Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXIV, No. 3 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (avril-août 2001) - Publication de la Division des droits palestiniens Français
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The recommendation adopted by the Arab Conference of Officials in Charge of Palestinian Affairs in the Host Countries at its sixty-fifth session;
The relevant resolutions of the Summit Conferences and of the United Nations;
Its previous resolutions on the same subject;
And the recommendation of the Political Affairs Committee,
The note by the Secretariat;
1. To condemn Israel's dubious attempts to assert its sovereignty over Jerusalem and certain areas of the West Bank by seeking to have a number of archaeological sites in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories inscribed on the World Heritage List;
2. To have member States establish the necessary contacts, at the ministerial level, with the States members of the World Heritage Committee in order to convey to them the Arab position that Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories have since 1967 constituted occupied territory under the terms of resolutions that have the force of international law and the resolutions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and to have member States make the necessary endeavours for the deferral of any action on the Israeli request to the World Heritage Committee;
3. To request the Secretary-General, as a matter of urgency, to form a committee of experts on legal matters and on matters relating to Jerusalem, open to representatives of all member States and meeting at League headquarters, to consider the question of the Israeli endeavours to have a number of archaeological sites in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories inscribed on the World Heritage List and to submit a report to the Council at its next session;
4. To request the Secretary-General, acting in coordination with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, to hold consultations with the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and to report to the Council at its next session.
7. The leaders hail with great pride the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, its valiant Intifadah in the face of the ferocious attack being launched by Israel and the opposition it is presenting to the savage repression being practiced by the occupation authorities. They laud and hail the valiant martyrs of the Intifadah, commend the spirit of dedication and steadfastness of the Palestinian people, which has been able, with its national leadership and with unswerving resolve and unlimited readiness for self-sacrifice, to oppose the Israeli measures of oppression and frustrate the policy of fait accompli whereby the occupation authorities have sought forcibly to impose their unjust conditions on the Palestinian people and the Palestinian negotiating partner. The leaders declare that they stand with the Palestinian people in its heroic struggle and support its Intifadah and its legitimate right to oppose the occupation in order that it may achieve its just national demands, namely the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish the independent State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.
8. The Arab leaders hail the steadfastness of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Arab Golan and their adherence to their national identity.
9. The leaders condemn the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. They also condemn Israel’s massive violations of human rights, particularly the collective punishments, the dismemberment of the Palestinian territories and the ongoing attacks on vital facilities and Palestinian national institutions, which constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and racist practices. All these constitute a massive breach of the rules of international humanitarian law, and this situation must be remedied. The upshot is that these Zionist practices still constitute a form of racism. The leaders also call for the resumed convening of the Conference of States Parties to the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 as soon as possible for the adoption of measures to protect Palestinian civilians.
10. The leaders express their extreme displeasure at the United States’ use of the veto in the Security Council against the draft resolution concerning the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories and the establishment of a United Nations observer force in those territories. They express their total rejection of the United States excuses, inasmuch as this position is absolutely inconsonant with the responsibility of the United States of America as a sponsor of the peace process and a permanent member of the Security Council, bearing special responsibility with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security.
11. The leaders reaffirm their call to the Security Council concerning the need to assume responsibility for providing the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people suffering under Israeli occupation and the creation of an international force to this end. They call upon the States members of the Security Council, in particular the permanent members, to take the necessary steps for the implementation of those measures.
12. The leaders call upon the Security Council to bring to trial the Israeli war criminals who have perpetrated massacres and other crimes against Arab citizens in all the occupied Arab territories and elsewhere, especially in the light of what was stated in the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Mary Robinson.
13. The leaders welcome the decision of the Higher Council for the Al-Aqsa Fund and the Al-Quds Intifadah Fund to respond as a matter of urgency to support the budget of the Palestine National Authority by disbursement of the sum of $15 million out of the interest-free loan in the amount of $60 million authorized by the Higher Council on the basis of the proposal made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In view of the harsh financial and economic circumstances which the Palestinian people is experiencing, they have instructed the Higher Council for the two Funds to comply with the request of the Palestinian National Authority to disburse the additional sum requested, namely $180 million, to support the Authority’s budget for the next six months.
14. The leaders reaffirm their adherence to the Security Council resolutions concerning the City of Jerusalem, in particular resolutions 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 465 (1980) and 478 (1980), which declare null and void all measures taken, or to be taken, by Israel to change the character of this city, and they urge the world’s States to refrain from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. In this context, the leaders reaffirm the resolutions adopted by the Arab Summit in Amman (1980), Baghdad (1990) and Cairo (2000), calling for the severance of all relations with States that relocate their embassies to Jerusalem or recognize the city as the capital of Israel.
