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Source: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
29 November 2011





SPECIAL BULLETIN ON

THE COMMEMORATION OF THE

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY

WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

2011







I. COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY
WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


On 29 November 2011, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna, as well as in several other cities, in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.

All States Members of the United Nations, observers, intergovernmental organizations and specialized agencies were invited to attend the special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

At the meeting, statements were made by Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal), Chair of the Committee; Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (Qatar), President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly; Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations who read a message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; and José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal), President of the Security Council for the month of November 2011. The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, read out a message from Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority. In addition, Palitha T.B. Kohona (Sri Lanka) made a statement in his capacity as Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

In addition, Maged A. Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, delivered a message from Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chair of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; Byrganym Aitimova, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, read out a message from Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, in his capacity as Chair of the thirty-eighth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); Téte António, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, made a statement on behalf of the African Group; and Yahya A. Mahmassani, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, delivered a message from Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. Peter Miller, President of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, also addressed the meeting on behalf of civil society organizations active on the question of Palestine.

Closing remarks were made by Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations.

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People received messages from 24 Heads of State, 6 Heads of Government, 2 Governments and 7 Ministers for Foreign Affairs, as well as from the European Union and the OIC. A message was received from the non-governmental organizations: NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The special meeting was followed by the showing of a film entitled La terre parle arabe, in Conference Room 2-NLB.

A Palestinian art exhibit “A Palestinian Vista - Uprooted from our homeland… We rooted the homeland in ourselves” was presented under the auspices of the Committee in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. The opening ceremony was followed by a musical performance by Simon Shaheen.

At the United Nations Office at Geneva, a special meeting was held on 29 November. The meeting was chaired by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Under-Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, who opened the meeting by reading the message of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Fodé Seck, spoke on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and also read the message of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. Statements were also made by Saad Alfarargi, representative of the League of Arab States; Slimane Chikh, representative of OIC; Hisham Badr, representative of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; Georges-Rémi Namekong, representative of the African Union; and Ana Villanueva, Executive Coordinator of the World Young Women’s Christian Association, on behalf of civil society organizations. Ibrahim Khraishi, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva, read a statement on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority.

At the United Nations Office at Vienna, a special meeting was held on 29 November 2011. Manuel Santiago Fernandez Rondon, Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Vienna, opened the meeting and spoke on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Sandeep Chawla, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, delivered the message of the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. Friedrich Stift, Director of the Department for the Near and Middle East of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria, read a message on behalf of the host country, and Khaled Abdelrahman Shamaa, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations Office at Vienna, spoke on behalf of the Chair of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. Zuheir El-Wazer, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Vienna, read out a message on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority. Other speakers included Mikhail Wehbe, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations Office at Vienna; Murat Smagulov, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, on behalf of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and Hans Köchler, President of the International Progress Organization, on behalf of civil society organizations active on the question of Palestine. Representatives from more than 32 Member States and entities accorded permanent observer status, as well as officials from the host country, non-governmental organizations, other invited guests and staff members, attended the meeting.


II. TEXTS OF STATEMENTS MADE AND MESSAGES DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, 2011

Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal), Chair of the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

[Original: French]

In 1978, when the Committee met for the first time to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we were far from imagining that 33 years later the Palestinians would still be seeking to return to their homeland and live in their own State. While several decades have gone by, little progress has been made towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution.

Despite their history of oppression, however, the Palestinian people have never relinquished their identity or their attachment to their land, nor have they lost sight of the goal of regaining their right to freedom and independence. The truth is that there is no ambiguity about their right to national self-determination, independence and sovereignty in their own State, and their right as refugees to return to their homes. In fact, the inalienable nature of their right to self-determination is imprescriptible and non-negotiable. For that reason, it has never been on the agenda of the Israeli-Palestinian permanent status negotiations. The negotiations are only a means for determining how Palestine’s right to self-determination and independence should be exercised — a right that, moreover, in no way contradicts Israel’s right to exist, which Palestinians recognized many years ago. We also consider it unacceptable to want to link the negotiations to Palestine’s application for admission to the United Nations.

The suffering of the Palestinian people affects all who love peace and justice. Exiled and occupied, the Palestinians are seeing their land despoiled by settlement activity and the construction of the wall of separation. Blockaded in the occupied territory, and trapped in a process that has remained at an impasse for 20 years, they need active solidarity more than ever in order to survive and hold on to their hopes. This obligation to show solidarity is all the greater when we consider that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility regarding the question of Palestine until it is resolved in accordance with international legitimacy, derived from the United Nations own resolutions and decisions.

Sixty-four years after the plan for partition was adopted on 29 November 1947 (General Assembly resolution 181 (II)), history is once again knocking at the door of the United Nations. The Organization must remain true to the aims of its Charter, which guarantees freedom, peace and security equally for all peoples. It is clearly high time for the principal organs of the United Nations, and all Member States that support the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, to shoulder their responsibilities with regard to Palestine’s application for admission to membership in the United Nations. To that end, I invite Member States to demonstrate their will and to show solidarity by voting in the General Assembly in favour of the draft resolutions on Palestine, including the four that I will be introducing this afternoon (A/66/L.15, L.16, L.17, L.18 and Add.1).

The Quartet should once again relaunch a credible negotiation process, while ensuring that the parties refrain from provocative measures, meet their obligations under the road map and international law, and commit in good faith to the timetable and the parameters set out in the Quartet’s statement of 23 September (SG/2178). To that end, it is vital that the Gaza blockade be lifted; that the perpetrators of grave human rights abuses be held accountable for them; that the prisoners illegally held by Israel be released; and that the Palestinians be supported in their reconciliation efforts. Furthermore, while I thank donors for their concern, I appeal to them to increase their assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and in particular to its National Development Plan for 2011-2013, and to respond generously to the humanitarian needs of people under occupation. Those needs are all the more urgent in the light of the freeze imposed by the Israeli Government on Palestinian Authority revenues. Civil society, meanwhile, should rally support for peace, justice and accountability, while systematically acknowledging the negative effects of the occupation.

I assure everyone here that the Committee will continue to fulfil the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized. We will continue to work for a just and lasting final settlement of the conflict through a two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and harmony.

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (Qatar), President
of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly

[Original: English]

On behalf of the General Assembly, I would like to thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its dedicated work and for inviting me to speak here today.

We meet to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We come together to renew our commitment to finding a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and to achieving comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We are also here to reaffirm our shared responsibility in that regard.

The issue of Palestine has been particularly central during this session of the General Assembly. A number of significant events have already taken place since September. We witnessed a historic development here in New York when the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, transmitted Palestine’s application for membership in the United Nations to the Secretary-General on 23 September. The issue has since been considered by the Security Council. For my part and within the framework of my mandate, I circulated that request to all States Members of the United Nations.

A little more than a month ago, on 18 October, an exchange of prisoners was praised by the whole international community. I expressed my thanks to the States, as well as all other parties that had worked tirelessly over many years to facilitate those releases. That positive development showed the importance of mediation and negotiation to the peaceful settlement of disputes, a subject that I identified as one of the key focus areas during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

For its part, the Quartet, of which the United Nations is an eminent member, has accelerated its efforts to allow for the relaunch of the negotiations. We all hope that those efforts will be fruitful and will lead to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine as soon as possible. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization must step up their efforts to engage each other in honest negotiations and overcome the deadlock.

Also, everything should be done to alleviate the daily suffering of the Palestinian people. The situation on the ground is a source of great concern. Israeli construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory has continued, especially in and around East Jerusalem and in Area C of the West Bank. Properties continue to be demolished, land continues to be confiscated and Palestinians continue to be evacuated from their homes, in violation of international law and in defiance of international efforts to revive negotiations between the two sides.

In that context, I would like to pay tribute to the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). I would also like to acknowledge non-governmental organizations and civil society at large. All those actors have played a pivotal role in alleviating the suffering of the growing Palestinian refugee population. They have done so under extreme political and financial conditions, and I thank them for their assiduous dedication. I would like to underline that in the current year of 2011, the UNRWA mission on the ground has been challenged by the recurrent global financial crisis. I would urge all Member States to strengthen their valuable contributions to the work of UNRWA.

Alongside all those important developments in the Middle East peace process, it is my conviction that the General Assembly has a role to play. We should continue to work collectively for the attainment of a just and comprehensive negotiated peace settlement in the Middle East that results in two viable, sovereign and independent States — Israeli and Palestinian — living side by side in peace and security within recognized pre-1967 borders. I will not spare any effort to participate in solving a conflict that has beset the region and its people for too long.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations:
message delivered by Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General
of the United Nations

[Original: English]

Sixty-four years ago on this day, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), proposing the partition of the Mandate territory into two States. The establishment of a Palestinian State, living in peace next to a secure Israel, is long overdue.

The need to resolve this conflict has taken on greater urgency with the historic transformations taking place across the region. The Israeli and Palestinian leadership must show courage and determination in seeking an agreement for a two-State solution that can open up a brighter future for Palestinian and Israeli children. Such a solution must end the occupation that began in 1967, and meet legitimate security concerns. Jerusalem must emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. A just and agreed solution must be found for millions of Palestinian refugees scattered around the region.

While there are many challenges to that goal, let us recognize an important, indeed historic, achievement of the Palestinian Authority during the past year. The Palestinian Authority is now institutionally ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood if a Palestinian State were created. That was affirmed by a wide range of members of the international community at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians in September. President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are to be commended on that remarkable success. Those efforts should continue and be supported.
In that regard, the current suspension by Israel of customs and tax transfers owed to the Palestinian Authority risks undermining such gains. Those revenues must be transferred without delay.

Above all, a political horizon is vital. It is a matter of deep concern that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are not taking place, while trust between the parties continues to fade. A glimpse of hope comes from their engagement with the Middle East Quartet. Both sides should seek to develop serious proposals on borders and security and to discuss them directly with each other, with active Quartet support, in the context of a shared commitment to reach an agreement by the end of 2012.

The parties have a particular responsibility to cease provocations and create an environment conducive to meaningful negotiations. Israel’s recently intensified settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is a major obstacle.

Settlement activity is contrary to international law and the road map and must cease. Unilateral actions on the ground will not be accepted by the international community.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority should also find ways to help de-escalate the situation and improve the prevailing divisive climate, and to be ready to engage directly in the search for a negotiated solution.

It is also crucial for the Palestinians to overcome their divisions, based on the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the positions of the Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative. President Abbas continues efforts towards a transitional Government that will prepare for presidential and legislative elections in May.

Palestinian unity that supports a negotiated two-State solution is essential for the creation of a Palestinian State in Gaza and the West Bank.

The United Nations continues to be strongly committed to the population in Gaza, and to implementing all aspects of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). Israel has taken steps to ease the closure. There is, however, still a need to remove the numerous remaining measures that severely restrict the movement of people and goods and limit the ability of the United Nations to support Gaza’s economic recovery and reconstruction.

Today we must also remind those in Gaza who fire rockets at Israel or continue to smuggle weapons that such actions are both unacceptable and completely contrary to Palestinian interests.

Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel must end, and Israel must exercise maximum restraint. Both parties should fully observe calm and respect international humanitarian law. The recent prisoner exchange, which saw the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and an Israeli soldier, was a significant humanitarian breakthrough that should be followed by further steps to consolidate calm and end the closure of Gaza.

Amid these many challenges to the realization of their legitimate aspirations for statehood, the Palestinian leadership submitted an application for membership in the United Nations. That is a matter for the Member States to decide.

Whatever view is taken of this matter, we should not lose sight of the ultimate goal of reaching a negotiated peace agreement on all final status issues, including borders, security, Jerusalem and refugees.

Let us, on this International Day, reaffirm our commitment to translating solidarity into positive action.

The international community must help steer the situation towards a historic peace agreement. Failing to overcome mistrust will only condemn further generations of Palestinians and Israelis to conflict and suffering.

A just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008), previous agreements, the Madrid framework, the Quartet’s road map and the Arab Peace Initiative is critical to avoid this fate. I will continue pursuing my efforts with all the means available to me.

José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal), President of
the Security Council for the month of November 2011

[Original: English]

I would like to thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for inviting me to address this meeting in my capacity as President of the Security Council for November. I would also like to acknowledge the presence of the President of the General Assembly, the Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassadors Riyad Mansour and Palitha Kahona, and Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe.

We are here today to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Throughout the past year, the Council has remained seized of the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and has continued to receive monthly briefings on the situation from the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator and the Department of Political Affairs, and to hold regular open debates.

The past year has witnessed historic developments in the Middle East. The winds of change blowing through the Arab world have emphasized even further the urgency of a peace agreement that ends the Arab-Israeli conflict and resolves all claims. The Security Council has thus called upon Palestinians and Israelis to seize the opportunity to reach a peaceful and final settlement. The Council remains fully committed to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with mutually agreed and recognized borders.

Council members have underscored that the peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians and the final settlement of all core issues can only be achieved through direct negotiations. Council members have also reiterated their support for an agreed, just and fair solution to the refugee issue and have expressed concern about Israel’s continued settlement activity, reiterating their view that settlements undermine peace efforts and a two-State solution. They have also stressed the need for respect for international obligations in that regard.

