long been established by the United Nations and unanimously endorsed by the international community, and which include its rights to freedom, independence and sovereignty.
I would also like to seize this propitious opportunity to express to friendly Austria, its President, Government and people, the appreciation of the Palestinian people and its gratitude for the favourable and supportive attitudes adopted by them on the side of what is right, just and fair and in backing the struggle of our people for a just peace. I would also like to thank the Austrian Government for hosting your venerable Meeting.
Our thanks and appreciation would also go to His Excellency Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the efforts he deploys towards the achievement of victory by international legality and the resolutions of the United Nations, first and foremost those which represent international legality
the Palestinian cause, and towards reaching a just solution based on relevant United Nations resolutions, of which we have many a time declared our approval and acceptance. It also gives me great pleasure to thank Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo for her presidency of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and for the efforts deployed by the Committee to spread the facts about our just cause. I express our gratitude also to the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights for its efforts in that same direction.
With regard to our true fiends, the non-governmental organizations, I would simply say that they represent the cornerstone of world opinion supportive of the just struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO, its only legitimate representative, and backing its blessed uprising (
) aimed at putting an end to Israeli occupation, the withdrawal of the occupying forces, and the recovery and exercise by our people of its inalienable national rights, in particular its right to return and to self-determination. May the NGOs accept all our thanks and appreciation for the valuable efforts they deploy and the important incessant actions they take inside and outside our occupied land, in support of the Palestinian people to help it face up to and overcome the difficulties caused by the continued Israeli occupation of its land and by its alienated life outside its own land.
We are now living in a world which is going through a process of fundamental change, with its events taking place at an unprecedented speed. We are witness to positive developments which revive our hearts with the hope of an imminent new era of peace and stability where human rights are guaranteed and justice is the basis of dealings among human beings. On the other hand, we witness other developments which give rise to our fears and concern for our present and future. The worldwide desire to put an end to the cold war has been a source of hope; and the Gulf war, with the circumstances surrounding it, has been a source of fear and concern, while the situation in our region is still the same as ever before: steady deterioration, moving away from an objective and just solution and a worsening disaster in Palestine and its surroundings.
The new world order, subject of daily speeches and debate, and even subject to serious attempts to bring it about as a tangible fact, cannot see the light of day without a strong moral foundation rooted in justice and international legality. The absence or devaluation of such bases in the construction of this new world order would simply mean that we are undertaking a most dangerous process of falsifying values, that we have paid no attention whatsoever to the lessons of the past and that we are embarking on a road which leads to more hazards and greater disasters.
Hence, I hereby record, in the name of my Palestinian people, the most mature in the democratic experience in our region, our support to all the creative ideas which truly aim at the establishment of a new world order based on justice, human rights and international legality. I declare once more our commitment to collaborate with all the sincere forces which endeavour to realize this objective.
It has been a source of deep gratification for us to learn of the great success of the promising democratic experiment in the friendly Soviet Union. We hope that it will soon overcome the difficulties facing the greater Soviet nation and that the world would achieve even greater successes in realizing the substance of peaceful and constructive international relations, the most eminent herald of which in our time has been our friend the Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev.
You are holding your venerable Meeting in order to look into what you have so far achieved in your cooperative action with the just struggle of our people and to discuss the ways and means of increasing your support. We are confident that you shall be able to assess your actions in an objective way and to reach positive results in opening new vistas for your steady, firm and tangible support of our people inside and outside our occupied land of Palestine, including Jerusalem.
Your support to us is vital at this difficult phase of the life of the Palestinian people, which presently experiences tragic conditions in the occupied territories, especially in the Gaza sector swept by real famine and in the West Bank, which experiences economic disasters. All this as a result of the iron-grip policy adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities on the occupied land of Palestine, including economic blockades with the aim of suppressing the Palestinian uprising and breaking the resistance of the Palestinian people.
