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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXVI, No.1 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (janvier-août 2003) - Publié par la Division des droits palestiniens Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
21 October 2005



January-August 2003


Volume XXVI, Bulletin No. 1


Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine

Contents
Page
I.
    United Nations Special Coordinator attends conference on Palestinian reform
4
II.
    Secretary-General deplores ominous escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip
4
III.
    Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
    Palestinian People addresses letter to the Secretary-General
5
IV.
    United Nations Environment Programme Governing Council reports and
    adopts decision on the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
6
V.
    Secretary-General issues address to 2003 opening meeting of the
    Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
7
VI.
    Secretary-General welcomes Palestinian Authority President Arafat’s
    announcement of his intention to appoint a prime minister
9
VII.
    United Nations Special Coordinator addresses Ad Hoc Liaison Committee
9
VIII.
    Quartet issues statement
10
IX.
    Task Force issues statement on Palestinian reform
11
X.
    Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights
    of the Palestinian People addresses letter to the Secretary-General
    on Bethlehem and the planned separation barrier
13
XI.
    Thirteenth Conference of Heads of States of the Non-Aligned Movement
    adopts Final Document, Kuala Lumpur Declaration and Statement on Palestine
14
XII.
    League of Arab States adopts resolution at its fifteenth session
18
XIII.
    Islamic Summit Conference issues declaration on the grave situation in Palestine
19
XIV.
    World Bank issues report entitled "Two years of intifada, closures
    and Palestinian economic crisis: an assessment"
21
XV.
    UNESCO reports on the application of Decision EX/10.2 concerning
    educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories
23
XVI.
    Secretary-General welcomes President Bush’s statement on the Road Map
24
XVII.
    Commission on Human Rights adopts three resolutions
24
XVIII.
    Secretary-General welcomes presentation of the Road Map
30
XIX.
    Secretary-General congratulates Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority
30
XX.
    Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
    Palestinian People issues statement on presentation of the Road Map
30
XXI.
    Secretary-General transmits text of the Road Map to the Security Council
31
XXII.
    United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace convenes in Kyiv
35
XXIII.
    Secretary-General welcomes Israel’s acceptance of the Road Map
37
XXIV.
    Thirtieth session of Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers convenes in Tehran
37
XXV.
    Secretary-General issues report on assistance to the Palestinian people
60
XXVI.
    World Bank issues report entitled "Twenty-seven months – intifada,
    closures and Palestinian economic crisis: an assessment"
61
XXVII.
    Secretary-General welcomes Middle East summit held in Aqaba
64
XXVIII.
    ESCWA reports on the economic and social repercussions of Israeli occupation
65
XXIX.
    Security Council President issues press statement on the Middle East
66
XXX.
    ILO Director-General reports on situation of Arab workers in the occupied territories
66
XXXI.
    Secretary-General talks to the press after Quartet’s Dead Sea meeting
67
XXXII.
    Secretary-General welcomes agreement on Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem
68
XXXIII.
    Special Rapporteur issues report on human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
68
XXXIV.
    Secretary-General welcomes ceasefire announcement by Palestinian groups
69
XXXV.
    UNRWA prepares publication on impact of first phase of security barrier
70
XXXVI.
    Special Rapporteur on the right to food reports on his mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territory
71
XXXVII.
    United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People held in Geneva
73
XXXVIII.
    The Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions and decision relating to the question of Palestine
73
XXXIX.
    UNCTAD reports on assistance to the Palestinian people
77
XL.
    Human Rights Committee adopts final conclusions and recommendations on Israel’s report
77
XLI.
    Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination adopts decision
78
XLII.
    Secretary-General reports on the work of the Organization
79



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I. UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR ATTENDS CONFERENCE ON PALESTINIAN REFORM


In a press release (SG/SM/8579) issued on 13 January 2003 the Secretary-General expressed his conviction that the only way forward towards reviving a sustainable peace process was a firm commitment of the parties to end all violence and to work closely with the Quartet on the basis of its Road Map to a two-State solution. In this connection, he welcomed the initiative of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to convene a meeting on 14 January 2003 on the issue of Palestinian reform. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Rød-Larsen, participated in the London Conference on Palestinian Reform. In connection with the Conference, the following press release was issued on 14 January 2003:

Attending the London conference on Palestinian reform today, the senior United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Terje Rød-Larsen, described the talks as an “invaluable” meeting that helps to move the process forward.

Even though the Palestinian delegation was not able to attend the conference hosted by the United Kingdom, Mr. Rød-Larsen, who is the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said the meeting was important because it facilitated a “clear and sensible discussion” about the progress on reform and what is still needed.

The talks also send a strong message to Palestinians, Israelis and the international community that the Government of the United Kingdom, working closely with the Quartet – which comprises the United Nations, the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union – remains focused on and committed to the road map process towards a just and comprehensive settlement for the Middle East, according to Mr. Rød-Larsen.

In New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a press conference today that the decision by the Israelis to bar a Palestinian delegation from traveling to the London meeting was unfortunate. “[They] should have been allowed to attend the conference to hear from others what is expected from them and to be given support for reform of the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “And I personally wish they had been allowed to go. I believe each time you bring parties together to discuss solutions it is a positive step.”

As for the seemingly endless cycle of violence, the Secretary-General said that he thought it was a tragedy the bloodshed continued. “This is why the Quartet has been very active in trying to work out a road map that will operationalize the objective of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side that everyone has embraced,” he said. “But you can only get there if you take concrete steps and define what is demanded of each of the parties. That road map is ready and I hope we’ll be able to put it on the table and to the parties formally as soon as possible, perhaps next month or so, and press ahead with the peace effort.”





II. SECRETARY-GENERAL DEPLORES OMINOUS ESCALATION OF VIOLENCE IN THE GAZA STRIP

The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 26 January 2003 (SG/SM/8587):

III.
    CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF
    THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
    ADDRESSES LETTER TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL


The following is the text of a letter dated 30 January 2003 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General in connection with the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially the closing of universities (A/ES-10/214-S/2003/120):

In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I should like to draw your attention once again to the continuing deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. In this letter, I wish to raise the Committee’s concern with regard to one particularly disturbing aspect of Israeli actions negatively affecting the rights of the Palestinian people, which has manifested itself of late.

The Committee has received several reports on the closing down by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), on 15 January 2003, of Hebron University and Palestine Polytechnic University for 14 days, ostensibly as a measure aimed at fighting terrorists and suicide bombers. IDF forces raided offices and laboratories, destroyed and confiscated property and welded shut university gates and doors. The closing has reportedly been extended to six months for the Hebron University and three more weeks, with the possibility of further extension, for the Polytechnic.

The Committee views these harsh acts of collective punishment by the occupying Power as utterly unjustified and illegal, as they deprive 4,200 students at Hebron University and 2,500 students at Palestine Polytechnic University of their right to education. These arbitrary measures also adversely affect hundreds of faculty and university staff who have lost their source of income, particularly now that the Palestinian people are experiencing severe economic hardship. The closure of the two important Palestinian educational centres is bound to deepen the anger and despair of the Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation. It sends a particularly sombre message to the Palestinian youth that their way to a better future through education is as “road-blocked” as is their daily life in the towns and villages of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It no doubt adds to the mistrust and suspicion between the two peoples and further exacerbates the already dangerous situation on the ground.

Our Committee is appalled by these developments taking place at a time when the international community, through the Quartet, is working hard to stop the violence, resume a meaningful political dialogue between the parties and move forward to a negotiated settlement, with a view to realizing a vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

On behalf of the Committee, I would like to express the hope that you would bring these urgent concerns to the attention of the international community, including the competent organs of the United Nations, and that you would use your good offices with the Government of Israel, so that the present situation could be redressed and the two universities reopened without delay.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.




IV.
UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME GOVERNING COUNCIL REPORTS AND ADOPTS DECISION ON THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

The Desk Study on the Environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (UNEP/GC.22/INF/31) was presented to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at its twenty-second session (3-7 February 2003), as requested by the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Cartagena, Colombia (February 2002). UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer, who gave high priority to the implementation of the decision of the Council concerning the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said in his foreword to the study that the unanimous decision of the Council was motivated by the alarming reports relating to pollution of water, dumping of wastes, loss of natural vegetation and pollution of coastal waters in the region. The Desk Study was conducted by a team of eight highly-qualified and impartial environmental experts, who visited the region between 1 and 11 October 2002. The study provides short-, medium- and long-term recommendations on improving the environment that will benefit the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the region as a whole.

On 7 February 2003, at its twenty-second session, held in Nairobi, the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum adopted decision 22/1 V, entitled “Environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” (see A/58/25 of 26 February 2003). The text of the decision is reproduced below:


Decision 22/1 V

Early warning, assessment and monitoring: Environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories


The Governing Council

Recalling its decisions 20/2 of February 1999, 21/16 of 9 February 2001 and GCSS.VTT/7 of 15 February 2002 on the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,

Gravely concerned over the continuing deterioration and destruction of the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,

Having considered the report of the Executive Director as contained in documents UNEP/GC.22/6/Add.6 and UNEP/GC.22/INF.31,

Noting that the Executive Director visited the area in July 2002 where he met with the two parties concerned and established a framework and the modalities of the desk study requested by the Governing Council,

Noting further that the Executive Director designated a team of United Nations Environment Programme experts to prepare the desk study outlining the state of the environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and identifying major areas of environmental damage requiring urgent attention,

1. Welcomes the desk study outlining the state of environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories presented by the Executive Director, including the recommendations contained therein;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the team of experts for their invaluable efforts in the preparation of the desk study, and to the environmental authorities in the area for their constructive cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme;

3. Requests the Executive Director, within the mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme, to implement recommendations of the desk study;

4. Also requests the Executive Director to make the United Nations Environment Programme available to act as a facilitator, and also an impartial moderator when requested by both parties, to assist in solving urgent environmental problems with a view to achieving common goals;

5. Further requests the Executive Director to continue coordinating the activities of the United Nations Environment Programme in the area, including:

(a) Facilitate identifying technical and financial solutions to implement the recommendation;

(b) Promote capacity-building programmes;

(c) Encourage technology transfer;

(d) Promote the participation of the Palestinian Authority in relevant meetings and processes of multilateral environmental agreements;

6. Calls upon Governments and international organizations to support the rehabilitation of the environment and reconstruction of damaged environmental infrastructure, and to thus assist the environmental authorities concerned in their efforts to address urgent environmental needs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories;

7. Invites all the parties concerned to cooperate with the Executive Director in the implementation of this decision;

8. Requests the Executive Director to report on the implementation of this decision to the Governing Council at its twenty-third regular session.

V.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES ADDRESS TO 2003 OPENING MEETING
    OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
    OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


On 14 February 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement addressed to the opening meeting of the 2003 session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was delivered by his Chef de Cabinet (SG/SM/8607, GA/PAL/909). The text of the statement is reproduced below:

First, let me congratulate you and your colleagues in the Bureau on your unanimous re-election to the leadership of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

As we meet today, the situation between Palestinians and Israelis remains extremely dangerous. Let us not fall into the trap of imagining that it cannot get any worse. It easily can.

Already, the human cost of the crisis has been appalling. Since September 2000, more than 3,200 people have lost their lives – the great majority of them Palestinians, but also many Israelis. Thousands more on both sides have been wounded, again preponderantly Palestinians. Deplorably, the majority of the victims have been civilians, many of them children.

Stifling closures and curfews, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, house demolitions, continuing settlement activity and the often-excessive use of force by Israel have only added to long-standing Palestinian anger and resentment. At the same time, cruel and devastating terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings, have revived old fears. Because of this spiral of action and counteraction – because of this pervasive climate of recrimination, retribution and deep mutual distrust – the reserves of goodwill that existed a decade ago seem to have been virtually exhausted.

Still, there is a way out. A broad consensus has emerged on the need for a two-State solution. The “road map” that has been drawn up by the Quartet – the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations – aims to help realize the vision, set out in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002), of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace.

The road map is intended to achieve a settlement founded on the terms of reference of the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991, the principle of land for peace, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), agreements previously reached by the parties and the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, which was endorsed by the Arab League at its Beirut Summit last March.

The road map is performance-based and hope-driven, with clearly defined phases and realistic timelines and target dates. Its implementation would end the occupation that began in 1967, establish an independent, viable and democratic Palestine within three years, bring hope to Palestinians and ensure security for Israelis. It should settle not only the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also promote peace in the broader region, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.

Achieving this objective will, of course, require great patience and tenacity on the part of all involved.

One key factor will be the willingness of Palestinians and Israelis to take parallel steps in the security, institution-building, humanitarian and political areas. Indeed, progress in any one of these areas is heavily dependent on progress in the others.

Moving ahead in tandem offers the most promising path away from the current impasse and towards a reactivation of the political dialogue. The Quartet stands ready to facilitate this process. Ultimately, however, it is the parties themselves who will have to summon political will, show good faith and demonstrate a readiness to make the painful compromises that will fulfill the mutual obligations outlined in the road map.

An important factor will be Palestinian reform. Efforts in this direction have already begun and should be viewed as part of the broader framework of steps outlined in the road map. I urge the Government of Israel to support this Palestinian-driven process by creating conditions that will lead to the normalization of Palestinian life.

In particular, Israel should expedite the withdrawal of its troops from Palestinian areas occupied since September 2000, immediately freeze all settlement activity, end the practice of house demolitions, lift restrictions on the movement of people, goods and essential services, and disburse in full revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority. Israel should also abide fully by its obligations under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian groups, for their part, should unconditionally cease all terrorist acts, and the Palestinian Authority should do everything in its power to combat terrorism. As I have said repeatedly, attacks that target civilians are heinous and morally repellent, regardless of whether their perpetrators see them as reprisals for acts by the other side.

International help remains vital. The Palestinian people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and emergency relief. The Palestinian economy has suffered a catastrophic decline. United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund, will continue their efforts.

UNRWA remains the main provider of basic services to more than 3.9 million registered Palestine refugees. Commissioner-General Peter Hansen and his staff are helping to deliver these services in extremely difficult circumstances, often at risk to their own lives.

UNRWA today is facing an especially severe financial crisis. Unless the international community provides immediate assistance, UNRWA’s emergency operations in the West Bank and Gaza could come to a halt by the end of March. I call on donors to contribute generously in this time of acute hardship.

For my part, I would like to reassure you of my deep personal commitment to working with all concerned for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement. My Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Rød-Larsen, will continue to work closely with the parties.

The outlines of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region are clear. But peace cannot be imposed on the parties. Nor can a lasting solution be found by force. It must be achieved through a political process that takes the legitimate aspirations of both peoples fully into account. This Committee has an important role to play as our common efforts towards that long-sought goal continue. I wish you all success in your sustained and dedicated efforts.




VI.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES PALESTINIAN
    AUTHORITY PRESIDENT ARAFAT’S ANNOUNCEMENT
    OF HIS INTENTION TO APPOINT A PRIME MINISTER


The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the announcement by PA President Arafat of his intention to appoint a prime minister (SG/SM/8605, PAL/1935):





VII.
    UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR
    ADDRESSES AD HOC LIAISON COMMITTEE


On 18 February 2003, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee met in London for two days to review the state of the Palestinian economy. The meeting was held at the initiative of the Greek EU presidency and the Norwegian Government. Representatives of the Quartet attended the meeting. The following are the opening remarks of United Nations Special Coordinator Terje Rød-Larsen:

Foreign Minister, Secretary of State, Dear Friends:

Forgive me if I begin by stating the obvious: The humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not caused by a natural disaster. It comes from a conflict.

That means the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis today – the deaths and injuries, the economic devastation, the profound insecurity – can end only through a political solution. And bringing this conflict to an end is entirely within the power of the parties here today.

As I see it, progress towards that solution hinges on actions that each of the main groups here – the Israelis, the Palestinian and the international community – must take in the coming days:

1. For Israel, progress depends on whether a new government is formed that embraces President Bush’s 24 June speech and the only realistic and viable plan for its implementation – the Road Map.

2. For the Palestinian Authority (PA), progress will depend on its credibility as a partner with both Israel and the international community. In this regard, the appointment of an empowered and credible prime minister, as President Arafat has promised, will be a critical step in the right direction.

3. For the international community, progress depends on whether the Quartet seizes the opportunity to present the finalized Road Map – complete with a timetable and monitoring mechanism – to the parties as soon as possible so that we can finally begin working in earnest towards our shared vision for peace.

Of course, it is completely beyond the scope of our agenda today to resolve the political conflict underpinning today’s humanitarian crisis. Over the next two days, we must focus on the assistance efforts of our respective Governments and organizations toward alleviating this crisis.

Our task is to seek ways to break the dilemma that has us maintaining our intense humanitarian engagement – despite the lack of political progress. To do so means coming to terms with the impasses that have helped paralyse progress for much of the last two years:

1. Israelis increasingly understand that severe restrictions on Palestinian movement contribute to the despair and resentment that help fuel terror attacks. But they fear that easing the restrictions will expose them to the intolerable risk of more terrorists infiltrating their borders. We understand their dilemma: they feel they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

2. The vast majority of the Palestinian public – and every Palestinian in this room – seeks a negotiated settlement of the conflict. They want to crack down on Palestinian violence – violence that has so fatally undermined their national ambitions. But in the current climate of insecurity and distrust they lack confidence that such efforts will yield sufficient political dividends to prevent their society from subsequently being ripped apart by internal schisms.

The international community is committed to improving the conditions of life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But it fears that humanitarian assistance delivered in the absence of a political horizon works against its goal of an independent Palestinian State. It effectively finances – and perpetuates – Israel’s occupation and weakens the Palestinian institutions it has helped to build over the last decade.

There is no easy solution to these dilemmas. We will continue our efforts in the Quartet and other forums to resolve them. But at the same time, we must seize opportunities to improve conditions despite these dilemmas.

We must start by reaching agreement on the minimum needs and basic rights of the civilian population, whatever the prevailing security circumstances. We must ensure that every teacher and pupil is able to get to school, every patient has access to health care, every worker can reach his or her workplace, every household has access to safe and affordable water.

I believe that the progress already achieved on the reform agenda provides an opportunity to rebuild the trilateral relationship between the PA, the Government of Israel, and the donor community. A good first step would be to start weekly meetings that include representatives of the Government of Israel, the donor community and a PA ministerial committee. Together, we can find means to meet at least the basic needs of the civilian population. Some indication of what can be achieved is the constructive engagement between Israel, the PA, and the United States on tax revenue transfers.

I reiterate that only a comprehensive plan like the Road Map can succeed in cutting the Gordian knot that binds us in a frustrating stasis. Regrettably, while the Road Map’s clock is wound, it is not yet ticking. And while we are confident that will start soon, there is an absolute imperative to improve the lives of ordinary people right now.

In view of the gravity of the humanitarian situation, I appeal to the parties to put politics to the side today and focus on our collective responsibility to respond seriously, effectively and immediately to the needs of the civilian population.



VIII. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT

The Quartet representatives, meeting in London on 19 and 20 February, issued a statement reaffirming their support for Palestinian reforms and calling on Israel to facilitate the process. The text of the statement is reproduced below:

Representatives of the Middle East Quartet – the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations – met at the Envoys level in London on 19 February to review the current situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prospects for giving new impetus to peace efforts. They expressed very serious concern at the continuing acts of violence and terror planned and directed against Israelis, and at Israeli military operations over the past several days in the West Bank and Gaza which led to Palestinian civilian fatalities. The Envoys discussed the next steps toward the adoption and implementation of the Quartet’s Road Map, as it is the means for progress towards the vision described by President Bush on 24 June 2002: two democratic States living side by side in peace. They reaffirmed that the Road Map should be formally adopted and presented to the parties as soon as possible.

The Quartet envoys reaffirmed the call of the Quartet principals in Washington on 20 December for an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire. All Palestinian individuals and groups must end all acts of terror against Israelis, in any location.

The Envoys reiterated their call for the Palestinians to build credible institutions to prepare for statehood and welcomed the Palestinians’ decision to appoint a prime minister as a significant step. The Envoys underscored the importance of appointing a credible and fully empowered prime minister. They urged the immediate convening of the relevant legislative and executive Palestinian bodies to exercise their authority in this regard, and called on the Government of Israel to facilitate these meetings. The Quartet also encouraged the Palestinians to continue the process of preparing a constitution that would form the basis for a strong parliamentary democracy.

Noting Israel’s important role in facilitating the Palestinian reform process, they recognized the positive effect of the resumption of monthly revenue transfers and return of outstanding arrears. Likewise, the Quartet Envoys emphasized Israel’s obligation, consistent with legitimate security concerns, to do more to ease the dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, including facilitating freedom of movement and access, alleviating the daily burdens of life under occupation, and respecting the dignity of Palestinian civilians. They welcomed the opportunity for direct discussions between the donor community and Israelis and Palestinians to address this critical issue.


IX. TASK FORCE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PALESTINIAN REFORM

The Task Force on Palestinian Reform issued the following statement after meeting in London on 19 and 20 February 2003:

The Task Force on Palestinian Reform, composed of representatives of the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations Secretary-General), Norway, Japan, Canada, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, met in London on 19 to 20 February 2003 to review the status of Palestinian civil reform efforts. The Task Force also reviewed these efforts with Israeli and Palestinian representatives. The Task Force considers this work critical to building the foundations of a viable, independent, and democratic Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel.

The Task Force recognized that the continued terror and violence, continued restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, deterioration of the humanitarian situation, and destruction of local infrastructure and facilities constitute a significant hindrance to reforms. Despite the difficult security situation, however, the Task Force welcomed the clear and considerable progress made in several areas of Palestinian civil reform. In particular, the Task Force commended the implementation of significantly higher standards of fiscal transparency and accountability, as well as work toward development of the public institutions and laws needed to promote a market economy. The Task Force welcomed the Palestinians’ decision to appoint a prime minister, and underscored the importance that this position be credible and fully empowered. The Task Force commended the commitment displayed by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministerial Reform Committee, and the establishment of a Reform Coordination Support Unit.

The Task Force commended efforts to develop appropriate legislation and to coordinate economic policy with Palestinian business leaders through an organized discussion forum, noting that this could serve as a model for policy interaction between the PA and Palestinian civil society. The Task Force also noted that the Palestinian Legislative Council’s (PLC) February 1 approval of the 2003 Palestinian budget was a considerable accomplishment, which reflected the Palestinian public’s confidence in the financial reform agenda. The Task Force looked forward to early implementation of the further reform measures announced by the Finance Minister during his December 31, 2002 speech before the PLC. The Task Force also noted the considerable progress made in Public Administration and Civil Service Reform, welcomed the adoption by the PA of a detailed action plan in this area, and looked forward to its early implementation.

The Task Force observed that progress in some areas of reform has been much slower. In some cases – such as judicial reform – this lack of progress has to a great extent been the result of counterproductive steps taken by the Palestinian leadership. In this regard, the Task Force emphasized the need to comply fully with the recently passed Basic and Judiciary Laws, and called on the PA to take appropriate early actions to bring all its structures and procedures into line with the provisions of those laws.

In other cases, the lack of progress is attributable in considerable part to the difficult security environment and extreme limitations imposed by the Israeli Government on freedom of movement. While acknowledging Israel’s legitimate security concerns, there was consensus in the Task Force that mobility restrictions constitute a major impediment to reform, slowing progress and undermining the credibility of the reform process in many areas. In particular, the inability of the PLC to meet on a regular basis hampers the passage of critical reform legislation and the PLC’s ability to play an effective oversight role. The Task Force urged the Government of Israel to do all it can to facilitate the reform process and minimize the impact of its security measures on the civilian population.

The Task Force welcomed the Israeli Government’s decision to resume monthly transfers of Palestinian tax revenues and to begin clearing the arrearages in accordance with an agreed monitoring mechanism to ensure transparency and financial accountability. The resumption of monthly revenue transfers permitted the Ministry of Finance to submit a fully-financed 2003 budget that allows for the provision of necessary social and emergency services, financial support for Palestinian municipalities, and reductions in PA debt due the private sector and other institutions. It is of paramount importance that revenue transfers and return of arrearages continue on a regular basis. Equally, because tax revenues, including revenues collected by Israel, have declined substantially because of the conflict, it is critical that external budgetary support be sustained.

