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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 July 2000



June/July 2000

Volume XXIII, Bulletin No. 3





Contents

Page
I.
    United Nations Seminar on Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development
    and the Middle East Peace Process, Cairo, 20 and 21 June 2000
1
II.
    The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopts Final Communiqué with section
    on the question of Palestine at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur, from 27 to 30 June 2000
3
III.
    Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
    issues report on the Palestinian economy
6
IV.
    Secretary-General welcomes announcement of Camp David Summit between
    Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat
7
V.
    The Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers of the
    Organization of African Unity adopt statement and decisions on the question of Palestine
    and the situation in the Middle East at their sessions in Lomé, from 6 to 12 July 2000
7
VI.
    Report on assistance to the Palestinian people, submitted by the Secretary-General
    pursuant to General Assembly resolution 54/116
7
VII.
    Secretary-General disappointed that parties at Camp David Summit were not able
    to reach overall agreement
8
VIII.
    Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions relating to the question of Palestine
8
IX.
    Excerpts from the G-8 statement on regional issues adopted at the Summit in
    Okinawa, Japan, from 21 to 23 July 2000
12
The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf, as well as at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.




I. UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON PROSPECTS FOR PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT AND THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS,
CAIRO, 20 AND 21 JUNE 2000


The United Nations Seminar on Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development and the Middle East Peace Process was convened by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in accordance with its mandate to promote international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period. The Seminar was held in Cairo on 20 and 21 June 2000. Its purpose was to discuss the current state of the Palestinian economy, the factors that affect it and its future prospects, with a view to mobilizing greater support from Governments and intergovernmental and civil society organizations for the attainment of the legitimate economic rights of the Palestinian people, thus contributing to broader peace-building efforts.

The Committee was represented by a delegation comprising Ibra Deguène Ka (Senegal), Chairman; Ravan Farhâdi (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman; Walter Balzan (Malta), Rapporteur; Ibrahim M’baba Kamara (Sierra Leone); Rafael Dausá Céspedes (Cuba); and Nasser M. Al-Kidwa (Palestine).

The Seminar was attended by representatives of 81 Governments, Palestine, 17 United Nations bodies and agencies, five intergovernmental organizations and 20 non-governmental organizations. Nineteen experts presented papers for discussion.

At the opening of the Seminar, a statement was made by Mustafa El Fiqi, Assistant Minister for Arab Affairs and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the League of Arab States. A statement on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations was read out by his representative, Hazem Abdel Aziz El Beblawi, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Statements were also made by Ibra Deguène Ka, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and Maher Al-Masri, Minister for Economy and Trade, Palestinian Authority, representing Palestine. Moreover, statements were made by representatives of the following Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies and agencies: Russian Federation, Brazil, League of Arab States, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Pakistan, Malaysia, Norway, Tunisia, South Africa, Japan, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and Universal Postal Union (UPU).


Four panel discussions were conducted with the participation of experts, as follows:

I. Palestinian institution-building and economic performance during the interim period: achievements, shortcomings and future tasks

Maher Al-Masri, Minister of Economy and Trade of the Palestinian Authority, as keynote speaker; Omar Daoudi, Senior Adviser to the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Jerusalem; and Salem Ajluni, Head of the Economic and Social Monitoring Unit at the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator (UNSCO).

II. Palestinian development objectives and strategies

Mohammad Shtayyeh, Director-General of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority; Saad Al-Khatib, Deputy Director-General for International Relations of the Ministry of Economy and Trade of the Palestinian Authority; and Raja Khalidi, Coordinator of the Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit, Globalization and Development Strategies Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The expert presentations were followed by a statement by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People regarding international assistance to the Bethlehem 2000 Project.

III. Israeli-Palestinian economic relations during the interim period and their future prospects

Samir Huleileh, Nassir Investments Co., Ltd., Bethlehem; Nadav Halevi, Professor, Department of Economics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Samir Abdullah, Head of Paltrade; Gil Feiler, Managing Director of Info-Prod Research (Middle East), Ltd., Ramat-Gan; Edward Haley, Professor of International Relations, Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University, California; and Saeb Bamya, Director-General for International Relations of the Ministry of Economy and Trade, Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.