Council members have also expressed concern regarding the recent decision by Israel to once again withhold Palestinian tax revenues and they recall in that regard the position of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that clearance of revenue collection by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority should be efficient, transparent and predictable. Those revenues should also be transferred to the Palestinian Authority on a regular schedule.

Over the course of the year, Council members continued to express concern at the firing of rockets from Gaza. Council members also took note of the reconciliation agreement signed by Palestinian factions in Cairo on 27 April.

A number of significant events have taken place in recent months. On 18 September, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee met in New York. Based on reports and recommendations from the parties, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and a Quartet representative, the donors reconfirmed their assessment that the institutions of the Palestinian Authority are above the threshold of a functioning State in the key sectors they studied. Council members have welcomed that positive appraisal and commended the Palestinian Authority for its achievements.

On 23 September, President Mahmoud Abbas submitted to the Secretary-General the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations. That application is now before the Security Council following the adoption of a report by the Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members on 11 November (S/2011/705). On 23 September, the Quartet issued a statement, in which it took note of the application submitted by President Abbas, reaffirmed its statement of 20 May, including its strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by United States President Barack Obama, and recalled its previous statements, which provide that negotiations should lead to an agreement that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its neighbours.

The Quartet affirmed its determination to actively and vigorously seek a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008), the Madrid principles, including land for peace, the road map, and the agreements previously reached between the parties.

The Quartet also reaffirmed the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and provided a framework and time frame for the resumption of negotiations without delay or preconditions. The Security Council has recognized the key role of the Quartet in the efforts to relaunch a Middle East peace process. Council members have expressed their full support for the continued efforts of the Quartet and its statement of 23 September.

On 18 October, Israeli Sergeant Gilad Shalit and 477 Palestinian prisoners were released in the first stage of implementing a prisoner exchange agreement. Council members continue to view the situation in Gaza with concern, and repeat their calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009). And in that context, they stress the need for a sustained and regular flow of goods and people into Gaza, as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

The Council welcomed the Quartet envoy’s meetings with the parties in Jerusalem on 26 October and 14 November, as well as the parties’ expressed readiness to engage with the Quartet in resuming direct negotiations. The Council urges the parties to submit to the Quartet the comprehensive proposals on territory and security that each party has committed to presenting within three months, as called for in the 23 September statement.

As the Quartet has stated, unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community. The Council has echoed the 23 September call by the Quartet on the parties to refrain from provocative actions if negotiations are to be effective. Finally, the Security Council has commended the laudable efforts of humanitarian organizations and agencies on the ground, particularly those of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and its staff. We encourage all members of the international community to support the Agency with financial contributions.

Looking ahead, the Security Council will remain seized of the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and will continue to consider the issue on a regular basis and act to uphold its responsibilities under the Charter, consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions on the matter.

In conclusion, allow me to assure all Member States of the Security Council’s commitment to the ultimate goal of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East and to the realization of the legitimate and inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent and democratic State.

Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee
of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian
Authority: message delivered by Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer
of Palestine to the United Nations

[Original: Arabic]

On behalf of the Palestinian people, I offer my greetings and abundant thanks to all those participating in marking this day, whether through personal statements or their attendance at this annual observance, as an expression of their solidarity with the Palestinian people and their aspirations to attain their legitimate rights to self-determination, end the Israeli occupation and achieve an independent, sovereign State of Palestine within the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chair, His Excellency Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, aimed at implementing United Nations resolutions and reminding the international community that the question of Palestine was born and evolved in the United Nations in 1947, when a resolution was adopted to partition Palestine into two States, Israel and Palestine (General Assembly resolution 181 (II)). Only one, however, has been established, the State of Israel, in an area larger than that provided for in the partition resolution.

Israel’s admission to membership in the United Nations in 1949 was based on two conditions: Israel’s commitment, first, to the partition resolution and the establishment of a Palestinian State, and, second, to resolution 194 (III) on the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and on their compensation.

The war of June 1967 led to the occupation of what remained of historic Palestine, that is, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Security Council then adopted resolution 242 (1967), which was based on two principles: the inadmissibility of the acquisition of another’s territory by force and a call for peace in return of withdrawal from that territory.

The historical injustices inflicted on the Palestinian people are reflected in various ways. We have about five million displaced refugees. A colonialist settlement occupation is expanding every day in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem is experiencing a process of judaization through the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim presence there. An apartheid wall has been constructed, and there is a cruel blockade of the Gaza Strip. There are other illegal Israeli practices.

The United Nations has made efforts that are much appreciated to address our people’s tragedy, whether through assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East or the various recommendations and resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Nevertheless, Israel has continued to reject those efforts as if it were a State above the law.

For many years we have expressed our readiness to reach a solution to the conflict with Israel that ensures the possibility of justice and complies with international resolutions and initiatives through the establishment of a Palestinian State on only 22 per cent of the historical territory of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to achieve a just and agreed-on solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

We have entered into direct and indirect negotiations with Israel for many years since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, with the aim of achieving a two-State solution and applying the principle of land for peace. However, Israel has continued its settlement activities and has ignored all the international statements and calls that have declared and continue to declare that such activities are illegal and are an obstacle to peace.

Our decision to apply for membership in the United Nations is our legitimate right, based on the partition resolution adopted on this day, 29 November, in 1947.

That approach is not a unilateral action. We are calling for recognition of our State on the basis of the 1967 borders and the implementation of the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions; the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace; the Arab Peace Initiative; and the road map drawn up by the Quartet. That recognition is not a substitute for negotiations; rather, it is an auxiliary factor, in case the Government of Israel decides to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders.

It is not fair that sanctions have been imposed on us because of our accession to membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Israel does not have the right to impound customs and tax revenues that are the property of the Palestinian people. By seeking membership in the United Nations, we wish to delegitimize not Israel but its settlements and its seizure of our occupied territories, with which it deals as though they were disputed, not occupied, lands.

It is painful, regrettable and deeply disquieting for us to witness the selective application of international law and international resolutions and the use of double standards in the implementation of United Nations resolutions, with deep disregard for the law and only the weak paying the price.
On this day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we affirm that we are a people that is attached to its land and that we will stay there, in the strong belief that anyone in the world with a conscience, anyone who is committed to the Charter of the United Nations, must support and participate in the process of enabling our people to exercise its right to self-determination and achieve its independence as a free and sovereign State.

The State of Palestine, God willing, will be a pluralistic, democratic State that is free of discrimination on the basis of race or religion; a peaceful State that wishes to live in peace and security, side by side with Israel and the other States of the region; a State whose independence, after 64 years, is long overdue.



Palitha T.B. Kohona (Sri Lanka), Chair of the Special
Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights
of the Palestinian
People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

[Original: English]

I am honoured to address this meeting as Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, on this occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This day provides a critical reminder to the international community of the urgent need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian question in a just and equitable manner.

The objective for the occupied Palestinian people remains clear: they must, as they are entitled to, realize their goal of an independent State. However, at the ground level, prospects for the realization by the Palestinians of their fundamental human right to self-determination and an independent State remain distant and elusive.

The policies and practices emanating from the current regime of occupation continue to infringe on a whole spectrum of human rights. Consequently, a significant proportion of Palestinians live in poverty, and many are totally dependent on humanitarian aid provided by United Nations agencies and other aid donors. Levels of poverty are particularly high in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli-imposed blockade and in occupied East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank due to restrictive access and discriminatory practices.

Earlier this month, the Special Committee presented its forty-third report (see A/66/370) on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and occupied Syrian Golan. Our report benefited from the Special Committee’s first-ever visit to the Gaza Strip, where the Committee’s overarching observation was that Israel’s blockade continues to collectively punish the civilian population. That collective punishment is having a grave impact, especially on the children of Gaza. Only through a political solution, with human rights at its heart, will the Palestinians and the Israelis enjoy security and peace. On this day, the Committee expresses its very best wishes to the Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood.


Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chair of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of
the Arab Republic of Egypt, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries:
message delivered by Maged A. Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative
of Egypt to the United Nations

[Original: Arabic]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the pleasure to transmit this message to Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to reaffirm the full support of Egypt and all members of the Non-Aligned Movement for the brotherly Palestinian people in their legitimate quest to recover and exercise all of their inalienable rights, primary among which is their inherent right to establish an independent and sovereign State of their own, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on all relevant terms of reference and in accordance with the established rules and provisions of international law, international humanitarian law, the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, the principles of the Madrid Conference and the Arab Peace Initiative.

This year, the establishment of the Palestinian State has acquired special momentum in the light of the historic statement made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before the General Assembly on 23 September 2011, and the clearly unanimous agreement on the necessity of establishing the Palestinian State with full international recognition by and membership in the United Nations. That matter has been reaffirmed by the League of Arab States at all recent meetings and occasions and by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in all of its documents, foremost among which are the Palestine declaration of the Sixteenth Ministerial Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Bali, Indonesia, in May 2011, and the reaffirmation of that same declaration by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Movement’s Committee on Palestine on 22 September 2011, in New York.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People plays an important role in guaranteeing Security Council support for the Palestinian request for membership in the United Nations, in line with the Movement’s intensive efforts to increase recognition of the State of Palestine, which so far includes 132 States. We look forward to the continued support of the Committee in acquiring further recognition in order to ensure the adoption by the General Assembly of its draft resolution on Palestine’s membership to the United Nations.

In order to achieve that purpose, we must all work together to put an end to the continued violations of the rights of the Palestinian people; halt the sharp deterioration of their living conditions; ensure Israel’s commitment to its legal obligations as the occupying Power; put an end to Israel’s illegitimate policies, foremost among those its settlement policies; halt its attempts to alter the facts on the ground by confiscating Palestinian land and property and altering the features of East Jerusalem; end the violations of the sanctity of the holy sites and of worshippers, in particular Al-Quds Al-Sharif; halt its continued building of the apartheid wall and stifling siege against the Gaza Strip and all other practices that run counter to its obligations under international and international humanitarian law.

On another front, efforts must continue towards a return to the negotiating table based on sound principles. Momentum must be generated to enable the international Quartet to end the settlement policies and to consider the borders of 4 June 1967 as a basis for negotiations within a defined time frame and with a view to establishing a monitoring mechanism that will guarantee implementation of the obligations necessary to enable the establishment, as soon as possible, of the Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

I cannot fail to commend the Committee’s intensified efforts this year, particularly its role in organizing international meetings and symposiums in the recent past aimed at mobilizing international support for the brotherly Palestinian people, protecting their rights and promoting the importance of establishing a comprehensive and just peace as soon as possible.

I also wish to commend the Committee for its increased efforts over the past year, as demonstrated in its joint efforts with national parliaments and regional parties to mobilize the parliamentary role in support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to promote the increased use of information technology to raise international awareness of the just cause of the Palestinian people and in order to guarantee their rights.

I wish the Chair and all of the members of the Committee every success. Please accept my highest regards.


Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan,
in his capacity as Chair of the thirty-eighth session of the
Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation: message delivered by Byrganym Aitimova,
Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations


[Original: English]

In my capacity as Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), I would like to heartily welcome members and express my sincere gratitude to the participants in the meeting for supporting the noble endeavours of the people of Palestine. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is another good opportunity to reiterate the existing overwhelming international support for an end to the occupation, to address the fundamental security concerns of the region, to find a just solution to the refugee issue and to stop the suffering and hardship of the Palestinians.

Palestine is at the heart of OIC. The cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif has been central to the Organization since its very establishment. OIC member States condemn Israel’s continuing illegal and intensified settlement construction campaign and human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian territory. There is no doubt that the Palestinians have the full right and justification to resort to the United Nations to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and to establish their independent State on Palestinian territory within the lines of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

OIC pledges to make all possible efforts to end the Israeli occupation and to extend effective support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent State. For that purpose, in accordance with the OIC Charter, the post of an Assistant Secretary-General should be devoted to the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and Palestine and designated to a candidate from the State of Palestine.

This year has been especially critical to reaffirming the solidarity of OIC with the people of Palestine. At the thirty-eighth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC in Astana and the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of OIC in New York, we sent a clear message of support to the bid to recognize the independent and sovereign State of Palestine on the basis of the borders of June 1967. We were consistent in our policy, backing the recent decision of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a full member.

Being deeply interested in achieving lasting peace and stability in the Middle East, we pledge to remain seized of the matter and to exert all necessary efforts until a peaceful, just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of Palestine is achieved in all its aspects, and until all Palestinian people can finally realize their legitimate aspirations and inalienable rights in their independent State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

I avail myself of this opportunity to wish the people of Palestine every success in their noble aspirations for a safer and prosperous future.


Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States:
message delivered by Yahya A. Mahmassani, Permanent Observer
for the League of Arab States to the United Nations


[Original: Arabic]

The observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People takes place in tense times that have witnessed grave negative developments as a result of the intransigent position of the Government of Israel and its refusal to put an end to its settlement policies in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian areas in such a way that proves its manipulation and prevarication in order to obstruct international efforts through its practices.