The Task Force on Palestinian Reform was established in London on July 10, 2002, to monitor and support implementation of Palestinian civil reforms, and guide the international donor community in its support for the Palestinians’ reform agenda. Since its formation, the Task Force has worked with Palestinians to develop in greater detail the Reform Action Plan, which highlights Palestinian commitments, establishes benchmarks, identifies obstacles to reform, and proposes areas for donor assistance. The Task Force has done this by consulting directly with Palestinian executive and legislative officials, with Palestinian civil society, with the Israeli Government, and with the donor community.

Day-to-day activities of the Task Force are undertaken through seven Reform Support Groups, composed of donor representatives working in the West Bank and Gaza, in the areas of Civil Society, Elections, Financial Accountability, Judicial and Rule of Law Reform, Market Economics, Local Government, and Public Administration and Civil Service Reform. The Reform Support Groups work with the Palestinian Authority to operationalize the reform plans, monitor implementation, and identify appropriate benchmarks to measure successful implementation of – and barriers that impede – reforms.

This meeting, chaired by the UN Special Coordinator, was the Task Force’s fourth, it having met previously in London on July 10, 2002, Paris on August 22-23, 2002, and in Jordan on November 14-15, 2002.



X.
    CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF
    THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

    ADDRESSES A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON
    BETHLEHEM AND THE PLANNED SEPARATION BARRIER


The following is the text of a letter dated 20 February 2003 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General in connection with an Israeli plan to evict Palestinian residents and seize land for the construction of a barrier in Bethlehem (A/ES-10/218-S/2003/202):

In my capacity as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I am writing this letter to express grave concern over a plan of the Israeli military authorities to evict Palestinian residents and seize land in Bethlehem.

The Committee has received reports that, on 16 February 2003, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) distributed military orders to Palestinians in northern Bethlehem, instructing them to vacate their homes and shops in the area near the northern entrance to the city. The army indicated that the order was valid until 2005, but could be extended. The Palestinians believe that these measures form part of an Israeli Government plan that will have their neighbourhood cut off from the rest of the city by a separation wall. The planned wall, at least 25 feet high, will run between Rachel’s Tomb and an IDF checkpoint several kilometres to the north and will completely envelop their land and the southern edge of Jerusalem. Israeli Government officials claim that the wall would protect Jewish worshippers visiting Rachel’s Tomb. The shrine, however, has always been part of Bethlehem and an important pilgrimage site for people of the three monotheistic religions.

If the occupying Power is allowed to proceed with the construction of the wall, some 3,500 dunams (875 acres) of land in the neighbourhood may be confiscated. Many factories, stores, tourist facilities, a petrol station and a hospital are located in this economically vital area of the city. Moreover, this action would cause a major disruption of the economic activity in the city and the surrounding areas and result in a considerable restriction of the freedom of movement of Palestinians. The latter would also be in clear violation of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995 (annex I, article V, section 7).

Over the past two years, the Committee has been increasingly alarmed by the Israeli Government’s efforts at implementing the so-called “seam line area plan”, a unilateral separation scheme that envisions various types of barriers, with buffer zones running to the east of the Green Line. In fact, sections of such barriers are now under construction in parts of the West Bank. In the process, Palestinian homes are being demolished and swathes of lands are being bulldozed and seized. The continuation of this policy is bound to exacerbate tensions on the ground and heighten resentment among the Palestinian population. The plan is also creating artificial boundaries that predetermine the outcome of future permanent status negotiations between the two sides.

As regards the latest developments in Bethlehem, we should not lose sight of the fact that for three years in a row, in resolutions entitled “Bethlehem 2000”, the General Assembly came out united in expressing the need for an immediate change of the situation on the ground in the city and its vicinity, especially with regard to ensuring freedom of movement. The Assembly also stressed the need for ensuring free and unhindered access to the holy places in Bethlehem to the faithful of all religions and the citizens of all nationalities. It is now incumbent on all of us to rekindle the spirit that brought us together in 1998-2000 and do everything possible to prevent the drawing of painful dividing lines in one of the most historic and revered places on earth.

On behalf of the Committee, I would like to express the hope that you would be in a position to use your good offices with the Government of Israel in order to prevent the planned division of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and to stop the implementation of the separation plan throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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.




XI.
    THIRTEENTH CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATES OF THE
    NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT ADOPTS FINAL DOCUMENT,
    KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION AND STATEMENT ON PALESTINE


The following are excerpts from the text of the Final Document, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Continuing the Revitalization of the Non-Aligned Movement and Statement on Palestine, adopted by the Thirteenth Conference of Heads of States of the Non-Aligned Countries, held in Kuala Lumpur from 20 to 25 February 2003. The documents were transmitted to the Secretary-General in a letter from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations on 4 March 2003 (A/57/759-S/2003/332):

FINAL DOCUMENT

INTRODUCTION

1. The Heads of State or Government of the Movement of the Non-Aligned Countries met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 24 to 25 February 2003, to address the crucial global issues affecting their peoples with the view to agreeing to a set of actions in the promotion of peace, security, justice, equality, democracy and development, conducive for a multilateral system of relations based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States, the rights of peoples to self-determination and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the jurisdiction of States, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

2. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their determination to preserve intact the noble ideals and principles of the Movement as initiated by its founders so as to further consolidate and make the Movement a leading force in the 21 st century. In this regard, they expressed their full satisfaction and appreciation to the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the excellent organization in 2002 of the celebration to mark the 40 th anniversary of the founding of the Movement, an event of great significance, which demonstrated the continued relevance, and effectiveness of the Movement.



CHAPTER II: ANALYSIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION
PALESTINE AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Palestine

135. The Heads of State or Government, recalling the historic injustices inflicted upon the Palestinian people, reiterated their traditional principled support for and longstanding solidarity with the Palestinian people. They recalled, in this regard, that in 1948 more than half of the Palestinian people were uprooted from their land, homes and properties, dispossessed and forced to live as refugees until today, awaiting the implementation of United Nations resolution 194 (III). They also recalled that the establishment of the State of Palestine, in accordance with United Nations resolution 181 (II), has been obstructed for more than fifty years. They further recalled that the remainder of the Palestinian territory has been under the foreign occupation of Israel since 1967, and that since that time the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, have been subjected to the continuous oppression and brutality of the occupation. They further noted that the occupying Power has systematically established and expanded settlements which reflect a new and special form of settler colonialism.

136. The Heads of State or Government expressed their deep concern at the tragic situation prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. In this regard, they strongly condemned the systematic human rights violations and reported war crimes that have been committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people. They condemned in particular the wilful killing of Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial executions; the wanton destruction of homes, infrastructure and agricultural lands; the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians; and the imposition of collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population, including severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods and prolonged curfews, resulting in the socio-economic debilitation of the Palestinian people, amounting to a dire humanitarian crisis.

137. The Heads of State or Government condemned land confiscation, settlement building and the transfer of Israeli nationals to the Occupied Territory that have been carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. This settler colonialism has also aimed at negating the national rights and the existence of the Palestinian people. The Heads of State or Government affirmed and called upon all Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure the immediate end and reversal of this settler colonialism. The Heads of State or Government recalled in this regard the many relevant Security Council resolutions on all illegal Israeli measures, including measures and action taken by Israel to change the status, character and demographic composition of Jerusalem, which are null and void, and called for full implementation of those resolutions.

138. The Heads of State or Government underscored the obligations of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol I, which are applicable to all of the territory occupied by Israel since 1967, to respect and to ensure respect of the Convention and Additional Protocol I in all circumstances. They reaffirmed the obligations of the High Contracting Parties with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties. They affirmed the importance of and called for the application of legal remedies, without impunity, to war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Heads of State or Government expressed the necessity of upholding international law, international humanitarian law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine.

139. The Heads of State or Government reiterated their unwavering support for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to national independence and the exercise of sovereignty in their State, Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They reaffirmed that the question of Palestine is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this regard, they also reaffirmed the responsibility of the international community, particularly the permanent responsibility of the United Nations, including the Security Council, until the question of Palestine is resolved in all its aspects.

140. The Heads of State or Government reiterated their support for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. In this regard, they reiterated support for the longstanding position of the international community of a two-State solution of Israel and Palestine. They stressed the imperative of the withdrawal of Israel from all of the territory occupied in 1967, bringing an effective end to its occupation, as well as the right of all States in the region to security and peace. In this regard, they reaffirmed the importance of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and the principle of land for peace as the basis for a peaceful solution. While expressing grave concern about the disintegration the peace process has suffered, they reiterated their calls for an internationally-promoted peace settlement and the intensification of efforts to revitalize the process towards the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

Syrian Golan

141. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed that all measures and actions taken, or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, such as its illegal decision of 14 December 1981 that purports to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure, as well as the Israeli measures to apply its jurisdiction and administration there, are null and void and have no legal effect. They also reaffirmed that all such measures and actions, including the illegality of Israeli settlement construction activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967, constitute a flagrant violation of international law, international conventions, the Charter and decisions of the United Nations, particularly Security Council resolution 497 (1981), and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, and defiance of the will of the international community. They reiterated the Movement’s demand that Israel comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan, to the lines of 4 June 1967, in implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and that Israel adhere to the Madrid terms of reference based on the principle of land for peace, which are in their entirety considered to be a primary and basic element in the negotiation process that should be adhered to, including the immediate commencement of the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line.

142. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed the Non-Aligned Movement’s unwavering support and solidarity with the Syrian just demand and rights to restore full Syrian sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan on the basis of the terms of reference of the Madrid peace process, the decisions of the international legitimacy, as well as the principle of land for peace. They again demanded that Israel respect all commitments and pledges it entered into with the aim of laying down the basis for substantive progress on the Syrian-Israeli track.

Lebanon

143. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed Lebanon’s legitimate right to defend its territories and to liberate the remaining parts under Israeli occupation and demanded that Israel put an end to its continuous threats, aggression and violations of the Lebanese territories, air space and territorial waters. They reiterated their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and its right to its natural resources and for Lebanon’s demand to maintain the peacekeeping mission deployed in Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) without any further reduction in the number of its troops and without any change in the nature of its mandate in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). They encouraged and supported all international efforts aimed at expediting the removal of landmines planted by Israel during its occupation of Southern Lebanon, and called on Israel to release all Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, detained in defiance of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its relevant protocols.

The Peace Process

144. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed their support for the Middle East peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the principle of land for peace. They reiterated the need for ending the Israeli occupation of all territories occupied since 1967 and the establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers welcomed and supported the Arab peace initiative adopted by the 14th Arab Summit in Beirut. They urged the Security Council to act upon that initiative towards achieving just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.



KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION ON CONTINUING THE REVITALIZATION OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24 and 25 February 2003 for the XIII Summit Conference, reaffirmed our abiding faith in, and strong commitment to, the ideals, principles and purposes of the Movement, as laid out at the Bandung Conference of 1955, and the Charter of the United Nations, in our common and continuing pursuit of establishing a peaceful, prosperous, and a more just and equitable world order.

The Movement had played an active, even central role, over the years, on the issues of concern and vital importance to its members, such as decolonization, apartheid, the situation in Palestine and the Middle East, disarmament, poverty eradication and socio-economic development, among others. After more than forty years since its founding, and having undergone many challenges and vicissitudes, it is timely and appropriate to comprehensively review the role, structure and work methods of our Movement in keeping with the times and the new realities, aimed at the further strengthening of our Movement. With the end of the Cold War, the emergence of unipolarity, the trend towards unilateralism and the rise of new challenges and threats, such as international terrorism, it is imperative for the Movement to promote multilateralism, better defend the interests of developing countries and prevent their marginalization.


STATEMENT ON PALESTINE


The Heads of State or Government expressed grave concern at the continued destruction and devastation of Palestinian society and the Palestinian Authority being caused by the Israeli occupying forces since 28 September 2000. They strongly condemned the systematic human rights violations and reported war crimes that have been committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people. In this regard, they condemned in particular the wilful killing of Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial executions; the excessive and indiscriminate use of force, resulting in extensive loss of life and injury; the wanton destruction of homes, infrastructure and agricultural lands; the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians; and the imposition of collective punishments on the entire Palestinian population, including severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, resulting in the socioeconomic debilitation of the Palestinian people, amounting to a dire humanitarian crisis.

The Heads of State or Government also expressed their grave concern at the policies and practices of the Israeli Government that have undermined the Oslo agreements and obstructed efforts to end the tragic situation on the ground, including the Mitchell recommendations. They called for the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian cities to positions and arrangements prior to September 2000. In this regard, they stressed the importance of the full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, including 1322 (2000), 1397 (2002), 1403 (1002) and 1435 (2002).

The Heads of State or Government emphasized that the main danger to the realization of the national rights of the Palestinian people and the achievement of a peaceful solution is the settler colonialism that has been carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 1967, through land confiscation, settlement building and the transfer of Israeli nationals to the Occupied Territory. They stressed that this policy of settler colonialism, with all the measures that it has entailed, must be immediately stopped and reversed.

The Heads of State or Government underscored the legal obligations of the States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as Additional Protocol I to ensure respect of the two instruments in all circumstances. They stressed the need for the effective enforcement of the two instruments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In this regard, they called for concrete measures and actions against products from the illegal Israeli settlements and settler violators as well as other actions on national, regional and international levels to ensure enforcement. They affirmed the importance of and called for the application of legal remedies without impunity to war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In this regard, they noted the role of the International Criminal Court.

The Heads of State or Government reiterated their commitment to the achievement of a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They reaffirmed their support for the rights of the Palestinian people to national independence and the exercise of sovereignty in their State, Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They welcomed, in this regard, the universally-supported vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in secure and recognized boundaries.

The Heads of State or Government further stressed the importance of the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and, in this regard, welcomed the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by the Summit of the League of Arab States in Beirut on 28 March 2002. The Heads of State or Government also expressed their support for the efforts of the Quartet and encouraged it to proceed speedily with the implementation of its road map, which has been repeatedly delayed. In this regard, they stressed the need for consultation between the Movement and the Quartet.

The Heads of State or Government expressed regret at the absence of President Yasser Arafat due to the continued obstruction of his freedom of movement by Israel, the occupying Power. They condemned Israeli policies and measures in this regard and expressed their solidarity with President Arafat as the elected leader and the symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people.

The Heads of State or Government underlined the necessity for an internationally promoted solution and expressed the determination to exert efforts in that direction. They also expressed support for the necessary international presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to provide protection for the Palestinian civilian population and to help the parties implement agreements reached. The Heads of State or Government emphasized the unique role of the United Nations Security Council with regard to the above, and called upon the Council to fulfill its duties and responsibilities towards the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. They reiterated that Israeli representation in the work of the General Assembly and international conferences must be in conformity with international law and called for ensuring that Israeli credentials do not cover the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

The Heads of State or Government, stressing the role of the Movement, expressed appreciation to the Committee on Palestine and to members of the NAM delegation that visited Palestine last year and encouraged similar visits in the future. They also expressed appreciation to the members of the NAM Caucus in the Security Council for their effort in the Council with regard to the Palestinian question.

The Heads of State or Government, under the Chairmanship of the Movement, expressed their determination to follow up the implementation of this Statement, including within the United Nations system and, in this regard, instructed their Permanent Representatives in New York including members of the Committee on Palestine to proceed in that direction.




XII.
    LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES ADOPTS RESOLUTION
    AT ITS FIFTEENTH SESSION

On 1 March 2003, the fifteenth session of the Council of the League of Arab States was convened in Sharm el-Sheikh at the summit level. The Council adopted a resolution entitled “The Arab-Israeli conflict, the evolution of the Palestinian question, intensified Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and its impact on peace and security in the Middle East region”. The text of the resolution, transmitted to the President of the Security Council in a letter dated 3 March 2003 from the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United Nations (S/2003/254), is reproduced below:


The Arab-Israeli conflict, the evolution of the Palestinian question, intensified
Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and its impact on peace
and security in the Middle East region

The Council of the League of Arab States, meeting at the summit level,

1. Deeply concerned at the grave situation facing the Palestinian people and their national authorities as a result of the continuing and escalating Israeli aggression, which has claimed a large number of victims and caused heavy losses to the Palestinian national economy,

2. Reaffirming its complete solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle to regain their legitimate rights and its unequivocal support for their committed struggle for these rights,

3. Also reaffirming its earlier resolutions on support for the Palestinian economy,

Decides:
1. To pay a resounding tribute to the Palestinian people and their legitimate national leadership, headed by President Yasser Arafat, for their tenacious resistance against the continuing and escalating Israeli aggression that violates the rights of this people and seeks to destroy their capacities, sacred places and national leadership, and to reaffirm its determination to continue to provide all forms of political, moral and material support for the Palestinian people, their heroic intifada and their legitimate struggle against occupation;

2. To consider that the all-out and premeditated aggression by Israel against the Palestinian people, their authorities and their national institutions is aimed at bringing the peace process in the Middle East to a definitive halt and to hold Israel solely responsible for this policy;

3. To reaffirm the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation of their land by Israel and to take action within the framework of respect for international legality and of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations to defend themselves against the aggressive practices of the occupation forces, manifested in their policies of colonization and the blockading and reoccupation of cities, villages and refugee camps, without mentioning assassinations, arrests, the destruction of infrastructure, homes, religious institutions and medical centres and attacks on international organizations working in the humanitarian field;

4. To take steps to put an end to the aggression of which the Palestinian people are victims, to ensure international protection for Palestinian civilians through the dispatch of an international protection force to oblige Israel to respect the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and to request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to make arrangements for the early dispatch to the area of a team to investigate Israeli crimes and identify their authors with a view to bringing them to international justice;

5. To reaffirm the Arab identity of Jerusalem and the rejection of all attempts by Israel to Judaize the city, to consider all the acts and practices engaged in by Israel, as the occupying Power, null and void and in violation of the resolutions that express international legality, to also consider the establishment of settlements in Jerusalem and other parts of the Palestinian territory as a danger that threatens the peace and security of the region, and to reaffirm the support of Arabs for this heroic city;

6. To condemn the rejection by Israel of all initiatives and proposals for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East currently being put forward by various international parties and groups;

7. To reaffirm the commitment of Arab States to the Arab Peace Initiative put forward at the 2002 Beirut Summit that sets out the bases for a just and comprehensive peace settlement in the region and to hold Israel responsible for the failure of peace efforts;

8. To urge the international Quartet to resume its efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and to find a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the Arab peace initiative;

9. To reiterate its earlier resolutions, in which it expressed its commitment to a just and comprehensive peace as an objective and a strategic choice to be achieved through the implementation at all levels of decisions expressing international legality, in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and, in particular, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and with resolution 194 (III) of the General Assembly, and to stress the need to take as the point of departure the Madrid Peace Conference and the principle of “land for peace”. The Council also stresses that the achievement of this objective requires the complete withdrawal of Israel from all of the Arab territories that it occupies, including the Syrian Arab Golan, back to the lines of 4 June 1967, and from the Lebanese territory still under occupation, including the Shab`a farms area, an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands, and the exercise by the Palestinian people of all of their inalienable rights, including their right to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State on all of their national territory with Jerusalem as its capital, the guarantee of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the release of Palestinians who have been abducted or arrested and are now in Israeli prisons;

10. To charge the Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative with pursuing and intensifying Arab efforts at the international level and to make the necessary preparations for bringing the question before the Security Council so that this organ can assume its full responsibility in the face of the grave situation existing in the Palestinian territories and its consequences for peace and stability in the region and the world;

11. To reiterate the firm commitment of Arabs to provide financial support for the budget of the Palestinian National Authority for the next six months beginning 1 April 2003 and to automatically renew this assistance under the arrangements established at the Beirut Summit for as long as the Israeli aggression continues, to invite the member States of the Arab League that have not yet done so to make the remainder of their contributions to the budget of the Palestinian National Authority and to the Al-Aqsa Fund and the Al-Quds Intifadah Fund, in accordance with the decisions of the Beirut Summit;

12. To charge the General Secretariat with continuing its efforts to collect donations from Arab populations in support of the resistance of the Palestinian people and to continue to cooperate with the competent international organizations providing support for the process of development and reconstruction in the Palestinian territories.



XIII.
    ISLAMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE ISSUES DECLARATION
    ON THE GRAVE SITUATION IN PALESTINE


The Islamic Summit Conference, at its second emergency session, held in Doha on 5 March 2003, adopted a declaration on the grave situation in Palestine. The declaration was transmitted to the Secretary-General in a letter dated 6 March 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations (A/57/748-S/2002/288). The text of the declaration is reproduced below:


Declaration on the grave situation in Palestine adopted at the second emergency session of the Islamic Summit Conference

The kings, presidents and emirs of member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference held an extraordinary meeting in Doha on 5 March 2003 to consider the extremely grave, difficult and tragic situation in the Palestinian territories and at Islamic and Christian holy places. They also considered the barbaric crimes committed in Israel’s three-year-old war against the Palestinian people, in the course of which it has used all types of weapons, including aircraft, tanks, missiles and warships, killing and injuring thousands and detaining tens of thousands of defenceless Palestinians. Israel is continuing to occupy Palestinian cities and villages and to isolate them from the outside world; to construct hundreds of roadblocks and trenches; to deny Palestinians access to medical supplies and foodstuffs; to destroy Palestinian infrastructure, institutions and establishments, as well as institutes, university and school buildings, places of worship and hospitals; to demolish houses still inhabited by their occupants; to plough up land and destroy crops; and to close border crossing points with a view to humiliating, starving and increasing the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

This brutal, deliberate and planned aggression is framed within Israel’s continuing policy of imposing a fait accompli, Judaizing the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif and undermining all regional and international efforts designed to end the aggression and to resume the peace process.

The leaders reaffirm the support of the entire Islamic Ummah for the Palestinian people and its legitimate national leadership under its militant President, Yasser Arafat, in efforts to ensure restoration of its rights in accordance with the resolutions of international law; to secure Israel’s withdrawal to the borders of 4 June 1967; to establish its independent Palestinian State, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital; and to secure a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III). They also reaffirm their continued provision of all forms of political, moral and material support to the Palestinian people in its legitimate struggle against the occupation.

The leaders reaffirm the Islamic position on the question of Al-Quds and its importance for the Islamic world and, in particular, the outcome of the nineteenth session of the Al-Quds Committee, chaired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and its support for the position of the State of Palestine on the basis of commitment to sovereignty over Al-Quds al-Sharif as the capital of the independent State.

The leaders also condemn the Israeli occupation authorities’ policy of systematic aggression, as manifested in confiscation of Palestinian land, construction and expansion of settlements thereon, raising of barriers and of an “apartheid wall” and construction of bypass roads. These and all other settlement activities constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. They consider that the settlements are illegal, null and void and that they must therefore be dismantled pursuant to Security Council resolution 465 (1980).

The leaders condemn the systematic, massive and wide-scale violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupation authorities, particularly mass killings and collective punishments such as demolition of homes and sealing of Palestinian areas. These measures constitute State terrorism and crimes against humanity, all being a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and the right to life of the Palestinian people. The leaders call on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to meet to consider violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

They call on the United Nations and the Security Council to assume their responsibility for the preservation of international peace and security by inducing Israel to cease its brutal aggression against the Palestinian people and to provide that people with the necessary international protection as a safeguard against serious violations until it is able to exercise its inalienable national rights in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.

The leaders reaffirm the importance of continued media coverage of developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and of a constant effort to persuade the international media to expose violations of Palestinian human rights, to awaken the world’s conscience and to mobilize international solidarity with and sympathy for the Palestinian people in its legitimate national struggle.

They call upon member States to extend urgent financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority in order to meet the urgent needs resulting from the continued, escalating Israeli aggression, now in its third consecutive year. This will enable the Authority to continue to provide medical and educational services and to assist the hundreds of thousands of unemployed; it will also support the Palestinian people’s resistance, help the families of the martyrs, injured and detainees and ensure minimum funding for reconstruction, replanting of land destroyed by the Israeli war machine and repair of roads and infrastructure.

The leaders confirm their endorsement of the Arab Peace Initiative.