IV. Impact of non-economic issues on sustained Palestinian economic and social development (Israeli settlements; Jerusalem; Palestine refugees; water and natural resources)

Shibley Telhami, Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; Yossi Katz, member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset); Sharif S. Elmusa, Associate Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo; Taher Shash, Legal Adviser to the Arab Organization for Human Rights; David Newman, Head of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Emad Gad, Researcher on Palestinian Affairs at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo; and Akrum Tamimi, Vice-President for Planning and Development of Hebron University.

Closing statements were made by Soliman Awaad, Assistant Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Egypt; Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations; and Ibra Deguène Ka, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

In his concluding remarks, the Chairman said that the Committee had always attached great importance to social and economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people. It was for that reason that the Committee had devoted a special place in its annual programme of work to social and economic issues of the transitional stage. In a continued effort to mobilize international assistance to the emerging Palestinian nation, the Committee had decided to convene the United Nations Seminar on Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development and the Middle East Peace Process. The participants reviewed the current status of Palestinian institution-building and economic performance during the interim period, and the steps taken towards establishing a better environment for sustainable economic development, in coordination with donors, intergovernmental organizations and other actors. The experience gained in the past several years had been thoroughly discussed and formed the basis for formulating objectives and strategies of Palestinian development. The participants were of the view that partnership between Israelis and Palestinians in the peace process had to be accompanied by partnership in economic development, and that sustained Palestinian economic and social development was in great measure influenced by non-economic issues. The outcome of the negotiations on interim and permanent status issues would most certainly affect current Palestinian economic activity as well as the future of the Palestinian economy in general.

Subsequently, the Chairman submitted the report of the Seminar to the United Nations Secretary-General, with the request that it be circulated as a document of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council (see A/55/144 - E/2000/87). The report was also issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.


II. THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS ADOPTS FINAL
COMMUNIQUÉ WITH SECTION ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
AT ITS MEETING IN KUALA LUMPUR,
FROM 27 TO 30 JUNE 2000

The twenty-seventh session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held at Kuala Lumpur from 27 to 30 June 2000, adopted a Final Communiqué with a section on “The Question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, which is reproduced below (see A/54/949 – S/2000/746):

The Question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict



27. The Conference reaffirmed that the question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and Palestine is the foremost Islamic cause. It expressed its full solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization in its just struggle to end Israeli occupation, ensure the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland Palestine and enable them to exercise their full sovereignty, build their national institutions on national soil, Palestine, and regain their inalienable national rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish their own independent State on national soil, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

28. The Conference called on Member States to continue to consolidate their solidarity with the Palestinian people, support their just and legitimate struggle to end Israeli occupation and achieve all their objectives of freedom and independence.

29. The Conference affirmed its support for the peace process in the Middle East and the implementation of all the agreements, commitments and pledges concluded through that process between the concerned parties in accordance with the principles upon which the Madrid Peace Conference was based pursuant to the United Nations Charter and resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and the land-for-peace principle, all of which provide for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967, and the occupied Lebanese territories to the internationally recognized borders.

30. The Conference emphasized that Al-Quds Al-Sharif forms an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and whatever applies to the rest of the occupied territories also applies to it, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. The Conference called on the international community to put an end to all measures and practices of the Israeli occupation authorities in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif aimed at altering its geographic and demographic set-up, desecrating holy Islamic and Christian places with a view to Judaizing them. The Conference called for combined efforts to restore the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine.

31. The Conference also called on the international community, particularly the co-sponsors of the peace process, to exert pressure on Israel to comply with the resolutions of international legality and to implement the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, including resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, which called for ending construction of the new settlement in Jabal Abu Ghneim and any other settlement activity, including the extension of existing settlements, the construction of roads of containment, the expropriation of lands near the settlements and all other activities which constitute a violation of international resolutions. The Conference called on member States to make every effort to bring the General Assembly to take the necessary measures pursuant to the “United for Peace” resolution should Israel fail to comply with those resolutions.