Despite the international consensus on the two-State solution to achieve a peaceful settlement and to establish a contiguous independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, Israel continues to violate and flout international legitimacy and all human rights conventions. It continues its settlement policies aimed at further engulfing Palestinian lands and at creating new facts on the ground in a way that threatens and undermines the two-State solution to the extent that any real opportunity to establish an independent Palestinian State is removed. Israel continues its illegal unilateral decisions to Judaize East Jerusalem and its surroundings, to change their demography and historic characteristics and to obliterate their Islamic and Christian heritage.

Israel’s pursuit of its settlement policies and its insistence on a new condition that requires the Palestinian side to recognize Israel as a Jewish State reflect the complete lack of political will on the part of the Government of Israel to enter into serious negotiations that deal with all the various aspects of the situation on the basis of international legitimacy and the provisions of international law within a specified time frame and without partial or gradual solutions.

Israel’s persistent siege of the Gaza Strip and all its severe discriminatory and racist measures, which recall racist practices in South Africa in the past, have continued to undermine the lives of 1.5 million Palestinians since 1948. Thereby, Israel persists with its resettlement policy and in preventing Palestinians from returning to their homeland.
The occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are occupied territories under international law. All unilateral measures taken by Israel are null and void. The international community, in particular the Security Council, and the Quartet, especially its more powerful parties, such as the United States, should shoulder their responsibilities and put an end to such prevarication and procrastination by Israel in the negotiations and the peace process. The Israeli occupation is in a race against time to lay down new borders for Palestine according to its whims, changing the facts on the ground and the characteristics of the land and undermining the real prospects for a Palestinian State.

The League of Arab States reasserts its full support for the Palestinian side, as stipulated in the statement (see A/66/PV.19) delivered by His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas to the General Assembly. In that statement, he requested the establishment of an independent Palestine and reiterated his commitment to resolving the conflict in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy and through serious negotiations based on international law, provided that the settlement policies ceased. It is unacceptable to continue negotiations, be they direct or indirect, that waste time and effort and do not lead to any progress on the ground, in the light of the continued Israeli settlement policies.

Palestinian freedom is the real key to establishing regional and international stability. It is a way to truly contribute to all efforts to establish stability in a region that has suffered a devastating conflict for so long. The establishment of an independent, sovereign State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital will allay the fears and concerns that threaten regional and international peace and security.

Our movement for peace comes in the midst of all of the efforts that have been made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the current session of the General Assembly by submitting his request for the full membership of Palestine in the United Nations as a political and diplomatic option based on resolutions of international legitimacy and international law. The time has come for the Palestinian people to achieve their independence and freedom and to live as other peoples do on this Earth — in a free and independent State. The international community must work towards the realization of that dream and uphold the voices of rights and justice, as enshrined in the Charter of this Organization.

Statement on behalf of the African Group by Téte António,
Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations

[Original: French]

As we mark yet another anniversary, I should like to express, on behalf of the African Union Commission, the solidarity of the African people with the Palestinian people. Africa has substantial historic ties to Palestine. It is a story of struggle and liberation on the African continent and of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. It is therefore no accident of history that Palestinian leaders are the only ones who have a standing invitation to the summit of the African Union. Nor is it a coincidence that all African Union summits adopt a resolution on the question of Palestine. The African Union firmly believes that all types of injustice committed against the Palestinian people must cease immediately.




[Original: English]

The view of the African Union is that there is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Only a just, comprehensive and peaceful settlement based on international law, resolutions of international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace can bring an end to the occupation of Arab lands by Israel since 1967 and a lasting solution to the conflict.

We also believe that there are many United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine that remain valid and that, if implemented, would put an end to the occupation and to the conflict as well. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) remains the basis for achieving peace.

We further believe that the Security Council has a crucial role to play in exerting efforts to implement its resolutions and in achieving a peaceful settlement, including by taking concrete actions and practical measures to implement Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and all other relevant resolutions, and by ensuring Israel’s compliance with its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the human rights covenants, as well as its full respect for the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice.

Support for the Palestinian cause has been a central feature of the African Union’s foreign policy since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity in 1963. The African Union will continue to do everything in its power to assist the people of Palestine in their endeavours to establish peace in their own land. We salute the struggling people of Palestine and express our solidarity with them, as we have already stated.

As we mark this occasion, we should all pledge to make greater efforts to resume the direct negotiations that began in September 2010 with a view to realizing the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the 1967 borders, securing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and ensuring a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

[Original: French]

We have once again expressed our full solidarity with the Palestinian people. We reiterate our continued support for your able leadership, Sir, and our full solidarity on behalf of all Africans.


Peter Miller, President, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights,
on behalf of civil society organizations active on the question Palestine

[Original: English]

I am honoured to speak here today on this solemn commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I am but one voice among many in global civil society who are deeply concerned about the plight of Palestinians resulting from Israel’s policies of occupation, settlement, siege and denial of Palestinian rights. Many civil society activists around the world have dedicated their lives to seeking a just resolution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. Some have paid a huge price for their efforts. Why must civil society pay such a high price? It is because of the failure of the United Nations and Governments to implement international law.

As an American, I am deeply disturbed, as are many Americans, by the role that my Government plays in preventing Palestinians from achieving their aspirations and their human rights. The United States unconditionally gives Israel $3 billion every year in military aid and ignores Israel’s many systematic and continuing human rights violations. Those include the illegal use of military weapons against civilian populations, the ever-expanding Israeli settlements, the expansion of its separation wall on Palestinian lands, the treatment of its Palestinian citizens as second-class human beings and the denial of the rights of Palestinian refugees.

One of the challenges to the United Nations and the international community, if they truly are committed to upholding the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, is to confront the deeply negative role of the United States in perpetuating injustice and enabling Israel to continue to violate international law and destroy the possibility of realizing Palestinian aspirations.

The admission of Palestine into the United Nations agency UNESCO is a great victory for the United Nations and the voice of people around the world. In all, 107 countries, representing over 75 per cent of the world’s population, voted to include Palestine — a true expression of “We the peoples of the United Nations.” Unfortunately, the Obama Administration was eager to enforce archaic United States laws and cut off United States dues to UNESCO. Also unfortunate is the fact that the Obama and earlier United States Administrations have failed to uphold other United States laws that stipulate conditions on military aid to countries such as Israel that use weapons supplied by the United States against civilian populations.

The United Nations is challenged to uphold its Charter in the face of all the various anti-democratic pressures the United States brings to bear, whether it is by spying on United Nations officials, pressuring independent countries economically and politically or threatening the United Nations itself with economic sanctions. The United Nations must defend its founding principles despite those pressures, and the global community must be ready to increase economic and diplomatic support for the United Nations and UNESCO.

One of the great advancements of civilization has been the development of the concept of the rule of law — that human beings have universal rights and that there should be international institutions that work to safeguard those rights, especially in times of conflict and military occupation. The principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and other laws lay out that framework.

The challenge for the United Nations is not to develop new laws or to express new sentiments but to implement those existing universal principles and its existing resolutions to protect Palestinian human rights. The whole concept of universal rights and protection of civilians is endangered when powerful nations can pick and choose, in defiance of international bodies and global opinion, to whom the laws apply and for whom they are ignored. The law should be universal.

For Palestinians, the United Nations and other established institutions have failed to implement those universal principles and have been unable to hold the powerful accountable for their oppression of the weak. So it has become necessary for global civil society to step into the void. That is what is happening around the world, including in the United States, on behalf of human rights of Palestinians. That is why there is a growing movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions to bring non-violent pressure on the State of Israel to end its systematic violations.

The Russell Tribunal is yet another expression of global civil society responding to the failure of the United Nations and Governments to uphold the law. One of Bertrand Russell’s last accomplishments was the establishment, with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, of the Russell Tribunal to investigate the role of the United States in the war in Viet Nam. The Tribunal was established as a means for civil society to bring to light evidence of war crimes ignored by the United States Government and by other nations and international institutions. Russell declared, “May this Tribunal prevent the crime of silence.”

A new Russell Tribunal, on Palestine, has been convened, with three sessions to date, to examine Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The most recent session was held in November in South Africa, with judges including Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, emeritus Judge of the Supreme Court of Spain, José Antonio Martin Pallin, African-American poet Alice Walker and South African writer and activist Ronald Kasrils. They examined the question of whether Israel is engaged in the crime of apartheid. Israeli human rights activist Jeff Halper, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, said:
The Tribunal concluded that Israel does indeed engage in the crime of apartheid:
The Russell Tribunal is not the first time Israeli apartheid has been identified. In 1961, Hendrik Verwoerd, then Prime Minister of South Africa and considered the architect of the system of apartheid, stated, “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid State.” Both Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela have expressed concerns that Israel’s behaviour is similar to what they experienced under South African apartheid. Mandela remarked, “The United Nations took a strong stand against apartheid and, over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

In 2009, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa issued a report concluding that Israel practices both apartheid and colonialism. In 2010, Henry Siegman, former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, said, “Israel has crossed the threshold from the only democracy in the Middle East to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.” Now in 2011, we can add the conclusions of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
Palestinian rights must no longer be held hostage to the domestic politics of the United States. Israel should not escape United Nations censure simply because it refuses to cooperate with international institutions. International law demands condemnation of Israel’s violations and, crucially, decisive action to reverse them.

Palestinian dignity is assaulted on a daily basis. Both the Palestinian and Israeli people are diminished each passing day as the international diplomatic community allows the Israeli policies to continue. Every day, a tree is destroyed or a home is demolished. Every day, a Bedouin village inside Israel is ground down by bulldozers, or Palestinians in the West Bank are attacked by settler pogroms that turn their lives into lives of fear. Every day, critical medicines go lacking in Gaza, and Gazans are forced to drink brackish water unfit for human consumption.

The so-called Quartet has failed. But while many question whether the United Nations should have ever agreed to participate in such sham diplomacy, diplomats can still play a constructive role by moving quickly to implement the necessary preconditions for serious and honest negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians based on the enforcement of international law.

It is essential that Israel’s legitimate security concerns be separated from its illegitimate political agenda. The International Court of Justice ruling on the illegality of Israel’s wall made just this sort of distinction, determining that Israel may build its wall on Israeli land but cannot build its wall on Palestinian land, destroying Palestinian farms and homes and separating Palestinian villages and towns from each other.

It is illegal, not simply unhelpful, for Israel to build settlements on Palestinian lands. Israel violates international law when it imposes collective punishment on the people of Gaza.

United Nations-based solutions must be found to mitigate all of those issues. The international community must demand that Israel end its assaults on Gaza, which kill and injure civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in an endless cycle of repeated destruction of international development assistance by Israel’s United States-supplied bombs and missiles and Israel’s United States-supplied Caterpillar bulldozers. All that is lacking is the will of the diplomatic community to impose solutions rooted in international law.

One of the privileges of working within civil society for Palestinian justice is witnessing the coming together of people of many origins to work together for justice. In my own small group, we have Jewish Americans, Palestinian Americans, Christians, Muslims and secular people who recognize in each other our common humanity. That is replicated around the world.

We in global civil society seek to rise above narrow national and tribal self-interest and truly believe that peace is possible when our common humanity is recognized and justice is implemented. We honour the efforts of those Israelis who recognize that peace for Israel comes through justice for Palestinians. We honour the efforts of activists and United Nations workers from around the world, many of whom have risked their comfort and sometimes their lives in the name of justice. Though there are wide ranges of opinion about what the various solutions may be, we are united in the recognition of our common humanity and in our dreams of living together, as equals, on this small blue planet.


Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations


[Original: English]

We are grateful to you, Mr. Chair, and to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for organizing this commemoration. We are also grateful to the Division for Palestinian Rights at the United Nations for collaborating in making this commemoration a reality. We are very grateful to everyone present, representing Governments and representing civil society. We are also very grateful to the leaders in all corners of the globe who have expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people. The messages and letters, whether read to us in this meeting or received by the Chair of the Committee, make us very grateful for the very strong message of support from the peoples and leaders of the world on this very important day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Through the collective effort of all here today, together with the struggle of our people, the Palestinian people, we were able to create the moment that led to our President submitting our application to join the community of nations as a Member of the United Nations on 23 September. We are grateful for that collective effort.

Through the collective effort of all here today, together with the struggle of our Palestinian people, we were successful in acquiring admission to UNESCO — an historic development in which, for the first time in the history of the Palestinian people and the question of Palestine, the State of Palestine was recognized by a major United Nations agency as a member, thereby opening the door for us, the Palestinian State, not to be an issue under debate but to be a reality, to exist. We exist as a nation, we exist as a people and we exist as a State. UNESCO accepted us as such. We understand that according to international law, we are therefore an accepted reality as a State in the United Nations system. We are grateful for that.

With the collective effort of all here today, together with the struggle of the Palestinian people, we will succeed — and hopefully soon — in ending the Israeli occupation of our Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem. We will succeed in achieving independence and full membership in the United Nations. We hope that next year around this time our commemoration will be of a different nature — not only expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people, but perhaps celebrating the victory of the Palestinian people in ending occupation and becoming a full Member of the United Nations. Maybe all of us, with thousands of others, will be lined up in front of this building to raise the flag of Palestine at the United Nations.