Moreover, various crimes are being committed against our people in Kuwait, a fact confirmed by reports of various international and American human rights organizations, leaving no chance of denial by the Government of Kuwait in that regard. An example is the massacres against the Palestinians there and the mass graves used for the burial of the dead bodies of the massacred. Those atrocities are being committed against our people in Kuwait for the allied forces to see and hear. They should therefore bear the political, military, moral and effective responsibility for providing security and protection to our people against those crimes. The Palestinians in Kuwait face, in addition, the threat of expulsion with all the attending new social, economic and psychological miseries, in what would be, to the great majority of them, the fourth exodus since 1948, the year marking the beginning of the Palestinian ordeal.
The conditions are not less grave for the Palestinians living in camps in south Lebanon where the camps are still under siege, despite the fact that we helped facilitate the deployment process of the Lebanese army to which we turned over all our arms.
The international community, the United Nations, States and other forces calling for the promotion of democracy and human rights, bear political and moral responsibility for affording protection to the Palestinian people and putting an end to their suffering. The best and shortest way for achieving that goal would be through the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, thus enabling our people to exercise their right to self-determination, freedom and sovereignty. To that end, I call upon you and the United Nations to work towards implementing Security Council resolution 681 (1990) concerning the protection of the Palestinian people and the application of the Geneva Conventions to the occupied Palestinian territories. We earnestly hope that you, brothers and sisters, would be able to affirm the commitment to work towards that noble end.
This venerable meeting is being held at a time when the area is witnessing consequential developments and changes in addition to accelerated efforts by the United States Government for holding negotiations and a peace conference in the area between Israel and the Arab countries. I should like at this point to explain our point of view regarding those efforts.
The United States Government defined the thrust of the steps it is taking by what it has termed the "dual-approach policy":
- The first approach involves the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, a process which has already started even before the convening of the Conference or the start of the negotiations, and without using this process to secure guarantees regarding the Arab and Palestinian rights, Israeli withdrawal from Arab and Palestinian occupied territories, the city of Jerusalem and Palestinian representation.
- The second approach, which we believe is directed only in form towards the question of Palestine, as it merely aims at securing a Palestinian cover to help the first approach go through, includes the full exclusion of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of our people, from the settlement process, and involving the Palestinian people in a labyrinth of negotiations on an unequal basis regarding so-called self-administration. Needless to say this proposition which makes no provision for ending the Israeli occupation and the withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 242 (1967), and does not go beyond giving self-administration, self-rule or self-government, does in fact accord legitimacy to the Israeli occupation for the period it requires. The United States Administration has set this period at five years: two for negotiations and three for self-administration. This means that the Israeli occupation authorities would have ample time to swallow the land, make it Jewish and build settlements on it to accommodate the great numbers of new Jewish immigrants, with the aim of establishing Greater Israel.
The present United States proposition contains, also, two other extremely grave issues: The first issue concerns Jerusalem. The United States Government is collaborating with Israel, the occupying authority, by agreeing to its determination to exclude, from the settlement, the issue of Jerusalem in all its facets, including representation. That, in our opinion, constitutes a surrender to blackmail by Israel threatening to refuse to agree to take part in the negotiations, as well as a submission to Israeli terms and policies concerning Jerusalem, its annexation, Judaization, expulsion of its native population, confiscation of its land and violation of Moslem and Christian sanctities. You are no doubt aware of the fact that the insistence by the Government of Israel to exclude Jerusalem is but a fierce attempt to predetermine the outcome as regards the status of Jerusalem, not only before the beginning of the Conference but also before the outset of the peace process. This is, no doubt, in violation of all United Nations resolutions, Geneva Conventions and international legitimacy concerning Jerusalem and the territories under occupation.
The second subject is that of Palestinian representation, or of current attempts to cancel it, postpone it, include it in other participating delegations or overstep it. As you are aware, such attempts would deprive the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, from its right to represent its people in the proposed Conference. This would be a crude and unacceptable interference in a purely Palestinian matter, an interference unprecedented in the history of negotiations between parties in dispute.