Looking forward to a halt to bloodshed and further deterioration in the region, the leaders i nsist that the international community, and in particular the quartet made up of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, must take prompt action to:

− Stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and halt the murders, arrests, demolition of homes, destruction of infrastructure and desecration of Islamic and Christian holy places;

− Put an immediate end to all measures of Israeli aggression against the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif and other Palestini an cities, especially the policy of judaization and settlement; demolition of Palestinians’ homes; appropriation of their lands; and changes in the configuration of their cities; and to the policy of isolating the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif from its Palestinian environment and of erecting barricades around it in order to deny Palestinians access to the city and the religious sites therein;

− Induce Israel to stop building an “apartheid wall” which is eating into Palestinian territory, infringing on the rightful borders of the Palestinian State and exacerbating conditions in the region;

− Ensure withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces, l ifting of the internal and external blockade and of all the restrictions imposed on Palestinian cities, villages and camps and the cessation of all inhumane Israeli measures and practices against the Palestinian people, which are in violation of all international conventions and norms;

− Halt all Israeli settlement actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

− Release all Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons;

− Ensure international protection for the Palestinian people against the crimes to which it is exposed in the context of the Israeli war of aggression;

− Allow the entry of food and medical supplies to the Palestinian territor ies and unfreeze the Palestinian Authority funds seized by Israel; and

− Resume negotiations on the basis of their terms of reference, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and of the land-for-peace formula, from the point at which they were halted, following a specific timetable and a political road map based on the relevant Security Council resolutions; the Arab Peace Initiative, which provides for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967; and a just solution to the refugee problem pursuant to the resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

The leaders reaffirm their full solidarity with Syria and Lebanon and their rejection of any threats directed against these two fraternal countries. They also insist on the return of the occupied Syrian Golan, up to the 4 June 1967 borders, and the restoration of Lebanese sovereignty over the remaining occupied Lebanese territories, including the Shab’a farmlands.

XIV.
WORLD BANK ISSUES REPORT ENTITLED “TWO YEARS OF INTIFADA, CLOSURES AND PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS: AN ASSESSMENT”


On 5 March 2003, the World Bank published a report entitled “Two years of intifada,closures and Palestinian crisis: an assessment”. Excerpts of the summary of the report are reproduced below:


Palestinian Economic Crisis

Continued Sharp Deterioration

The second year of the intifada witnessed a further steep decline in all Palestinian economic indicators. Gross National Income (GNI)1 in 2002 amounted to 40 percent less than in 2000. With a 9 percent growth in the population of the West Bank and Gaza over the past two years, real per capita incomes are now only half of their September 2000 level. Unemployment stands at 53 percent of the workforce2 .

Physical damage resulting from the conflict jumped from US$305 million at the end of 2001 to US$728 million by the end of August 2002. Between June 2000 and June 2002, Palestinian exports declined by 45 percent in value, and imports contracted by a third.

Overall GNI losses reached US$5.4 billion after 27 months of the intifada . Given that GNI amounted to US$5.4 billion in 1999, the opportunity cost of the crisis is now equivalent to one full year of Palestinian wealth creation.

The Palestinian Authority (PA)’s fiscal position remains precarious. As a result of rising unemployment, reduced demand, and the withholding by the Government of Israel (GOI) of taxes collected on the PA’s behalf, monthly revenues fell from some US$91 million in late 2000 to just US$19 million by mid-2002. A collapse of the PA has been averted by emergency budget support from donor countries, which averaged US$40 million per month through 2002 – a half of total PA budget outlays over the period. The Palestinian Authority (PA)’s fiscal position remains precarious. As a result of rising unemployment, reduced demand, and the withholding by the Government of Israel (GOI) of taxes collected on the PA’s behalf, monthly revenues fell from some US$91 million in late 2000 to just US$19 million by mid-2002. A collapse of the PA has been averted by emergency budget support from donor countries, which averaged US$40 million per month through 2002 – a half of total PA budget outlays over the period3 . In this context, the recent decision by GOI to resume the monthly transfer of the PA revenues is a highly positive step.

The domestic private sector has absorbed much of the shock to the economy. Well over 50 percent of the pre- intifada private workforce has been laid off. Private agricultural and commercial assets have suffered over a half of all physical damage. Bank credit to the private sector is drying up, while the PA currently owes private suppliers about US$370 million in unpaid bills. In addition, direct donor assistance to private firms has been negligible, despite a consensus that the private sector must drive any economic recovery. Real private GDP (measured at factor costs) declined by some 30 percent between 1999 and mid-2002.

The proximate cause of Palestinian economic crisis is closure – GOI’s imposition of restrictions on the movement of Palestinian goods and people across borders and within the West Bank and Gaza. GOI has regretted the impact of these measures, which they view as necessary to protect their citizens against violent attacks. The restrictions take two major forms: internal restrictions reinforced by curfews, and external closure of the border between Israel and the Palestinian territories, including limitations on the entry of Palestinian workers.

In March/April 2002, following an escalation of violence, IDF operations transformed many West Bank cities, towns and villages into restricted military zones, with residents under sustained curfew for days at a time. The movement of goods inside the West Bank has been seriously interrupted by a new “back-to-back” system, which requires all non-humanitarian goods to be off-loaded from incoming trucks and re-loaded onto local trucks at eight checkpoints near major West Bank cities. In practice, these restrictions are applied more rigorously to manufacturers and traders attempting to move goods out of Palestinian cities than to those bringing goods in from Israel.

In September 2000, an estimated 128,000 Palestinians worked in Israel and the Israeli settlements. With the outbreak of the intifada , GOI at first cut back heavily on the issuance of reduced work permits, but in recent months has begun to provide considerable numbers once again. Some 32,000 were being issued by the end of 2002, though only about a half of these were being used – internal closures make it hard for many workers to move though the West Bank and Gaza to the designated workplace.

\...

What Can Be Done?

World Bank analysis shows the limited power of donor assistance under such conditions. If donor disbursements were doubled to US$2 billion in 2003 – something which there is no reason to believe is feasible – the poverty rate would only fall to some 54 percent by the end of 20046 .

The situation remains one of protracted conflict and political crisis. Donor funds can cushion the impact of the crisis and maintain a modicum of essential services – but they do not amount to a solution. An agreed framework for political progress is indispensable for the resumption of economic and social development in both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Notes

1 Gross Domestic Product plus remittances from abroad.

2 If those no longer seeking work are included. Under the more restrictive definition of unemployment, the current rate is estimated at 42 percent.

3 A total of approximately US$ 1.1 billion by the end of 2002, of which US$840 million came from Arab League countries and US$230 million from the EU.

6 This is in part because closures dampen the ability of foreign assistance to raise real incomes, with most of the funding translating into imports and inflation rather than domestic production.

XV.
UNESCO REPORTS ON THE APPLICATION OF DECISION EX/10.2 CONCERNING
EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

On 13 March 2003, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) submitted a report entitled “Application of 165 EX/Decision 10.2 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories” (166 EX/40) to the Executive Board of its one hundred and sixty-sixth session under item 10.1 of the provisional agenda. The conclusions of the report are reproduced below:


CONCLUSIONS

43. In the forthcoming months, three large-scale meetings need be convened:

(a) the Joint UNESCO/Palestinian Authority Coordinating Committee, which last met in April 2000, will, inter alia, examine and approve Phase IV of the UNESCO Programme for Palestine;

(b) upon the proposal of the Palestinian Authority, a follow-up meeting of donor countries will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates;

(c) the Joint Meeting of the Israel National Commission for UNESCO and the Palestinian Committee for Education, Science and Culture, their first opportunity to cooperate in close to three years.

44. In the weeks ahead, a comprehensive UNESCO strategy for the Middle East will be developed and submitted to the Task Force on Reconstruction and Reconciliation in the Middle East and Member States for discussion.

45. In mid-February, world events led the United Nations Security Coordinator to suspend all missions to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (except for those urgent missions of a humanitarian and political nature) until further notice (the scheduled mission of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences from 22 to 26 March 2003 may thus be delayed).

46. Even though the recent developments on the ground will not facilitate the Organization’s “reconstruction and reconciliation” agenda, the Director-General is fully committed to the pursuit of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East and intends to continue dedicating his personal efforts and those of his staff to achieve this aim.



XVI.
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES PRESIDENT BUSH’S STATEMENT
ON THE ROAD MAP BUSH’S STATEMENT ON THE ROAD MAP

The following statement was issued on 14 March 2003 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan (SG/SM/8635, PAL/1939):


XVII.
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ADOPTS THREE RESOLUTIONS

The Commission on Human Rights held its fifty-ninth session in Geneva from 17 March to 28 April 2002. The Commission considered issues relating to the question of Palestine under items 5 and 8 of the agenda, entitled “The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation” and “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”, respectively.

Under item 5, the Commission on Human Rights had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in occupied Palestine prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 2002/6 (E/CN.4/2003/15). On 14 April, the Commission adopted under item 5 resolution 2003/3 entitled: “Situation in occupied Palestine”. Under item 8, the Commission had before it the report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. John Dugard (South Africa) (E/CN.4/2003/30) and the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Commission resolution 2002/8 (E/CN.4/2003/27). On 15 April 2003, the Commission adopted under agenda item 8 resolutions 2003/6, entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”, and 2003/7, entitled “Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories”. The full texts of the resolutions are reproduced below.


Situation in occupied Palestine

Commission on Human Rights
resolution 2003/3

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 thereof, which affirm the right of peoples to self-determination, and reaffirming the need for the scrupulous respect of the principle of refraining in international relations from the threat or use of force, as specified in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Guided also by the provisions of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirm that all peoples have the right to self-determination,

Guided further by the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23), and in particular part I, paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to the right to self-determination of all peoples and especially those subject to foreign occupation,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, as well as all other resolutions which confirm and define the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to self-determination,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002,

Recalling further its previous resolutions in this regard, the latest of which is its resolution 2002/3 of 12 April 2002,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the relevant United Nations resolutions and declarations, and the provisions of international covenants and instruments relating to the right to self-determination as an international principle and as a right of all peoples in the world, as it is a jus cogens in international law and a basic condition for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region of the Middle East,

1. Reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to establish their sovereign and independent Palestinian State, and looks forward to the early fulfilment of this right;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the present resolution to the Government of Israel and all other Governments, to disseminate it on the widest possible scale and to make available to the Commission on Human Rights, prior to the convening of its sixtieth session, all information pertaining to the implementation of the present resolution by the Government of Israel;

3. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixtieth session the item entitled “The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation” and to consider the situation in occupied Palestine under that agenda item, as a matter of high priority.


47 th meeting
14 April 2003
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 51 to 1,
with 1 abstention]

Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine

Commission on Human Rights
resolution 2003/6

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as by the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recalling Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002 and 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002 that called upon both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire, as well as for withdrawal of Israeli troops and for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Guided by the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Taking into consideration the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949 (the Fourth Geneva Convention), the provisions of Additional Protocol I thereto and the Hague Convention IV of 1907,

Recalling the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights relating to the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions on Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967,

Recalling particularly General Assembly resolution 37/43 of 3 December 1982 reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples against foreign occupation and for self-determination,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights,

Welcoming the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Mr. John Dugard (E/CN.4/2003/30 and Add.1), the report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Mr. Miloon Kothari (E/CN.4/2003/5/Add.1), and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Mr. Jean Ziegler (E/CN.4/2003/54),

Expressing its deep concern at the failure of the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to Commission resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 and its failure to cooperate with other relevant special rapporteurs, particularly Mr. John Dugard,

Gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and at the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular acts of extrajudicial killing, closures, collective punishments, the persistence in establishing settlements, arbitrary detentions, the besieging of Palestinian towns and villages, the shelling of Palestinian residential districts from warplanes, tanks and Israeli battleships, the conducting of incursions into towns and camps and the killing of men, women and children there as was the case lately in the camps of Jenin, Balata, Khan Younis, Rafah, Ramallah, Gaza, Nablus, al-Birah, al-Ama’ri, Jabaliya, Bethlehem, Dheisheh, Hay al-Daraj and Hay al-Zaitoun in the city of Gaza,

Expressing its grave concern at the continued violence and the resulting deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians, the toll of casualties having so far increased to over two thousand two hundred killed and over twenty-five thousand wounded since 28 September 2000,

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 Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967,

Convinced that the basis of negotiations and of achieving a just and lasting peace should be Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and other relevant United Nations resolutions, including the principle of 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, the latest of which is resolution 2002/8 of 15 April 2002,

1. Reaffirms the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation in order to free its land and be able to exercise its right of self-determination, thus undertaking the mission which is one of the goals and purposes of the United Nations, in accordance with the Charter;

2. Strongly condemns once more the violations by the Israeli occupation authorities of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem;

3. Also strongly condemns again the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory as it constitutes an aggression and an offence against humanity and a flagrant violation of human rights;

4. Further strongly condemns the war launched by the Israeli army against Palestinian towns and camps, which has resulted so far in the death of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children;

5. Strongly condemns anew the practice of “liquidation” or “extrajudicial executions” carried out by the Israeli army against Palestinians, a practice which not only constitutes a violation of human rights norms and a flagrant violation of article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the rule of law, but which is also damaging for the relationship between the parties and therefore constitutes an obstacle to peace, and urges the Government of Israel to respect international law and to cease this practice immediately;

6. Also strongly condemns once again the establishment of Israeli settlements and other related activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, inclusding East Jerusalem, such as the construction of new settlements and the expansion of the already existing ones, the expropriation of lands, the biased administration of water resources and the construction of bypass roads, all of which are not only violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, especially article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention) and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions, according to which such violations constitute war crimes, but are also major obstacles to peace, urges the Government of Israel to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions as well as the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights relative to the Israeli settlements, and affirms that the dismantling of the Israeli settlements constitutes an essential factor for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

7. Condemns once again the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and Hebron, the revocation of identity cards of the citizens of East 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;

8. Also condemns once again the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, as it constitutes a grave violation of the principles of international humanitarian law, and of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and is also a violation of article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to such practices and to bring the perpetrators of these violations to trial;

9. Strongly condemns once more the offensives of the Israeli army of occupation against hospitals and sick persons and the use of Palestinian citizens as human shields during Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas;

10. Also strongly condemns again the opening of fire by the Israeli army of occupation on ambulances and paramedical personnel and the practice of preventing ambulances and vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross from reaching the wounded and the dead in order to transport them to hospital, thus leaving the wounded bleeding to death in the streets;

11. Expresses its grave concern once more at the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and particularly at acts of mass killing perpetrated by the Israeli occupying authorities against the Palestinian people;

12. Expresses its deep concern again at the military siege imposed on the Palestinian territory and the isolation of Palestinian towns and villages from each other through the establishment of military roadblocks that are used as a trap to kill Palestinians, which contribute, together with other factors, to the acts of violence that have been prevailing in the region for two and a half years, calls upon the Government of Israel to immediately put an end to this practice and immediately lift its military siege of Palestinian towns and villages, and reaffirms that these collective punishments are prohibited under international law and constitute a grave violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions;

13. Expresses its grave concern once again at the restriction of movement imposed on Chairman Yasser Arafat by the Israeli occupying authorities, in violation of articles 9 and 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

14. Also expresses its deep concern once again at the massive arrests conducted by the Israeli occupying authorities against about fifteen thousand Palestinians, without trial and without any criminal charges having been brought against them, in violation of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in this respect;

15. Affirms anew that the demolition by the Israeli occupying forces of at least thirty thousand Palestinian houses, facilities and property is a grave violation of articles 33 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and that leveling farmlands, uprooting trees and destroying the infrastructure of Palestinian society constitute grave violations of the provisions of international humanitarian law and a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people;

16. Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and considers any change in the geographical, demographic and institutional status of the city of East Jerusalem from its status prior to the June 1967 war to be illegal and void;

17. Calls once again 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 principles of international law and international humanitarian law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its international commitments and the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization;

18. Also calls once again 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;

19. 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 territory;

20. 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 interna-tional 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 sixtieth session;

21. Also requests the Secretary-General to provide the Commission 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;

22. Decides to consider this question at its sixtieth session under the same agenda item, as a matter of high priority.

48th meeting
15 April 2003
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 33 to 5,
with 15 abstentions]


Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories

Commission on Human Rights
resolution 2003/7

The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that all 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 de jure to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and recalling the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, held in Geneva on 5 December 2001,

Recalling its previous resolutions, most recently resolution 2002/7 of 12 April 2002, and taking note of General Assembly resolution 57/126 of 11 December 2002, in which, inter alia, the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories was reaffirmed,

Expressing its concern that continuing Israeli settlement activity undermines the realization of a two-State solution to the conflict, and therefore threatens the long-term security of Palestinians as well as Israelis,

Expressing its concern also regarding the security threats related to the presence of the settlements in the occupied territories, as expressed in the report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (the Mitchell report)

1. Welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/2003/30 and Add.1) and calls upon the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur to allow him fully to discharge his mandate;

2. Expresses its grave concern:

(a) At the continuation, at an escalated level, of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has led to a seemingly endless spiral of hatred and violence and to increased suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians;

(b) At the continuing Israeli settlement activities, including the illegal installation of settlers in the occupied territories and related activities, such as the expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction 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, and constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; settlements are a major obstacle to peace and to the creation of an independent, viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian State in accordance with Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002;

(c) At and strongly condemns all acts of violence, including indiscriminate terrorist attacks killing and injuring civilians, provocation, incitement and destruction;

(d) At the closures of and within the Palestinian territories and the restriction of the freedom of movement of the Palestinians, including the extensive curfews imposed on the West Bank cities for long periods of time, which contribute, together with other factors, to the intolerable level of violence that has been prevailing in the zone for more than two years, have caused an extremely precarious humanitarian situation for the civilian population and have a negative impact on the enjoyment of economic and social rights in the Palestinian territories, affecting in particular the most vulnerable groups of the population;

(e) At the construction of the so-called security fence in the Palestinian territories, including in and around East Jerusalem;

3. Urges the Government of Israel:

(a) To comply fully with the previous Commission resolutions on the subject, most recently resolution 2002/7;

(b) To reverse its settlement policy in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and, as a first step towards their dismantlement, to stop immediately the expansion of existing settlements, including “natural growth” and related activities;

(c) To prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories;

(d) To stop the construction of the so-called security fence in the Palestinian territories, including in and around East Jerusalem, and other illegal activities, such as confiscation of land or demolition of houses, that it entails;

(e) To implement the recommendations regarding the settlements made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in her report to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan (E/CN.4/2001/114);

(f) To take and implement serious measures, including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and other measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories;

4. Urges the parties to cooperate in the early and unconditional implementation, without modifications, of the road map endorsed by the Quartet with the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement, which is in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and other relevant United Nations resolutions, the principles of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, held in Madrid on 30 October 1991, the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, which will allow two States, Israel and Palestine, to live in peace and security and play their full part in the region;

5. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its sixtieth session.


48th meeting
15 April 2003
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 50 to 1,
with 2 abstentions]



XIX.
SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES PRIME
MINISTER OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

The following statement was issued on 30 April 2003 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan (SG/SM/8683, PAL/1944):



XX.
    COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
    RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ISSUES STATEMENT
    ON PRESENTATION OF THE ROAD MAP


At its 271st meeting on 6 May 2003, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted the following statement welcoming the formal presentation of the Road Map (GA/PAL/912) :




XXI.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TRANSMITS TEXT OF
THE ROAD MAP TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

On 7 May 2003, the Secretary-General transmitted the text of the Road Map to the Security Council in a letter addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/529). The texts of the letter and Road Map are reproduced below:

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of a road map to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) (see annex).

The text has been prepared by the Quartet — consisting of representatives of the United States of America, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations — and was presented to the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on 30 April 2003.

I should be grateful if you would bring this text to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

(Signed ) Kofi A. Annan


Annex

A performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The following is a performance-based and goal-driven road map, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Russian Federation]. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the European Union, the Russia Federation and the United Nations in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet ministerial statements.

A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below. The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required. The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations outlined below. Should the parties perform their obligations rapidly, progress within and through the phases may come sooner than indicated in the plan. Non-compliance with obligations will impede progress.

A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors. The settlement will resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and end the occupation that began in 1967, based on the foundations of the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), agreements previously reached by the parties, and the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah – endorsed by the Beirut Arab League Summit – calling for acceptance of Israel as a neighbor living in peace and security, in the context of a comprehensive settlement. This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks.

The Quartet will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties’ performance on implementation of the plan. In each phase, the parties are expected to perform their obligations in parallel, unless otherwise indicated.


PHASE I:
ENDING TERROR AND VIOLENCE, NORMALIZING PALESTINIAN LIFE, AND BUILDING PALESTINIAN INSTITUTIONS – PRESENT TO MAY 2003

In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time, as security performance and cooperation progress. Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.

At the outset of Phase I:

• Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

• Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.

SECURITY

• Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.

• Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.

• GOI takes no actions undermining trust, including deportations, attacks on civilians; confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction; destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet work plan.

• Relying on existing mechanisms and on-the-ground resources, Quartet representatives begin informal monitoring and consult with the parties on establishment of a formal monitoring mechanism and its implementation.

• Implementation, as previously agreed, of U.S. rebuilding, training and resumed security cooperation plan in collaboration with outside oversight board (U.S.-Egypt-Jordan). Quartet support for efforts to achieve a lasting, comprehensive cease-fire.

• Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror.

• All donors providing budgetary support for the Palestinians channel these funds through the Palestinian Ministry of Finance’s Single Treasury Account.

• As comprehensive security performance moves forward, IDF withdraws progressively from areas occupied since September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed prior to September 28, 2000. Palestinian security forces redeploy to areas vacated by IDF.

PALESTINIAN INSTITUTION-BUILDING

• Immediate action on credible process to produce draft constitution for Palestinian statehood. As rapidly as possible, constitutional committee circulates draft Palestinian constitution, based on strong parliamentary democracy and cabinet with empowered prime minister, for public comment/debate. Constitutional committee proposes draft document for submission after elections for approval by appropriate Palestinian institutions.

• Appointment of interim prime minister or cabinet with empowered executive authority/ decision-making body.

• GOI fully facilitates travel of Palestinian officials for PLC and Cabinet sessions, internationally supervised security retraining, electoral and other reform activity, and other supportive measures related to the reform efforts.

• Continued appointment of Palestinian ministers empowered to undertake fundamental reform. Completion of further steps to achieve genuine separation of powers, including any necessary Palestinian legal reforms for this purpose.

• Establishment of independent Palestinian election commission. PLC reviews and revises election law.

• Palestinian performance on judicial, administrative, and economic benchmarks, as established by the International Task Force on Palestinian Reform.

• As early as possible, and based upon the above measures and in the context of open debate and transparent candidate selection/electoral campaign based on a free, multi-party process, Palestinians hold free, open, and fair elections.

• GOI facilitates Task Force election assistance, registration of voters, movement of candidates and voting officials. Support for NGOs involved in the election process.

• GOI reopens Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and other closed Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem based on a commitment that these institutions operate strictly in accordance with prior agreements between the parties.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

• Israel takes measures to improve the humanitarian situation. Israel and Palestinians implement in full all recommendations of the Bertini report to improve humanitarian conditions, lifting curfews and easing restrictions on movement of persons and goods, and allowing full, safe, and unfettered access of international and humanitarian personnel.

• AHLC reviews the humanitarian situation and prospects for economic development in the West Bank and Gaza and launches a major donor assistance effort, including to the reform effort.

• GOI and PA continue revenue clearance process and transfer of funds, including arrears, in accordance with agreed, transparent monitoring mechanism.

CIVIL SOCIETY

• Continued donor support, including increased funding through PVOs/NGOs, for people to people programs, private sector development and civil society initiatives.

SETTLEMENTS

• GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

• Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).


PHASE II: TRANSITION
JUNE 2003-DECEMBER 2003

In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty, based on the new constitution, as a way station to a permanent status settlement. As has been noted, this goal can be achieved when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror, willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. With such a leadership, reformed civil institutions and security structures, the Palestinians will have the active support of the Quartet and the broader international community in establishing an independent and viable state.

Progress into Phase II will be based upon the consensus judgment of the Quartet of whether conditions are appropriate to proceed, taking into account performance of both parties. Furthering and sustaining efforts to normalize Palestinian lives and build Palestinian institutions, Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders in 2003. Its primary goals are continued comprehensive security performance and effective security cooperation, continued normalization of Palestinian life and institution-building, further building on and sustaining of the goals outlined in Phase I, ratification of a democratic Palestinian constitution, formal establishment of office of prime minister, consolidation of political reform, and the creation of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

• INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Convened by the Quartet, in consultation with the parties, immediately after the successful conclusion of Palestinian elections, to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders.