Once more, I wish to thank you, Sir, on behalf of the Palestinian people and their leadership. We will never forget the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights and all of our friends who are helping us to attain the objectives of the Palestinian people.



Closing remarks by Abdou Salam Diallo, Chair of the Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
[Original: French]

Before adjourning this special meeting, I wish to thank everyone who has made this meeting possible, in particular the staff members of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, the Department of Public Information, the Office of Central Support Services and everyone who works behind the scenes.

Immediately following the adjournment of this meeting, in this conference room, we will be showing the film entitled “La terre parle arabe” which is about the history of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. As a small token of our solidarity, I would like to invite all of you to stay on and view this film.

I would also like to invite you this evening to the opening of an exhibit entitled “A Palestinian Vista - Uprooted from our homeland… We rooted the homeland in ourselves,” which will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the North East Gallery of the Public Lobby of the General Assembly Building to be followed by a musical performance by Simon Shaheen and a reception, to which you are all invited. I am looking forward to seeing all of you there.



III. MESSAGES RECEIVED ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL
DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


A. Messages from Heads of State or Government

Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan

[Original: Farsi]

[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to express, on behalf of the Government and people of Afghanistan, our support for the rights of the Palestinian people, in particular, the right to self-determination and the right to an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.


Cristina Fernández, President of Argentina

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the pleasure to convey, on behalf of the Argentine people and my own personal behalf, our commitment to this most important commemoration and to reiterate our view that the negotiation process must continue in order to achieve a peaceful, just, definitive and comprehensive solution to the Middle East conflict that provides for an independent and viable Palestinian State and respects Israel’s right to exist in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.

As I noted in my recent statement during the general debate of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, we hope that the State of Palestine will be made a full Member of the United Nations during the current session. I am convinced that in so doing, we will help to achieve not only a safer world, but also a fairer world.


King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa of Bahrain

[Original: Arabic]

I have the honour to convey to you and your distinguished Committee our deep gratitude and appreciation for your persistent efforts to support the Palestinian cause in international forums.

Today’s expression of solidarity shows that the international community is determined to continue supporting the just and noble struggle of the Palestinian people to end the tyrannical Israeli occupation of its land and achieve freedom, independence, the exercise of its legitimate right to self-determination, and the establishment of an independent State on its national territory with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

The Kingdom of Bahrain remains concerned at the suffering of the Palestinian people, which has continued to grow as the aggression and occupation by the Israeli authorities escalate. Of particular concern is the continuing expansion of illegal settlements at the heart of Palestinian towns and villages, alongside the demolition and seizure of Palestinian land, homes and property. Because the Israeli authorities have maintained the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people has deteriorated to its lowest level yet. That situation has directly contributed to the suspension of peace negotiations and the growing frustration, tension and instability in the region.

By granting full membership to the State of Palestine, UNESCO has taken a positive step towards enabling Palestine to gain membership of the other United Nations agencies. The Kingdom of Bahrain stresses its absolute support for the application of the State of Palestine for full membership in the United Nations. Its position is consistent with that of most States around the world, which have officially recognized the independent State of Palestine on the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. It is based on resolutions of international legitimacy, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, the road map, and the two-State solution as enshrined in the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 181 (II), which calls for the establishment of two States in Palestine, and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002). Granting the State of Palestine full membership in the United Nations would not in any sense mean closing the door to continued Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. Instead, the effect would be to strengthen the efforts currently under way to resume peace negotiations in the near future.

In conclusion, we call upon the international community to take a stand with the Palestinian people and to redouble political, moral and financial efforts to alleviate the deteriorating humanitarian situation, which stems from the Israeli aggression and the increasing annexation and Judaization of Palestinian land for the benefit of settlements and settlers. We hope that the Committee will receive the support that it needs in order to fulfil its mandate under the relevant General Assembly resolutions, particularly by raising awareness of developments in the Palestinian issue; monitoring the practices of the Occupation; supporting the just struggle of the Palestinian people for full freedom and independence; and enabling it to build national development institutions and live a life of dignity in its own independent nation like the other peoples of the world.


Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil

[Original: English]

On the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government of Brazil reiterates its full support to the struggle of the Palestinian people to fulfil their legitimate aspiration to self-determination.

Brazil remains fully committed to the creation of a free, democratic and economically viable Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel, along the borders of June 1967.

We support the resumption of negotiations to end the conflict and to reach a two-State solution, based on United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the road map and all previous agreements. The outcome of negotiations should take into account the need for the full exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

In December 2010, Brazil recognized the Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. In so doing, Brazil reiterated its understanding that only dialogue and peaceful coexistence with neighbors can truly advance the Palestinian cause.
In order to create the conditions for the peace process to be resumed and yield satisfactory results, Israel must suspend all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settlements are illegal under international law, as they violate Security Council resolutions and Israel’s obligations under the road map. They became one of the major obstacles to peace.

Palestinian reconciliation is also indispensable. We hope concrete progress will be made soon, on the basis of the agreement reached in Cairo last May.

Brazil welcomes the exchange of prisoners of last October and we hope this action can improve the unsustainable humanitarian situation in Gaza. We took note with appreciation of the Israeli measures to authorize some reconstruction projects, including those financed by the IBSA countries (Brazil, India and South Africa). Much more is needed, however.

As I declared before the General Assembly last September, it is time for Palestine to be fully represented at the United Nations. Only a free and sovereign Palestine will be able to heed Israel’s legitimate desires for peace with its neighbours, security in its borders and political stability in its region.

International recognition of the Palestinian State and its admission to the United Nations will help reduce the asymmetry that presently characterizes relations between the parties and that renders it more difficult to make steps towards sustainable peace.

Brazil also believes that the Palestinian aspiration for statehood is not an abstraction: it is the cornerstone of democracy, dignity, freedom and human rights for the Palestinian people.

Brazil has always been ready to help the parties to strengthen dialogue and build confidence to achieve a fair and durable peace. We will continue to pay close attention to the region and be available to assist the parties, if they so wish. We believe that countries from outside the region, with good relations with both parties and a longstanding commitment to multilateralism, diplomacy and peace can play a supportive role in relaunching the peace process and can contribute to a political environment conducive to an agreement. The inclusion of these countries in the peace process can help revitalize it in a significant and positive way.

We also believe that the United Nations should be more closely involved in monitoring and supporting the peace process. The Security Council must assume fully its primary responsibility for the maintenance of the peace and the security regarding the Palestinian issue. This requires, for example, that the Quartet report to the Security Council as often as necessary.

The wave of change that has swept the Middle East and North Africa lends an even greater sense of urgency to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a State of their own. In this context, Brazil will continue to actively support all efforts to bring a just and lasting peace to Palestine, through the realization of its inalienable right to self-determination.


Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei Darussalam

[Original: English]

On this special day, I wish to send my warmest greetings and very best wishes to the Palestinian people.

The Government and People of Brunei Darussalam join me, once again, in expressing our solidarity with them in their struggle to gain peace, security and justice. We also reiterate our unwavering support for their cause.

We welcome the ongoing efforts by the Middle East Quartet to bring all parties together in dialogue and negotiations and we hope for a peaceful resolution of the tensions in the region.

I would further like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Its tireless work in assisting vulnerable Palestinian people for many years is deeply valued.

My gratitude also goes to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its continued efforts to bring about a peaceful solution and to ensure that the international community remains focused on Palestine, especially on vulnerable groups such as women and children.

We congratulate the Palestinians on being recognized as the 195th member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is the beginning of a new hope for a greater voice in the international community. We also express the hope that Palestine will soon become a full member of the United Nations.




Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso

[Original: French]

Commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides Burkina Faso with an opportunity to pay tribute to the Palestinian people for its just struggle to regain its inalienable rights.

This year’s observances are taking place against the backdrop of Palestine’s admission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This courageous decision, taken at the thirty-sixth session of the UNESCO General Conference, will henceforth enable Palestine to participate fully in the activity of that organization and to continue its struggle to find its place in the community of nations.

Burkina Faso supports the efforts made to resume peace negotiations on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. It therefore condemns the violence committed against Palestinians, urges respect for their fundamental rights and supports the initiatives under way to re-establish dialogue among all actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The international community as a whole is faced with the challenge of resolving this long and complex crisis. A definitive settlement should be implemented on the basis of a peaceful approach, through effective mechanisms and innovative strategies.
Under your leadership, Mr. Chair, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is working to improve the security, socio-economic and humanitarian situation and respect for the dignity of the Palestinian people.


Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of China

[Original: Chinese]
[Unofficial translation]


On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Government of China, my warmest congratulations to the special meeting.

The Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East issue. The Government of China has all along firmly supported the Palestinian people’s just cause of restoring their lawful national rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with full sovereignty based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, through peace talks. The Middle East peace process is at a crossroads. Palestine has submitted the issue of its statehood to the United Nations, for which the Government of China expresses its understanding, respect and support. We hope that Palestine and Israel will stay on the track of peace talks and resume the talks at an early date, in keeping with the broader interests of regional peace and stability and the well-being of their people. We hope that the two sides will solve the issue through political and diplomatic means on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of “land for peace”, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Roadmap for peace towards the eventual realization of establishing an independent Palestinian State and the two States of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace.

To reach a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue at an early date is the expectation shared by people of Middle East countries and the international community. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China will, as always, support the United Nations in playing a vital role in the Middle East issue. China, along with the international community, will continue to work tirelessly for a just solution to the Palestinian issue and for peace, stability and development in the Middle East.



Kim Yong Nam, President of the Presidium of the Supreme
People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea

[Original: Korean]
[Unofficial translation]

I extend warm militant greetings to you and to the friendly people of Palestine on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm our invariable support to and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just cause to regain their rights to self-determination and to return home, as well as their legitimate national rights to found an independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

I also wish you greater successes in your responsible work.



Alpha Condé, President of Guinea

[Original: French]

This commemoration comes at a time when the international community is focusing its attention on the issue of Palestine more than ever, especially in the wake of the decision of the Palestinian authorities to establish an independent State.

I wish therefore, on behalf of the people and Government of Guinea, to stress again our solidarity with the historic struggle of the fraternal people of Palestine for the exercise of its inalienable rights, which include the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State enjoying all the prerogatives recognized under international law, as stated in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly and in the statements on Palestine adopted by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

I appeal urgently to the parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to step up their efforts to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the dispute.

In closing, I congratulate the Committee for its clear-sightedness and its commitment to the achievement of all the rights of the Palestinian people.





Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I reaffirm India’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders side by side and at peace with Israel as endorsed in the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet road map and relevant Security Council resolutions.

India’s relations with Palestine are historic and firmly rooted in its national ethos. India’s solidarity with the Palestinian people was inspired by its own freedom struggle. The support for the Palestinian cause has been a cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. We look forward to welcoming Palestine as an equal member of the United Nations.

Since the opening of its Representative Office in Palestine in 1996, India has extended material assistance to the Palestinian National Authority. The assistance has been for humanitarian relief, development projects, the establishment of educational and training facilities and budgetary support. On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), India increased its annual contribution to $ 1 million.
We remain hopeful that the talks and negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis will resume, leading to a comprehensive peace process for the final resolution of the Middle East conflict. It is in the interest of the international community that a lasting solution be found at the earliest.

On this important day, I send best wishes and greetings to the friendly people of Palestine on behalf of the people of India.



Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia

[Original: Indonesian]
[Unofficial translation]

On behalf of the people and the Government of Indonesia, it is my privilege to take this opportunity to express the warmest solidarity of Indonesia to all of our Palestinian brothers and sisters on this occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Unlike in previous years, the event this year holds special significance. On 23 September 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application for the admission of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.

Always standing firm with the Palestinian people, Indonesia is pleased to strongly support their aspirations to join the comity of nations.

Today, Indonesia is proud to reiterate its solidarity with the Palestinians and their dream of an independent Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

As we all know, the Palestinians have dreamt of this kind of day for over 60 years, through war and peace and every imaginable kind of hurdle. Now, it is time for their hopes to come true.

I take this opportunity to restate the clear unity and support of every Indonesian to the Palestinian people in their quest for the realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to an independent and sovereign State, living side by side with Israel.

We call upon Israel not to stand against the tide of history. Instead, Israel must negotiate fairly and directly with Palestinians in the interest of peace.

On this historic occasion, I call upon members of the international community that have yet to recognize the State of Palestine to do so without delay. Let us all work together to do what is right for the future.

I encourage all Palestinians to close ranks and work diligently towards building a strong and united nation. Indonesia remains behind you and will continue to work to protect and advance your best interests.



Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

[Original: Farsi]
[Unofficial translation]

For many years, the freedom-loving and justice-seeking nations of the world have been showing their solidarity with the Palestinian People. This has been an ever-growing call, echoing everywhere, and making the illegitimate occupying Zionist regime shudder more than ever. The sound of the collapse of the Regime’s shaky foundation can clearly be heard now.

The oppressed Palestinian nation, including Muslims, Christians and Jews, has always demanded the restoration of its perished rights. Unfortunately, the so-called claimants of freedom and democracy have tried to deprive the Palestinian nation of its legitimate rights by providing unlimited, immoral and inhuman support for the Zionist regime while ignoring all international norms. In fact, not only the usurping Zionist regime but also the supporters of the regime, too, ought to become accountable before the consciousness of humanity and on the Day of Judgement for oppressing the defenseless people of Palestine and making them homeless for decades.