15. The leaders affirm their continuing adherence to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on the resolutions of international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace and guaranteeing legitimate Arab rights and the achievement of security and stability in the region.
16. The Arab leaders warn of the consequences of the Israeli Government’s renunciation of the bases, terms of reference and principles upon which the 1991 Madrid peace process was built and the consequences of diverging from them or of putting forward alternatives that do not comply with the principles of international legitimacy. They affirm the inseparability of the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and their close link with the Palestinian track for the achievement of the Arab goals of reactivating all tracks. They warn of the Israeli practices aimed at isolating one track from another and call for Arab coordination. They reaffirm that the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region requires as a precondition complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to the line of 4 June 1967 and from the remaining occupied Lebanese territory up to the internationally recognized borders, including the Shab`a farmlands, in implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the principle of land for peace; enabling the Palestinian people to reclaim its inalienable national rights, including the right of return, compensation in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) for the damage sustained as a result of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital; and the release of all Arab prisoners from Israeli jails.
17. The leaders charge Israel with full legal responsibility for the existence of the problem of the Palestinian refugees and for their forced displacement. They affirm their rejection of all projects and endeavours aimed at the resettlement of these refugees outside their homeland. They also hold Israel responsible for compensating the Arab host States for the financial burdens that they, in lieu of the international community, have sustained as a result of hosting these refugees.
18. The leaders resolve to continue the suspension of participation by the Arab States in multilateral negotiations and of all measures and activities for regional and economic cooperation with Israel and to hold Israel responsible for such steps and measures as may be taken by the Arab States with regard to Israel and are necessitated by the suspension of the peace process and the escalation of the repressive measures and the blockade imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities on the Palestinian people. The leaders affirm their resolution taken at the Extraordinary Summit in Cairo in 2000 to oppose resolutely Israel’s attempts to penetrate the Arab world, under any designation, and to suspend the maintenance of any relations with Israel. They hold Israel responsible for the measures and decisions to be taken by the Arab States in connection with their relations with it, including their severance. They demand the reactivation of the Arab boycott of Israel, through regular convening of the periodic boycott conferences, called for by the main boycott office, with the aim of preventing business with Israel in application of the rules of the boycott.
19. The leaders also affirm their complete solidarity with Syria and Lebanon and reject the Israeli threats that have escalated recently against these fraternal countries. They also reject the dangerous threats directed by Israeli officials against the Arab States, the Palestinian people and its leadership. They condemn the logic of the threat of use of force and affirm the need to study closely the serious situation arising from that and from the Israeli reversal to its racist policy. They call for the drawing up of a clearly defined Arab strategy to expose Israeli plans that do not serve peace and which threaten security and stability in the region. They also reject Israeli attempts to level accusations of terrorism against Arab States that undertake the duty of legitimate national resistance against Israeli occupation of their territory
21. The leaders affirm that for lasting peace and security in the region to be achieved, Israel must accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and place all of its nuclear facilities under the international inspection and monitoring regime. They also affirm in this connection the extreme importance of ridding the Middle East region of nuclear weapons and of all weapons of mass destruction as a necessary and indispensable precondition for the establishment of any regional security arrangements in the future.
22. The leaders reaffirm that adherence to the peace process requires Israel to implement the agreements and meet the deadlines already arrived at and to build on what has already been achieved. It also requires the resumption of negotiations on all tracks from the point where they stopped, in accordance with their original terms and conditions. The sponsors of the peace process, in particular the United States of America, must assume their responsibilities and obligations in respect thereof on the basis of justice and neutrality.
23. The leaders urge all States concerned with the peace process, in the forefront of which are the States of the European Union, to assume an active role in overcoming the obstacles that impede the peace process in the Middle East.
24. The Arab leaders call upon the United Nations, with its responsibility for preserving international peace and security and as the source of international legitimacy, to play a more active role in implementing its resolutions concerning settlement of the Middle East question.