• New constitution for democratic, independent Palestinian state is finalized and approved by appropriate Palestinian institutions. Further elections, if required, should follow approval of the new constitution.

• Empowered reform cabinet with office of prime minister formally established, consistent with draft constitution.

• Continued comprehensive security performance, including effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.

• Creation of an independent Palestinian State with provisional borders through a process of Israeli-Palestinian engagement, launched by the international conference. As part of this process, implementation of prior agreements, to enhance maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements in conjunction with establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders.

• Enhanced international role in monitoring transition, with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet.

• Quartet members promote international recognition of Palestinian state, including possible UN membership.


PHASE III:
PERMANENT STATUS AGREEMENT
AND END OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT 2004-2005

Progress into Phase III, based on consensus judgment of Quartet, and taking into account actions of both parties and Quartet monitoring. Phase III objectives are consolidation of reform and stabilization of Palestinian institutions, sustained, effective Palestinian security performance, and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status agreement in 2005.

• SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Convened by Quartet, in consultation with the parties, at beginning of 2004 to endorse agreement reached on an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and formally to launch a process with the active, sustained, and operational support of the Quartet, leading to a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements; and, to support progress toward a comprehensive Middle East settlement between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria, to be achieved as soon as possible.

• Continued comprehensive, effective progress on the reform agenda laid out by the Task Force in preparation for final status agreement.

• Continued sustained and effective security performance, and sustained, effective security cooperation on the bases laid out in Phase I.

• International efforts to facilitate reform and stabilize Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy, in preparation for final status agreement.

• Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and 1397 (1002) that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.

• Arab state acceptance of full normal relations with Israel and security for all the states of the region in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.



XXII.
UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING IN
SUPPORT OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE CONVENES IN KYIV


The United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace was held in Kyiv on 13 and 14 May 2003, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 57/107 and 57/108 of 3 December 2002. The meeting consisted of an opening session, three plenary sessions and a closing session. The themes of the plenary sessions were “The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem”, “Prospects for resuming the political process” and “Working for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”. Presentations were made by 13 experts, including Palestinians and Israelis. Representatives of 45 Governments, Palestine, 2 intergovernmental organizations, 5 United Nations bodies and 13 civil society organizations, as well as special guests of the host country and representatives of the media and academic institutions attended the Meeting. The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the Final Document of the Meeting, which is reproduced below:


FINAL DOCUMENT

1. The United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace was held in Kyiv, on 13 and 14 May 2003, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participants in the Meeting included international experts, representatives of Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations system entities, Palestine, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to promoting a dialogue on the political, security and economic factors critical for resolving the continuing crisis and resuming the peace process. In the course of the Meeting, the participants have reviewed the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, discussed the Road Map, its significance and potential for resuming the peace dialogue, and exchanged views on modalities for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

3. The Meeting was held at a time of renewed hopes following the formal presentation of the Road Map to the parties on 30 April 2003. The participants welcomed the plan as a positive development with the potential for attaining peace in the region. They saw it as particularly important that the Road Map was to lead the parties to the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002. The participants welcomed the acceptance by the Palestinian leadership of the Road Map and its readiness to implement it. They expressed their concern over the fact that the Israeli side had so far failed to accept the plan and urged the Israeli Government to do so without delay, so that the implementation of the Road Map could start in earnest with the help of the Quartet. It was also stressed that to avoid the failures of past peace efforts, parallel progress in the security, political and economic areas was seen as absolutely essential.

4. While encouraged by the positive political developments of the last weeks, the participants agreed that the continuing occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, remained the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, threatening the security and stability of the entire region. The constantly expanding illegal settlement activities, with numerous outposts springing up throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and new Israeli-only roads and security zones cutting through Palestinian land, were consistently described as developments that endangered the chances for a political settlement. The controversial separation barrier planned and implemented with utter disregard for Palestinian interests and rights was seen as another serious obstacle to peace. The participants expressed concern that the suffering and dispossession of the Palestinian people continued unabated. They noted that since September 2000 more than 2,200 Palestinians and 700 Israelis had been killed and many more had been injured, and the participants deplored the loss of innocent lives. The continuation of such an appalling loss of life was seen both as a reproach to all concerned and as a reason to redouble efforts in promoting a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The participants further strongly emphasized their conviction that there could not be any military solution to the conflict; the lasting settlement could only be reached through a peaceful dialogue and political process between the two parties.

5. The participants also noted that because of an exceptionally high level of mistrust between the parties, the best hope was therefore seen in a continued international oversight and stewardship of the process, in particular through the Quartet, working closely with other international and regional actors. They appreciated Ukraine’s offer of good offices to promote negotiations between the parties. The Meeting emphasized that an effective international monitoring mechanism was essential for any progress on the ground.

6. The participants urged the Security Council to endorse the Road Map, to call for its implementation and remain engaged on the issue, for as long as might be required. They reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with respect to all the aspects of the question of Palestine, until it was resolved in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and norms of international law, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were fully realized.

7. Participants voiced alarm over the many Palestinian civilians falling victim to the excessive military force used by Israel in densely populated areas. Moreover, those disproportionate actions resulted increasingly in casualties among United Nations personnel, international volunteers and journalists. They called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to honour its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and immediately terminate all acts of violence against innocent civilians.

8. The Meeting commended the international donor assistance to the Palestinian people and emphasized its vital importance during the current period of virtual collapse of the Palestinian economy and large-scale destruction on the ground. The participants noted that harsh restrictions on the movement of people and goods, prolonged withholding by Israel of the Palestinian tax and customs revenues, and other measures of collective punishment had had a disastrous effect on the Palestinian economy as a whole, as well as on the livelihood of individual Palestinian households. Participants emphasized the responsibility of Israel to facilitate the efforts by the donor community and called for the implementation of the recommendations of the report by the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General Catherine Bertini. Donor assistance was considered a key factor in efforts at alleviating the current grave humanitarian crisis and supporting the political process.

9. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, H.E. Mr. Papa Louis Fall, and the delegation of the Committee were received by H.E. Mr. Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine, and H.E. Mr. Anatoliy Zlenko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, both of whom stressed the importance of supporting peace in the Middle East at the current critical stage and welcomed the efforts of the Committee in that regard. The Committee delegation expressed its deep appreciation for the active and constructive role played by Ukraine, a member of the Committee since its inception, in the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

10. The participants also expressed gratitude to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and to the Government of Ukraine for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.


XXIII.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES ISRAEL’S
    ACCEPTANCE OF THE ROAD MAP

In a statement issued on 27 May 2003 by his spokesman, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, welcomed the decision taken by the Government of Israel to accept the Road Map. The statement is reproduced below (SG/SM/8719, PAL/1950):



XXIV.
    THIRTIETH SESSION OF ISLAMIC CONFERENCE
    OF FOREIGN MINISTERS CONVENES IN TEHRAN


The thirtieth session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers was held at Tehran from 28 to 30 May 2003. The session adopted resolutions, the declaration of Tehran and a final communiqué, which were transmitted in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General on 3 June 2003 (A/57/824-S/2003/619). Excerpts from the communiqué and the declaration, as well as the texts of resolutions relating to the question of Palestine, are reproduced below.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a message to the session on 28 May, the text of which is reproduced hereunder.

I am pleased to convey my greetings to the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at a very important time for the Organization’s members and for the wider international community.

I believe we all share the hope that the situation in Iraq will see significant improvement now that the Security Council has come together, in its resolution 1483 (2003), to chart the way forward. The most important task will be to ensure that the Iraqi people are able, as soon as possible, through a transparent and impartially managed political process, to form a free and representative Government of their own choice, so that they can regain their national sovereignty and build a stable and prosperous Iraq, at peace with its neighbours. The United Nations will play its full part in this international effort, in fulfillment of the mandate it has been given to assist the people of Iraq through humanitarian relief, reconstruction, legal and judicial reform, the promotion of human rights, and efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative governance. All international and foreign entities in Iraq must realize that it is essential that at all times we keep the interests of the Iraqi people at the forefront of our efforts. I would like to assure you that we at the United Nations will do our utmost to promote this fundamental principle.

Iraq is a vital issue, much in the headlines and in our mind for the past few dramatic months. But we are also at a historic juncture in the quest for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Fundamental principles are at issue here too, in the search for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Here too, the United Nations has an essential role to play, as the embodiment of international legitimacy.

Our hopes of progress depend on implementation of the “Road Map”, a series of steps that each side is to take leading to the resumption of the political talks and a permanent settlement in which two States – Israel and a sovereign, independent and viable Palestine – live side by side in peace and security.

Implementation of the Road Map, in turn, is contingent on parallel and reciprocal steps by the two sides in the security, humanitarian, institution-building and political areas, monitored and facilitated by the Quartet. Great wrongs have been done by each to the other. But there is no alternative. If we are to achieve our goal of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, both sides are going to have to turn from the path of violence, bitterness and hatred to the path of reconciliation and peace. If we are going to move towards peace, the parties must fully abide by their obligations under international law and the Road Map. Terrorist attacks launched by Palestinian groups must stop, and the Palestinian Authority has an obligation in this regard. Israel must end such measures as extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, house demolitions, blockades and settlement activities. Moreover, the parties should not allow extremists to hijack the process and dictate agendas. The responsibility to bring this process to a successful conclusion rests primarily with the parties themselves. But, the international community remains there to help, not least to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people until the occupation of the Palestinian territory is ended on the basis of United Nations resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002).

Sadly, the suffering of the Afghan people also remains profound. Afghans from every part of the country, and from all of its ethnic groups, are working hard to rebuild a State at peace with itself and its neighbours. Important progress has been achieved towards reconciliation, reconstruction and the building of national security structures. But those gains are fragile and are being threatened by a deterioration in the security environment, which stems from daily harassment and intimidation, inter-ethnic and inter-factional strife, and the persistence of the drug economy. At this critical stage for the Bonn process, I hope the Security Council, Afghanistan’s neighbours, and the entire international community will maintain their commitment and support.

The OIC has key contributions to make in these and other areas. Allow me to conclude by suggesting another area where your efforts can have particular impact. The OIC has been articulate in rejecting any linkage between international terrorism and Islam, and active in repudiating those misguided and malevolent individuals who have invoked Islam while inflicting appalling suffering on innocent people. I urge you to continue your efforts to inform the world about what Islam really means and the values it represents, and thus help to fill, with accurate information and mutual understanding, the terrible breach that has opened between faiths, cultures and countries. That would be a most welcome contribution to our shared mission of development, tolerance and peace. In that spirit, I wish you a productive session that will help in advancing the goals we share.


FINAL COMMUNIQUÉ

/…

POLITICAL AFFAIRS:

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

15. The Conference stressed the need for the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital. It stressed also the need to implement all the international resolutions on the cause of Palestine, particularly United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) on the return of Palestinian refugees and the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Al-Quds, especially resolutions 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1073 (1996) and 1397 (2002).

16. The Conference commended with great pride the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and its national and legitimate leadership under the chairmanship of the militant President Yasser Arafat in the struggle against Israeli aggression. It also asserted its continued political, material and moral support to the Palestinians to recover their inalienable national rights, including their right to return and establish their independent Palestinian state on their national territory with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

17. The Conference reaffirmed its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle East, adopted by the 14th Arab Summit held in Beirut (Lebanon) on 28 March 2002; and decided to act by all means and ways to clarify this initiative, explain its dimensions and gain international support for its implementation.

18. The Conference affirmed the support of Member States to the peace process according to the foundations defined by the Madrid Peace Conference, which are based on the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the “land for peace” principle, all of which call for Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and complete pull-out from the occupied Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 line and from all occupied Lebanese territories to the internationally recognized borders.

19. The Conference requested the QUARTET (the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations to resume action to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East in implementation of the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the implementation of the Road Map as published, and to compel Israel to:

(i) Halt aggression against the Palestinian people and to stop the assassination and detention operations, destruction of houses and infrastructures and desecration of Islamic and Christian holy shrines.

(ii) Immediately end all aggressive Israeli measures against Al-Quds al-Sharif and the rest of Palestinian cities, especially the policy of judaization, settlement, destruction of Palestinians’ houses, confiscation of their lands, alteration of landmarks of their cities, immediate halt of the policy of isolating Al-Quds al-Sharif city from its Palestinian surroundings, the setting up of roadblocks, denying Palestinians access to the city and their religious places therein.

(iii) Bring Israel to put an end to the construction of the racist wall which devours Palestinian territories and creates unjust realities in respect of the borders of the Palestinian state and further aggravates the conditions in the region.

(iv) Ensure the withdrawal of the occupation forces, and put an end to the Israeli siege imposed on the Palestinian people and their leadership and remove all closures and road blocks imposed on access-roads, towns, villages and Palestinian refugee camps.

(v) Put an end to all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds al-Sharif.

(vi) Ensure the release of all Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

(vii) Send international observers to ensure the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people.

(viii) Allow access for food and medical stuff to Palestinian territories and to release funds of the Palestinian Authority withheld by Israel.

20. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s expansionist colonialist settlement policy and emphasized the necessity of action to stop all colonialist settlement activities and Israeli measures and practices which contravene the resolutions of the international legitimacy which also violate the relevant accords signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. It requested the UN Security Council to prevent such measures, remove the Israeli colonial settlements in accordance with Security Council resolution 465 (1980) and revive the International Supervision and Monitoring Committee to Prevent Settlement in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories in line with Security Council resolution 446 (1979).

21. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s continued attempts to impose its control on the Holy Qudsi Haram and repeated attempts to intervene in the affairs of the management of Islamic waqfs, and also condemned Israel’s plans aimed at imposing the fait accompli through the use of military force and allowing extremist Jewish groups to desecrate the precincts of Al-Aqsa Holy Mosque and occupying the neighbouring buildings. It considered these acts as deliberate and provocative, allowing extremist Jewish organizations to continue their repeated desecration of the sanctity of the Aqsa Holy Mosque by establishing their presence on its precincts, and continuing their piracy acts against religious, historical and cultural heritage in Al-Quds al-Sharif and the occupied Palestinian territories.

22. The Conference hailed the Government, people and the resistance movements of Lebanon for their steadfastness and for liberating Lebanese territories and repelling Israeli occupation. It also supported Lebanon in its efforts to liberate its entire territory within its internationally recognized borders. It also called on the United Nations to force Israel to pay damages for all the losses it inflicted or caused as a result of its continuous acts of aggression against Lebanon. It supported Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by Israel. Having planted these mines, Israel must bear the responsibility for their removal. Furthermore, it backed the inalienable rights of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with international law and condemned Israel’s designs on these waters. It held Israel responsible for any action that may undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity.

23. The Conference strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and of imposing its laws, jurisdiction and administration on occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israeli nationality upon Syrian citizens. It considered all such measures as null and void, and a violation of the provisions and principles of International Law and International Humanitarian Law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. It also demanded Israel to completely withdraw from occupied Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 borders.

Islamic Boycott of Israel

24. The Conference called on Member States to enforce the Islamic Boycott against Israel and to take steps to incorporate the legislations and regulations governing the said boycott into their existing national legislations.

25. The Conference reaffirmed the commitment of Member States to implement the principles and laws governing the Islamic boycott of Israel.

26. The Conference commended the constructive cooperation and coordination between the Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel at the OIC General Secretariat and the Arab Office for the Boycott of Israel at the General Secretariat of the Arab League. This cooperation is aimed at achieving the greatest degree of effectiveness in the implementation of the Boycott in Arab and Islamic States.

27. The Conference endorsed the recommendations made by the meeting of officials concerned with the Boycott of Israel held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 15-16 March 2003.

/…

TEHRAN DECLARATION

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate,
the Merciful

The Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegation participating in the Thirtieth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, the Session of Unity and Dignity, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 28 May to 30 May 2003,

Reiterating their full adherence as well as their determination to realize the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,

Reaffirming that Islam, a religion of compassion and peace, provides the source, foundation and inspiration for maintaining unity and dignity within the Muslim Ummah and for promoting friendly relations among Islamic countries as well as between Islamic and other nations,

Recognizing that the Organization of the Islamic Conference provides the forum for cooperation and coordination of Islamic nations in a wide range of political, social, economic, cultural and Islamic issues,

Unity through Solidarity and Coordination



12 - Condemned the continued occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories by Israel and its policy and practice of repression and state terrorism against the Palestinian people, reaffirmed their solidarity with the resistance of the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese people against aggression and occupation, reiterated their call to the international community to support the right of Lebanon and Syria to the liberation and recovery of their occupied territories respectively in the Sheba Farms and the Golan, and to implement the relevant UN resolutions on the basis of the return to the 4 June 1967 borders, and urged the international community to take urgent and effective steps to ensure the realization of all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people including their right to establish their own independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital and to secure the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland.


RESOLUTION NO. 1/30-PAL
ON THE CAUSE OF PALESTINE AND
THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity), held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul-Awwal, 1424H (28-30 May, 2003),

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the Cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Document No. ICFM/30-2003/PAL/SG.REP.1);

Proceeding from the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference;

Based on the Islamic resolutions on the Cause of Palestinian and the Arab-Israeli Conflict;

Recalling the resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, particularly resolutions 242 (1967); 338 (1973); 425 (1978); 465 (1980); 476 (1980); 478 (1980); 1397 (2002); 1435 (2002) and General Assembly resolution 194 (III) on refugees as well as resolution ES-10/17; resolution No. A/ES-10/10 adopted by the Tenth Extraordinary Emergency Session of the General Assembly in 2002 on illegal Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as the resolutions adopted by the Commission relating to human rights violations in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories as well as the resolutions adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the League of Arab States particularly the resolution of the Fourteenth Arab Summit, held in Beirut on 28 March 2002 concerning the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif and the other occupied Arab territories; and the resolutions of the Fifteenth Ordinary Arab Summit held in Sharm Al-Sheikh , Arab Republic of Egypt on 1 March, 2003.

Expressing its strong condemnation of Israel’s persistence in its crimes and massacres as well as repressive and terrorist practices against the Palestinian people, committing aggression against their holy places and national institutions and continuing to implement its policy of colonialist settlements and the expansion of existing ones along with the confiscation of land and property and the perpetuation of the policy of collective sanctions against Palestinian and Arab citizens in all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories as well as the siege of the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif, violating the sanctity of holy places and desecrating both Muslim and Christian shrines;

Condemning the continuous Israeli aggressions against the Lebanese territories and their civilian population;

Affirming the Islamic States’ commitment to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the area;

Emphasizing that the Israeli policies, practices and expansionist designs threaten not only Arab States and the peace process, but also the Islamic countries at large and jeopardize international peace and security;

Holding Israel fully responsible for undermining of the Middle East peace process on all tracks as a result of the Israeli Government’s intransigence, its reneging on the foundations of the peace process, especially UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the “land for peace” principle, and its failure to comply with all the agreements concluded in its context;

Hailing the resolutions of the regular session of the League of Arab States Summit held in Beirut on 27-28 March 2002 which adopted the Arab Peace Plan based on the complete Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab occupied territories, including Al-Quds al-Sharif, to the 4 June 1967 borders;

Hailing the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their valiant “intifada” (uprising) to recover their inalienable national rights;

Resolving to back such efforts by all possible ways and means:

1 - Reiterates all the resolutions adopted by the Islamic Conferences and Al-Quds Committee, particularly resolutions of the Nineteenth Session of Al-Quds Committee in connection with the Cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

2 - Stresses the necessity of establishing an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital and the implementation of all the international resolutions pertaining to the Palestinian cause, in particular UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and UN General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 on the return of Palestinian refugees and Security Council resolutions on the issue of Al-Quds, especially the resolutions 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1073 (1996) 1397 (2002).

3 - Backs the stand of the Palestinian State based on holding fast to the sovereignty of Al-Quds al-Sharif, including the Holy Haram in that City and that of all the Christian and Muslim holy places and shrines which constitute a part of the Palestinian territories occupied since June, 1967; emphasizes that Al-Quds al-Sharif is the capital of the independent State of Palestine and vehemently rejects any attempt to diminish Palestinian sovereignty over Al-Quds al-Sharif.

4 - Hails with great pride the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their legitimate national leadership under the striving President Yasser Arafat against the Israeli occupation in order to achieve their legitimate rights.

Emphasizes the continuation of providing its political material and moral support to enable the Palestinian people to restore their national inalienable rights including their right to return, to self determination and to establish their independent Palestinian State on their national soil with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

5 - Reiterates its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle East, adopted by the Fourteenth Arab Summit held in Beirut (Lebanon) on 28 March 2002; and decides to act by all means and ways to clarify this initiative, explain its dimensions and gain international support for its implementation.

6 - Affirms the support of Member States to the peace process according to the foundations defined by the Madrid Peace Conference, which are based on the United Nations Charter and resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978) and the “land for peace” principle, all of which call for Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and the complete pullout from the occupied Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 line and from all occupied Lebanese territories to the internationally recognized borders.

7 - Underlines that Israel’s flouting of the principles and foundations on which the peace process was based, and its reneging on the commitments, pledges and agreements reached in the context of the said process, along with its procrastination and reneging insofar as implementation was concerned and the brutal massacres perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people have destroyed the peace process; holds the Israeli Government fully responsible for this situation.

8 - Requests the QUARTET (the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations) to resume action to achieve a just and integral peace in the Middle East in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy, with the Madrid Terms of Reference and the Arab initiative for peace and to implement the Road Map as it was first issued and compel Israel to:

- Halt aggression against the Palestinian people and to stop the assassination and detention operations, destruction of houses and infrastructures and desecration of Islamic and Christian holy shrines.

- Immediate cessation of all aggressive Israeli measures against Al-Quds al-Sharif and the rest of Palestinian cities, especially the policy of judaization, settlement, destruction of houses, confiscation of land, alteration of landmarks of Palestinians’ cities, immediate halt of the policy of isolating Al-Quds al-Sharif city from its Palestinian surroundings, the setting of roadblocks, denying Palestinians access to the city and their religious location therein.

- Compel Israel to stop the construction of the racist wall which devours Palestinian territories and creates unjust realities in respect of the boarders of the Palestinian State and further aggravates the conditions in the region.

- Withdraw the occupation forces, and Israeli siege imposed against the Palestinian people and their leadership and remove all closures and road blocks imposed on access-roads, towns, villages and Palestinian refugees camps.

- Put an end to all Israeli settlement acts in the occupied Palestinian territories including Al-Quds al-Sharif.

- Release all Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

- Send international observers to ensure the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people.

- Allow access for food and medical stuff to Palestinian territories and to release funds of the Palestinian Authority withheld by Israel.

9 - Reaffirms the United Nations immutable responsibility towards the Palestinian cause until a just and comprehensive settlement has been reached for all its aspects that would ensure ending the occupation, and enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable national rights, including the right to return, to self-determination and to independent statehood on their national soil with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

10 - Appreciates with great pride, the official and popular support extended by Member States to the Palestinian people and its National Authority, and also urges Member States to continue extending all kinds of aid to the tragedy-stricken Palestinian People. Also exhorts all States and Authorities concerned to bolster the international programme of economic, social, and cultural development in the Palestinian territories, and to extend all necessary assistance aimed at helping the Palestinian people to build their national economy and support their national institutions and to enable them to establish their independent State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

11 - Condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation forces, and perpetrating heinous massacres and mass executions specially those which claimed the lives of hundreds of martyrs in different cities, towns and villages and Palestinian refugee camps.

12 - Holds Israel fully responsible for the consequences of its aggression and practices against the Palestinian people, including the responsibility for paying compensation for the material and economic losses sustained by the infrastructure of towns, villages, refugee camps and the Palestinian national economy.

13 - Condemns Israel’s violation of the International Red Cross Convention and its continuous attacks against medical personnel, ambulances belonging to the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent as well as the other relief organizations; and Israel’s refusal to allow these bodies to perform their task according to the International Humanitarian Law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

14 - Condemns Israel for attacking the holy Islamic and Christian sites in Palestine and its continued attempts to impose its control over the Holy Aqsa Mosque and to make room for extremist Jewish groups to desecrate it and for denying worshipers access to the blessed Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Resurrection; further condemns the Israeli occupation forces for robbing, removing and destroying official and private Palestinian institutions and confiscating their records and documents as well as violating personal properties and household.