The ongoing trend in global developments promises the ultimate defeat of the “Axis of cruelty and arrogance” and their collaborators by the “Front of the justice-seekers and the bright-minded”, informing us of the realization of the Almighty’s promise that “Truth has come and falsehood has been banished; it is doomed to banishment.” and also “We have decided to grant a favour to the Suppressed by appointing them leaders and heirs of the land.” (Holy Quran)

It is quite evident that the increased pressure from the arrogant, the criminal-minded and the violator of human rights on the freedom-lover and justice-seeker, is a result of their degradation, helplessness, obvious failure and their soon-to-come decadence. Therefore, all should be conscious that in the current situation, any feeling of weakness or disappointment will only defer the dismantling of the oppressor’s hegemony.

In line with the realization of its sublime, divine and humane aims and in order to gain its noble ideals, the great nation of Iran has given priority to defending oppressed nations in its regional and international measures and policies. The Iranian nation will continue to support the oppressed people of Palestine until the full liberation of the Palestinian land and Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

Undoubtedly, the rule of dignity, justice and love through the leadership of the Perfect Human, the true Saviour and holder of love for mankind is awaiting us.



King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan

[Original: Arabic]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we have the honour to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to you and your distinguished Committee for your sustained efforts in defence of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and, in particular, the rights to self-determination and to establish an independent State on its national territory.

Over the decades, your Committee has succeeded in keeping the question of Palestine in view on the international stage as the core of the conflict in the Middle East region. It has sought to focus the gaze of the world on the suffering of the struggling Palestinian people and on the difficult economic and social conditions to which it has been subjected by the continuing unjust Israeli occupation.

In view of the harsh living conditions facing the Palestinian people, the international community should take a just position in support of its right to self determination, and back that position with immediate and earnest action. Your Committee has proved its considerable ability to communicate and to harness United Nations efforts in support of the Palestinian people and its rights, notably in order to condemn Israel’s settlement policies, its excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and its continuing attempts — particularly in East Jerusalem — to Judaize Palestinian areas and remove the Muslim and Christian Arab inhabitants.

The Arab States speak with a single voice in favour of a just and comprehensive peace based on a two-State solution, including the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. That outcome alone can bring an end to decades of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It requires all parties to form a genuine partnership for peace and prosperity in order to encourage Palestinians and Israelis to revive negotiations and conclude a final settlement on all final status issues.

The region is undergoing unprecedented changes. It sorely needs a historic breakthrough towards a just and comprehensive peace, which would offer protection to the region and its people. The alternative road is dark and unfathomable. Failure would endanger international peace and security, bringing the region into unknown territory on the brink of the abyss.

The Arab Spring that is currently under way should not distract us from the fundamental issue in the region, namely the question of Palestine, which requires a just, permanent and honourable solution. Like the other Arab peoples, the Palestinian people have a right to express its hopes in a spring of its own. That can happen only if all parties can summon the international will, courage and commitment. We aspire to that outcome for the sake of future generations.

In conclusion, we congratulate you on your noble endeavours and trust that you will continue to mobilize international support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and for the realization of peace in the Middle East.



Choummaly Sayasone, President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic pays tribute to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and reiterates its longstanding solidarity and unwavering support with the heroic people of Palestine for their just and legitimate cause to recover their fundamental rights and establish an independent and sovereign State on Palestinian soil.

This year’s commemoration takes place at a time when the international community must, more than ever, contribute to materialize the Palestinians’ inalienable rights, including the rights of return and self-determination, as well as their earnest aspirations to freedom, prosperity, peace and justice in the independent sovereign State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The observance is of special political significance, since on 23 September 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas has submitted the State of Palestine’s application for full membership in the United Nations. This historic decision is further evidence that the Palestinian Authority has already established the necessary institutional foundation for international recognition of Palestinian statehood and is capable of managing State affairs, as recognized by the Quartet and other relevant international organizations.

As we commend the continued Palestinian State-building efforts, we are concerned, however, over Israel’s continuous settlement activity and destruction of properties, homes and economic institutions in the occupied land. This has hampered the already critical socioeconomic situation that the Palestinian population faces. The recent plans for construction of new housing units in East Jerusalem are deplorable and illegal under international law. Such provocative acts constitute an obstacle to peace and have put the two-State solution in jeopardy.

We therefore have echoed the international community’s unanimous condemnation of all such measures and actions and called upon Israel to completely stop the illegal construction and expansion of settlements and to abrogate all policies and practices that contravene international law and basic human rights standards. That is currently the only way that will promote a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions and the Quartet road map which envisage a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace with the State of Israel, within secure and internationally recognized borders.

On this solemn occasion, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic reaffirms once again its unreserved support to the Palestinian people in attaining their long-delayed goal of a viable, peaceful and prosperous State of Palestine that is a full-fledged Member of the United Nations. We wish the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People every success in its noble endeavour.



Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

[Original: English]

On behalf of the Government and people of Malaysia, I wish to express my sincere greetings to His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine, and the people of Palestine, on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

For more than half a century, the world community has been searching in vain for a just and lasting solution to the Question of Palestine in the United Nations. Since 1948, there have been wars and destruction, forcing millions of Palestinian people into exile. To this very date, the United Nations is still grappling with this task of bringing closure to the prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people.

Israel continues to impinge on the fundamental rights of the people of Palestine with its inhumane policies and practices that are in clear violation of international law and human rights. It is most disturbing that Israel can do so with impunity, in blatant disregard of the views and sentiments of the people worldwide. Hence, it is imperative for the international community to compel Israel to immediately end its wrongdoings.

In the search for lasting peace, Malaysia joins other like-minded Member States of the United Nations in supporting the Palestinian people in their inherent and inalienable right to self-determination. Malaysia has never wavered in our support for Palestine to be given its rightful place among the community of nations.

I wish to pay tribute to all Palestinians in their struggle to live in freedom and dignity. Malaysia will continue to unstintingly support the Palestinian cause and to work with the international community to bring justice for Palestine.



Mohamed Nasheed, President of Maldives

[Original: English]

On this solemn occasion, on behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Maldives, I reiterate the steadfast solidarity of the Maldives with the Palestinian people and our unwavering commitment to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Let me take this opportunity to applaud the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, for their contribution to the advancement of the just cause of the Palestinian people. We pledge our continued support to the Committee and the Division, which are as relevant today as they were when they were created.

The Maldives will spare no efforts in supporting the Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations, and we firmly believe that although not an end in itself, this would be a good beginning for the full realization of the Palestinian Peoples rights.

Palestinians continue to live under occupation and their rights continue to be violated on a daily basis with no hope of remedy or redress. The Maldives believes that only the immediate declaration and recognition of Palestinian statehood will break the cycle of intolerance and indignity faced by the Palestinian people. There can be no Palestinian rights without a Palestinian State.

Once that State is fully recognized, it will allow the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table as equals. The Maldives continues to believe a negotiated two-State solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute remains the best and only solution to realize a just and lasting peace for the people of the region. In this regard, the Maldives reiterates its earlier calls on Israel to immediately freeze all illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories. We believe that without such steps, the peace process cannot be revitalized.

The continued violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and the flagrant disregard by Israel for various Security Council resolutions in defiance of international opinion pose a serious threat to international peace and security.

In conclusion, I call upon the international community to step up its efforts in reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the problems of the Middle East, restoring peace in the region, and allowing the Palestinian people to enjoy peace, stability and prosperity in their own sovereign State.



Amadou Toumani Touré, President of Mali

[Original: French]

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to reaffirm to you the constant and unwavering support of the people and Government of Mali for the just and noble cause of the Palestinian people.

It is my sincere wish that the implementation of the resolutions on Palestine will culminate in the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State.



Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish, on behalf of the Government and people of Mauritius and in my own name, to reaffirm our enduring solidarity with the people of Palestine and our unwavering support to their legitimate aspirations for freedom, justice and equality.

Mauritius deplores that the Palestinian people continue to be denied their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination.

Mauritius salutes your act of statesmanship and political resolve in withstanding pressure and submitting, in the course of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, an application for the admission of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations.

As I indicated at that session, Mauritius fully supports your bold initiative and I urged all UN Member States to favourably consider the application, as we are convinced that full membership status will correct an injustice that has lasted for far too long.

In this regard, we are pleased that an overwhelming majority of UNESCO Member States, including Mauritius, voted in favour of full membership status for Palestine. We congratulate the Government and people of Palestine on this historic achievement and hope that this will pave the way for similar status in the UN.

Meanwhile, Mauritius continues to call for the speedy implementation of all UN resolutions on the question of Palestine as well as of previous accords and the provisions of the Quartet Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. This is a sine qua non condition for a comprehensive, lasting and just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We support the establishment of a sovereign, independent and united State of Palestine, existing side by side with the State of Israel, within secure and recognized borders.

On this historic day, we pray for the well-being of the Palestinian people and earnestly hope that your aspirations will soon be realized.



King Mohammed VI of Morocco

[Original: Arabic]
[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, I should like to say how much I appreciate your indefatigable efforts and those of the esteemed Committee members to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to establish an independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Your Committee’s untiring action is indeed commendable. It has contributed, in no small measure, to putting the Palestinian issue under the spotlight around the world. It has drawn the attention of international public opinion to the heartrending economic and social conditions faced by our Palestinian brothers because of the continuing injustice suffered on a daily basis as a result of the Israeli occupation - a situation which is incompatible with basic human values and the principles of justice and human rights.

Given the difficult circumstances, the worsening humanitarian situation, the utter poverty and the growing frustration facing the Palestinian people, the international community - its official as well as its community-based organizations - are called upon to step up efforts to end the aggression and the occupation, and to lift the unjust blockade in order to put an end to the suffering, which has already caused many innocent victims among children, women and the elderly.

The King, the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Morocco will continue to make every possible effort to alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers. We will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and use our diplomatic service and various international forums to sensitize the international community across the world about the tragedy endured by the Palestinian people which requires genuine commitment and firm stances to uphold international legitimacy. The international community is now facing a real test in the Middle East - a region where a number of hotbeds of tension threaten not only the stability and security of the Middle East, but also international peace and security, against the backdrop of Israel’s continuing refusal to end this bitter conflict.

Given the current circumstances, we call upon the international community to fulfil its responsibilities so as to achieve the desired peace and security and ensure the success of international efforts aimed at bringing about a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. It should compel Israel to stop its practices and to comply with the resolutions of international legitimacy and with the Arab Peace Initiative, which approved the principle of normal relations with Israel in return for full withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.

As Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, I spare no effort to ensure that the legal status of Al-Quds al-Sharif is preserved and its religious symbols and cultural heritage safeguarded, seeking, to this end, to confront Israel’s attempts to undermine the character and cultural features of the holy city. At the same time, I keep in close touch with international stakeholders in order to put an end to illegal Israeli practices in Al-Quds al-Sharif and the Palestinian territories.

I call upon all peace-loving people to step up their efforts in order to compel Israel to stop its aggressive policies and abandon settlement projects which, as everyone agrees, constitute the most serious hurdle to the start of serious, constructive negotiations.
Moreover, I must insist on the need to cancel the Israeli Government’s unjust decision not to transfer tax and customs revenues to the Palestinian National Authority, in blatant violation of the agreements signed by the two sides.

I should like to take this opportunity to commend the Palestinian reconciliation. Not only is it necessary for reconstruction efforts, but it also strengthens the Palestinian negotiating position in the peace process. I also want to express my full support to the Palestinian National Authority under the leadership of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas and to praise the efforts he is making for the State of Palestine to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations Organization. I would like to stress, once again, that the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East hinges on upholding the right of all peoples in the region to freedom, stability and prosperity, and on establishing an independent, viable Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

I should like, once again, to express my sincere appreciation for your commendable efforts to defend the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to achieve peace and security in the Middle East.



Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia

[Original: English]

On behalf of the Government and people of Namibia, I would like to express our appreciation to Your Excellency, and through you to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for organizing the commemorative International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The people of Palestine have for too long lived in hardship conditions under the Israeli occupation. We, in Namibia, have followed with great concern the inhospitable political and security situation in Palestine. In this connection, I wish to reaffirm Namibia’s long-standing and unwavering support and solidarity with the people of Palestine. In the same vein, Namibia further wishes to reiterate its support for Palestine’s application for full membership in the United Nations. We encourage the people of Palestine to continue demanding the full exercise of their inalienable rights to self-determination and the creation of their independent and sovereign State.

As we express our unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine, we appeal to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to continue putting the plight of the people of Palestine high on the agenda of the international community until the ultimate objective of the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine is achieved.



Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan

[Original: English]

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Pakistan reiterates its support to the people of Palestine in their just struggle for the right of self-determination. We also share the concerns of the international community about the continued sufferings of millions of Palestinian people, who have been dispossessed of their homeland for over 60 years and continue to face hardships of the Occupation.