32. The Conference requested the Security Council to revive the International Committee on Supervision and Control to prevent colonization in the city of Al-Quds and other occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, pursuant to resolution 446 (1979), and called for continued efforts and contacts at the world level to ensure the implementation of the resolutions of international legality, in particular Security Council resolution 465 (1980), which considered the settlements as illegal and requested the dismantlement of existing settlements.

33. The Conference urged the international community and all States that provide economic and financial assistance for Israel, in particular the United States of America and the European Union States, as well as international donor institutions and funds, to stop their assistance which Israel uses to carry out its colonialist settlement schemes in the occupied Arab territories, in occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan, and to boycott the products and goods of such settlements in the occupied territories, in pursuance of the resolutions of international legality considering that these products and goods originate from illegal settlements.

34. The Conference underlined that Israel’s violation of the principles and underpinnings of the peace process, reneging on the commitments, pledges and agreements concluded within this process, and procrastination and evasion at the implementation level, have seriously undermined the peace process. The Conference held the Israeli Government wholly responsible for this state of affairs.

35. The Conference called for continued efforts to ensure the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the United Nations resolutions pertaining to the return of the displaced, particularly resolution 237(1967) of 14 June 1967.

36. The Conference called on the United Nations to send a “fact-finding mission” to investigate the status of Palestinian lands and possessions, their uses and revenues, and the violations of their ownership and utilization rights to obtain full copies of all land and property registers, documents and maps held by the Israeli administration; to make every effort to ensure the implementation of General Assembly resolution 43/57 H of 6 December 1988 on the proceeds of Palestinian refugees’ possessions, which provide that “the (Secretary- General) should take appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection and administration of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to establish a fund for the receipt of income derived therefrom, on behalf of the rightful owners”. The Conference also called on the United Nations to appoint a permanent trustee for such properties, who shall report periodically to the United Nations on the status of the properties and ensure their protection until the return of their owners.

37. The Conference called on all States in the world to recognize the State of Palestine upon its proclamation in the Palestinian territories and provide the Palestinian people with all forms of assistance so that they can exercise their sovereignty on their soil in accordance with the resolutions of international legality. The Conference also urged all States to extend their support to the State of Palestine to enable it to gain full membership in the United Nations, and take part in the Millennium Meeting of World Leaders due to be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 6 to 8 September 2000.

38. The Conference called on Islamic States which had taken steps towards establishing relations with Israel within the framework of the peace process to reconsider such relations, including the closure of missions and offices until Israel complies with United Nations resolutions, implements the commitments, pledges and agreements it concluded with the parties concerned with the peace process, in accordance with the principles of the Madrid Conference, the Oslo Agreement, the other agreements concluded with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the pledges and commitments reached with Arab parties during the peace talks on all other tracks.

39. The Conference called for action by the United Nations and other international organizations and forums to force Israel to release the detainees, return the deportees, put an end to collective punishments, to the confiscation of land and property and to the demolition of houses, and refrain from any act likely to endanger life and the environment in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

40. The Conference called for a more effective participation of the United Nations in ensuring the success of the peace process in the Middle East and reaffirmed the established and continued responsibility of the United Nations towards the Palestinian question until a just and comprehensive solution of all its aspects is reached.

41. The Conference also urged all concerned States and parties to support the international programme of economic, social and cultural development in the Palestinian territories; provide the approved assistance to enable the Palestinian people to build their national economy; extend support to their national institutions and enable the Palestinians to establish their independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

42. The Conference called on the international community and the Security Council to force Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 487 (1981), to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and implement the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

43. The Conference affirmed the continuous responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to carry out its mission in favour of all Palestinians wherever they may be, called on the Conciliation Committee to cooperate with UNRWA and the concerned States in organizing an exhaustive census of Palestinian refugees and their properties, and to formulate a comprehensive conception for resolving their problems on the basis of their rights to return to their homeland Palestine, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 194 (III). The Conference also invited all States to extend further support to the Agency to enable it to finance its budget and continue to provide the services assigned to it.