15 - Condemns Israel for willfully destroying cultural and heritage sites in Nablus and Al-Khaleel (Hebron) in addition to inflicting heavy damage on the Church of the Nativity which constitutes ancient religious, cultural, and historical values; further condemns Israel for plundering, removing and sabotaging cultural assets in numerous Palestinian cultural centers and museums; demands the international community and the World Heritage Commission to take drastic sanctions against Israeli for the danger it constitutes to the treasures of universal heritage.

16 - Condemns terrorism practised by Israeli colonialist gangs against Palestinian civilians institutions; holds Israel fully responsible for the consequences of such aggression, especially that it is taking place before the very eyes and ears of the Israeli occupation forces and aided by an atmosphere of incitement against the Palestinian people and their institutions encouraged by the Israeli Government.

17 - Condemns Israel’s expansionist colonialist settlement policy and reiterates the necessity of action to stop all colonialist settlement activities and Israeli measures and practices which are contrary to the resolutions of the international legitimacy which are also counter to the accords signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Requests the UN Security Council to prevent such measures, remove the Israeli colonial settlements in accordance with Security Council resolution 465 (1980) and revive the International Supervision and Monitoring Committee to Prevent Settlement in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories in line with Security Council resolution 446 (1979).

18 - Requests the UN Security Council, in its capacity as the only international organization responsible for safeguarding international peace and security, to shoulder its responsibility for halting immediately the Israeli aggression in accordance with the international resolutions, agreements and recommendations agreed upon within the framework of the peace process;

19 - Requests Member States to abide by the resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and Foreign Ministers Conferences on the Cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict during voting at the United Nations and other international forums.

20 - Urges the international community and all the states that extend economic and financial assistance to Israel, especially the US and the European Union as well as international donor institutions and funds to halt the assistance which Israel uses to carry out its colonial settlement designs in the occupied Arab territories in Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan.

21 - Invites friendly States and States of the European Union to impose sanctions against Israel for committing crimes against humanity, and war crimes against unarmed civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories.

22 - Emphasizes the pursuance of halting all political contacts with the Israeli Government as long as the aggression and blockade against the Palestinian people and its National Authority continue, and as long as Israel persists in refusing to implement the relevant UN resolutions and calls on Member States which have established, and which had started to take steps to establish, relations with Israel within the context of the peace process to sever these relations, including the closure of any missions or offices, severance of all economic relations, and halt of all forms of normalization with Israel until it meticulously and sincerely implements the UN resolutions on Palestine, Al-Quds al-Sharif, and the Arab-Israeli conflict and until a durable and comprehensive peace is established in the region.

23 - Calls for commitment to implement the provisions of the Islamic boycott of Israel, and considering the legislations, rules and statutes governing the boycott action, “the general principles of the boycott, the Islamic law and the by-laws of the regional offices and their periodical meetings” as part of the national legislations in force, and also calls for the creation of the necessary offices and mechanisms for so doing and for coordination between the Islamic Boycott Office and the Arab Boycott Office.

24 - Hails the steadfastness of Lebanon – Government, People and Resistance – and what has been achieved in terms of the liberation of the Lebanese territories and the repelling of the Israeli occupation. Supports Lebanon in its efforts to liberate its entire territories to the internationally recognized borders. Also demands the United Nations to force Israel to pay damages for all the losses it inflicted or caused as a result of its continuous aggressions against Lebanon. Supports Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by the Israeli occupation; Israel is held responsible for laying and removing of these mines. Supports the inalienable rights of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with the international law and condemns Israel’s avidities in these waters. Holds Israel responsible for any action of a nature as to infringe upon Lebanon’s sovereignty, political independence and safety of its people and integrity of its territories.

25 - Strongly condemns Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and of imposing its mandate, laws and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of colonial settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israeli nationality upon Syrian citizens. Considers all such measures as null and void, and constituting a violation of the provisions and principles of International Law and the International Humanitarian Law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Demands Israel to completely withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 lines.

26 - Requests the international community and the UN Security Council to compel Israel to comply with U.N. decisions, especially Security Council resolution 487 (1981), to join the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, implement the decisions of the General Assembly and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling for subjecting all Israeli nuclear installations to the Agency’s comprehensive safeguards system. Emphasizes the necessity for Israel to declare renunciation of nuclear armament and submit to the UN Security Council and the IAEA a factual statement on its capabilities and stockpile of nuclear weapons and substances, given the fact that those are imperative steps for the creation, in the Middle East, of an area free of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons – which is essential to the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace in the area.

27 - Affirms on the constant responsibility of UNRWA for fulfilling its duties towards the Palestinian people wherever they may be in accordance with the UNGA resolution on the matter. Calls on the Member States to request the UN Secretary-General to advise the Conciliation Committee, in collaboration with UNRWA and concerned states, carry out a comprehensive census of Palestinian refugees and their property and develop a global vision to solve their problems based on their right to return to their homeland, Palestine, in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. Calls on states to extend further support to cover the budget of UNRWA and enable it to continue providing its services.

28 - Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures for the pursuance and enhancing of contacts and coordination on the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict between the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), on the one hand, and the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Organization (UNO) and its specialized agencies, and requests the OIC General Secretariat to hold, in coordination with the concerned international and regional organizations, an international symposium in the US on the acts of the expansionist Israeli colonialism,

29 - Requests the Secretary-General to follow-up the implementation of the present resolution and report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the ICFM.


RESOLUTION NO. 2/30-PAL

ON THE
CITY OF AL-QUDS AL-SHARIF


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity), held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul Awwal, 1424H (28-30 May, 2003),

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif (Document No. ICFM/30-2003/PAL/ SG.REP.1);

Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC);

Pursuant to the Islamic resolutions and decisions affirming that the issue of Al-Quds al-Sharif is the core of the Palestinian cause which, itself, is the essence of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that there can be no comprehensive and just peace without the return of the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty, as the capital of the State of Palestine;

Recalling the relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, particularly resolutions 242 (1967), 252 (1968), 338 (1973); 465 (1980), 476 (1980) and 478 (1980) and 1073 (1996) pertaining to the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

Confirming resolutions 2/10 of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) tenth extraordinary emergency session dated 24 April 1997 and 3/10 dated 15 July 1997 on the illegal actions carried out by Israel in the occupied Eastern part of Al-Quds al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) and the other Palestinian territories under its occupation;

Strongly condemning the continuing and escalating Israeli aggressions on the holy places in the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif and other Palestinian cities and the desecration of sacred shrines;

Reaffirming all the UN Security Council resolutions on Al-Quds, including resolution 681 (1990) stipulating that all the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the protection of civilians in times of war apply to the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories, including the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

Strongly denouncing all the illegal measures and practices, which are contrary to all international resolutions, decisions and laws, undertaken by the Israeli occupation authorities in the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif and designed to Judaize the Holy City and obliterate its Arabo-Islamic features;

Hailing the consistent efforts deployed by Al-Quds Committee under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, Sovereign of the Kingdom of Morocco;

Commending the sustained efforts exerted by all OIC Member States in defending the inviolability of Muslim holy shrines and sanctuaries in the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, safeguarding the Holy City’s Arab identity and Islamic character and protecting it from Zionist tampering and judaization schemes;

Paying tribute as well to the contribution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to rehabilitating Al-Aqsa Mosque and the blessed Dome of the Rock at the behest of and under the guidance of the late King Hussein Ibn Talal, the late King Hassan II and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz;

1 - Reaffirms all the relevant resolutions and decisions adopted by the Islamic Conferences, including those of previous sessions of Al-Quds Committee particularly the 19 th Session.

2 - Emphasizes that there can be no just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East area as long as Israel has not withdrawn from all the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, foremost among which is the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, in implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967).

3 - Affirms its support to the stand of the State of Palestine resting on holding fast to sovereignty over Al-Quds al-Sharif, including the Holy Haram in Al-Quds al-Sharif and all the Christian and Muslim holy places which are part of the Palestinian territories occupied since June 1967. Also affirms that Al-Quds al-Sharif is the capital of the independent State of Palestine. In this connection, underlines its rejection of any attempt to diminish Palestinian sovereignty over Al-Quds al-Sharif.

4 - Reaffirms that all the occupation-related settlement measures and practices in Al-Quds and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories are null and void in line with the resolutions and decisions of the “International Legitimacy” as well as international covenants and conventions which consider all Israeli arrangements, legislative, administrative and colonial settlement measures aiming at altering the legal, demographic, architectural, cultural and heritage-related status of the Holy City as null and void and contrary to the resolutions and decisions of the “International Legitimacy,” international covenants and conventions and diametrically opposed to agreements signed between the Palestinian and Israeli parties. Requests the UN Security Council to revive the International Supervision and Monitoring Committee to Prevent Colonial Settlement in Al-Quds and the Occupied Arab Territories, in accordance with its resolution 446 (1979).

5 - Requests all states of the world to abide by Security Council resolution 478 (1980) which calls on them not to move their diplomatic missions to the City of Al-Quds. Also invites them to avoid having any dealing with the Israeli occupation authorities, lest it may be construed as an implicit, de facto recognition of the fait accompli imposed by Israel which claims that the City of Al-Quds is its capital. Expresses condemnation and rejection of resolution adopted by the US Congress and the American statements in favour of recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel and of moving the American Embassy therein. Calls for severing relations with any State that moved its embassy to Al-Quds or recognized Al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

6 - Requests all states, institutions and international bodies to abide by the international resolutions on the city of Al-Quds, considered as an integral part of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied in 1967 and not to take part in any meeting or activity made to serve Israel’s designs to consecrate its occupation and annexation of the Holy City.

7 - Invites the international community, especially the Security Council, to compel Israel to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy, to prevent it from effecting any geographic or demographic alteration in the Holy City of Al-Quds, lift the siege of the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, stop the demolition of homes and the withdrawal of the identity cards of the Palestinian citizens as well as emptying of the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif of its Arab nationals.

8 - Strongly condemns Israel’s continued attempts to impose its control on the Holy Qudsi Haram and repeated attempts to intervene in the affairs of the management of Islamic waqfs, and also condemns Israel’s plans aimed at imposing the fait accompli with the use of force and allowing extremist Jewish groups to desecrate the precincts of Al-Aqsa Holy Mosque and occupying the neighbouring buildings. Considers these acts deliberate and provocative allowing extremist Jewish organizations to continue their repeated desecration of the sanctity of the Aqsa Holy Mosque, establishing their presence on its precincts, and continuing their piracy acts against religious and, historic and cultural relics in Al-Quds al-Sharif and the Palestinian territories.

9 - Strongly condemns the Israeli authorities for its continued closure of the Palestinian institutions in Al-Quds al-Sharif including Beit Al-Sharq (Orient House) whose documents, official papers, and contents were looted by Israel. It considers such arbitrary coercive measures as a continuous violation of the accords signed between the PLO and Israel within the framework of the peace process and a flagrant violation, as well, of international conventions and covenants, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and an infraction of the very principles and foundations on which the peace process was built in Madrid.

10 - Strongly condemns Israel for its continued destruction of the houses of Palestinians and expropriation of their properties as part of its design aimed at judaizing the holy city, altering its demographic status and voiding it from its native inhabitants only to replace them with colonialists.

11 - Strongly condemns the statements made by Israeli officials on the partition of the blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa, and seriously cautions against the foolhardiness of implementing the dangerous orders issued by the Israeli occupation authorities to their security forces to storm the Al-Aqsa mosque and stresses that such a step would form a blatant affront to the sentiments of Muslims and an open invitation to push the situation towards an overall explosion and to further bloodshed.

12 - Appeals to the international community and the United Nations to intervene quickly and shoulder their responsibility for the implementation of the UN resolutions concerning the protection of civilians and holy places, and to put an end to the Israeli aggressions which fuel tension in the area and jeopardize international peace and security.

13 - Lays stress on pursuing the work and coordination with international and regional organizations for the implementation of the international resolutions and decisions, especially UNESCO and the Committee on Heritage, and in this context requests the General Secretariat, in cooperation with concerned regional and international organizations, to organize an international symposium on the preservation of the Islamic cultural and historic character of the Al-Quds al-Sharif and the means of confronting the continued attempts of the Israeli occupation forces to alter the historic, demographic, cultural and religious landmarks of the holy city.

14 - Invites the Vatican, the Eastern Churches and other churches and Christian religious orders to take action to resist the judaization of the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif, keen as they are to respect the spiritual dimension of all the religions, as a safeguard to peaceful coexistence amongst them, and in observance of Security Council resolution 242 (1967), demanding Israel to withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, including the City of Al-Quds, along with the rest of the relevant Security Council resolutions. Also decides to invite those states which established diplomatic missions in Al-Quds to withdraw these missions. Furthermore, calls for extending support to the population of Al-Quds al-Sharif in their resistance of judaization and their uprooting from their city.

15 - Requests the General Secretariat to hold an international conference under the patronage of the chairmanship of Al-Quds Committee, on the necessity of the return of the Al-Quds al-Sharif to the Palestinian sovereignty as a symbol of coexistence and peace and a cradle of Celestial Religions.

16 - Pays tribute to the laudable efforts exerted by the late King Hassan II to set up the Bait Maal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency and define its objectives as being the protection of the Holy City and its Palestinian citizens. Expresses its thanks to his successor, His Majesty King Mohamed VI who accorded the Agency his sympathy and care, placed at its disposal generous means that made it possible for it to embark immediately on its activities under the best possible circumstances.

17 - Expresses thanks to Member States of Al-Quds Committee who took the initiative of making donations in favor of the Agency, which was yet another reason why it managed to tackle without delay the execution of its housing, renovation and education projects; calls upon Member States to support the Agency and facilitate its mission with a view to mustering all its potentialities and using all the financial capabilities to contribute towards the achievement of its projects in Al-Quds al-Sharif.

18 - Reiterates the resolutions and decisions of the previous Islamic conferences affirming support for the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif and fostering of the steadfastness of its people and calling for support as well to be extended to Bait Maal Al-Quds al-Sharif and Al-Quds Fund.

19 - Requests the Secretary-General to follow-up the implementation of the present resolution and report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 5/30-PAL

ON THE CURRENT SITUATION
OF THE PEACE PROCESS
IN THE MIDDLE EAST


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity), held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul Awwal, 1424H (28-30 May, 2003),

Referring to the resolutions of Islamic Conferences and the recommendations of Al-Quds Committee;

Having examined the grave situation resulting from the continued policies of successive Israeli governments’ hostile to peace,

1. Reaffirms its continued solidarity with the Palestinian people for the recovery of its imprescriptible and inalienable national rights, including its right to return, to self-determination, and to the establishment of its independent state on its national territory with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

2. Reaffirms the total solidarity of the Islamic States with Syria and Lebanon to confront the continuous Israeli aggressions and threats against them, and invites all the Islamic States to express this solidarity in a practical manner and by the use of all means, as well as to stand firm with Syria and Lebanon against any Israeli aggressions targeting them.

3. Reiterates its adoption of the Arab peace initiative for settling the issue of Palestine and the Middle-East, which was adopted by the Fourteenth Arab Summit held in Beirut (Lebanon) on 28 March 2002; decides to act by all means and ways to promote this initiative, state its dimensions and gain international support for its implementation.

4. Reaffirms also its commitment to just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on Israel’s implementation of the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) guaranteeing Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds al-Sharif and the Syrian Golan, back to the 4 June 1967 line and from the Lebanese territory still under occupation to the internationally recognized borders as well as securing the Palestinian people’s imprescriptible, national rights including the right to return to its homes and properties in line with United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and to establish its independent state on its national territory with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

5. Strongly condemns the Israeli Government’s policy and practices which are hostile to the peace process and are designed to undermine it through the continued colonization of Arab and Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif, and also designed to invalidate the foundations and terms of reference of the Madrid Peace Conference, and evade the commitments, pledges and agreements reached in the past years of peace talks with the Palestinian and other Arab parties.

6. Invites the OIC Member States which have already established, or started to take steps to establish relations with Israel in the framework of the peace process to sever these relations, including the closing of missions and offices, cutting economic ties and stopping all forms of normalization until Israel meticulously and genuinely implements UN resolutions on the Question of Palestine and Al-Quds al-Sharif, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and until a just and comprehensive peace is established in the region.

7. Requests the Secretary-General to follow-up the implementation of the present resolution and report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

RESOLUTION NO. 6/30-PAL
ON AL-QUDS FUND AND ITS WAQF

The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity), held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul Awwal, 1424H (28-30 May, 2003),

Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference;

Pursuant to all the Islamic Resolutions adopted on Al-Quds Fund and its Waqf;

Reaffirming the principle of consolidating Islamic solidarity with the Palestinian people and their just and legitimate struggle;

Paying tribute to those States, foremost among which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that regularly fulfill their obligations and make donations to Al-Quds Fund and its Waqf;

Appreciating the significance of the vital role played by Al-Quds Fund and its Waqf to support the steadfastness and struggle of the Palestinian people within the occupied Palestinian territories, and particularly the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

Noting with deep concern Israel’s continued pursuit of its aggressive, expansionist and settlement policy;

Commending the positive role played by the Governing Board of Al-Quds Fund in quest of financial resources to promote the Fund and its Waqf,

1. Reaffirms all previous relevant resolutions adopted by successive Islamic Conferences.

2. Expresses its profound appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the continued support to Al-Quds Fund and its Waqf, which falls within the framework of their consistent solicitude towards the foremost cause of the Islamic Ummah, namely the cause of Al-Quds al-Sharif and Palestine.

3. Appeals to the Member States to initiate donation campaigns in favour of Al-Quds Fund and its Waqf, together with the appropriate directives to the public and other media to conduct a parallel campaign for this purpose.

4. Calls upon Member States to continue their support to the Palestine Liberation Organization, especially at this decisive stage, for the consolidation of its national authority over all occupied Palestinian territories including Al-Quds al-Sharif, capital of the independent Palestinian State, and to extend all forms of support to the Palestinian people so they can build their institutions and national economy.

5. Commends the positive role played by Al-Quds Fund in supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and boosting their struggle.

6. Requests the Secretary General to follow up the implementation of this resolution and to submit a report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 7/30-PAL

ON BAITULMAL AL-QUDS AL-SHARIF AGENCY


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity), held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul Awwal, 1424H (28-30 May, 2003),

Proceeding from the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC);

Recalling resolution no.7/9-C (IS) of the 9th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, held in Doha (2000);

Recalling also the resolutions of successive Sessions of Al-Quds Committee, especially those pertaining to the founding and structuring of Baitulmal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency;

Mindful of the resolutions of the Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers and the 9 th Islamic Summit Conference (Doha), which welcomed the establishment of Baitulmal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency and called upon all member states to support the said agency so that it may perform its noble mission in the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

Recalling as well the resolutions and recommendations of the Sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM) (Cairo, 2003) and the Twenty-sixth session of the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs (Jeddah, 2003), both endorsing the agency’s functions and exhorting the member states to back its activities in the Holy City;

Determined to intensify efforts in defending the Muslims’ first “qibla” and third holiest mosque, safeguarding its Arab identity and Islamic character and protecting it against Zionist infringement and judaization designs:

1 - Pays tribute to the outstanding efforts exerted by the late King Hassan II, may God bless his soul and reward him for having founded Baitulmal Al-Quds Agency and set its objectives as protecting the Holy City and its steadfast Palestinian inhabitants along with its sacred Arabo-Islamic identity and heritage, and for having enabled it to carry out its mission by providing its headquarters and securing generous financial resources so that it may discharge its work in the best possible conditions;

2 - Expresses its gratitude and thanks to His Majesty King Muhammad VI, who is following in the footsteps of his late father with the same faith, and upholding, with the utmost care and generosity, the agency’s activities;

3 - Notes with satisfaction the donations made by some Islamic States in favor of Baitulmal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency to make it possible for it to implement its projects consistent with the statutes of Baitulmal;

4 - Invites the Member States to extend their support to Baitulmal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency, facilitate its tasks in all fields designed to harness all kinds of facilities and mobilize all the financial potentialities as well as technical and technological expertise to contribute towards the fulfillment of the agency’s projects in the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

5 - Invites also Islamic public and private institutions, financing funds, banks, businessmen and individuals to perform their sacred duty of fostering Baitulmal Al-Quds al-Sharif Agency and generously provide all the necessary assistance, to achieve its ambitious and pressing objectives in the areas of housing, education, health and others, and for the preservation of the Arab identity and Islamic landmarks of Al-Quds al-Sharif;

6 - Exhorts firms, contractors and investors from Islamic States to invest in Al-Quds, as a show of cooperation with the inhabitants of Baitul Maqdes, in the various economic, commercial, trade and tourist fields, to shield the Holy City from the encroaching peril of judaization and preserve the Arab character of the City and its Muslim holy shrines;

7 - Invites the Agency’s Director General to pay working visits to the Member States and urges the latter to help him organize wide ranging campaigns and embark upon intensive contacts with all the competent authorities, on both the governmental and private enterprise levels, in the fields of information, culture, finance and trade, to muster ample financial capabilities, again on both the governmental and private sector levels as well as the popular one, to meet the huge needs of the Holy City’s steadfastness in the face of the enormous challenges it is confronted with in the fate-determining battle imposed upon it.


/…


RESOLUTION NO. 9/30-E
ON ECONOMIC PROBLEMS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, OF THE SYRIAN CITIZENS IN THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN HEIGHTS AND OF THE LEBANESE CITIZENS IN OCCUPIED SOUTH LEBANON AND THE WESTERN BEKAA FORMERLY UNDER OCCUPATION


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling Resolution No. 9/9-E (IS) adopted by the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Recalling also Resolution No. 9/29-E adopted by the Twenty-ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers;

Believing in the objectives and principles of the OIC Charter aimed at strengthening Islamic solidarity among the Member States, and conforming with mass international will that rejects arbitrary Israeli practices in the occupied Arab territory which lead to deterioration of the economic and social conditions of Arab citizens under the yoke of Israeli occupation, on the one hand, and that supports the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region based on the (“land for peace” principle) UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978), 1397 (2002), 1402 (1002) and 1403 (2002) as well as the authority of the Madrid Peace Conference, on the other;

Underlining the unfailing efforts exerted by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to promote the economic structure; and to renovate what was destroyed by the Israeli aggression and in view of the escalation of the illegal and unlawful expansionist settlement policies of the Israeli Government, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Al-Quds al-Sharif and the occupied Syrian Golan; and also in view of the serious implications of this escalation on the existing difficult economic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Syrian citizens in the occupied Golan;

Expressing extreme concern over the grave economic impacts, resulting from the expansionist settlement policy of the Israeli Government, on the difficult living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory and those of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan as well as the Arab people in the occupied Arab territory;

Appreciating with profound interest the role which the Palestine Liberation Organization and its National Authority (PNA) are playing in all territories under the PNA including the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif for the improvement of the Palestinian people’s living conditions and the overhauling of their national economy which has been destroyed by the Israeli aggression;

Expressing deep concern over the danger of Israel’s continued occupation of the Syrian Golan, part of South Lebanon which are suffering huge economic and material losses;

Emphasizing the resolutions of the two recent Arab Summits in Amman and Beirut concerning this matter;

Having considered the report of the Secretary General,

1. Hails the efforts made by the Palestinian National Authority to rebuild Palestinian facilities, infrastructure and properties already destroyed and those being destroyed by the Israeli occupation authorities. It commends the strenuous efforts exerted by the Palestinian Authority to rebuild and strengthen Palestinian national economy.

2. Invites all concerned bodies to expedite the extension of the envisaged necessary assistance to help the Palestinian people to establish their national economy, consolidation of their national institutions and to enable them to establish their independent State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

3. Reaffirms the earlier OIC resolutions in favour of the extension of all forms of economic, technical, material and moral support and assistance to the Palestinian people, preferential treatment for Palestinian export products, granting them exemptions from taxes and tariffs and permitting Palestinian manpower to work in the Member States for specific periods thus helping to improve their material conditions and contributing to their return and their steadfastness on their land.

4. Urges Member States to set up people’s committees to collect donations to support the intifada and provide urgent assistance to the Palestinian people in this emergency situation.

5. Strongly condemns the closure and blockade imposed on corridors, and on the Palestinian towns and villages, which have resulted in heavy losses and serious damage to the social and economic life of the Palestinian people, and are detrimental to the Palestinian economy; and calls upon the international community to force Israel to end the closure and lift the blockade imposed on the Palestinian territories.