Pakistan has a natural and historical affiliation with the cause of Palestine, which is reflected in Pakistan’s active participation in all the initiatives taken for a just and lasting resolution of the problem. Pakistan has a deep commitment to a just, peaceful and lasting settlement of the issue. The framework for such a solution already exists in the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Pakistan strongly commends the impressive march of the Palestinian people on the road to statehood. Important achievements in areas of economic management, security and governance have established a solid edifice for the State of Palestine. We support the recognition of the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Government and people of Pakistan reiterate their commitment to support Palestinian brethren in their just struggle for self-determination and to have a State of their own with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.



Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar

[Original: Arabic]

I should like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the United Nations for revitalizing the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The State of Qatar supports the Palestinian people in its legitimate struggle for an end to the Israeli occupation of its territories and the realization of a just, comprehensive and permanent settlement of the Palestinian question on the basis of all relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map.

This year’s International Day of Solidarity comes in the wake of numerous developments in the Palestine issue. Palestine has requested accession to the United Nations as a full member, an application that we fully support. The General Conference of UNESCO has recently granted full membership to Palestine. We welcomed that important step, which is an incentive towards realizing the full rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of its independent State. I commend the States, organizations and entities that have extended solidarity and support to the Palestinian people as it strives to gain its rights. Such support bolsters efforts to achieve recognition of Palestine as a sovereign State, end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, which has continued since 1967, and create conditions in the Middle East conducive to regional and international peace.

Israel has continued to unjustly imprison Palestinian citizens in Gaza and the West Bank; to commit acts of aggression; to illegally restrict movement; and to violate human rights, including those of women and children. In so doing, it jeopardizes efforts to ease the tension and resume negotiations, delaying and hampering a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue and endangering international peace and security. The blockade on the Gaza Strip has a strong negative effect on the economic, social and health situation of Palestinian citizens, especially children and older persons. The continued home demolitions and settlement construction on Palestinian territory violate international conventions, treaties and standards and contravene the rights of the Palestinian people, increasing their suffering and hindering bilateral peace negotiations.

As the humanitarian and economic plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank worsens and its suffering grows ever more acute, I call on the international community to fulfil its responsibility by protecting the rights of the Palestinian people, taking the necessary steps to end Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land; lay the bases for resumed peace negotiations and for a just and permanent settlement to the Palestinian issue; and support the establishment of an independent Palestinian State alongside Israel. I call on Israel to immediately desist from its hostile and provocative policies; end the demolition of Palestinian homes; end the construction of settlements on Palestinian land; respect the human rights of the Palestinian people; lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip; grant access to goods, construction materials and aid; and open up roads, removing unlawful checkpoints in the West Bank.

We should like to stress the importance of the United Nations and its agencies in finding a just solution to the Palestinian issue. We welcome contributions and initiatives intended to end the suffering of the Palestinian people; ensure the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine; bring peace to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, as well as the other peoples of the region; and end the Israeli occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territories. Qatar stresses its support for the Palestinian people as it struggles to secure its rights and build its independent State. A just and comprehensive peace in the region must be a top priority for the international community; its absence endangers not only the region but the world as a whole.



Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation

[Original: Russian]
[Unofficial translation]

Please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

I reconfirm the unchanged principled position of Russia towards the fastest realization of legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and viable State. I am confident that Palestine’s obtainment of national sovereignty based on international recognition will assist the achievement of a just and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.

Within international efforts and in close interaction with you we are prepared to further facilitate the resumption of the Palestine-Israeli peace process, the securing of intra-Palestinian concord and the cessation of all forms of violence.

We intend to continue applying every effort to establish lasting peace and security in the Middle East. We will further provide support to the Palestinian National Authority in the establishment of state institutions and in solving existing socioeconomic issues. I hope that our joint efforts provide continuous development of mutually beneficial ties and bilateral dialogue.

I wish you, dear Mr. Abbas, further success in your activity, and the friendly people of Palestine a future of peace, happiness and prosperity in their native land.



Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal

[Original: French]

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should like once again to express my active support and that of our Committee for the Palestinian people and its leaders.

This year, our ceremony is taking place against the special backdrop of Palestine’s application for admission as a State Member of the United Nations.

In my statement at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly this past 21 September, I referred to my strong support for this legitimate request, thereby reaffirming Senegal’s unwavering position in support of the recognition of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting peacefully with the State of Israel, each within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.

In this same spirit, Senegal welcomes and expresses its satisfaction at the admission of Palestine as a State member of UNESCO.

I am also pleased at the release last October of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the soldier Gilad Shalit.

This encouraging event clearly indicates that through goodwill and negotiation, satisfactory outcomes can always be found for seemingly difficult problems.

For this reason I call once again upon the Israeli Government to remove the obstacles to the resumption of peace negotiations by ceasing settlement and other illegal activities intended to change the historical, demographic and cultural characteristics of the occupied territories, including the multi-faith heritage of the holy city of Jerusalem.

There is no avoiding the fact that continuing construction of settlements fuels feelings of injustice and resentment while also reinforcing extremism across the spectrum. Not only does it raise a legal question owing to its illegality under the relevant United Nations resolutions, but it also runs counter to good sense. To continue the development of settlements when the problem of land is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to exclude a vital element from the peace negotiations while jeopardizing the territorial viability of the future Palestinian State.

I therefore urge the Quartet to assume its full responsibilities as the facilitator of peace negotiations to achieve a peaceful, just and definitive solution to the conflict in the best interests of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

While with this solemn ceremony we express our solidarity with the Palestinian people, it should be understood by all that this noble cause is only one aspect of our Committee’s work. For, in the final analysis, supporting the establishment of a Palestinian State coexisting peacefully with the State of Israel undoubtedly contributes to remedying a historic injustice.

But it also is a form of participation in the efforts of the international community to rid itself of an evil inherited from the twentieth century that it has dragged like a ball and chain for over 60 years.
It is finally and above all a way of helping this war-torn region to free itself from fear and violence in all their forms in order to build a destiny of peace and prosperity more consistent with its status as the holy land for the three revealed religions.

We cannot abandon these ideals that are so essential to the preservation of international peace and security.

I count on the renewed commitment of all the members of our Committee in order to achieve our common goals.



Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa

[Original: English]

On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I extend warm greetings to all Palestinians and to the Palestinian leadership on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On this day, the international community, including South Africa, reaffirms its commitment to the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation and self-determination. On this day, therefore, our attention is focused on the great importance of making progress, not only with negotiations towards the conclusion of the Middle East peace process, but also on the recognition of Palestine as a State and member of the international community of nations.

The international community and Palestinian leadership have been seized over the past year with various endeavours to move towards a return to negotiations between Palestine and Israel, in the midst of the Middle East region experiencing an unprecedented and significant paradigm shift. To our great disappointment, the efforts of the Middle East Quartet and others have failed to produce positive results or to move closer to an agreed negotiated settlement on the Palestine question. It is with much concern that South Africa notes the continued and deliberate Israeli settlement expansion, effectively changing facts on the ground, despite pleas from the international community to freeze such activity in order to give further negotiations a chance.

The South African Government accordingly once again calls on Israel to review its position on settlement expansion, including in East Jerusalem, and to realize that the only way to achieve peace is through creating an environment for a two-State solution, where Israel will be able to exist side by side in peace with a viable and fully independent Palestinian State within internationally recognized borders, based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Failure to commit to negotiations, despite their inherent difficulties, and accept the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and human dignity can only continue to result in a situation of increased violence, counter-violence and reprisals that lead to ongoing human deprivation. For this reason, South Africa continues to stand steadfast in support of the rights of the Palestinian people to live in a State of their own. Our Government has consistently supported the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with the will of the international community, and following its own liberation in 1994, recognized Palestine as a State in 1995. Together with the members of the African Union and the Non-Aligned Movement, South Africa fully supports — and calls on the entire international community to support — the Palestinian bid for statehood and membership in the United Nations community. As we all enjoy this basic of human rights — the right to self-determination — it is unthinkable that we should sit in judgement and deny the people of Palestine the same right. In recalling South Africa’s own road to liberation, we understand deeply what it means to negotiate with adversaries and overcome seemingly insurmountable differences in order to live in peace with each other in pursuit of a better life for our people. For this reason, we feel a profound sense of solidarity with the Palestinian people in their pursuit of statehood.

Achieving statehood and continued peace negotiations are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, it would be unfair to make the former dependent on the latter, when all negotiating parties have not always engaged in negotiations in good faith and equal determination to reach a positive settlement for all. In fact they go hand-in-hand, as statehood would render Palestine an equal partner in negotiations.

The Government of South Africa has noted with great interest the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas that was signed on 27 April 2011 in Cairo. This date is symbolically pertinent to South Africa as its own Freedom Day is commemorated on the same day. We are convinced that in order to reach any settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all sides must be included in any lasting solution. Strengthened unity from within Palestine must lead to a common vision of peace and prosperity for all Palestinian people.

In 2011, South Africa took up its seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for an historic second round. For this privilege, South Africa appreciates the confidence shown by Africa and the international community in voting again for South Africa to serve on the Council during 2011/2012. We assure the people of Palestine that South Africa will remain committed to working towards a peaceful solution to Palestine’s right to self-determination and statehood during its remaining time on the Council.

The South African Government will continue to pay close attention to the situation in the Middle East and will spare no effort to assist both Palestinians and Israelis to achieve the peace that both peoples aspire to. We therefore reaffirm our support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is in line with international resolutions and initiatives.

South Africa remains ready to assist international efforts to achieve this objective.




Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka

[Original: English]

On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my Government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to Statehood.

Peace ensures security and that fundamental factor underscores the urgency of resolving the Middle East conflict. This long-standing unresolved conflict is a challenge to the values and aspirations of humanity. Having personally associated myself with the cause of Palestine for nearly 40 years, I reiterate that the Palestinians have been denied their basic human rights for far too long and renew the consistent call of my Government for the realization of a two-State solution.

This year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a fundamentally changed time with noteworthy developments. The Palestinian Authority leadership has submitted an application for admission of the State of Palestine to full membership in the United Nations. Palestine has been successfully completing its state-building programme, which has been widely endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations and others, as well as by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Assistance to the Palestinians in Brussels in June and in New York in September. There is emerging internal reconciliation between the relevant local political stakeholders.

Therefore, now is the time for collective resolve and action to usher in an independent and viable Palestine State that coexists with the State of Israel within secure borders, in peace and security. As I said in my address to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session, it is a matter of profound disappointment that this has not yet happened. We have a window of opportunity now and must make best use of it before it is too late. It is time for decisive action rather than more protracted discussion. This will be in the interest of the security and the well-being of the entire legion, including Israel.

It is the earnest hope and wish of Sri Lanka to see the dawn of a Palestinian State co-existing with Israel in peace, harmony and prosperity in the near future.


Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Royal Thai Government wishes to once again join the international community in reaffirming our solidarity with, and support for, the Palestinian people in their continued struggle for their basic freedoms and rights, especially their inalienable right to self-determination.

Thailand has followed closely developments regarding Palestine’s application for membership in the United Nations, as it is an important step towards realizing the goal of a State of Palestine recognized by the international community, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. Peace in the Middle East, however, can be sustained only through meaningful negotiations between all parties concerned, based on the principles of the two-State solution, the road map of the Quartet, the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant Security Council resolutions.

As a reflection of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Royal Thai Government has provided financial assistance to the Palestinian people through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Furthermore, Thailand is also providing training programmes on capacity-building within the framework of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership.

As we commemorate this annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, let me reaffirm that the people of Thailand share in the hopes of the international community that the “hopes and dreams” of the Palestinian people will soon be realized and lasting peace and stability will prevail in the Middle East.



Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey

[Original: Turkish]
[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to once again reaffirm, on behalf of the Turkish people and my own, our support for the just cause and legitimate expectations of the Palestinian people.

In order to attain a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that has long been aspired to, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved and the Palestinian people must as soon as possible be able to fully exercise their inalienable rights. Towards reaching this aim, it is the international community’s foremost objective to find a solution to the Palestinian question on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative as well as to ensure the realization of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace.

The course of change and transformation in the region spurred by the aspirations of peoples of the Middle East and North Africa for freedom, democracy, human rights and higher standards of living has once again proved the necessity to intensify endeavours to attain this goal and the fact that the just expectations of the Palestinian people cannot go unanswered any longer. Within this framework, international recognition of the Palestinian State and ensuring national Palestinian unity are the main priorities.

Turkey, wholeheartedly supporting the Palestinian application for United Nations membership submitted by President Mahmoud Abbas on 23 September 2011, believes it is high time for Palestine to take its well-deserved place in the international arena. With this understanding, we congratulate our Palestinian sisters and brothers on their membership in UNESCO and hope that all concerned sides will duly take into account the will of the international community towards this membership. In the period ahead, Turkey is determined to continue its material, moral and political support for the alleviation of the difficult circumstances that our Palestinian sisters and brothers find themselves in and contribute accordingly to the endeavours of the international community towards this aim. We follow closely and commend the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People aimed at amplifying the voice of the Palestinian people in the international arena. The efforts of the Committee are important for the protection of the rights of our Palestinian sisters and brothers, and we will continue to support them in the period ahead, as emphasized once more on the occasion of the Committee’s meeting in Turkey last May.