44. The Conference commended the remarkable efforts made by the Al-Quds Committee under the chairmanship of His Majesty the late Hassan II of Morocco and the continuation of its mission in the service of the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif under the chairmanship of His Majesty Mohammed VI, the Sovereign of the Kingdom of Morocco. The Conference affirmed all the decisions made at the meetings of this Committee, in particular its seventh session held in Casablanca on 4-5 Rabii II, 1419 H (29-30 July 1999), and urged States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to act accordingly.

45. The Conference called on member States, Islamic financing institutions, banks, funds, chambers of commerce and industry, companies, individuals and businessmen to extend generous assistance to “Bait-Mal Al-Quds” and to the Al- Quds Fund, and to organize fund-raising campaigns on the popular level in favour of the Agency and the Fund to enable them to implement the projects adopted in support of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the Holy City.

46. The Conference welcomed the basic agreement concluded between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Vatican on 15 February 2000, which considers that any unilateral decision or action such as altering the distinctive character of Al-Quds and its legal status is morally and legally unacceptable.

47. The Conference condemned Israel’s initiative to hold the sixty-sixth meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) in the year 2000, in the occupied city of Al-Quds, in total contravention of the resolutions of international legality on the city of Al-Quds. The Conference called on library organizations, institutions and associations to boycott that meeting and to participate in the Conference of Library Organizations, Institutions and Associations due to be held in Cairo on 12 August 2000. It also called for the boycott of the annual symposium of the International Archives Council scheduled for 2001, also in Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

48. The Conference expressed its thanks to His Highness Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the State of the United Arab Emirates, for his generous donation towards financing the documentary film on Al-Quds which had recently been completed, and invited Member States to ensure the projection of the film through their mass media.

49. The Conference lauded the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab citizens of the Golan against occupation and strongly condemned Israel’s non-compliance with Security Council resolution 497 (1981). It affirmed that Israel’s decision to impose its laws and rule on the occupied Syrian Golan is illegal, null and void, and totally illegitimate. The Conference condemned Israel for continuing to alter the legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its demographic and institutional structure. It reaffirmed the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War to the occupied Syrian Golan. The Conference also condemned Israel’s repeated threats directed against Syria, aimed at aggravating tension in the region and wrecking the peace process. It called for Israel’s total withdrawal from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 lines.

50. The Conference strongly condemned Israel for its continuing occupation of expanses of land inside the internationally recognized Lebanese borders, including the Shebaa Farms, in contravention of the provisions of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

51. The Conference affirmed Lebanon’s right to recover every inch of its occupied territory and the right of the Lebanese people to resist Israeli occupation by every available means until the complete liberation of Lebanese territories, including the Shebaa Farms.

52. The Conference requested the international community to take all necessary measures to compel Israel to set free all the Lebanese prisoners, kidnapped nationals who have been detained as hostages in Israeli prisons, in contravention of the provision of international law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1907 Convention of The Hague. It urged member States and international organizations to put pressure on the Israeli Government to allow the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to visit the Lebanese detainees in Israeli prisons on a regular and periodical basis, submit a report on their conditions and provide them with health care and humanitarian assistance.

III. OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS (UNSCO) ISSUES REPORT
ON THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) issued a report dated July 2000 entitled “Report on the Palestinian Economy – Spring 2000”. The report provides updated data and information from Palestinian, Israeli and multilateral sources on trends in three main areas: macroeconomics, the labour market and living levels. It covers developments in 1999 as compared to 1998 and includes a special report on Palestinian foreign trade. Copies of the report may be downloaded from the UNSCO website at: www.unsco.org


IV. SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENTOF CAMP DAVID
SUMMIT BETWEEN PRIME MINISTER BARAK
AND CHAIRMAN ARAFAT

The following statement was issued by the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on 5 July 2000 (SG/SM/7480):

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes United States President William Clinton’s decision to invite Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel and Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority to a summit meeting at Camp David next week. The Secretary-General attaches great importance to this meeting, and wishes to express his full support for the Camp David process. A “Peace of the Brave” between Israel and the Palestinians would not only end more than 50 years of hostilities but would pave the way for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on relevant resolutions of the United Nations, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the principle of land for peace.