These moves and steps constitute an attempt to adapt international legitimacy to the will of the Government of Israel and are contrary to all United Nations resolutions and to the will of the international community which believes that these resolutions must form a viable basis for the desired just settlement.
In spite of all that, the PLO has, as you know, responded positively to all peaceful endeavours and efforts which were or are being made to arrive at a just settlement of this dispute, including the principles declared by President Bush on 6 March 1991, and before them, the 5 points of Mr. Baker and the 10 points of Egypt. In this context, we have asked our brothers in the occupied territories to facilitate the mission of Secretary of State Baker and to meet with him.
The PLO has declared officially that it welcomes in principle the appeal recently made by the United States-Soviet summit in Moscow to hold a Middle East peace conference. Earnestly desiring to secure the convening of the conference and the success of its deliberations, we confirm before you what we have previously declared and communicated to all States interested in the achievement of a just settlement of the Middle East problem, i.e., that for the conference to succeed, the following basic principles and factors must exist:
1. Recognition of the legitimate national political rights of the Palestinian people, first and foremost its right to self-determination;
2. Palestinian participation should be in accordance with what the PLO decides, with any foreign interference in this respect rejected;
3. Both the exclusion of the question of Jerusalem and the exclusion of the representation of Jerusalem are rejected in any stage of the peace process;
4. Immediate cessation of settlement activities in all occupied territories, particularly in Jerusalem, and provision of international protection to the Palestinian people.
I reaffirm before you our fixed and continuous earnest desire to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the dispute in the region so that we can establish peace in the land of peace, the blessed land of Palestine, which has always been a symbol for coexistence, love and tolerance through the ages and the home of the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Allow me to salute from here our brothers and sisters the Jewish forces supporting peace in the world and in Israel, who are working towards finding a just and permanent solution in order to establish this just peace. They are doing so in spite of the great difficulties they face.
On the basis of our earnest desire to achieve this peace, our National Palestinian Council has put forward the Palestinian peace initiative of 15 November 1988, declared by me in Geneva in December of the same year. I confirm before you our adherence to that initiative and our commitment to international legitimacy and to its resolutions, for we are going to work continuously towards the achievement of the desired just peace. I therefore invite the leaders of Israel, as I have done before, to a brave peace. I repeat my appeal here once more, to make a brave peace under the auspices and support of the United Nations. We still believe that the best formula to do so is to convene the "International Conference for Peace in the Middle East" under the auspices of the United Nations and with participation of the five States permanent members of the Security Council and the States concerned with the dispute in the region, including the PLO and the Government of Israel, on equal footing. However, we have accepted and welcomed other positive initiatives because of our desire to push forward the peace process so as to end the Israeli occupation of our land by withdrawal from it of the Israeli occupation forces and regaining and practice by our people of its inalienable national rights. Without ending this occupation it would be difficult to conceive the achievement of a comprehensive, permanent and just peace in the region.
We address you with confidence in your support and assistance, trusting that you will make every possible effort to help our people by seeking the implementation of resolution 681 (1990) in order to alleviate the suffering of our people and end its tragedy and by seeking the achievement of just peace in the region.
I thank you and wish your Conference continuous success.
Revolution until victory!
MESSAGE SENT BY THE EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL
NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE TO
MR. YASSER ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
Please accept these greetings on behalf of the 250 non-governmental organizations gathered in Vienna for the Eighth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine. We sincerely appreciated your message presented at the opening plenary session by the Ambassador of Palestine to Austria, Mr. Faisal Aweidah. Your words were most relevant to our deliberations.
During our three days of meetings the global network of NGOs organized by the International Coordinating Committee (ICCP) deliberated on a number of vital issues and adopted practical strategies to deal with pressing issues. Task forces are being formed by NGOs in cooperation with the ICCP to address educational, health, agriculture and other issues.
Foremost in the final declarations is the urgent matter of international protection for Palestinians under occupation and those being expelled or in jeopardy in Kuwait. We will be lobbying with Security Council countries and working directly with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to raise these issues with the United Nations membership and the Secretary-General.