Taking this opportunity, I reiterate our continued and resolute solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers and extend on behalf of the Turkish people and my own, our sincere wishes for the prosperity and happiness of the Palestinian people.



Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates

[Original: Arabic]

On behalf of the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, I have the honour to assure you and your distinguished Committee of our gratitude and appreciation for your principled positions and efforts to strengthen international support for the Palestinian cause and expose the suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people by the sustained hostile policies of the Israeli Government.

This year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a critical time. The question of Palestine is at a crossroads. The road to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations remains closed, but the United Nations has yet to fulfil its responsibility to the Palestinian people by, for example, recognizing an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the relevant resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 181 (II).

The United Arab Emirates is concerned at the sad and disappointing predicament of the Palestine question, not only for the Palestinian people but also for all States and peoples of the region, as well as other peace-loving peoples. We hold the Israeli side fully responsible for the devastating international failure to resolve the Palestinian question in its various aspects. The Israeli military has continued its expansionist settlement campaign and its onslaught against the Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds al-Sharif.

The United Arab Emirates rejects and condemns the serious violations and acts of aggression perpetrated by Israel. Such acts are a major obstacle to the peace process: they perpetuate an annexation strategy intended to impose de facto demographic, political and legal changes on the Palestinian territories. They seek to entrench the borders of the Israeli State in the region, before the resumption of final status negotiations and at the expense of the legitimate borders of the Palestinian State. We hold the United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council and the members of the Quartet, responsible for the continuation of the Israeli occupation and its aggression against the Palestinian people. Today more than ever before, we call on the United Nations to take swift and effective measures to uphold the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to its own nation and territory. In particular, the United Nations must grant full membership to the State of Palestine on the borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. In so doing, it would hold the Israeli Government, as the occupying Power, to its full legal, moral and political responsibility towards the Palestinian people, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We further demand that the international community and the Quarter take a genuine stand for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Greater efforts should be made to set right the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people and to ensure that justice is done. That objective will require greater and deeper international political pressure for Israel to end its illegal settlement campaign in the Palestinian territories, dismantle existing settlements, lift its inhumane and unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip, promptly free the tens of thousands Palestinian political prisoners, end the desecration of Muslim and Christian holy sites and the Judaization of Jerusalem, and foster a climate conducive to the resumption of peace negotiations based on the logic of the two-State solution in accordance with the Road Map. A just, comprehensive and permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue and the situation in the Middle East as a whole can come about only if Israel is held legally accountable for its hostility and its illegal actions, and if it withdraws fully and unconditionally from all of the Palestinian and Arab territories which it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan and Lebanese territories, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative.

In conclusion, on behalf of my Government and people, I should like to reiterate the United Arab Emirates’ full support for the just and noble struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, independence, self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the national territory of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. We urge the international community and, in particular, donor States and institutions, to redouble their support and their political, development, economic and emergency assistance to the Palestinian people and its National Authority, so that like any other people in the world, it can achieve freedom, independence and a life of dignity in a sovereign and independent State on its national territory.



Truong Tan Sang, President of Viet Nam

[Original: Vietnamese)
[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November), I would like to extend to Your Excellencies, and through Your Excellencies to the Palestinian People, greetings of solidarity and warmest congratulations.

Viet Nam has consistently supported the just cause of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights. Viet Nam is of the view that the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which the Palestinian question is the nucleus, can only be solved through peaceful negotiations aimed at a comprehensive and just solution on the basis of respecting the legitimate interests of all concerned parties, especially the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish a State of Palestine in their homeland. In that spirit, Viet Nam supports Palestine’s efforts to soon become a member of the United Nations. Viet Nam supports all regional and international efforts that will bring the Middle East peace process forward and urges the concerned parties to work together to realize the achieved agreements, thus contributing to peace and stability in the region.

On this occasion, the Government of Viet Nam and people reaffirm the strong support for the just cause and the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. We firmly believe that the struggle of the Palestinian people, with the support of the international community, will achieve full victory.





B. Messages from Governments


Guyana

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Guyana reaffirms its principled support for, and solidarity with, the Palestinian people in their just and legitimate struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights, including the right to a homeland and an independent state of their own based on its 1967 borders.

Guyana remains fully supportive of Palestine’s application for membership in the United Nations and stands ready to welcome Palestine as a full State Member of the Organization.

We call upon the Government of Israel to honour its obligations in accordance with international law to the people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to cease the construction of settlements and to completely lift the blockade of Gaza. We also call upon the Palestinian Authority to strengthen and enhance significantly its efforts to ensure the cessation of all acts of violence against the Israeli people, including the firing of rockets into Israel.

The people of Guyana share the dreams of the people of Israel and of Palestine for a future in which they and their generations to come can live together without enmity and division in free and independent States within secure and internationally recognized borders.

In this context, Guyana urges the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to immediately return to the negotiating table to end the conflict that has persisted for far too many decades and to secure a just and lasting peace in the entire Middle East region.


Oman

[Original: Arabic]

I have the honour to express my gratitude and appreciation for the efforts made by your Committee to defend and enable the exercise of the rights of the Palestinian people, which are guaranteed under Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we wish to commend your efforts to draw attention to the suffering of the Palestinian people under the yoke of Israeli occupation. By observing this Day of Solidarity, the Sultanate reaffirms its unwavering support for the Palestinian people and its repeated calls for a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, in order for Palestinians, like peoples in other States, to live a life of dignity, in peace and security, within secure and internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Sultanate consistently gives the utmost priority to the question of the Middle East, particularly the attainment of peace and security and a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, and to the need for Israel to withdrawal fully from all occupied Palestinian territory, the Syrian Golan and all areas that remain under occupation in southern Lebanon.

The Israeli forces’ ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the brutal onslaught on the Gaza Strip in Operation Cast Lead, the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, not to mention such other inhumane practices as the expansion and establishment of new settlements on Palestinian land, have unquestionably demonstrated to the whole world that Israel does not want peace. Today, the international community is expressing its support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people as it seeks to exercise its inalienable rights. We also express our hope that the necessary pressure will be brought to bear on the occupying Power to abandon its policy of violence and make progress towards comprehensive peace.

The Government of Oman welcomes the direct negotiations that were inaugurated in Washington, D.C. in September 2010 and the mature American stance that was announced at that time. In order to encourage negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Occupation Government, and emerge from the current stalemate, there must be a complete end to settlement activities. Our Government urges the international community to exert pressure on Israel towards that end. We urge the world and, in particular, the United Nations, to act on its responsibility to promote a just and comprehensive peace. The Government of Oman believes that the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the borders of 4 June 1967, and its recognition as a full member in the United Nations, will contribute to a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In conclusion, we commend you once again for your efforts and those of the Committee, and assure you that the Sultanate fully supports the Palestinian people and a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, pursuant to the relevant Security Council resolutions and Arab initiatives, particularly the Arab Peace Initiative.


C. Messages from Ministers for Foreign Affairs

Nassirou Bako Arifari, Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration,
la Francophonie and Beninese Abroad of Benin

[Original: French]

On this day when the entire world is expressing support for the Palestinian people in its struggle for enjoyment of its rights, it is a genuine pleasure for me to extend my warm congratulations and offer encouragement on behalf of the President of the Republic of Benin, Mr. Boni Yayi, and the Beninese people.

At a time when the international community is working ceaselessly with the parties concerned to meet the just demands of the Palestinian people and its leaders, Benin and its people wish to call upon all other peace- and freedom-loving nations to find common ground, with a view to enabling the Palestinian people to live in freedom and independence in its territory, accepted by all.

Benin calls as well upon the Palestinian and Israeli peoples to resume negotiations in order to settle the conflict in a manner acceptable to all.

This will only serve to strengthen peace, security and development in the Middle East and indeed worldwide.
I should like to stress yet again, on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the sympathy which the Beninese people have for the Palestinian people. Please accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.



Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba

[Original: Spanish]

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 1977, 29 November was designated as an appropriate occasion one which has now become an established tradition on which to remember the day in 1947 when the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which partitioned Palestine. This act led, the following year, to Israel’s occupation of three quarters of the historically Palestinian territory, the destruction of 531 Palestinian cities and villages and the expulsion of 85 per cent of the population. As a result, some 4.6 million Palestinians are still living as refugees throughout the Middle East.

Cuba reaffirms its unequivocal solidarity with the Palestinian people. We shall continue to offer our unflagging and strong support to all actions aimed at achieving recognition of a Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to Palestine’s right to join the United Nations as a full Member.

The ovation received by the Palestinian President’s address to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session, at the plenary meeting of 23 September 2011, when he announced that a letter containing the application for admission as a Member State had been submitted to the Secretary-General, is clear evidence of the international community’s support for the Palestinian cause and for recognition of its legitimate rights as a State.

The delaying tactics must end. The Security Council must take action in support of Palestine’s admission without further delay, in line with the stated wishes of the vast majority of United Nations Member States.

Cuba welcomes the admission of Palestine into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a State member with full rights, on 31 October 2011, and strongly rejects the indefensible decision by the United States to cease paying its dues to that organization in retaliation for this action.

In recent years, the Palestinian authorities have succeeded in strengthening State institutions. The stability of Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian people’s capacity to exercise its sovereignty within an independent State have been recognized.

However, Israel’s military occupation, illegal settlement policy and other colonization practices stand in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian State on the basis of pre-1967 borders and, consequently, the possibility of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a just and balanced manner.

The occupying Power, in serious violation of international law and contrary to the goals of the peace process, continues to confiscate Palestinian land; build illegal settlements; change the demographic character of the population; impose arbitrary and racist restrictions on movement throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly within and around East Jerusalem; demolish homes; and evict Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, while extremist settlers commit other illegal acts of incitement, provocation and aggression against the Palestinian people and holy sites, all of which has made the present situation extremely volatile and dangerous.

Cuba demands the immediate cessation of these measures and practices; an end to the prolonged and illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands; the immediate, unconditional and full lifting of the cruel and illegal blockade of Gaza; and the opening of border crossings in order to afford continuous and free access to humanitarian aid and essential supplies and goods, and to facilitate the movement of persons to and from the Gaza Strip.

The indiscriminate and disproportionate use of Israeli military force against the defenceless civilian population of Palestine, enforced detentions, and the torture, abuse and ill treatment of political prisoners in Israeli prisons must cease immediately.

The Security Council and the General Assembly must enact practical and effective measures to keep this situation from continuing.

Efforts must be redoubled to resolve the question of Palestine, including the plight of Palestinian refugees, in a just and comprehensive manner, in line with the norms and principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

I wish to reiterate on this historic date that Cuba will not cease its calls for a just and definitive peace for the Palestinian people and the peoples of the Middle East in general, which includes respect for all of their rights. The Arab peoples, without exception, can always count on the full solidarity of the Cuban people and Government.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm Cuba’s full and strong support for the important work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.



Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

[Original: Japanese]
(Unofficial translation)

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express anew, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, my sincere hope for the realization of peace in the Middle East wherein a Palestinian State and Israel can coexist in peace and security.

Japan understands the Palestinians’ aspirations for state-building and supports a two-state solution through negotiations. Japan strongly calls upon both parties to resume direct negotiations soon. It is necessary for both parties to act to enhance mutual trust towards the resumption of negotiations. Especially, Israeli settlement activities are a violation of international law, and such an act goes against the efforts of the international community. Japan reiterates its strong call to Israel to fully freeze the settlement activities.

Regarding the reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, signed under the mediation of Egypt in May 2011, Japan hopes that a future interim unity Government will maintain the commitment of renouncing violence against Israel and that this agreement will lead to a two-State solution whereby the both sides coexist in peace and security. Japan hopes that trust between the parties in the Middle East peace process will be built and that peace negotiations will resume soon. Besides, Japan will continue to contribute to the efforts by the international community for the realization of peace.

Japan has been assisting the Palestinian people, focusing on humanitarian aid, assistance for the State-building efforts, confidence-building, and enhancing economic self-sustainability. It’s assistance since 1993 exceeds $1.2 billion in total. In addition, Japan promotes assistance to the Palestinians in cooperation with East Asian countries. This February, a Japan-Indonesia joint study mission was dispatched to the Palestinian territories. This July, Palestinian officials, together with Japanese officials, visited Indonesia and Malaysia and agreed to promote triangular cooperation. Japan will actively promote assistance for the building of a future independent, viable Palestinian state.

Japan will remain actively engaged in international efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.



Pierrot Jocelyn Rajaonarivelo, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar

[Original: French]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Madagascar expresses its sympathy and full support for the leaders and people of Palestine.

This annual observance is of great symbolic importance and also expresses the deep desire of all people across the globe to demonstrate their commitment to the achievement by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination.

Peace and security in the Middle East, most importantly in Palestine, are a central concern of the entire international community because they are linked, owing to the extent of the violence, incomprehension and hate, to peace and security worldwide.

It is therefore a matter of priority to put an end to this spiral of violence that is only causing the already tragic situation in the Middle East to deteriorate further. The dynamic of peace, sustained by a steadfast will at the regional and international levels, will succeed in bringing all stakeholders together by providing the necessary conditions for a definitive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to establish two States living side by side in peace and security within secure and universally recognized boundaries.