The Secretary-General is aware that a successful outcome will require decisions and compromises which would be painful for both sides. But the prize is great, and the Secretary-General wishes to take this opportunity to encourage both sides to demonstrate the courage of true statesmanship.


V. THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT AND THE COUNCIL
OF MINISTERS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY ADOPT
STATEMENT AND DECISIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
AND THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AT THEIR SESSIONS
IN LOMÉ, FROM 6 TO 12 JULY 2000

The Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, at its seventy-second ordinary session, held at Lomé from 6 to 8 July 2000, adopted a decision on the question of Palestine and another one on the situation in the Middle East. The text of these decisions can be found in UN document A/55/286, Annex I.

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, at its thirty-sixth ordinary session, held at Lomé from 10 to 12 July 2000, adopted a statement on the tripartite talks held at that time in Washington on the Palestinian – Israeli peace process. The text of the statement can be found in UN document A/55/286, Annex II.


VI. REPORT ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, SUBMITTED
BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL PURSUANT TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
RESOLUTION 54/116

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 54/116 of 15 December 1999, the Secretary-General issued a report on assistance to the Palestinian people dated 24 July 2000.

The report, which covers the period from May 1999 to May 2000, acknowledges that progress in the development of the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been facilitated by the very considerable assistance provided by the international community, with a total of some US$ 2.75 billion disbursed between 1993 and 1999. However, it expresses concern over the declining trend of both new commitments and disbursements for development cooperation in spite of the special needs and the challenges lying ahead. A general trend of decline has become evident in recent years, with disbursements falling from $513 million in 1997 to $409.2 million in 1998 and $417.1 million in 1999. The amount of funds disbursed in 1999 represented about 58 per cent of the needs identified by the Palestinian Development Plan. The lack of sufficient assistance in certain priority sectors/subsectors has left the planned development process lagging in crucial areas. Cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and the donor community, and within the donor community itself, is vital if Palestinian development is to evolve and attain its intended objectives in a coherent and sustainable manner. The United Nations organizations and specialized agencies have continued to play a significant and special role in support of the Palestinian people, as a complement and supplement to other partners in the international community, and have implemented sizeable multilateral and bilateral assistance. UNRWA and UNDP, respectively, administer special large-scale programmes, as mandated, and the Bretton Woods institutions also play especially effective roles. Other funds and programmes and many specialized agencies of the United Nations system are making important contributions, in a responsive and innovative way, to the socio-economic development priorities. (For the full text of the report see: A/55/137 – E/2000/95.)


VII. SECRETARY-GENERAL DISAPPOINTED THAT PARTIES AT CAMP DAVID
SUMMIT WERE NOT ABLE TO REACH OVERALL AGREEMENT

The following statement was issued by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 25 July 2000 (SG/SM/7494):

The Secretary-General is disappointed that, despite strenuous efforts at the Camp David Summit, the parties were not able to reach an overall agreement. Given the seriousness of the issues involved and their importance for reaching a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, he encourages Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman Yasser Arafat to persist in their efforts to find compromise solutions with courage and vision. The Secretary-General commends United States President William Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for their extraordinary efforts to facilitate progress.


VIII. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS
RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

At its substantive session of 2000, held in New York from 5 to 28 July 2000, the Economic and Social Council adopted two resolutions relating to the question of Palestine. The Council had before it, inter alia, the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/55/137 - E/2000/95, see summary above); a note by the Secretary-General containing a report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (A/55/84 - E/2000/16); the report of the United Nations Seminar on Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development and the Middle East Peace Process, held at Cairo on 20 and 21 June 2000 (A/55/144 - E/2000/87); and the report on the forty-fourth session (28 February-2 March 2000) of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2000/27 - E/CN.6/2000/9). The two resolutions, entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” (resolution 2000/31) and “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” (resolution 2000/23) respectively, were adopted by the Council on 28 July and are reproduced below:



2000/31.
    Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the
    living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory,
    including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan


The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 54/230 of 22 December 1999,

Recalling also its resolution 1999/53 of 29 July 1999,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, and the principle of land for peace as well as the full and timely implementation of the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Convinced that the Israeli occupation impedes efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan, and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,

Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people,

Conscious of the urgent need for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and for the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people as a key element of a lasting peace and stability,

1. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the occupied Palestinian territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the territory, including the removal of restrictions on going into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

2. Also stresses the vital importance of the construction and operation of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, the destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;

5. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

6. Stresses the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations, and of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority;

7. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job-creation projects and social development, in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include, in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator, an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;

9. Decides to include the item entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” in the agenda of its substantive session of 2001.

Adopted on 28 July 2000
by a vote of 41 to 1,
with 1 abstention.

________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.


2000/23. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the section concerning the situation of Palestinian women and assistance provided by organizations of the United Nations system of the report of the Secretary-General 1/ on follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration 2/ and Platform for Action, 3/

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 4/ in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, and the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women,

Recalling also its resolution 1999/15 of 28 July 1999 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 5/ as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Stressing the need for full implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 4 September 1999 and full compliance with the existing agreements, as well as the need for the conclusion of the final settlement by the agreed time of September 2000,

Concerned about the continuing difficult situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of continuous illegal Israeli settlement activities, as well as the harsh economic conditions and other consequences for the situation of Palestinian women and their families resulting from the frequent closures and isolation of the occupied territory,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the entire international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the continuity and success of the peace process and its conclusion by the agreed time of September 2000 and the achievement of tangible progress in the improvement of the situation of Palestinian women and their families;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development planning of their society;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 6/ the Regulations annexed to The Hague Convention of 1907 7/ and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

4. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Urges Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify their efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period;

6. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 4/ in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, and the Beijing Platform for Action; 3/

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fifth session a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 28 July 2000
by a vote of 42 to 1,
with 2 abstentions.
_________
1/ E/CN.6/2000/2, sect. III.A.
2/ Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I. 3/ Ibid., annex II.
4/ Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A.
5/ See General Assembly resolution 48/104.
6/ General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).
7/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
8/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



IX. EXCERPTS FROM THE G-8 STATEMENT ON REGIONAL ISSUES
ADOPTED AT THE SUMMIT IN OKINAWA, JAPAN,
FROM 21 TO 23 JULY 2000

The G-8 statement on regional issues, which was adopted at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit Meeting held in Okinawa, Japan, from 21 to 23 July 2000, included a section on the Middle East peace process, which is reproduced below (see A/55/220 - S/2000/759):

Middle East peace process

In the Middle East, there is a real opportunity for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the agreements made in Madrid and Oslo. We reaffirm our strong support for the efforts by the parties concerned to advance the peace process towards this end. We reiterate the importance we attach to a continuing commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes.

In the light of the trilateral summit meeting on a peace between Israel and the Palestinians, we applaud the intensive efforts by President Arafat and Prime Minister Barak, with the facilitation of President Clinton, to reach agreement on all permanent status issues. We welcome their courageous decision to continue negotiations, and confirm our support for their endeavours. We confirm too our commitment to assist the implementation of a peace agreement, and invite the international community to participate in the efforts to help the parties implement such an agreement when it is reached.

We underline the importance of resuming the activities of the multilateral working groups, recognizing that progress in the multilateral tracks is related to and supports the bilateral tracks.

We condemn any violent attempts by extremists and terrorists to interfere with the Middle East peace process, and call for a cessation of support for such violence.

We welcome the recent withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Lebanon, in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), as verified by the Secretary-General and confirmed by the Security Council. It is the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon to ensure the return of its effective authority to maintain peace and security in southern Lebanon. Being aware that attaining these goals will also depend on the Government’s ability to meet the infrastructure and development needs of this region, we are committed to supporting its efforts to this end.

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