27 and 28 March 2001
Proceeding from pan-Arab responsibility and the desire to strengthen and develop Arab relations so as to achieve the overriding objectives of the Nation, preserve its dignity and safeguard pan-Arab security, declare our resolve:
– To provide full support for our Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese brothers in their struggle for the reinstatement of their legitimate rights, affirming that Israeli with-drawal from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, primarily Jerusalem, as well as from the Syrian Golan Heights to the borders of 4 June and from the Lebanese territory still under occupation, is the only approach to the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, such achievement being the sole guarantee of security for all, just as the achievement of lasting peace in the region is linked to ridding it of all weapons of mass destruction, in particular Israeli nuclear arms. We appeal to all effective forces and the parties concerned with the maintenance of international peace and security to shoulder their responsibilities in that regard as part of a comprehensive and balanced methodology and singular criteria; …
Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the violation of their fundamental and human rights since the Israeli military occupation of 1967,
Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,
Recalling also all relevant General Assembly resolutions, including the latest, resolution 55/51 of 1 December 2000, in which the Assembly declared that Israel had failed to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and demanded that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan,
Reaffirming once more the illegality of Israel's decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,
Reaffirming the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law,
Taking note with deep concern of the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/55/453) and, in this connection, deploring the Israeli settlement in the occupied Arab territories and regretting Israel's constant refusal to cooperate with and to receive the Special Committee,
Guided by the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the relevant provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 to the occupied Syrian Golan,
Reaffirming the importance of the peace process which started in Madrid on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and the principle of land for peace, and expressing its concern at the stoppage of the peace process in the Middle East and its hope that peace talks will be resumed on the basis of the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region,
Reaffirming also its previous relevant resolutions, the most recent being resolution 2000/7 of 17 April 2000,
1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, particularly resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel should rescind forthwith its decision;
2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and emphasizes that the displaced persons of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan must be allowed to return to their homes and to recover their properties;
3. Further calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and to desist from its repressive measures against them, and from all other practices mentioned in the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories;
4. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and have no legal effect;
5. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;
6. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations and to give it the widest possible publicity, and to report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-eighth session;
7. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session, as a matter of high priority, the item entitled "Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine".
Welcoming the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/CN.4/2001/114),
Welcoming also the report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli (E/CN.4/2001/30), and his report (E/CN.4/S-5/3) submitted to its fifth special session, held from 15 to 19 October 2000,
Welcoming further the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 (E/CN.4/2001/121),
Expressing its deep concern at the failure of the Government of Israel to cooperate with the human rights inquiry commission and its failure to cooperate with other relevant rapporteurs,
Gravely concerned at the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and by the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular extrajudicial killings, closures, collective punishments, settlements and arbitrary detentions,
Expressing its grave concern at the continuing violence and the resulting deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians,
Taking note of the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories submitted to the General Assembly since 1968,
Expressing its grave concern at the continued Israeli refusal to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights calling upon Israel to put an end to the violations of human rights and affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967,
Convinced that the progress made on all major issues during the last negotiations should form the basis for future talks on permanent status, and that the basis of negotiations, and of a just and lasting peace, must be Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and other relevant United Nations resolutions and include the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war, the need for every State in the area to be able to live in security and the principle of land for peace,
Recalling all its previous resolutions on the subject, including the latest, resolutions 2000/6 of 17 April 2000 and S-5/1 of 19 October 2000, adopted at its fifth special session,
1. Expresses its grave concern at the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories;
2. Condemns the disproportionate and indiscriminate recourse to force, which cannot but aggravate the situation and increase an already high death toll, and urges the Government of Israel to make every effort to ensure that its security forces observe international standards regarding the use of force;
3. Strongly deplores the practice of so-called "eliminations", or extrajudicial killings, of certain Palestinians carried out by the Israeli security forces, which are not only a violation of human rights norms and contrary to the rule of law, but are also damaging for the relationship between the parties and therefore obstacles to peace, and urges the Government of Israel to respect international law and cease this practice;
4. Expresses its grave concern at the closures of and within the Palestinian territories, which contribute together with other factors to the unrest and violence that have been prevailing in the zone for several months, calls upon the
Government of Israel immediately to put an end to the practice of closures and reiterates that collective punishment is prohibited under international law;
5. Expresses its concern at the large number of persons, including children, who have been detained during recent months and at the continued detention of some detainees without any criminal charges having been brought against them;
6. Expresses its grave concern at the Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, such as the construction of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones, the expropriation of land, the biased administration of water resources, the construction of roads and house demolitions, all of which violate human rights and international humanitarian law, besides being major obstacles to peace, urges the Government of Israel to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions as well as the recommendation of the Commission regarding the Israeli settlements, and calls on the Israeli security forces to ensure the protection of the population in the occupied territories, including preventing, investigating and prosecuting acts of violence committed by Israeli settlers;
7. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War is applicable to the Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and considers any change in the geographical and demographic status of the city of East Jerusalem from its situation prior to the June 1967 war to be illegal and void;
8. Condemns the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, the revocation of identity cards of the citizens of the Palestinian city of Jerusalem, the imposition of fabricated and exorbitant taxes with the aim of forcing the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem, who cannot afford to pay these high taxes, out of their homes and out of their city, preparing in this way the
path for the Judaization of Jerusalem, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to these practices;
9. Also condemns the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, as it constitutes a grave breach of the principles of international humanitarian law and the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to such practices;
10. Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to consult the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on the reconvening of the adjourned Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and looks forward to their early conclusion on the basis of agreement by a large majority of the Parties and in accordance with the statement adopted on 15 July 1999 by the Conference upon adjournment, with a view to fulfilling the joint obligation of the High Contracting Parties to ensure respect for the Convention and to improve the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground;
11. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories, and to respect the bases of international law, the principles of international humanitarian law, its international commitments and the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization;
12. Also calls upon Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights, as a basic condition for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East;
13. Calls upon the relevant United Nations organs urgently to consider the best ways to provide the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people until the cessation of the Israeli occupation of its territories;
14. Welcomes the recommendations contained in the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and those contained in the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission, urges the Government of Israel to implement them and requests the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, acting as a monitoring mechanism, to follow up on the implementation of those recommendations and to submit reports thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session and the Commission at its fifty-eighth session;
15. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it on the widest possible scale and to report on its implementation by the Government of Israel to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-eighth session;
16. Also requests the Secretary-General to provide the Commission on Human Rights with all United Nations reports issued between the sessions of the Commission that deal with the conditions in which the citizens of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab Territories are living under the Israeli occupation;
17. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-eighth session under the same agenda item, as a matter of high priority.
Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable instruments,
Mindful that Israel is a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem,
Recalling its previous resolutions, most recently resolution 2000/8 of 17 April 2000, in which, inter alia, it reaffirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories,
Expressing its concern regarding the security risks related to the presence of the settlements in the occupied territories,
(a) The reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/S-5/3 and E/CN.4/2001/30) and calls upon the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur to allow him fully to discharge his mandate;
(b) The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan from 8 to 16 November 2000 (E/CN.4/2001/114);
(c) The report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 (E/CN.4/2001/121);
2. Expresses its grave concern:
(a) At the continuing Israeli settlement activities, including the expansion of the settlements, the installation of settlers in the occupied territories, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, since all these actions are illegal, constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and are a major obstacle to peace;
(b) At and strongly condemns all acts of terrorism and violence;
(c) At the closures of and within the Palestinian territories which contribute, together with other factors, to the unrest and violence that have been prevailing in the zone for several months;
3. Urges the Government of Israel:
(a) To comply fully with the previous Commission resolutions on the subject, most recently resolution 2000/8 of 17 April 2000;
(b) To take concrete actions to fulfil its obligations and cease completely its policy of expanding the settlements and related activities in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem;
(c) To forgo and prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories;
(d) To implement the recommendations regarding the settlements made by the High Commissioner in her report, including to ensure that the Israeli security forces protect Palestinians from violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers;
4. Urges the parties to create the conditions which will allow the resumption of the peace process, building on the full implementation of previous agreements and the progress that was made on all major issues during the last negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in order to find a just and lasting peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and other relevant United Nations resolutions, including the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war, the need for every State in the area to be able to live in security, and the principle of land for peace;
5. Decides to continue its considera-tion of this question at its fifty-eighth session.
Having received the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee report, the Secretary-General wishes to congratulate Senator Mitchell and the Committee members for having produced a fair and balanced analysis of the causes of the present crisis.
The Secretary-General has written to President Bush to express his appreciation for the Committee's emphasis on the need for a halt to all settlement activity; to support the call for maximum effort to control violence in all its forms; and to stress the economic and social crisis facing the Palestinian people.
The Secretary-General believes that full implementation of the report's recommendations could, in conjunction with the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative, help build a bridge back to negotiations towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
The European Union urges the parties to faithfully adhere to the recommendations contained in the report. In particular, the Union expects the parties to take immediate and unconditional steps to cease all violence, to resume security cooperation and to exchange confidence-building measures, including a halt to settlement activities. These are all important elements for a resumption of negotiations, which should then follow. Negotiations should be based on international law, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the principle of land for peace.
The Mitchell Report and the Egyptian-Jordanian initiative have provided the parties with the means to break the vicious circle of violence. The European Union expects both parties to do their utmost to stop violence and find a negotiated solution at this critical juncture. The Union stands ready to assist the parties.