6. Strongly condemns the acts of demolition and destruction of Palestinian homes, institutions, facilities and lands, the uprooting and burning of fruitful trees and plants, and the bulldozing of the soil, which are perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army and settlers and which have resulted in severe losses for the Palestinian economy; and calls upon the international community to force Israel to put an end to these criminal acts and to pay reparations for these damages also strongly condemns Israel for its erection of the Apartheid Wall which eats up into the Palestinian lands, isolates scores of villages, and prevents their population from exploiting their land in addition to the crimes perpetrated by the settlers, the fences built by them, and their preventing Palestinians from harvesting their crops.

7. Calls upon the international community to intervene to force Israel to release the Palestinian funds being held up by it and estimated at millions of dollars accruing from taxes and tariffs due to the Palestinian Authority and levied by the Israeli Government.

8. Calls the Member States to continue to make generous contributions to the Al-Quds Fund, the Al-Quds Waqf and Beit al-Mal of Al-Quds al-Sharif, particularly in the light of the current conditions in the occupied territories where the infrastructure is being systematically destroyed.

9. Calls for the necessity of implementing the draft resolutions of the UN General Assembly on the economic assistance extended to the Palestinian people as well as the draft resolutions of other international organizations and relevant specialized agencies. It also calls for united efforts on the part of the Member States in their support of the Palestinian cause during the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.

10. Urges the private sector and investors of the Member States to undertake the execution of the economic, industrial, agricultural and housing programmes in the territories of the Palestinian National Authority with a view to supporting and strengthening the Palestinian national economy.

11. Appreciating the efforts of IDB and ICCI and calls upon the Member States and OIC affiliated and subsidiary organs to provide means of technical and financial assistance to the Federation of Palestinian Chambers and the local Palestinian Chambers to carry out their activities effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, they should stand by them and reaffirm their support in facing the aggressive atrocities perpetrated on the Palestinian people.

12. Condemns Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories including Al-Quds al-Sharif and the escalation of its arbitrary practices against the Palestinian people in all of the occupied towns and villages, and building an expansionist infrastructure by establishing more settlements and calls for halting these practices.

13. Condemns Israel for its continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and parts of South Lebanon, including the Sheb’a farms and the arbitrary Israeli practices which have led to the degradation of the social and economic situation of the Syrian and Lebanese populations suffering under the yoke of Israeli occupation.

14. Expresses extreme concern about the serious economic implications resulting from a new series of expansionist settlement policies by the Israeli government on the existing difficult living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian territories as well as those of the Syrian citizens in the Occupied Syrian Golan and the Arab people in the other Occupied Arab territories.

15. Urges the OIC Member States to carry all necessary actions at the international level to exert pressure on Israel to desist from resorting to imposition of the brutal blockades on the occupied Palestinian territory, including Al-Quds al-Sharif which result in extremely painful economic effects on the Palestinian people and raise the level of unemployment among the Palestinians. It also hampers international efforts aimed at realizing development in the occupied Palestinian territory and the territory of the Palestinian National Authority.

16. Calls on Member States and the international community to compel Israel to pay the Government of Lebanon reparations for the plight of the Lebanese citizens in Southern Lebanon and the western Beq’aa who suffered Israeli aggressions throughout the occupation that has induced substantial losses and social complications and caused a quasi-permanent paralysis of economic activities in the region.

17. Calls on Member States and the international community to extend necessary assistance to the Lebanese citizens in South Lebanon and the western Beq’aa who have been constantly and every day the targets of Israeli aggression throughout the occupation period, thus entailing huge material losses and social hardships leading to a quasi permanent paralysis of the economic activities in the area.

18. Calls also on the Member States to coordinate their efforts regarding the implementation of the resolutions on the subject.

19. Requests the Secretary General to follow up the implementation of this resolution and submit a report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 25/30-E
ON ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
TO THE STATE OF PALESTINE

The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling Resolution No. 25/9-E (IS) adopted by the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Recalling also Resolution of the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference as well as resolutions of the 22 nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th , 27th, 28th and 29th Sessions of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers;

Noting with great interest the efforts by the Palestinian National Authority in the Self-Rule regions of Gaza Strip and West Bank to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people and to reconstruct the Palestinian national economy;

Having considered the report of the Secretary General on the issue;

1. Expresses its deep appreciation for the assistance extended to the Palestinian people and Authority by some Member States and relevant bodies of the OIC.

2. Commends the substantial assistance and contributions extended by the people and Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the generosity of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his support of 1,000 families of the martyrs of the Palestinian intifada and notes that Saudi Arabia has paid up all its instalments until May 2003 to support the Palestinian Authority in conformity with the Arab League resolution addressed to all Arab countries in support of the Palestinian Authority.

3. Commends also contributions extended to the Palestinian people by other Member States, and calls upon all Member States to continue their support and assistance for their Palestinian brothers to enable them to face the difficult conditions they are passing through due to continuous Israeli aggression.

4. Commends the efforts of the Palestinian National Authority in the Palestinian Self-Rule regions to reconstruct what has been destroyed during three consecutive years of Israeli aggression, and calls upon the international community, and monetary and economic institutions to come to the aid of the Palestinian people and assist them to rebuild the destruction caused by the Israeli occupation.

5. Calls upon Member States and relevant bodies of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to extend, as a matter of urgency, the assistance required by the Palestinian National Authority and people to build their national economy and support their national institutions.

6. Reaffirms the previous resolutions aimed at extending all forms of moral, material, technical and economic support to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian National Authority; and at giving preference to importation of Palestinian products and exempting them from taxes and custom duties.

7. Urges business men and investors in Member States to contribute in executing economic, industrial, agricultural and housing projects in the Palestinian self-rule territories in order to build the Palestinian national economy and to support the Palestinian National and institutions in the implementation of the coming phases of their development programmes I the economic, social and health fields.

8. Urges Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in view of the obstacles placed by Israel, to facilitate employment opportunities for the Palestinian labour force, in order to enhance the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people and to eradicate unemployment.

9. Also urges the Member States to conclude bilateral agreements with the Palestinian National Authority in the economic, commercial and social fields in order to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people in their homeland, and expresses its deep appreciation for the assistance extended to the Palestinian people by some Member States to build their national economy in the self rule regions of West Bank and Gaza Strip.

10. Requests the Secretary General to follow up the implementation of this recommendation and submit a report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

RESOLUTION NO. 29/30-C (PAL)
ON THE TWINNING OF PALESTINIAN UNIVERSITIES IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES WITH UNIVERSITIES
IN OIC MEMBER STATES

The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling the Resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and other Islamic Conferences, in particular the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Having considered the report of the Secretary General on the matter;

1. Calls on the Member States to allocate scholarships for the Palestinian students injured in Al-Quds al-Sharif intifada and the other students who are members of families of the intifada martyrs. It calls on the Universities of the Member States to allocate scholarships in the names of child martyrs of the intifada, and to name one of those scholarships as Mohammad Al-Durra Scholarship.

2. Recommends the necessity of strengthening Islamic solidarity with the people and students of Palestine through establishing twinning relations between universities in OIC Member States and Palestinian universities in the Occupied Territories to enable the latter to overcome their difficulties, confront Israeli designs aimed at impeding their functioning, fulfill their educational mission in the best manner and contribute to the reinforcement of the Palestinian National Authority.

3. Recommends also to extend every kind of financial and academic support and assistance to Palestinian universities so that they may be able to play their national and educational role, and support in particular the Open University of Al-Quds in view of its importance of supporting the steadfastness of its people and preserving the Arab and Islamic heritage of the Holy City.

4. Calls upon Member States to see to it that their universities receive delegations of trainees and academics from the Palestinian Universities in order to offer them work.

5. Calls upon the Member States to contribute towards qualifying Palestinian youth in their Universities and exchanging educational delegations with the Palestinian Universities in various academic fields, so as to assist the Palestinian Universities in performing their tasks within the framework of overall reconstruction by the Palestinian National Authority and lessen the material and academic difficulties which may emerge.

6. Requests the Secretary General to follow-up the matter and report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 30/30-C (PAL)

ON THE TEACHING OF THE SUBJECT
OF THE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
OF PALESTINE


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling the Resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and other Islamic Conferences, in particular the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Having considered the message addressed by the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Committee for Education, Culture and Science to ISESCO in this regard;

Having considered also the report of the Secretary General on the matter:

1. Calls on the General Secretariat and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to follow up the printing and communicating the curricula to the Member States in implementation of relevant Islamic Draft Resolution Nos.

2. Urges the competent authorities in the Palestinian National Authority to expeditiously produce the new curricula for the teaching of the history and geography of Palestine.

3. Calls upon Ministries of Education and all educational organizations and institutions in Member States to contribute effectively to the teaching of the subject of the History and Geography of Palestine approved for the three levels of education so as to inform the young generations of Muslims about the land of Palestine as well as its identity and history and the rights of its Muslim Arab people, and safeguard the Islamic and historic heritage of Palestine, particularly in Al-Quds al-Sharif.

4. Appeals to the Member States and the IDB to contribute to financing the printing of the approved curricula in the three OIC languages as well as in the national languages of non-Arabic-speaking States.

5. Recommends to ISESCO to supervise the publication of the curricula and requests it to distribute them to Member States.

6. Requests the Secretary General to follow-up the matter and report thereon to the 31 st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 31/30-C (PAL)
ON THE EDUCATIONAL SITUATION
IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES AND
OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN

The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling the Resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and other Islamic Conferences, in particular the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Taking into consideration the policy and practices of the Israeli occupation authorities towards the Arab citizens in the occupied Arab territories, aimed primarily at the eradication of their cultural identity, along with Israeli attempts to wipe out and disintegrate their national and Arab identity at all levels, the Israeli policy of systematic stamping out of education aimed at creating a poorly educated generation ignorant of its history, culture, nation and Ummah, the Israeli practice of a policy geared towards maligning Arab and Islamic civilization and causing prejudice to Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli abuse and distortion of historical and geographical facts, in addition to the continued Israeli policy of racial discrimination by claims of Israeli superiority over the citizens of the occupied Arab territories which constitute a blatant violation of their fundamental rights;

Having considered the report submitted by the Secretary General on the subject;

1. Condemns the measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities against the educational and cultural organizations and institutions in the Palestinian territories aimed at denying the Palestinians access to education, so as to obliterate their national identity and severe them from their culture and history, and distort their civilization to serve the designs of occupation.

2. Appeals to Member States to support the efforts of the Palestine Liberation Organization aimed at promoting the educational process in the Palestinian territories under its National Authority during the transitional period, and to provide it with all technical and financial means to develop curricula for all educational levels.

3. Calls upon Member States to promptly extend every kind of academic and financial assistance and support to the educational sector in the occupied Palestinian territories so that it may fulfill its mission in the reconstruction of the Palestinian national institutions and so that the educational institutions may contribute to the establishment of the Palestinian people’s national authority on their homeland, and thus further enhance Islamic solidarity with the people of Palestine.

4. Calls upon Member States to extend every necessary financial assistance to provide the funding required for the promotion of education in the occupied territories in general and in the City of Al-Quds al-Sharif in particular, in view of the great difficulties faced by the educational process in the Holy City on account of the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities aimed at the judaization of the Holy City and at severing it from its Arab-Islamic environment.

5. Reiterates its full support and assistance for the inhabitants of occupied Syrian Golan in their resistance against the oppressive Israeli practices, and their legitimate struggle to preserve their cultural, national and Arab identity, and appeals to the United Nations, to specialized international bodies and institutions and in particular to UNESCO, to counter those Israeli policies which violate international laws and conventions.

6. Calls for support to the steadfastness of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan against the Israeli practices aimed at obliterating their Arab cultural identity and proclaims its support for the maintenance of Syrian Arab educational curricula and the provision of educational and cultural material.

7 . Recommends to provide all kinds of financial and academic assistance and support to the Palestinian universities in implementation of the Draft Resolution Nos. of successive Islamic Conferences, and to work for the establishment of a Centre of higher studies in the occupied Palestinian territories.

8. Calls upon the international community to shoulder its full responsibility in forcing Israel to abide by the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and of all international conventions on human rights, particularly the Geneva Convention of 20 August 1949 on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, as well as the relevant Draft Resolution Nos. adopted by the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

9. Invites Member States to extend the necessary facilities to Palestinian students to enable them to enroll in their universities and specialized institutes and thus help them complete their university studies and also stresses the need to increase the number of scholarships and seats for the Palestinian youth in the Islamic States, particularly in higher education, technical and technological and teacher training. It also expresses its appreciation to all Member States which have responded to this appeal, particularly the Government of Tunisia, which has gracefully allocated fifty scholarships to Palestinian students to study in various Tunisian universities and higher institutes as of academic year 2000/2001.

10. Calls for extending support to the Open University of Al-Quds in view of its vital importance in strengthening the resistance of the Palestinian people and enabling them to continue their university education and also calls for extending the technical and financial assistance necessary for the development of the university and for solving its problems so that it may open new branches and thoroughly fulfill its educational mission.

11. Expresses its high appreciation for the role played by Palestinian schools and universities in the preservation of the Palestinian culture and heritage and in confronting the measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities against the educational and cultural institutions and organizations in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.

12. Reaffirms the need to implement the Resolution No. addressed to the administrations of Islamic Universities to receive training and academic missions from the universities of the occupied territories to work in their universities for short periods.

13. Condemns the practices and actions of the Israeli occupation authorities against educational and other institutions in the occupied Syrian Golan, their cancellation of the Syrian educational syllabus in the villages of the Golan and its substitution by an Israeli one, their imposition of the teaching of Hebrew instead of Arabic, their replacement of the teaching staff to serve the goals and directions of Israeli policy, their taking measures to deny Syrian Arab citizens access to higher education in Syrian universities and their denying some of those who manage to get education in those universities the right to return to their homes.

14. Requests the Secretary General to follow-up the matter and report thereon to the 31 st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 32/30-C (PAL)

ON THE PRESERVATION OF THE ISLAMIC CHARACTER, HUMAN HERITAGE AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS
OF AL-QUDS AL-SHARIF


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling the Resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and other Islamic Conferences, in particular the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, as well as the decision adopted by Al-Quds Committee;

Condemning the aggressive actions perpetuated by Israel for the expansion of the borders of Al-Quds al-Sharif Municipality, for the establishment of more settlements around it, and for annexation of the city;

Having considered the report submitted by the Secretary General on the subject:

1. Reiterates the necessity of implementing all previous Islamic Draft Resolution Nos. on the preservation of the Islamic character and human heritage of Al-Quds.

2. Calls for continued urgent and effective action at all Islamic and international levels with a view to forcing Israel to rescind its decision to annex the city of Al-Quds al-Sharif, reaffirming the City’s Arab-Islamic character and rejecting its annexation or judaization, pursuant to the relevant resolution of international legality, and particularly UN Security Council resolution 465 (1980) and 478 (1980); and exerting all efforts to put these resolutions into effect in conformity with resolutions of the United Nations and the international legality.

3. Requests the General Secretariat to continue its coordination with international agencies and institutions and particularly with UNESCO to preserve the historic structure of Al-Quds al-Sharif and the ancient buildings surrounding Al-Quds Holy Enclosure and act to close the tunnel and stop the excavation works especially on the south and west of the Holy Enclosure and preclude the implementation of any designs aimed at destroying and removing the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

4. Recommends that an information symposium on the City of Al-Quds be organized specially at the present juncture, in order to show the imminent dangers to the City, and the need to safeguard the Islamic and Christian holy places and guarantee the freedom of religious rites for all believers.

5. Urges the General Secretariat and Member States to provide material assistance to enable the Palestinian people to face Israeli challenges and schemes aimed at obliterating religious landmarks in the Holy City of Al-Quds, and reaffirms the need for extending all sorts of support and assistance to the Palestinian Arab residents of Al-Quds al-Sharif to enable them to refurbish their houses, support their steadfastness and protect Islamic shrines in Al-Quds al-Sharif from demolition and waste.

6. Calls on Member States, public institutions, and the private sector to extend the necessary assistance to the Baitulmal Quds Agency whose Director General was appointed and Casablanca headquarters donated by His Majesty, the late King Hassan II, may Allah have mercy on his soul. Recommends that the Director of Baitulmal Quds Agency shall visit the Islamic States in order to inform about the Agency and its objectives and to organize information campaigns in this respect, on the example of the visit he made to Cairo in October 1999.

7. Condemns the aggressive and expansionist Zionist policies and particularly the policies seeking to establish further settlements and to transfer and resettle hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories including Al-Quds al-Sharif – policies aimed at seriously altering the demographic and historic status of these territories by judaizing them, and may jeopardize the current peace process and constitute a flagrant violation of international laws and of relevant UN and Security Council resolutions.

8. Condemns the decision of the Israeli Security Minister to allow Jews to pray in the Aqsa Mosque and urges all member states to endeavour at the level of all international fora in order to defeat that decision.

9. Expresses its strong indignation over the recent desecration of Al-Quds al-Sharif and the new round of massacre of the Palestinians, resulting in martyrdom of hundreds of Palestinian people who have stood up against the acts of desecration of Islamic holy places.

10. Expresses its high appreciation for ISESCO’s initiative of organizing an International Conference on the Protection of Islamic and Christian Sanctities in Palestine under the patronage of the King of Morocco in Rabat from 7 to 8 June 2002, adopts the final declaration of the Conference and the approved media and public relations action plan to inform the public on Al-Quds in Western capitals, and extends its thanks and appreciation to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for his patronage of the Conference and for addressing a lofty message to the participants.

11. Commends the strenuous efforts made by His Majesty the late King Hassan II, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in establishing the Baitulmal Quds Agency and enabling it to fulfill the Islamic mission of preserving the Islamic character of the city of Al-Quds. It also commends the fine efforts exerted in this regard by his successor, His Majesty King Mohamed VI.

12. Requests the Secretary General to follow-up the matter and report thereon to the 31 st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 33/30-C (PAL)

ON THE ISRAELI AGGRESSIONS AGAINST ISLAMIC SHRINES IN THE CITY OF AL-KHALIL (HEBRON)
AND OTHER PALESTINIAN CITIES


The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Recalling the Resolutions adopted by the Islamic Summit and other relevant Islamic Conferences, in particular the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

Expressing deep concern at the designs being devised against the precinct of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied city of Al-Khalil with the aim of judaizing it, seizing part of it and preventing worshippers from entering and normally offering in it the five daily prayers;

Recalling Security Council resolution 904 (1994) on the massacre in the precinct of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil;

Having considered the Secretary General’s report on the subject;

1. Requests Member States to coordinate and intensify their efforts in the various international fora to prevent the implementation of the Israeli scheme for partitioning the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil, to ensure access to it for Muslim worshippers and preserve the integrity of the Ibrahimi Enclosure as a Mosque for Muslims only as it has been through the ages; and warns Member States against any slackness in this regard as this would encourage Israel to undermine the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic and Christian shrines.

2. Calls on Member States to ensure the restoration of the old town in Al-Khalil as well as the remaining Islamic relics and shrines on the Palestinian lands to safeguard the heritage and culture of this historic city and its resident Palestinian families in an effort to counter Jewish colonization.

3. Strongly condemns the repeated Israeli aggressions against the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al- Khalil, in particular, the massacre perpetrated by the settlers against Palestinian worshippers in the Enclosure of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Ramadan 1414H killing tens of martyrs.

4. Strongly condemns also the aggressive Israeli scheme for the partition of the Enclosure of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil, which aims at seizing and judaizing most of it and building a Synagogue therein, which constitutes an aggression against Islamic Holy Places and feelings and a violation of all international Conventions and Charters, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

5. Condemns the Israeli aggression against the civil, educational, cultural, scientific, civilizational and religious institutions in the territories of the Palestinian National Authority and particularly in Jenin, Ramallah, Qalqilya, Naplouse and Beit Lahm.

6. Welcomes ISESCO initiative to convene an international conference to be held in Rabat in February 2003 in order to document Israeli war crimes and calls on all member states to provide appropriate financial and moral support to the “International Observatory” for the Documentation of Israeli War Crimes in the creation of which was decided in the Kingdom of Morocco in order it to carry out its mission in the best conditions and entrusts ISESCO with the supervision of the observatory.

7. Requests the Secretary General to follow up the matter and report thereon to the 31 st Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


RESOLUTION NO. 1/30-ST

ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD INCLUDING ISRAELI PRACTICES AND THEIR EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, IN THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN HEIGHTS AND IN OCCUPIED SOUTHERN LEBANON AND THE WESTERN BEKAA FORMERLY UNDER OCCUPATION



The Thirtieth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Unity and Dignity) held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, from 27 to 29 Rabiul Awwal 1424H (28-30 May 2003),

Having noted resolutions Nos. 1/29-ST, and 41/9-E(IS) adopted respectively by the Twenty-ninth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Ninth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference;

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Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference;

Recalling previous OIC and other International Resolutions on this subject;

Recalling also the UNEP GC decision (UNEP/GC.19/107) on environmental situation in occupied Palestine and Arab territories, and expressing deep concern over the continued degradation of the environmental conditions in the occupied Palestine;

Also recalling resolutions 14/11-E and 15/18-E of the UN Environment Program with respect to the environmental conditions in the Palestinian Arab Territories, and the Syrian Golan and Lebanese territories occupied by Israel;

Referring to the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, Security Council and ECOSOC;

Referring to the decision of the World Conference on sustained development, held in Johannesburg from 16 August to 24 September 2002, concerning foreign occupation as one of the major obstacles to sustainable development;

Reaffirming the rights of mankind to a dignified life enjoying a healthy environment, free of pollution as a basic human and sacred right;

Expressing deep concern over the escalating brutal and expansionist practices of the Israeli occupation authorities which include seizure of land and water-resources, the demolition of houses, the construction of new settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Arab Territories, especially in Al-Quds al-Sharif, and the Syrian Golan, the uprooting of trees, the destruction of crops, the cutting off of irrigation waters, the deforestation of wide expanses of land and the use of toxic gases with the attendant serious effects on the Palestinian and other Arab inhabitants and the economic and social situation in those lands;

Expressing deep concern upon the dumping by Israel of highly toxic radioactive and chemical wastes in the Mediterranean sea and particularly in the Lebanese regional waters;

Having considered the report of the Secretary General on this issue;

1. Condemns and censures Israel for its aggressive policies, the confiscation of Palestinian lands, the setting of forests on fire, the cutting off of irrigation water and the seizure of water resources and polluting the neighbouring countries’ coasts thereby causing considerable degradation of ecological conditions in occupied Palestine and aggravating the economic and social situation of the citizens.

2. Condemns Israel’s continued occupation of the Arab Palestinian territories, the Syrian Golan, and parts of southern Lebanon, including the Shab’a Farms, as an obstacle to the sustainable development of the Arab citizens of the occupied Arab territories.

3. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan and other occupied Arab territories, and considers illegal any violation of this right.

4. Urges UNEP to update its report on the environmental situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and submit it to the GC for immediate reaction.

5. Requests the Member States to continue to extend help and assistance to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and the citizens in the Lebanese territories previously occupied, in drawing up the plans deemed necessary for environmental conservation within these territories and stresses the need to adopt concrete measures for consolidating such plans and taking steps to expose the policies pursued by Israeli occupation authorities which have led to ecological degradation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the occupied Syrian Golan and the previously occupied Lebanese territories.

6. Strongly Condemns Israel’s persistence in changing the legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its practices aimed at changing its environmental conditions as well as its geographical, demographic and historical features and at imposing Israeli laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan.

7. Calls for the strengthening of the cooperation among the Member States in the field of earthquake monitoring and establish a mechanism from the Member States on the Read Sea so as to monitor earthquakes in the region and exchange the necessary information on treating this phenomenon.

8. Condemns Israel’s persistent defiance of the will of the international community by refusing to join the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to submit its nuclear facilities to the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as its implementation of nuclear programs bound to cause a serious hazard to the neighboring Islamic States. It also passionately appeals to the international parties and bodies concerned to take the necessary steps to put an end to such hazards while emphasizing the importance of cooperation among the Member States concerned in the field of monitoring radiation fallout in the area.

9. Opposes the introduction of amendments to annex 7 of the Basle Convention on the prohibition of exporting dangerous wastes from OECD countries to non-OECD member countries until the states signatory to the Convention have approved the provisions of the annex.

10. Strongly emphasizes the need for in-depth studies of crucial issues on the environment affecting Member States so that they can keep abreast of their future development and implications.