We had hoped you would be able to join us in Vienna, but we understand the demands of your responsibilities. We appreciate the advice and cooperation we receive from the Palestine Committee for NGOs and are as committed as ever to justly resolving the question of Palestine through self-determination based on United Nations resolutions. In any peace process, we affirmed that only Palestinians should select their own representatives.
We thank you for the confidence you expressed in us. Through the ICCP and the regional coordinating committees, we will be working to influence public opinion, government policy and to assist the Palestinian people in a direct and practical manner.
We sincerely wish you every success in your work.
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
CHAIRMAN: Don Betz
314 W. Keetowah
Tahlequah, Oklahoma, USA 74464
Phone: office (1-918) 456 5511 + 4500
Fax: office (1-918) 458 2103
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE Jeanne Butterfield
1747 Connecticut Avenue 1833 Summit Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009 Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (1-202) 319 0757 Tel: (1-202) 234 1298
Fax: (1-202) 319-0746 Fax: (1-202) 234 1345
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE (AAPSO) Dr. Ghaleb Mourad
89 Abdel Aziz al Saoud Street or Nouri Abdul Razzak
Manial El Cairo
Tel: (0020-2) 362 0462
THE MALAYSIA-PALESTINE SOLIDARITY & FRIENDSHIP Syed Ali Alattas
65 Jalan U Than
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (60-7) 222 420
Fax: (60-7) 230 659
SOCIETY FOR AUSTRO-ARAB RELATIONS Fritz Edlinger
Tel: (43-1) 526-7810
Fax: (43-1) 526-7795
FUNDACION ARGENTINA TERCER MUNDO Jose Felix Ferreyra
Avenida Belgrano 615, 10 piso 3er piso, dpto "G"
1029 Buenos Aires 1428 Buenos Aires
Tel: (54-1) 308 931/35 Tel: (54-1) 783-4053
Fax: (54-1) 322 9733
SOVIET AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE Alexander Kislov
Kropotkinskaya 10 Profsoyuznaya 23
Moscow, USSR Moscow 117 859 GSP-7
Tel : (7-095) 202 2314 Tel: (7-095) 128 9389
Telex: 411 489 KAFAZ SU Fax: (7-095) 310 7027
ARAB LAWYERS UNION Farouk Abu Eissa
13 Charia Ittehad Almohamine Al Arab
Tolombat St. Abderrahman Youssoufi
Garden City, Cairo 15 Impasse Casiflores
Egypt F-06400 Cannes, France
Tel : (20-2) 355-2486/7132/3931 Tel+Fax: (33-93) 395895
Fax : (20-2) 354 7719 Telex : 460000 F
Telex: 22266 ALU UN
CONFEDERACION PALESTINA LATINO AMERICANA Hanna Yousef
Y DEL CARIBE
Rua Apodi, 500-A Emile Safieh
Tirol Al. das Margaridas
59020 Natal RN 1278 Tirol
Tel: (55-84) 221 3026 Tel: (55-84) 221 1116
Fax: (55-84) 222 7467
INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR RIGHT AND Jean-Marie Gaubert
LIBERATION OF PEOPLES
27 rue de Clignancourt
F-75018 Paris, France
Tel: (33-1) 42-62-04-54
Fax: (33-1) 45-31-64-37
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE Edith Ballantyne
AND FREEDOM 7, Avenue de Sécheron
1, rue de Varembé CH-12-2 Genève
CH-Genève 20 Switzerland
Switzerland Tel: (41-22) 732-5019
Tel: (41-22) 733 6175
Fax: (41-22) 740-1063
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES Ghassan Rubeiz
P.O. Box 2100 5 Tavernay
CH-1211 Genève 20 CH-1218 Grand-Saconnex
Tel: (41-22) 791-6041 Tel: (41-22) 798-2638
WORLD PEACE COUNCIL Romesh Chandra
Lonnrotink 25A 6 KRS Tiirismantie 5A10
SF-00810 Helsinki 18 SF-0071 Helsinki 71
Tel: (358-0) 693 1044 Tel : (358-0) 379 771
Fax: (358-0) 693 3703 Telex: 121680 WORLD PAX SF
PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGOS Marai Abderrahman
P.O. Box 554 Dalia 1, App. 2
Tunis, Cedex 1080 Tunis, Tunisia
Tel : (216-1) 787 266 or 286 887 Tel: (216-1) 237 116
Direct : 786 653
Fax : (216-1) 789 980
P.O. Box 2100
CH-1211 Genève 2
Tel: (41-22) 791-6480/1
Fax: (41-22) 798-1050
Telex: 415 730 OIK CH
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
ABNA EL BALAD ASSOCIATION (ROOTS)
ABNA EL-BALAD MOVEMENT
ACRE ARAB WOMEN ASSOCIATION
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION
AKTION DRITTE WELT (ADW) (THIRD WORLD ACTION)
AL-JAMAHEER PRESS CENTER
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL AID