The United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held in Havana from 12 to 14 June 2001 under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 55/52 and 55/53 of 1 December 2000. The theme of the Latin American and Caribbean Meeting was “Achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – a key to peace in the Middle East”.
The Committee was represented by a delegation comprising Ibra Deguène Ka (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, who acted as Chairman of the Meeting; Walter Balzan (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee, who acted as Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Meeting; Martin Andjaba (Namibia) and Rafael Dausá Céspedes (Cuba), who served as Vice-Chairmen of the Meeting, as well as Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).
The Latin American and Caribbean Meeting consisted of an opening session, three plenary meetings, an NGO workshop and a closing session. Plenary I reviewed the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, plenary II was entitled “Upholding international legitimacy – the path to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the conflict”, and plenary III drew on the international support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The NGO workshop discussed possible action by civil society in Latin America and the Caribbean in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Presentations were made by 19 experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as other regions, including Palestinians and Israelis. Each plenary meeting included a discussion period open to all participants. Representatives of 44 Governments, Palestine, 2 intergovernmental organizations, 4 United Nations bodies and agencies and 20 non-governmental organizations, as well as special guests of the host country and representatives of the media, universities and institutes, attended the Meeting.
Participants were informed that two Palestinian experts invited by the Committee to speak at the Meeting and a number of NGO participants from the Occupied Palestinian Territory were unable to travel to Havana due to the general closure imposed by Israel. The Committee delegation deeply regretted the absence of Ahmed Soboh, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and Director-General for Diplomatic Training, and Riad Malki, Vice-President of the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace. The Committee delegation denounced the illegal actions of the Occupying Power, which had among their many grave consequences, a negative effect on international efforts to find a solution to the current crisis. The Ambassador of Palestine to Chile, Sabri Ateyeh, made himself available to join the deliberations of plenary III.
The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the final document of the Latin American and Caribbean Meeting, the Havana Declaration, as reproduced below:
We, the participants in the United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine, held in Havana from 12 to 14 June 2001, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, declare:
On the principles governing the Middle East peace process
Our broad and determined commitment to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State and the right to return to their homeland;
That the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, must be brought to an end without delay and that mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence must be given the opportunity to flourish;
That Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which embody the principle of land for peace and form the legal basis for the Middle East peace process, must be adhered to;
That the United Nations should continue to exercise its permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and in accordance with international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized;
On the situation on the ground
That the excessive use of force by Israel, the occupying Power, the closures and the economic blockade of Palestinian population centres and all other illegal measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian people must be brought to an end immediately;
That, in view of the excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and continued Israeli illegal settlement activity, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention should expedite the reconvening of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with the statement adopted by the Conference on 15 July 1999 in Geneva;
That international protection, in the form of a United Nations observer force, must be provided. In this respect, the United Nations Security Council should fully discharge its responsibilities under the Charter, or, if it failed to do so once again, the issue should be brought before the General Assembly;
That international humanitarian assistance must be forthcoming to offset the adverse effects of illegal Israeli actions and that the Palestinian Authority should be given fiscal support to make up, inter alia, for revenue withheld by Israel;
That Israel should transfer without delay the revenue it is withholding from the Palestinian Authority in contravention of signed agreements;
On current efforts at reviving the peace process
That the recommendations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, contained in its recently published report (Mitchell report), be swiftly implemented in their entirety and in conjunction with the measures suggested by the Egyptian-Jordanian peace initiative, as a way of ending the violence, restoring confidence between the parties and resuming peace talks. In this respect, the valuable efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General and his Special Coordinator, the European Union and the Co-Sponsors of the peace process should be continued;
That, in light of developments on the ground, the UN Secretary-General’s visit to the region in pursuit of a peaceful solution to the crisis is an important step in the right direction;
That special significance must be attached to the need for swift implementation of the Fact-Finding Committee’s call for a complete freeze in settlement expansion and its suggestion that Israel consider the evacuation now of some settlements for security reasons;
That negotiations between the parties be resumed from where they left off in January 2001 and that a final status agreement for a settlement of the question of Palestine be reached forthwith, within the framework of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, on the basis of international legality and the relevant United Nations resolutions;
On the contribution of the Latin American and Caribbean region
That Governments, intergovernmental organiza-tions, parliamentarians and civil society organizations, including Latin American and Caribbean ones, should exert all efforts to support the peace process and its successful conclusion;
That Latin American and Caribbean States, having had a broad experience in their struggle for decolonization and national sovereignty, should continue their moral, political and material support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights;
We welcome the long-standing commitment of Latin American and Caribbean States to the peace process, particularly the efforts to achieve a permanent peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis.