11. Requests the Secretary General to take appropriate steps for the implementation of this recommendation and submit a report thereon to the Thirty-first Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


XXV.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES REPORT ON
    ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 57/147 of 16 December 2002, the Secretary-General, on 30 May 2003, issued a report entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people” (A/58/88-E/2003/84). The conclusions of the report are reproduced below:


VI. Conclusions

48. In the past year, the humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory reached unprecedented levels. We have seen a dramatic reduction in the capacity of Palestinians to manage their own affairs and a growing dependency upon aid — budgetary, technical and humanitarian. The challenge ahead is how to meet urgent needs without undermining — and if possible by strengthening — the prospects for a viable Palestinian State. A critical objective must be to restore the depleted administrative, financial and service delivery capacities of the Palestinian Authority, while continuing to meet emergency requirements.

49. Meeting the immediate challenges requires full respect by the parties for their obligations under international humanitarian law. They must make every effort to facilitate the work of United Nations agencies and partners in the donor and aid communities. I call especially upon the Government of Israel to take immediate steps to lift restrictions, to revive the economy, restore Palestinian livelihoods and facilitate the work of the assistance community, including improving the freedom of movement of aid workers and beneficiaries.

50. The far-reaching efforts of the donors to provide financial assistance for the humanitarian agencies and to support the Palestinian Authority’s budget are to be commended and must continue. I call upon the international community to provide the necessary resources for the assistance programmes for the Palestinian people. I would draw particular attention to the latest emergency appeal of UNRWA, which provides vital services for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

51. While international assistance can alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, only a comprehensive political settlement, which leads to the end of the occupation, can provide a real solution to the humanitarian and economic crisis faced by growing numbers of people in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a solution is offered in the Quartet’s road map presented to the parties on 30 April, which calls for parallel steps addressing security, economic, humanitarian and political issues that will facilitate the establishment of an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

52. The United Nations system will continue to work within the Quartet and with the donor community, as well as the parties, to achieve a political solution through the implementation of the road map and to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

XXVI.
    WORLD BANK ISSUES REPORT ENTITLED ”TWENTY-SEVEN MONTHS –
    INTIFADA, CLOSURES AND PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS: AN ASSESSMENT”


In May 2003, the World Bank published a report entitled “Twenty-seven Months intifada, closures and Palestinian economic crisis: an assessment” as a follow-up to a report published in March 2002 “Fifteen months intifada, closures and Palestinian economic crisis”. The following are excerpts from the summary of the May 2003 report:

SUMMARY

THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY IN 2002

Dramatic Decline, Signs of Stabilization

1. After twenty-seven months of the second Palestinian intifada , 1,972 Palestinians and 694 Israelis had died, and over 20,000 Palestinians and some 5,000 Israelis had been injured. 1 This report is written against a backdrop of death, injury, trauma and the loss of livelihoods and hope. It attempts to paint a factual picture of the state of the Palestinian economy and of the international donor effort to preserve that economy from ruin, and makes recommendations to all parties involved in the conflict.

2. The second year of the intifada witnessed a further steep decline in all Palestinian economic indicators. By the end of 2002, real Gross National Income (GNI) had shrunk by 38 per cent from its 1999 level. Unemployment stood at the end of 2002 at 37 per cent of the workforce, after peaking at 45 per cent in the Third Quarter. 2 With a 13 per cent growth in the population of the West Bank and Gaza over the past three years, real per capita incomes are now 46 per cent lower than in 1999, and poverty – defined as those living on less than US$2.1 per day – afflicts approximately 60 per cent of the population.



WHAT CAN BE DONE?

20. World Bank analysis shows the limited power of donor assistance under the conditions pertaining in 2002. Since the beginning of the intifada , donors have provided about US$315 per person per year, an unprecedented level of international financial commitment. 9 Despite the importance of these contributions in staving off fiscal disintegration and the disappearance of the PA as a viable service provider, the economy has contracted by almost a half. A doubling of donor disbursements to US$2 billion in 2003 and 2004 – something which there is no reason to believe can happen – would only reduce the poverty rate by seven percentage points by the end of 2004. 10 On the other hand, if internal closures were removed and exports facilitated, GDP could surge by about 21 percent in 2003 and poverty could fall by fifteen percentage points by the end of 2004. 11 The point is clear: it is politics that determine the health of the Palestinian economy, and in an adverse political climate all donors have been able to do is slow the rate of economic decline.

21. Israel is also paying a heavy economic price. The Israeli economy has experienced a 9 per cent decline in real GDP per capita between September 2000 and December 2002, and the Bank of Israel recently estimated that the costs to the Israeli economy of the intifada in 2002 amounted to between US$3 billion and US$3.6 billion, a figure well in excess of total Palestinian economic losses in the period, but still comparatively modest when viewed in relation to the overall size of the Israeli economy of about US$100 billion.

22. A return to a political process is indispensable for the resumption of economic and social development in both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Recommendation to the Palestinian Authority

23. The main service providers – the Ministries of Health and Education and the municipalities – have maintained a basic network of sound public services in an environment beset by curfews, closures, periodic violence and severe fiscal compression. These institutions have continued to do their job thanks to the commitment of thousands of Palestinians who work in schools, clinics and municipal service departments, supported in the field by the UN system (in particular UNRWA) and by Palestinian and international NGOs.

24. At a strategic level, however, the PA has not managed to communicate to the public how it is coping with the crisis. Partly as a result of this, the PA’s emergency efforts are undervalued by Palestinians. The PA needs to formulate a clear economic plan, and to use the process of plan preparation to energize a collective social effort to cope with the crisis.

25. A key difference from a year ago is the PA’s adoption of a serious program of reform. The PA reform program aims to weed out corruption by enforcing full fiscal accountability, to create a predictable and transparent legal environment, and to build a modern, merit-based civil service. The PA’s Ministerial Committee on Reform has committed itself wholeheartedly to the cause. Considerable progress has been made in some areas, in particular the management of the PA’s finances – in spite of strong resistance from entrenched interests. Much has been done to repair the credibility of the PA in the eyes of the international community. That said, there is now no way back – having acknowledged the need to combat corruption and to transform itself into a democratic, modern and accountable instrument of statehood, the PA must deliver a successful reform program or lose both domestic and international legitimacy.

Recommendations to the donors

26. The World Bank estimates that donors so far have committed US$1,274 million and will likely disburse about US$919 million in 2003. These sums fall some way short of the US$1,527 million committed and US$1,026 million disbursed in 2002.

27. Significant shortfalls against needs can be identified in a number of areas. Particular mention should be made of

- Budget support for the PA (excluding local governments) – in 2002 a total of US$464 million was disbursed against the PA budget A realistic appraisal of donor intentions suggests that disbursements of about US$400 million are likely this year, evidencing some donor fatigue in this area. 12 The PA has estimated its external budget support requirements for 2003 at US$535 million, even with regular monthly revenue transfers by the Government of Israel (GOI). Donors are urged to do what they can to support the PA budget in 2003, and thereby to ensure that adequate basic public services can be provided. Donors currently concerned about the fungibility of general budget support, moreover, should be reassured by GOI’s willingness to resume revenue transfers.

- Support for UNRWA’s programs – UNRWA is responsible for basic service provision to 1.5 million registered refugees in the West Bank and Gaza (WBG), or almost half of the population, and is entirely dependent on donor contributions. In 2002, UNRWA disbursed US$220 million in WBG (regular budget plus emergency appeals). At the time of writing, UNRWA is projecting a financing gap of US$61 million shortfall to its US$94 million Fifth Emergency Appeal. The need for additional support is urgent.

28. At the request of donors, an annex to this report discusses the relative merits, from the macro-economic and welfare perspectives, of four donor assistance instruments – budget support, food aid, cash assistance and job creation programs. The report argues that budget support has been the most important instrument of financial support provided during the intifada , and that it has high economic and welfare benefits. It is also clear that each of the other three instruments has played a useful and complementary role. Despite lingering questions about its negative impact on agricultural GDP, food aid has supported depressed incomes, as well as having particular value for communities and social groups vulnerable to nutritional stress. The cash schemes operated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNRWA are well-targeted but under-funded, and can be expanded. The voucher (quasi-cash) scheme introduced by ICRC shows promise, and should be evaluated with a view to further expansion. Job creation programs are a relatively inefficient way of transferring funds to beneficiaries, but confer greater dignity than food aid, cash or voucher schemes. They need to be designed to better maximize labor content and the use of local materials, and to broaden their employment base beyond male construction workers.

29. It is clear that donors have not abandoned their medium-term development programs, and aid indications in these areas for 2003 are higher than at any previous point in the intifada.13 This suggests that donors perceive that there is a real possibility of a political break-though in 2003, and that they are gearing themselves up accordingly. If these plans can be realized, they will arrest the worrying decline in donor developmental expenditures.

Recommendations to the Government of Israel

30. The actions of the Government of Israel will have greater direct bearing on the Palestinian economy in 2003 than the economic policies of the PA or the activities of donors. The sine qua non of economic stability and recovery is the lifting of closure in its various forms, and in particular internal closure. As long as Palestinian internal economic space remains as fragmented as it is today, and as long as the economy remains subject to extreme unpredictability and burdensome transaction costs, the revival of domestic economic activity will remain a distant prospect, and Palestinian welfare will continue to decay.

31. Israel’s legitimate right to defend its citizens from attack is not at issue, but nor should the specific applications of closure be seen as beyond well-intentioned discussion. There is room for a more open debate on those aspects of closure that do, or do not, protect Israeli security. The challenge is to find ways of maintaining Israeli security without stifling the Palestinian economy and impairing the livelihoods of ordinary Palestinians.

32. GOI’s decision in December 2002 to resume the transfer of the PA’s monthly clearance revenues is an important and commendable initiative. If these flows (averaging US$35 million per month over the first quarter 2003, according to the IMF) continue on a regular basis and are segregated from day-to-day political pressures, they will play a vital part in stabilizing the Palestinian economy. GOI’s continued repayment of the stock of withheld arrears 14 will in addition permit the PA to clear its debts to the domestic private sector and the Palestinian pension system, both of which steps are very important to its internal credibility.

33. The recent increase in the number of permits issued to Palestinians for work in Israel and the settlements is also very positive.

34. Donors need GOI to do more to facilitate the work of humanitarian agencies, be they donor, UN or NGO. The report describes the intensified relationship between donors and GOI in the context of the Task Force on Project Implementation (TFPI), and remarks on the collegial working relationships developed between TFPI donors and the Office of the Coordinator for the Occupied Territories (COGAT). But the report also points to significant disconnects between commitments provided to donors by COGAT and the actions of Israel Defense Forces soldiers on the ground. This not only undermines the efficiency of the humanitarian effort, but also exposes aid staff to appreciable physical danger. Donors have also pointed out in strong terms the need for the IDF to avoid further destruction of donor-financed infrastructure and project facilities. 15

35. Donors have also asked GOI to permit freedom of movement for the Palestinian officials and parliamentarians critical to the implementation of Palestinian reform, consistent with Israel’s own call for the reform of the PA. In addition, it is important that GOI facilitate regular meetings of the Palestinian Legislative Council to enable the passage of critical reform legislation and to permit oversight of the reform process.

Notes

1 Sources: Palestinian Red Crescent Society and B’Tselem. These numbers are updated on the following web pages: http://www.palestinercs.org/intifadasummary.htm and http://www.idf.il/daily_statistics/mmuniz/6.gif.

2 Using a definition of unemployment in which those no longer seeking work are included. Under the more restrictive ILO definition of unemployment, the unemployment rate stood at 27 per cent by the end of 2002, after peaking at 36 per cent during the third quarter.



9 Disbursements to WBG in 2001 and 2002 can be compared to other high-profile “post-conflict” cases such as Bosnia (US$5.4 billion over 5 years for a population of about 5 million, or roughly US$215 per person per year) and, more recently, East Timor (US$350 million over 2 years for a population of about 0.5 million, or roughly US$235 per person per year).

10 This is in part because closures dampen the ability of foreign assistance to raise real incomes, with most of the funding translating into imports and inflation rather than domestic production.

11 Assuming unchanged donor disbursements.

12 The report details the difficulties associated with the burden-sharing formula adopted by the Arab League Summit in Beirut in March 2002, as well as the concerns expressed by European parliamentarians that EU budget contributions may have been diverted to fund attacks on Israelis. The report also points to the fact that GOI has resumed revenue clearances as an important sign to donors of growing Israeli confidence in the way that the PA’s finances are now managed.
13 Commitments to infrastructure and capacity-building work with a medium-term focus fell from US$482 million in 1999 to US$279 million in 2001 and to US$197 million in 2002. In 2000, the ratio between development and emergency assistance was approximately 7:1 in favor of development assistance. By 2002, the ratio had shifted to almost 5:1 in favor of emergency assistance. Although overall commitments increased by 57 percent in the period, development assistance declined by 70 percent, while emergency assistance increased by a factor of 10. For 2003, however, infrastructure and capacity-building commitments are currently estimated at US$548 million, and potential disbursements at US$245 million.

14 Since January 2003, the GOI is repaying every month NIS 100 million (approximately $21 million) from the withheld stock, of which an estimated NIS2.2 billion remained owing to the PA in December 2002 (Source: IMF).

15 The World Bank estimates that some US$150 million in damage to donor-financed infrastructure and project facilities has taken place since September 2000.


XXVII.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES
    MIDDLE EAST SUMMIT HELD IN AQABA

The following statement was issued on 4 June 2003 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:




XXVIII.
    ESCWA REPORTS ON THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
    REPERCUSSIONS OF ISRAELI OCCUPATION


Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 2002/31 of 25 July 2002 and General Assembly resolution 57/269 of 20 December 2002 requesting the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly, at its fifty-eighth session, through the Council, a report on the implementation of the resolution, the Secretary-General transmitted on 12 June 2003 a report entitled “The economic and social repercussions of 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/58/75-E/2003/21), prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The introduction to the report is reproduced below:


I. Introduction

1. In its resolution 2002/31 of 25 July 2002, the Economic and Social Council stressed, inter alia, the importance of reviving the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 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 compliance with the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people. The

resolution reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. The resolution stressed 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. The Council reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources and called upon Israel not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of those resources. It also reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan, were illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development. The Council requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly, through the Council, a report on the implementation of the resolution.

2. In its resolution 57/269 of 20 December 2002, the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural and economic resources, including land and water; and called upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, cause loss or depletion of or endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan. In the resolution, the Assembly recognized the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expressed the hope that this issue would be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to it at its fifty-eighth session.

3. On 30 April 2003, the Secretary-General warmly welcomed the formal presentation of the Road Map for Middle East peace, declaring that it gave the Israeli and Palestinian people a real chance to end their long and painful conflict, and thus a chance for all the people of that troubled region to establish, at last, a just and comprehensive peace. The Secretary-General expressed his belief that the road map’s goal of two States, a secure and prosperous Israel and an independent, viable, sovereign and democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, must be the focus of all energies and efforts.

4. It has been noted that humanitarian assistance is not the answer to the crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory. The crisis is fundamentally political, as observed by the United Nations Technical Assistance Mission following its visit in October 2002 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory: the crisis will continue to worsen unless political decisions are taken to lift closures, curfews and other restrictions on the civilian population. Durable and productive security cannot be achieved by violence or the construction of walls and barricades. It depends on trust and respect between people.


XXIX.
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ISSUES
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE MIDDLE EAST


The following is a press statement on the Middle East delivered by Security Council President Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation on 13 June 2003 (SC/7793):



XXX.
    ILO DIRECTOR-GENERAL REPORTS ON THE SITUATION
    OF ARAB WORKERS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

The Director-General of the International Labour Organization reports in an appendix to his annual report to the 91st session of the International Labour Conference (3-19 June 2003) on “The situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories”, based on data and information compiled during missions to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Syrian Arab Republic (24 April-3 May 2003). The Director-General included information on recent developments in the situation of workers, the economy and the labour market, social security, labour legislation and industrial relations, and technical cooperation. For the full report, see publication ISBN 92-2-112884-9. The following are the conclusions:


Conclusions

107. During the period covered by this report, there has been a further marked deterioration in the situation in the occupied Arab territories. Human security, rights at work, incomes, access to employment and social protection are under constant threat. The crisis is also deeply felt in Israel, where security concerns exacerbate the economic recession. And in turn, the effects of recession in Israel further contribute to the crisis in the occupied territories, in view of their close dependence on the Israeli economy. An easing of the closures and other measures in the first months of 2003 may have led to a low-level stabilization of the rate of economic deterioration in the occupied territories. This clearly shows how vital it is to halt the spiraling decline and bring about an urgently needed improvement in the livelihoods of people, workers and their families in the occupied Arab territories.

108. In assessing opportunities for constructive dialogue and action, the mission has always been aware of the interlinkage between political and social factors which affect the situation both in the occupied Arab territories and in Israel. Security in Israel cannot be separated from security for the Palestinian population living in the occupied territories. And the additional dramatic rise in absolute poverty during the last year is a reminder of the warning in the Declaration of Philadelphia annexed to the ILO Constitution that “poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere”.

109. The ILO has taken and will continue to take steps to strengthen its technical cooperation programme aimed at creating sustainable jobs and future employment opportunities and reforming labour institutions. It has responded to the call to redirect emergency aid towards development assistance by providing continuous technical cooperation.

110. The Road Map presented in early May 2003 to the parties by the members of the Quartet brings fresh momentum to political negotiations. It sets forth a wide range of measures spanning security, institutional and economic aspects. The ILO has been asked to contribute its technical assistance to institutional reforms in the labour, employment and social protection fields. There is a clear role for healthy social dialogue to prepare and accompany the many reforms required to lead to economic recovery and provide Palestinian workers with rights at work and productive and remunerative employment and protection. Such dialogue is contingent on an improvement in the general situation. It also requires the implementation of reforms to strengthen the social partners. The contribution the ILO can make to these reforms is spelled out in the report. There is genuine scope for dialogue among constituents from both sides of the conflict. The ILO will continue to seek to facilitate this dialogue, which is a key element of the wider political discussions within the framework of the Road Map


XXXI.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL TALKS TO THE PRESS
    AFTER QUARTET’S DEAD SEA MEETING


On 22 June 2003, the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General issued, following his participation in the Quartet’s meeting at the Dead Sea, the following transcript of the press statement of the Secretary-General, made on behalf of the Quartet, adding comments of his own:

Secretary-General: The Quartet principals discussed today the situation in the Middle East, following the recent release of the Road Map and the beginning of its implementation. We reviewed steps that should be taken by both sides in order to move ahead, as well as the support we in the international community need to give to the renewed peace process.

I would like, on behalf of the Quartet, to welcome the personal engagement of President Bush, demonstrated in the Sharm el-Sheikh and Aqaba summits. His continued involvement is going to be vital to progress in the months ahead. We commend Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon for their summit statements of commitment to peace. We pledge our active support to the parties to carry out those commitments. It is essential that a way be found to break the cycle of violence, counter violence and revenge.

I believe that there is agreement that moving along the Road Map’s path will require determination and courageous decisions on both sides.

We call on the Palestinian Authority to make all possible efforts to halt immediately the activities of individuals and groups planning and conducting terror attacks on Israelis. However, it is obvious that the Palestinians cannot combat terrorism and end violence without Israel’s active cooperation. Israeli military actions that result in the killing of Palestinian civilians do not enhance security and undermine trust and prospects for cooperation. Israel must make every possible effort to support the Palestinian Government and to take immediate actions to ease the plight of the Palestinian people.

Finally, the Quartet reaffirmed its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), and look forward to continuing to work together in close consultation with the parties.

In my capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General, I would wish to add a few points regarding the peace process. In keeping with the approach laid out in the Road Map, the principle of parallelism should be maintained. We must address security, humanitarian and political issues at the same time. I call on the Israelis not to use disproportionate force in civilian areas, carry out house demolitions or engage in extra-judicial killings. Unless the Palestinians feel a positive change in their daily lives including the ending of restrictions on movement, freezing of settlement activities and the reestablishment of economic activity, I fear that there will not be sufficient public support to sustain peace.

Simultaneously, the PA must not spare any effort to bring to an end all acts of terror against Israelis anywhere. Terror is not only morally wrong, it is also counterproductive to our common goal: the full end of the occupation that started in 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian State, and the universal recognition of the State of Israel and the State of Palestine living together as the best of neighbours.




XXXII.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON ISRAELI
    WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GAZA STRIP AND BETHLEHEM

On 27 June 2003, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General issued the following statement (SG/SM/8765, PAL/1958):



XXXIII.
    SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ISSUES REPORT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS
    SITUATION IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

In accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A, John Dugard, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, issued on 8 September 2003 his report based on his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel from 22 to 29 June 2003 (E/CN.4/2004/6). The summary of the report is reproduced below:

The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) continues to be a matter of grave concern. Although the road map promoted by the Quartet offers some prospect of peace in the region, it is important to record that the past six months have seen continued violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The Government of Israel has justified its actions in the OPT on the grounds of self-defence and portrayed them as anti-terrorism measures. That Israel has legitimate security concerns cannot be denied. On the other hand, some limit must be placed on the violation of human rights in the name of counter-terrorism. A balance must be struck between respect for human rights and the interests of security.

During the past few months the construction of the Wall, separating Israel from the West Bank, has been frenetically pursued. The Wall does not follow the Green Line, which marks the de facto boundary between Israel and Palestine. Instead, it incorporates substantial areas of the West Bank into Israel. Over 210,000 Palestinians will be seriously affected by the Wall. Palestinians living between the Wall and the Green Line will be effectively cut off from their farmlands and workplaces, schools, health clinics and other social services. This is likely to lead to a new generation of refugees or internally displaced persons.

The Wall has all the features of a permanent structure. The fact that it will incorporate half of the settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem suggests that it is designed to further entrench the position of the settlers. The evidence strongly suggests that Israel is determined to create facts on the ground amounting to de facto annexation. Annexation of this kind, known as conquest in international law, is prohibited by the Charter of the United Nations and the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Special Rapporteur submits that the time has come to condemn the Wall as an unlawful act of annexation in the same way that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights has been condemned as unlawful. Similarly, no recognition should be given by the international community to Israel’s control over Palestinian territory enclosed by the Wall.

The restrictions on freedom of movement continue to create a humanitarian crisis in the OPT. Although curfews have not affected as many people in 2003 as in the previous year, they still disrupt Palestinian life on a broad scale. The number of checkpoints has increased during the past six months. These restraints on the movement of goods and persons give rise to unemployment, poverty, poor health care and interrupted education and, in addition, they result in the humiliation of the Palestinian people.

The death toll in the conflict continues to rise as a result of suicide bombings and military incursions. The Israeli practice of assassinating suspected terrorists has inflicted death and injury not only on those targeted but on a substantial number of innocent civilians in the vicinity of such actions. The legality of such measures is highly questionable.

There are some 6,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centres. Although Israel has agreed to release 540 of them, its refusal to release more prisoners constitutes a major obstacle in the way of peace in the region. Sadly, allegations of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment continue to be made. The Special Rapporteur therefore calls for an independent inquiry into such allegations.

The destruction of property in the OPT continues unabated. During the past eight months, Gaza has been particularly affected by military action that has caused large-scale devastation to houses and agricultural land.

Israel’s undertaking to curb the growth of settlements has not been implemented. On the contrary, settlements have continued to grow at an unacceptable pace. This phenomenon, together with the construction of the Wall, suggests that territorial expansion remains an essential feature of Isra Israel’s undertaking to curb the growth of settlements has not been implemented. On the contrary, settlements have continued to grow at an unacceptable pace. This phenomenon, together with the construction of the Wall, suggests that territorial expansion remains an essential feature of Israel’s policies and practices in the OPT.


XXXIV.
    SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES CEASEFIRE
    ANNOUNCEMENT BY PALESTINIAN GROUPS

The following statement was issued on 30 June 2003 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan (SG/SM/8764, PAL/1957):

GENEVA, 30 June – Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, welcomes the ceasefire announcement made today by Palestinian groups. He hopes that the groups, the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority will do everything necessary to ensure that the ceasefire represents a full and complete end to violence and terror and is a turning point in breaking the cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis. The Secretary-General commends the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for its sustained efforts to help bring about this ceasefire.

Along with the agreement on Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem, today’s ceasefire announcement offers a glimpse of hope. The task now is to press ahead with the difficult process of implementing the Road Map, so as to make a reality of the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.