ANTI-ZIONIST COMMITTEE OF THE SOVIET PUBLIC
ARAB CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEE IN AUSTRIA
ARAB INTERPARLIAMENTARY UNION
ARAB LAWYERS UNION
ARAB PALESTINE ASSOCIATION
ARAB WOMEN'S COUNCIL
ARAB STUDIES SOCIETY
ARCI CULTURA E SVILUPPO (ARCIRAGAZZI)
ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS (PAKISTAN)
ASOCIACION PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE ESPAÑA
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE POUR LE SOUTIEN A LA LUTTE DU PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
ASSOCIATION MEDICALE FRANCO-PALESTINIENNE
ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN'S COMMITTEES FOR SOCIAL WORK IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
ASSOCIAZIONE MEDICA ITALO-PALESTINESE
BEIT HANINA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
CANADIAN PALESTINE ASSOCIATION
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE CROVECIA
CIRCOLO CULTURALE MONTESACRO
COMITE DE SOLIDARITE AVEC LE PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
COMITE LUXEMBOURGEOIS DE SOUTIEN AU PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
COMMITTEE FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE
COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL AND MEDICAL RELIEF FOR PALESTINIANS
COMMITTEE FOR PALESTINIAN AND JEWISH STUDIES, JAPAN
CONFEDERAÇAO PALESTINA DA AMERICA LATINA E CARIBE (COPLAC)
COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARAB-BRITISH UNDERSTANDING
CZECHOSLOVAK COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES OF AFRICA,
ASIA AND LATIN AMERICA
DANISH-PALESTINIAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
DEMOCRATIC ARAB ORGANIZATION
DEMOCRATIC FRONT FOR PEACE AND EQUALITY
DUTCH PALESTINE COMMITTEE
FINNISH-ARAB FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY
FORUM DU TIERS MONDE
FRIENDS OF PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITIES
FRIENDS OF PRISONERS AND DETAINEES
FRIENDS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
FUNDACION ARGENTINA PARA EL TERCER MUNDO (FATEM)
GENERAL BOARD OF GLOBAL MINISTRIES - UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
GENERAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNION
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE STUDENTS - TUNIS
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN - TUNIS
GERMAN PALESTINIAN ASSOCIATION
GREEK COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC SOLIDARITY
GRUPO DI RICERCA SUL MEDIO ORIENTE CONTEMPORANEO (GRMOC)
HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL
IN DEFENCE OF CHILDREN UNDER OCCUPATION
INDO-ARAB ISLAMIC YOUTH ASSOCIATION
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION (INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT)
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION - AUSTRIA
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION - ISRAEL
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION - USA
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS WAR RESISTERS
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF JOURNALISTS
INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS ASSOCIATION
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF FAMILY ORGANISATIONS
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS
ISRAEL SECULAR HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
ISRAELI COUNCIL FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE
ITALIAN METAL WORKER FEDERATION (FIOM-CGIL, MILAN)
JENIN CHARITABLE SOCIETY
LIGUE INTERNATIONALE POUR LES DROITS ET LA LIBERATION DES PEUPLES
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINE
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS (JORDAN)
MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL
MOUVEMENT CHRETIEN POUR LA PAIX
NADI AL-TIFL AL FALASTINI IN ISRAEL
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ARAB AMERICANS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN THE USA
NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR SOCIAL CARE AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
NEAR EAST CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF CANADA