Our special appreciation goes to H.E. Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba; H.E. Sr. Ricardo Alarcón, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Cuba; H.E. Sr. Felipe Pérez Roque, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba; and to the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba for hosting the Meeting, for organizing a series of parallel events – including a TV round table in the presence of H.E. President Castro, and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee in preparation of this regional meeting.
The economic crisis that characterized the last three months of 2000 has persisted through the first half of 2001. Early economic figures for 2001 show continuing decline in multiple indicators such as productive capacity utilization, service sector sales, construction, and hotel occupancy, giving concern for near- and medium-term development, even if a political resolution is reached to end the crisis.
Although employment has shown some improvement in early 2001 – largely due to slightly higher labour flows to Israel, Israeli settlements and industrial zones (ISIs) – unemployment remains high. Persistent high unemployment, combined with decreasing participation in the labour force and increasing dependency rates, suggests that living standards for the Palestinian population may continue to decline in 2001.
The fiscal situation for the Palestinian Authority also remains fragile. The drop in domestic tax revenue and the continued withholding of Palestinian tax revenues by Israeli authorities is expected to lead to a US$ 371 million budget deficit (22 percent of total public expenditures) for 2001.
Finally, it is important to note that the depth and severity of the current crisis is unprecedented. After three years of economic recovery following the previous crisis in 1996, the current shock will undoubtedly take even longer to overcome. Even if a political resolution is reached quickly and brings with it a full lifting of movement restrictions and resumption of “normal” economic life, genuine economic recovery will take years and will require substantial resources and sustained policy attention from all stakeholders in Palestinian economic and institutional development.
Recalling General Assembly resolution 54/230 of 22 December 1999,
Also recalling its resolution 2000/31 of 28 July 2000,
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 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,
Expressing grave concern over the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries,
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-seventh 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 2002.
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol.75, No. 973.
1Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2001, Supplement No. 3 (E/2001/23), chap. II, sect. A.
The Presidency urges all parties to show maximum restraint and to make concrete and immediate gestures in order to meet the expectations of the international community as largely reflected in the conclusions of the General Affairs Council of the European Union of 16 July (see S/2001/728) and the summit declaration of 21 July of the group of seven major industrialized nations and the Russian Federation (G8).
The Presidency stresses the European Union’s conviction as to the urgency of the full implementation of the Mitchell recommendations as well as to the interest of both parties in actively cooperating to the rapid establishment of a third-party monitoring mechanism.
The Presidency is disturbed by the killing of eight Palestinians in the West Bank on 31 July, and the report of the death of two children near the explosion.
The Presidency reiterates the European Union’s rejection of targeted assassinations of Palestinian militants by Israel, which are illegal under international law. Unilateral provocative actions of that kind can only lead to further escalation and therefore postpone a return to a situation of calm.
The Presidency exhorts the Palestinian Authority to intensify with unfailing determination its efforts against extremist violence and terrorism.
The Presidency cannot but deplore the killing and wounding of innocent civilians caught in the current confrontations.
As the crisis persists, and due to the lack of mutual trust, it is abundantly clear that the two sides are unable to achieve a breakthrough. They need a more involved assistance of key international actors, including the United Nations. It is the opinion of our Committee that, at this critical juncture, more than ever, the United Nations should continue to maintain its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions, in accordance with international legitimacy and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized.
Resolute steps should be taken now with a view to implementing the Mitchell Committee recommendations in their entirety and without further delay. A realistic plan for such implementation should be agreed upon within a reasonable time span and with workable ways for its monitoring. Negotiations on security, as well as on interim and permanent status issues, should be restarted as a matter of urgency. The Committee is of the view that a permanent status agreement, long overdue, should be finally reached on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principles of the Madrid Peace Conference.
Since its inception in 1975, our Committee has maintained that the core of the problem has been the continuing illegal occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory. Once again, we call upon the Government of Israel to abide by the principles of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the provisions of all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
The Committee has repeatedly put forward its position with respect to the situation on the ground and the threat to international peace and security posed by the stalemate in the peace negotiations, the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the deplorable state of the Palestinian economy. United Nations bodies, especially the Security Council and the General Assembly, making full use of your peacemaking efforts, should stand up to the challenges before them and take concrete steps aimed at addressing the continuing Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter circulated as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.