XXXV.
    UNRWA PREPARES PUBLICATION ON IMPACT
    OF FIRST PHASE OF SECURITY BARRIER


On 1 July 2003, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a two-part publication entitled, “Impact of the First Phase of the Security Barrier on the Qalqiliya, Tulkarm and Jenin districts”. The following is an excerpt from part one of the publication:


Impacts: Land, Jobs, Water, Health
and Education

Prior to the current intifada, the northern Green Line towns and villages fared relatively well economically compared to other West Bank localities, due to easy access to the Israeli labour and consumer markets and because large numbers of Israelis, especially Israeli Arabs, visited Qalqiliya and Tulkarm. Access to the Israeli labour market has virtually disappeared in the last two years and Israeli citizens are forbidden to enter ‘A’ areas under Palestinian Authority control. (19)

The barrier will seal the end of Palestinian migrant labour in Israel while also isolating affected communities from each other, compounding acute unemployment and poverty levels. In Baqa esh-Sharqiya, which will soon be isolated between the barrier and the Green Line, there are some 420 commercial enterprises but the owners of 250 of these live outside the town, east of the barrier. (20) In Nabi Elias, 15 merchants and their families moved from nearby Qalqiliya town because of movement restrictions through the town’s sole access point. (21) Both town and village will soon be reunited, surrounded on three sides by the barrier, but there will be only one access point for both through a gate several kilometres east of Nabi Elias.

By severing thousands of dunums of some of the West Bank’s best land and water resources the barrier will have grave implications for agricultural productivity. The northern governorates have a disproportionately large share of the West Bank’s agricultural and water resources, accounting for 80 per cent of wells. Employment in these two activities is also disproportionately high, with the northern governorates accounting for 42 per cent of West Bank agricultural and 53 percent of water-sector employment. (22)

The importance of agriculture has grown during the intifada, acting as ‘a shock absorber’ for many newly unemployed. In Jayous, 400 out of 550 families are now totally dependent on agriculture, up from 250 before the intifada. In Qalqiliya town, 22 percent of the city’s pre-intifada economy was based on agricultural produce: this number has risen to 45 percent with 2,000 agricultural workers supporting approximately 15,000 residents. Agriculture is dominated by small, family-based farms that depend on high-intensive family labour at specific times, especially during the olive harvest. It is unclear how these traditional ways can be adapted to the proposal by the Israeli authorities to issue permits which will limit the number and times which farmers can use the agricultural crossing points.

The first phase of the barrier has already resulted in the confiscation and razing of 10,000 dunums of privately-owned land, the uprooting of over 80,000 trees, the destruction of 35 kilometres of water pipes and the demolition of dozens of greenhouses. (23) Because of its position atop the western groundwater basin the barrier will also have a severe impact on water access, use and allocation, with a number of the villages concerned losing their only source of water. (24)

The Palestine Hydrology Group has listed 30 wells in the Qalqiliya and Tulkarm districts which will be lost in the first phase of construction. Qalqiliya town will lose 19 wells, representing approximately 30 per cent of the city’s water supply. In comparison, according to the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, only five of 52 locations targeted in the first phase of construction are connected to the Israeli national water network.(25) Households in some 300 localities across the West Bank store rain and spring water in cisterns in the wet winter months and buy from water tankers in summer. Movement restrictions have already led to an 80 per cent rise in the cost of trucked water since the start of the intifada.(26)

In addition to undermining business and family ties, the barrier will also imperil health and educational services. Nine of the 15 communities in the enclaves west of the barrier lack a medical facility entirely.(27) Many other affected localities provide basic preventive and primary services, but rely on the three main cities for specialized and emergency care, and for regular dialysis and chemotherapy treatments.

Regular preventive services are already undermined by existing mobility restrictions: UNRWA reports a 52 per cent decrease in women attending post-natal care. Prior to the intifada, 95 per cent of women gave birth in hospitals. This has fallen to 50 per cent in some areas, and there are at least 39 documented cases of women giving birth at checkpoints.(28)

Medical personnel also face difficulties in reaching their workplaces. In Qafin, the most northerly locality in the Tulkarm district, health workers from Tulkarm reach the clinic late and leave early because of delays at checkpoints. The barrier will only compound these and other problems, interrupting routine immunization programmes, delaying mobile clinics, ambulances and the distribution of medical supplies and vaccines. It will also increase the strain on public health providers by further dispersing facilities, staff and resources and adding to the burden and cost to village health centres.

The barrier will also have a harmful effect on education, again by compounding existing difficulties caused by movement restrictions. As with health providers, teachers already face problems in reaching their workplaces and many have had to be reassigned to schools near their homes.

Across the three governorates, an estimated 7,400 students will be directly affected by the barrier.(29) Dab’a, which will be completely encircled, has a school only to grade 7; for grades 8-10 pupils must travel to Ras Atiya and for grades 11-12 to Hable; tertiary education is available in colleges in Qalqiliya or Nablus, and trips to the latter can take up to six hours. Educational facilities and services will be especially affected in Azun Atme and Ras Atiya.

Notes

19. Some 4,000 residents of Qalqiliya possess Israeli IDs through marriage and other family connections but are now officially prohibited from residing in the town.

20. Interview with mayor, 6 March 2003.

21. World Bank, The Impact of the West Bank Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities , p. 27.

22. World Bank: The Impact of the West Bank Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities , p. 13.

23. PENGON, February Update . PENGON is the Palestinian Environmental NGO network, which includes the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), Land and Water (LAW) and the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC).

24. PENGON, The Apartheid Wall Campaign, Report # 1, November 2002, p.21.

25. PARC, “Needs assessment study & proposed intervention for villages affected by the Wall in the districts of Jenin, Tulkarem and Qalqilia”, February 2003, p.3.

26. Oxfam, “Forgotten villages: struggling to survive under closure in the West Bank”, September 2002, p. 26.

27. B’Tselem: The separation barrier: position paper, (draft), March 2003, p.17.

28. Oxfam, “Forgotten villages”, p.24.

28. Oxfam, Forgotten Villages, p.24.

29. World Bank, The Impact of the West Bank Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities , p.26.




XXXVI.
    SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD REPORTS ON
    HIS MISSION TO THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

The Special Rapporteur on the right to food carried out a mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 3 to 12 July 2003, the report of which has been published under the title “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, on his mission to the occupied Palestinian territories (3-12 July 2003), which is annexed to document E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2. The summary of the report is reproduced below:
The Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe, largely as the result of extremely harsh security measures imposed by the occupying Israeli forces since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000.

The Special Rapporteur on the right to food carried out a mission to the OPT from 3 to 12 July 2003, in accordance with his mandate and in response to widespread concern about an emerging humanitarian crisis. Numerous recent United Nations reports have highlighted this growing crisis, including reports from the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories (UNSCO) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and from Catherine Bertini, Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General, whose mission to the OPT in August 2002 was aimed at securing specific commitments from Israel to facilitate humanitarian access to the Palestinians, particularly for food and water.

The Special Rapporteur expresses his deep compassion and sympathy for both Israelis and Palestinians, who are living through a horrifying tragedy, but he cannot ignore the terrible situation of malnutrition that is being created in the OPT today.

According to a study funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), “the Palestinian Territories, and especially the Gaza Strip, face a distinct humanitarian emergency in regard to … malnutrition”. The report of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General also points to a humanitarian crisis. Over 22 per cent of children under 5 are now suffering from malnutrition and 15.6 per cent from acute anaemia, many of whom will suffer permanent negative effects on their physical and mental development as a result. More than half of Palestinian households are now eating only once per day. The World Bank states that food consumption has fallen by more than 25 per cent per capita. Food shortages, particularly of proteins, have been widely reported. The World Bank has also pointed to economic crisis in the OPT. The formerly vibrant economy has almost collapsed and the numbers of the extreme poor have tripled since September 2000. Around 60 per cent of Palestinians are now living in acute poverty (75 per cent in Gaza and 50 per cent in the West Bank). Even when food is available, many Palestinians cannot afford to buy it, given the rapid rise in unemployment. Over 50 per cent of Palesti nians are now completely dependent on food aid, and yet humanitarian access is frequently restricted.

The Special Rapporteur found that, although the Government of Israel, as the Occupying Power in the Territories, has the legal obligation under international law to ensure the right to food of the civilian Palestinian population, it is failing to meet this responsibility. Security measures, including curfews, road closures, permit systems and security checkpoints, are severely restricting the movement of people and economic trade, impeding physical and economic access to food and water and causing economic collapse. The continued confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and water resources is also reducing the capacity of the Palestinians to feed themselves and amounts to the gradual dispossession of the Palestinian people. The building of the security fence/apartheid wall through Palestinian land is also threatening the right to food of thousands of Palestinians, leaving many Palestinians separated from their lands or imprisoned by the winding route of the fence/wall or in the closed military zone along the edge of the fence/wall.

The Special Rapporteur would not question the security needs of Israel, and he understands the daily risks run by Israeli citizens. However, in his view, the current security measures being taken are totally disproportionate and counterproductive because they are provoking hunger and malnutrition among Palestinian civilians, including innocent women and children, in a way that amounts to the collective punishment of Palestinian society. It is prohibited under international law to punish the whole population for the actions of a few of its members. The Special Rapporteur is also particularly concerned by the pattern of land confiscation, which many Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals and non-governmental organizations have suggested is inspired by an underlying strategy of “Bantustanization”. The building of the security fence/apartheid wall is seen by many as a concrete manifestation of this Bantustanization as, by cutting the OPT into five barely contiguous territorial units deprived of international borders, it threatens the potential of any future viable Palestinian State with a functioning economy to be able to realize the right to food of its own people.

Recommendations are made to the Government of Israel to improve access for humanitarian relief, to take immediate action to reverse the humanitarian crisis, to lift closures in the Territories and to end the confiscation and the disproportionate destruction of Palestinian lands, water and other resources. The Government of Israel should halt the programme of “Bantustanization”, stop the building of the fence/wall, and improve respect for the right to food under international human rights and humanitarian law. Serious consideration must be given to the viability of a future Palestinian State with sustainable access to, and control over, its own food and water supplies. Finally, as Ilan Pappe, of the Resea Recommendations are made to the Government of Israel to improve access for humanitarian relief, to take immediate action to reverse the humanitarian crisis, to lift closures in the Territories and to end the confiscation and the disproportionate destruction of Palestinian lands, water and other resources. The Government of Israel should halt the programme of “Bantustanization”, stop the building of the fence/wall, and improve respect for the right to food under international human rights and humanitarian law. Serious consideration must be given to the viability of a future Palestinian State with sustainable access to, and control over, its own food and water supplies. Finally, as Ilan Pappe, of the Research Institute for Peace, has stated, “The tedious and hackneyed truth remains that the end to violence of all kinds (including indiscriminate violence against the innocent) will come only with the end of the Occupation”.



XXXVII.
    UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON ASSISTANCE
    TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE HELD IN GENEVA

The United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People was held in Geneva on 15 and 16 July 2003, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The theme of the Seminar was “Prerequisites of Palestinian economic recovery – the role of the international community”. The meeting consisted of an opening session, three panel discussions and a closing session. Presentations were made by 14 experts from the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, as well as other regions. Representatives of 44 Governments, Palestine, 4 intergovernmental organizations, 18 United Nations bodies and agencies and 19 non-governmental organizations, attended the meeting. The Seminar’s report, issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights, reflects the Chairman’s closing statement as follows (03-62169):

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Louis Papa Fall, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that now, more than ever, the Palestinian people were in urgent need of the assistance of the international community. The Seminar had taken place at a critical moment when Israel and the Palestinians were showing signs of agreement on strengthening the political process and returning to the negotiating table; however, that should not blind anyone to the gravity of the socio-economic situation and the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The economy and infrastructure had been hard hit by almost three years of violence and destruction that had resulted in record unemployment, poverty, malnutrition and dismal living conditions, an environment which could not be conducive to the pursuit of peace. In that regard, the assistance and support of the international community in meeting the challenging humanitarian and economic needs of the Palestinian people were urgently needed.

He recalled that over the two days of the Seminar the experts had provided an overview of the economic and social crisis in the Occupied Territory, including Jerusalem. They had discussed ways of redressing the situation by focusing on priority areas for assistance. Ways and means of achieving economic recovery had been carefully examined. The exchange of views and ideas had been most insightful and productive, and there was no doubt that the deliberations had contained promising ideas that could be effective in mitigating current difficulties.

XXXVIII.
    THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS
    TWO RESOLUTIONS AND A DECISION RELATING
    TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

At its substantive session, held in Geneva from 30 June to 25 July 2003, 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/58/88-E/2003/84); the 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/58/75-E/2003/21); and the report on the forty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2003/27-E/CN.6/2003/12). On 24 July, the Council adopted decision 2003/292, taking note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report by ESCWA. The two resolutions, entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” (resolution 2003/42) and “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” (resolution 2003/59) were adopted by the Council on 22 and 24 July 2003, respectively. The two resolutions and the decision are reproduced below.


2003/42. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, 1

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women,2 in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action 3 adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, 4

Recalling also its resolution 2002/25 of 24 July 2002 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women5 as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis and towards the speedy achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Concerned about the grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of continuous illegal Israeli settlements activities as well as the harsh economic conditions and other severe consequences of the continuing Israeli attacks and sieges on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, which has resulted in the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families,

Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children, resulting in injury and loss of human life,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, taking into account the common ground already gained, and calls for measures for tangible improvement of the difficult situation on the ground and the living conditions faced by 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 IV of 18 October 19077 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. Calls upon the international community to continue to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions;

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, 2 in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action 3 and the outcome of the special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”; 4

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, including those laid out in his report entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women”, 1 and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-eighth session a report, including information provided by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

44th plenary meeting
22 July 2003

Notes

1 E/CN.6/2003/3.

2 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.

3 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 II.

4See General Assembly resolutions S-23/2 and S-23/3.

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).

8United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2003/59. 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 57/269 of 20 December 2002,

Also recalling its resolution 2002/31 of 25 July 2002,

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 East 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, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, and the principle of land for peace as well as compliance with 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 East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of the economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East 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 since September 2000 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 reconstruction and development of the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Welcoming the acceptance of the Quartet road map for peace, presented by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the European Union, as well as the Summit at Aqaba, Jordan, and stressing the importance of prompt and full implementation in good faith by the two sides of the road map and further steps to reduce the level of violence,

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. Demands the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to end its occupation of Palestinian cities and other populated centres, to end all kinds of closures and to cease destruction of homes and economic facilities and agricultural fields;

5. 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;

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

7. 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;

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

9. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth 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;

10. 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 East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” in the agenda of its substantive session of 2004.

48th plenary meeting
24 July 2003
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.




E/DEC/2003/292. Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 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

At its 48 th plenary meeting, on 24 July 2003, the Economic and Social Council took note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 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. 1

1 A/58/75-E/2003/21.



XXXIX. UNCTAD REPORTS ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published on 28 July 2003 the “Report on UNCTAD’s assistance to the Palestinian People” (TD/B/50/4). The executive summary of the report is reproduced below:

By 2003, three years of continuous economic decline and widespread devastation had transformed the occupied Palestinian territory into a “war-torn economy”. The economic legacies of war identified in comparative research on conflict economies are relevant in recognizing the true nature of the Palestinian economic predicament: structural deterioration and sustained negative growth; declining export capacity and emergence of an unsustainable trade gap; fiscal pressures as expenditures outpace revenues and the budget deficit widens; a shift towards non-traded activities and de-formalization of the economy; and deterioration of real incomes, per capita consumption and savings, greater external dependence and extended poverty. The income losses and sharp deterioration of physical and human capital between 2000 and 2003 and the performance of all sectors of the economy are consistent with this war-torn economy typology to an extent that renders such recognition essential to elaboration of policies and strategies for recovery and development.

The State of Palestine as envisioned in United Nations Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) should seek to benefit from all relevant development experiences and “international best practices” in the post-conflict phase. Economic development and trade policy must be grounded in a clear understanding of the implications of performing as a small, landlocked and war-torn economy, albeit one with a set of ambitious national objectives to achieve within the next few years. While still needed, relief assistance should no longer be addressed in isolation from development assistance. In this respect, the role of the Palestinian enterprise sector decimated by war and uncertainty acquires special significance. Enhancing its contribution to developmental relief should also be placed within the context of a cohesive development strategy, which takes into account the structural changes that have occurred in the economy. UNCTAD’s technical cooperation activities for the Palestinian people continue to deliver concrete assistance to enable them to better address such challenges.



XL.
    HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE ADOPTS FINAL CONCLUSIONS
    AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON ISRAEL’S REPORT


On 8 August 2003 at Geneva, the Human Rights Committee concluded a four-week session at which it considered and adopted concluding observations and recommendations on the reports submitted by Slovakia, Portugal, El Salvador and Israel. Excerpts from press release HR/CT/640 are reproduced hereunder to reflect the recommendations and conclusions of the Committee with regard to Israel’s report.


Conclusions and recommendations on country reports

/…

With respect to the second periodic report of Israel, the Committee welcomed the positive measures and legislation adopted by the State party to improve the status of women in Israeli society, with a view to promoting gender equality. It also welcomed the measures taken by the State party to combat trafficking in women for the purpose of prostitution, in particular the prohibition on the trafficking law enacted in July 2000 and the prosecution of traffickers since that date. The efforts to increase the level of education for the Arab, Druze and Bedouin communities in Israel were also noted.

The Committee noted the efforts by the State party to provide better conditions for migrant workers. It welcomed the amendment to the Foreign Workers Law and the increase in penalties imposed on employers for non-compliance with the law. It also welcomed free access to labour courts for migrant workers and the provision of information to them about their rights in several foreign languages.

Further, the Committee welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement of September 1999, which invalidated the former governmental guidelines governing the use of “moderate physical pressure” during interrogations, and held that the Israeli Security Agency had no authority under Israeli law to use physical force during interrogations.

The Committee reiterated that, in the current circumstances, the provisions of the Covenant applied to the benefit of the population of the occupied territories, for all conduct by its authorities or agents in those territories that affected the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the Covenant and fell within the ambit of the state responsibility of Israel under the principles of public international law. The State party should reconsider its position and include in its third periodic report all relevant information regarding the application of the Covenant in the occupied territories resulting from its activities therein.

While fully acknowledging the threat posed by terrorist activities in the occupied territories, the Committee deplored what it considered to be the partly punitive nature of the demolition of property and homes in the occupied territories; and the State party should cease forthwith that practice.

While again acknowledging the seriousness of the State party’s security concerns that had prompted recent restrictions on the right to freedom of movement, the Committee said it was concerned that the construction of the “Seam Zone”, by means of a fence, had imposed additional and unjustifiably severe restrictions on the right to freedom of movement of Palestinians within the occupied territories. The State party should respect the right to freedom of movement guaranteed under article 12; and the construction of a “Seam Zone” within the occupied territories should be stopped.

The Committee was concerned about Israel’s temporary suspension order of May 2002, enacted into law as the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) on 31 July 2003, which suspended for a renewable one-year period the possibility of family reunification, subject to limited and subjective exceptions especially in the cases of marriages between an Israeli citizen and a person residing in the West Bank or in Gaza. The Committee noted with concern that the suspension order of May 2002 had already adversely affected thousands of families and marriages. The State party should revoke the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) of 31 July 2003, which raised serious issues under articles 17, 23 and 26 of the Covenant. The State party should reconsider its policy with a view to facilitating family reunification of all citizens and permanent residents.

The Committee noted with concern that the percentage of Arab Israelis in the civil service and public sector remained very low and that progress towards improving their participation, especially that of Arab Israeli women, had been slow; and the State party should adopt targeted measures with a view to improving participation of Arab Israeli women in the public sector and accelerating progress towards equality.

While noting the Supreme Court’s judgement of 30 December 2002 in the case of eight reservists of the Israeli Defense Forces (Judgment HC 7622/02), the Committee remained concerned about the law, criteria and generally adverse determination, in practice, by military judicial officers in individual cases of conscientious objection. The State party should review the law, criteria and practice governing the determination of conscientious objection, to ensure compliance with article 18 of the Covenant.




XLI.
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
ADOPTS DECISION

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) held its sixty-third Session from 4 to 22 August 2003. On 14 August, CERD adopted decision 2(63) (see A/58/18, chap.II.B). The text of the decision is reproduced below:

Decision 2 (63)

ISRAEL

The Committee is concerned about Israel’s Temporary Suspension Order of May 2002 enacted into law as the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) on 31 July 2003, which suspends, for a renewable one-year period, the possibility of family reunification, subject to limited and discretionary exceptions, in the cases of marriages between an Israeli citizen and a person residing in the West Bank or Gaza. The Committee notes with concern that the Suspension Order of May 2002 has already adversely affected many families and marriages.

The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) of 31 July 2003 raises serious issues under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The State party should revoke this law, and reconsider its policy with a view to facilitating family unification on a non-discriminatory basis. It should provide detailed information on this issue in its next periodic report.





XLII. SECRETARY-GENERAL REPORTS ON THE WORK OF THE ORGANIZATION

On 26 August 2003, the Secretary-General issued the “Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization" (A/58/1, Supplement). The following excerpts reflect the work of the Organization concerning the question of Palestine and the Middle East situation.

Report of the Secretary-General
on the work of the Organization

Chapter I
Achieving peace and security

Conflict prevention and peacemaking

20. After almost three years of violence and confrontation, new hope for the resumption of the stalled Middle East peace process has finally emerged. Following the appointment of a Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, a road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was formally presented to the parties on 30 April 2003. This performance-based blueprint, elaborated by the Quartet (the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States of America) at a series of meetings, includes clear phases, timelines and benchmarks. It aims at achieving progress through parallel and reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian and institution-building fields, under an effective international monitoring mechanism. This process should lead to the establishment of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, as affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002). I was particularly encouraged by the outcome of the summit meeting between the parties and the President of the United States of America at Aqaba, Jordan, on 4 June 2003, where the two sides made a firm commitment to implementing the road map.

21. Despite the recent signs of progress, the vicious circle of violence, retaliation and revenge continued during most of the period under review, resulting in further substantial loss of life and destruction. A total collapse of the Palestinian economy was prevented only by the infusion of significant foreign assistance, including through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations agencies and programmes. A deteriorating security environment and problems of access hampered the efforts of the United Nations and others to address the growing humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, as further detailed in the following chapter.

22. Through my direct contacts and the Quartet mechanism, most recently at the meeting of the Quartet on 22 June 2003 on the shores of the Dead Sea, in Jordan, I remained personally engaged in efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East. The Security Council was kept informed of those efforts and relevant developments in monthly briefings by the Secretariat. The final goal of the road map, and of the entire peace process, remains a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991 and the principle of land for peace, agreements previously reached by the parties, and the peace initiative endorsed by the League of Arab States at its Beirut summit in March 2002.


Chapter II
Meeting humanitarian commitments

70. There have been significant improvements and disturbing setbacks in humanitarian affairs over the past year. While long-standing conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Sudan appear to be moving towards resolution, thus easing the humanitarian situation in those countries, outbreaks of fighting in Côte d’Ivoire, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia have exacerbated the already devastating human suffering in those areas. Protracted conflicts in Colombia and the Occupied Palestinian Territory continue to give rise to grave concern.

Delivering humanitarian assistance and the challenge of underfunded emergencies

96. In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the humanitarian situation has yet to show signs of improvement following the parties’ embarking on implementation of the Quartet’s road map in June 2003. For most of the past year, the situation has been increasingly desperate and the local population has been facing unprecedented levels of hardship. Closures and curfews have crippled the economy, plunging 1.3 million Palestinians into poverty. Military operations have left over 10,000 homeless. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been delivering emergency assistance to over one million affected Palestinians, including food aid, shelter reconstruction and employment creation. Heavy restrictions on movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have posed serious obstacles to the operations of UNRWA and other international agencies. At the same time, UNRWA received only $37.3 million in funding against an appeal for $94 million to cover emergency operations between January and July 2003. Despite a $37.5 million shortfall in its 2003 regular budget as at 30 June, UNRWA continued to deliver regular education, health and relief and social services to a population of over 4 million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. WHO played a key role in coordinating the health sector and in providing technical assistance in key domains, such as nutrition and mental health. It also advocated for access and the right to health of the Palestinian population. The UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People provided some emergency assistance, in addition to major employment and technical assistance.

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