NETUREI KARTA - FRIENDS OF JERUSALEM
NEW OUTLOOK IN DENMARK
NORWEGIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
PALASTINA BURO (PALESTINA FORUM)
PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
PALESTINE COMMITTEE IN NORWAY
PALESTINE GROUPS OF NORWAY
PALESTINE DEMOCRATIC ASSOCIATION
PALESTINE FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S ACTION COMMITTEE
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - AUSTRALIA
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION CENTER
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY (EGYPT)
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION OF SWEDEN
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
PALESTINE STUDIES PROGRAMME - UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
PALESTINE TRADE UNIONS FEDERATION
PALESTINE UNION OF DEMOCRATIC TEACHERS COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN AGRICULTURAL RELIEF COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN WRITERS IN ISRAEL
PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION FOR EURO-ARAB CO-OPERATION
PAX CHRISTI (VIENNA)
PRISONERS FRIENDS ASSOCIATION IN ISRAEL
PROGRESSIVE ARAB WOMEN COMMITTEE
PROGRESSIVE LABOUR FRONT
PROGRESSIVE LIST FOR PEACE
SALAAM RAGAZZI DELL'OLIVO
SOCIETY FOR AUSTRO-ARAB RELATIONS
SOVIET AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
SOVIET COMMITTEE OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH ARAB PEOPLE OF PALESTINE
SOVIET WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
TERRE DES HOMMES/FRANCE
TRUST OF PROGRAMS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION, LTD.
UNION GENERAL DES TRAVAILLEURS TUNISIENS
UNION OF AGRICULTURAL WORK COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN AMERICAN WOMEN
UNION OF PALESTINIAN MEDICAL RELIEF COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN COMMITTEES IN THE OCCUPIED LAND - JERUSALEM
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN COMMITTEES IN THE OCCUPIED LAND - RAMALLAH
UNITED HOLY LAND FUND
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF EGYPT
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF SWEDEN
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SERVICE (UNAIS)
VISITARE LUOGHI DIFFICILI
WAR RESISTERS INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
WORLD PEACE COUNCIL
WORLD UNIVERSITY SERVICE
YMCA REHABILITATION PROGRAMME
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
ACADEMY OF ORIENTAL SPIRITUAL HERITAGE
AL-AMAL AL-RA'ED - THE CENTRE FOR STATISTICS AND RESEARCH
FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE
AL-BIR SOCIETY FOR MARTYRS' SONS
AL-FIKR AL-JADID RESEARCH CENTER
ARAB ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
ARAB MEDIA CENTRE
ARAB MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
ARBEITSKREIS FUR AINE PALASTINENSISCHE GESUNDHEITSVERSORGUNG IM BAZ
ASSOCIATION WORK-HEALTH-PEACE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
ASSOCIAZIONE CULTURAL ALCATRAZ
BENEVOLENT SOCIETY OF THE GAZA STRIP - THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
BETHLEHEM ARAB SOCIETY FOR REHABILITATION
BIZAN CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN OF PALESTINE
CENTER FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH
CENTRO ESTUDIOS POLITICOS "NUEVOS HORIZONTES"
CENTRO REGIONALE D'INTERVENTO POR LA COOPERAZIONE
CLERGY FOR PEACE
COMITE NATIONAL DE COORDINATION DES ONG EN MAURITANIE
CONFEDERATION DEMOCRATIQUE DU TRAVAIL
CONFEDERATION OF THE TRADE UNIONS OF ALBANIA
CGIL - FILCEA
COOPERAZIONE INTERNAZIONALE SUD
COORDINAZIONE ONG DONNE E SVILUPPO
DRUZE INITIATIVE COMMITTEE
FEDERATION ALBANIAN JYOTH
FOUNDATION FRIENDS OF NAZARETH
FRIENDS WORLD COMMITTEE FOR CONSULTATION
FUND FOR PALESTINIAN PROSPERITY
GAZA COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN'S VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS
GERMAN-PALESTINE FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
HIGH PALESTINIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON CHILDHOOD
HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES, INC.
ISRAELI COMMITTEE FOR OPEN BORDERS
ISRAELI PEACE FRONT
LABOUR STUDIES CENTRE
LAND AND WATER ESTABLISHMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES
LIAISON COMMITTEE OF DEVELOPMENT NGOs TO THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
MALTA LABOUR PARTY
MEDICAL AID FOR THE THIRD WORLD
MIDDLE EAST QUESTION FORUM
NORWEGIAN AID COMMITTEE (NORWAC)
NORWEGIAN PEOPLE'S AID
PALESTINIAN COMMUNITY IN VIENNA
PALESTINIAN HYDROLOGY GROUP
PATIENTS' FRIENDS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION FOR GAZA STRIP
RICERCA E COOPERAZIONE
RUSSIAN PALESTINE FOUNDATION
ST. JOHN OPHTHALMIC SOCIETY
SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND
SUPPORT GROUP ISRAELI PEACE GROUPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
THE ASSOCIATION OF FORTY
UCSI: UISP - COOPERAZIONE SPORTIVA INTERNAZIONALE
UNION OF DEMOCRATIC TEACHERS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
UNION OF HEALTH CARE COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN HEALTH CARE COMMITTEES
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WORKING WOMEN COMMITTEES IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
NGO Coordinating committees
AFRICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
ASIAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
EUROPEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
NORTH AMERICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mr. Radwan Abu-Ayyash (Palestine), former Chairman of the Union of
Mr. Haim Baram (Israel), founding member of the Peace Party Sheli in Israel
Mr. Donald Betz (United States of America), Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
Ms. Rana Nashashibi (Palestine), Chairperson of External Affairs of the Union of
Palestinian Working Women Committees in East Jerusalem
Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel), Chairman of the Israeli Council for Israeli-
Mr. Nabeel Sha'ath (Palestine), Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestine National Council
Ms. Rima Tarazi (Palestine), member of the Board of Trustees of Bir Zeit University and Chairman of the Human Rights and International Relations Committee, YWCA
Mr. José Francisco Aguilar Bulgarelli (Costa Rica), lawyer, journalist and sociologist
Mr. Gabi Baramki (Palestine), Vice President of Bir Zeit University and Chairman,
International Christian Committee (Area Committee-Middle East Council of Churches), Jerusalem
Mr. Riad Malki (Palestine), Professor of Engineering at Bir Zeit University
Dr. Ruchama Marton (Israel), Pediatrician and Psychiatrist. Founder of the Association of Israeli Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights
Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel). See list of panelists above.
Mr. Amin Rais (Indonesia), Professor of International Relations in Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Mr. Muhammad Shtayyeh (Palestine), economist and professor of Economic Development
at the University of Bir Zeit
Ms. Virginia Tilley (United States of America), researcher and writer on Middle East politics. Coordinator of Settlement Watch and the Office of the North American Coordinating Committee
for NGOs on the Question of Palestine in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Candy Whittome (United Kingdom), British barrister and researcher at Al-Haq
Mr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel), one of the founders of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and a Senior Lawyer of a large law firm in Tel Aviv
Members and observers of the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York and Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mr. Khudaidad Basharmal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations in New York and Observer on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
States Members of the United Nations represented by Observers
Brunei Darussalam Nigeria
Byelorussian SSR Oman
Finland Saudi Arabia
Iran (Islamic Republic of) Tunisia
Non-member States maintaining permanent
observer missions at Headquarters
United Nations specialized agencies, bodies and programmes
International Labour Organisation
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
League of Arab States
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Other organizations having received a standing invitation to participate
in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly as observers
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