All Palestinian peace initiatives must be explored in order to foster dialogue and promote mutual understanding, which lies at the foundation of peace- and security-building.

Madagascar earnestly hopes that concrete outcomes resulting from sincere efforts, made by the parties to the conflict and backed by the international community to reconcile the two sides’ positions, will lead to lasting peace, not only in and around the Middle East but also throughout the world. Otherwise, it is the people of the world who will suffer.

The admission of Palestine to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reflects the desire of the members of that organization to see Palestine enjoy its right to statehood. I support the Quartet’s efforts to overcome the current deadlocks. The exchanges of Israeli and Palestinian prisoners some weeks ago indicate that a show of willingness on the part of Israel and Palestine serves as a strong signal for the resumption of dialogue and further negotiations.

I should like to pay special tribute to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his extraordinary and tireless efforts to bring about this peace, which is so crucial to the Middle East and the whole world, by means of a negotiated solution.


Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico

[Original: Spanish]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I should be grateful if you would convey to the Palestinian people this message of appreciation and friendship, which the people and Government of Mexico have entrusted me to deliver.

Mexico commends the efforts undertaken by the Palestinian National Authority, together with international organizations and agencies, to lay the foundations for development in its territory, as well as the excellent implementation, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), of the health, education and infrastructure programmes carried out to meet the various needs of the Palestinian population.

My country supports the welfare of the Palestinian people and joins in solidarity with their legitimate aspirations to become an independent and sovereign State that is politically and economically viable. We shall therefore continue to support the resumption of the political dialogue between the parties as the most effective means of attaining comprehensive and lasting peace and establishing two States living side by side within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.

Accept, Sir, my best wishes for the success of all activities conducted in connection with this most important occasion, together with the assurances of my highest consideration.



Prince Saud Al Faisal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

[Original: Arabic]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the honour to congratulate the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which, since its establishment in 1975, has worked to defend the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, particularly the right to self-determination and the establishment of its independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.

Expressing solidarity on this important day is the least that the world can do to commemorate the suffering of the Palestinian people. Israel’s intransigent occupation forces continue to neglect their duties and commitments under United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Persistently ignoring international condemnation, they have denied the Palestinians their most basic legitimate rights, with negative repercussions for the Palestinian people and the Middle East as a whole. As your distinguished Committee noted in its very first report, in 1976, the Palestinian issue has long been the greatest problem facing the Middle East.

The problem of the Middle East is the greatest obstacle to international peace and security. Now that the age of imperialism has come to an end and apartheid policies have dwindled, Israeli imperialism is virtually the only such instance remaining. On this day, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia therefore joins other peace-loving States in commemorating the suffering of the Palestinian people. The Kingdom has worked unstintingly to achieve peace, end the suffering of the Palestinian people, and allow it to exercise its legitimate rights. Committed as it is to a just and comprehensive peace, the Kingdom has contributed in particular to the formulation of the Arab Peace Initiative, which affirmed its openness, in the context of the League of Arab States, to peace based on the principles of international law.

On this occasion, I should like on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reaffirm that the international community must continue to support the Palestinian people as it endeavours to secure its legitimate rights. I call on all Member States of the United Nations to recognize the State of Palestine on the borders of 1967, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital, with a view to its becoming a full member in the United Nations.

In conclusion, I commend the efforts of your distinguished Committee and hope that it will persevere so that the Palestinians can exercise all of their natural established rights, including the right to return to their land in an internationally recognized State.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia

[Original: Arabic]

Tunisia is deeply concerned at recent developments affecting the Palestinian issue. The road towards a peaceful solution is now blocked, after two full decades of futile negotiations that were hampered by Israeli intransigence. The Israeli Government failed to respond to constructive international initiatives and proposals, continuing instead to implement its settlement plans and repressive policies of violence, collective punishment, destruction, expulsions and annexations, not to mention changing the characteristics of East Jerusalem.

As a result of those practices and policies, the Palestinian people continue to be denied all of their fundamental legitimate rights, particularly independence, freedom and the establishment of an independent State on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. Through its actions, delays and prevarications, Israel is clearly seeking to avoid its responsibilities under international law and legitimacy, preferring instead to pursue its policy of creating facts on the ground.

Given that efforts towards a genuine and just settlement have faltered, Tunisia reiterates its full support for the Palestinian leadership as it turns to the United Nations seeking full membership for the State of Palestine. Tunisia calls on all parties at the United Nations, particularly members of the Security Council, to support that application, which is consistent with justice, fairness and the principles of legitimacy as enshrined in the relevant international resolutions.
Tunisia considers that the justice and legitimacy of the Palestinian application are clearly reflected in Palestine’s accession to full membership in UNESCO. That outcome has rewarded Palestinian efforts that met with widespread support among States members of that distinguished agency. Tunisia hopes that the application of the Palestinian National Authority for Palestine to become a full member in the United Nations will be similarly welcomed and supported by all Member States without exception.

On this occasion, Tunisia reiterates its firm and absolute support for the Palestinian people. Tunisia stands prepared to contribute to the realization of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue by supporting the unity of the Palestinian camp and inducing Israel to desist from its policies and practices. The rights of the Palestinian people can no longer be denied at a time when Arab peoples, in a wave, are ridding themselves of injustice and oppression, aspiring instead to justice, freedom, democracy, progress and prosperity.


D. Messages from intergovernmental organizations having received a standing
invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the
General Assembly and maintaining permanent offices at Headquarters

European Union

[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the European Union wishes to convey the following message.

The candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro continue to be part of the Stabilization and Association Process., Montenegro1 and Iceland Iceland continues to be a member of the European Free Trade Association and of the European Economic Area., the countries of the Stabilization and Association process and potential candidates Albania, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

The European Union reiterates its appeal to the parties to resume negotiations under the terms and within the timelines indicated in the Quartet statement of 23 September 2011. The European Union welcomes the positive statements of both parties in that regard. The European Union underlines the Quartet’s crucial role in facilitating the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians and recalls its readiness to support all efforts to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. The European Union fully supports the Quartet’s call on the parties to refrain from provocative actions and to respect the obligations of both parties under the road map.

Helping the parties achieve the goal of a two-State solution is the most important way in which all actors of the international community can show their solidarity with the Palestinian People.

As stated on numerous occasions, the European Union will make every effort, along with its partners in the Quartet as well as Arab partners, to support current efforts for successful negotiations that lead to a framework agreement which puts an end to the conflict and to the occupation.

In addition to the strong support of the European Union for the negotiation process, the European Union and its Member States also show their solidarity with the Palestinian people in a number of other ways.
The European Union commends the work of the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of the future State of Palestine. The European Union is the first aid donor to the Palestinian Authority and a crucial political and economic partner of all parties in the region. The EU wishes to stress the crucial importance of the continuation of the Palestinian State-building process, which the European Union will continue to actively support. The European Union reiterates that all efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas must be accelerated.

The European Union and its Member States also show solidarity with the Palestinian people through their support of the activities of UNRWA.

The European Union and its Member States remain UNRWA’s largest donor. Over the period from 2000 to 2010, the European Union as such, through the European Commission, provided more than €1.2 billion of support to UNRWA. The Member States of’ the European Union also individually contributed significant amounts during that same period. The latest European Union-UNRWA multi-annual Joint Declaration, signed earlier this year, foresees an annual contribution of €80 million to UNRWA’s General Fund, subject to budgetary allocations. In 2011, the European Union’s contribution to UNRWA has been one of the highest in the past few years, reaching €124 million by October 2011. This continued commitment by the European Union and its Member States to generously support the activities of UNRWA is a reflection of the Union’s commitment towards the Palestinian people.

In this context, the European Union calls on all members of the United Nations to increase their financial support to the Palestinian Authority and to UNRWA.

The European Union will continue to work with its partners within the Quartet, as well as with the other actors of the international community, to contribute to a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The European will continue to provide political and financial support to this effect and, in so doing, will continue to support the Palestinian people in the pursuit of its legitimate aspirations.



Organization of Islamic Cooperation: Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General

[Original: Arabic]
[Unofficial translation]

As we meet here today to affirm the international community’s solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just struggle to regain their inalienable rights, I am pleased to express the deep appreciation of the OIC and its Member States to the United Nations and its agencies and committees for their role in promoting the Palestinian cause and for their constant support and backing of the Palestinian people in their just struggle to regain their inalienable national rights. I mention here in particular the efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and Your Excellency’s outstanding efforts in this regard.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes this year at a time when the Palestinian cause is going through extremely difficult times as a result of the continuing Israeli violations of international law, the political stalemate owing to the obstinacy of the Israeli government and its refusal to abide by the terms of reference which form the basis of the peace process.

As part of its persistence on the path of settlement, Israel has accelerated settlement-building activities in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and has given settlers a free hand to wreck havoc on the Palestinian territories. This year has witnessed a sharp increase in settlers’ violence and aggressions, which have gone beyond killing and harming Palestinians to destroying their crops by removing and burning thousands of olive trees, inundating agricultural land with waste water, destroying the environment and stealing natural wealth and resources. Israeli settlers have also continued their aggressions against mosques in the West Bank by burning and desecrating them.

In fact, settlement cannot be separated from the continuing construction of the apartheid wall, which aims to establish new realities on the ground hindering the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian State in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The wall is usurping large areas from the Palestinian territories to facilitate the movement of settlers and further encourage settlement expansion. This is in addition to its destructive impact on Palestinian land and people incarnated in the isolation and displacement of Palestinian citizens from their homes, the destruction of their properties, bulldozing their crops, cutting off fruitful trees and confiscating lands.

At the same time, the Israeli violations of international law in ccupied East Jerusalem have become more intense. The Israeli occupation authorities are conducting a systematic process of altering the Arab-Islamic identity of the city of Al-Quds through their attempts to Judaize it, denigrate its sanctities, tamper with its history and change its demographic composition by emptying it of its Palestinian population, seizing their land and homes by force and replacing them with colonial settlers in clear violation of international law, international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

On a parallel track, Israel continues to impose an unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip and prevent the entry of vital goods and the construction materials needed to rebuild what was demolished by its aggression, making thousands of Palestinian families homeless as winter is drawing nearer. Israel’s persistence in its blockade requires the international community to act seriously not only to lift the unjust blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, but also to bring Israel’s leaders and officers who are responsible for this blockade to international justice. Now is the time for international justice to take place and for Israel to be subjected to the will of the international community. It is time to compel Israel to respect the provisions of international law, which it has repeatedly violated by acting as a State that is above the law and immune from its rule.

The failure to reach a just solution to the Palestinian cause as the heart of the dispute in the Middle East perpetuates instability in the region and poses a threat to international peace and security. The international community should make serious and strenuous efforts to compel Israel to abide by the terms of reference of the peace process and to respect and implement the agreements and understandings reached in that regard.

All have followed Palestine’s endeavour to expand the base of international recognition of Palestine as a free State within the borders of 1967. OIC has expressed full support and backing for Palestine in obtaining membership in the United Nations. We hold the view that Palestine’s membership in the United Nations is a right that must be fully supported by all justice and peace-loving countries of the world. Furthermore, Palestine’s right to UN membership does not contradict its obligations with regard to reaching a peaceful settlement based on United Nations resolutions. We also see it as a factor that would help to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict in line with the UN resolutions that do not recognize the legality of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

In this connection, OIC believes that the revitalization of the peace process to reach the aspired goals hinges upon a number of criteria, the top of which is ending settlement, which is one of the key obligations that Israel must meet. Israel must also refrain from carrying out all unilateral activities aimed at imposing realities on the ground and anticipating the outcome of negotiations. There is absolutely no meaning in negotiations through which Israel seeks to set the outcome by changing the facts and imposing its will.

The success of negotiations is largely contingent upon the existence of a clear timetable, implementation mechanisms, credible international monitoring and the possibility of fair intervention. There is need to recall here that the aspired viable solution must be founded on resolutions of international legitimacy and the terms of reference of the peace process which was launched in Madrid and the Arab Peace Initiative.

In conclusion, I reaffirm the solidarity of OIC and the Islamic Ummah with the Palestinian people in their endeavour to regain their national inalienable rights, including their right of return, freedom, self-determination and the establishment of their independent Palestinian State on their national soil with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

I wish your meeting success in reaching its noble ends.


E. Message from civil society organizations


NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine

[Original: English]

The NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine extends it warmest greetings on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The Working Group is a coalition of diverse organizations that have met since 1999 to share information and advocate for a just peace between Israel and Palestine.

The Group maintains that a just settlement of the conflict between Israel and Palestine would be in accord with all international, humanitarian and human rights laws and agreements. The group supports the centrality of the United Nations and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 446 (1979). Accordingly, the Group understands that a just settlement would include, but not be limited to, the following principles:
The Group supports a nonviolent resolution of the conflict and sees violence as an impediment to peace. It recognizes the ongoing responsibility of all actors, including international third party actors, in contributing to the resolution of the conflict.

The Group maintains that a just and lasting peace will occur when all parties have confidence that the power imbalance has been corrected, their inalienable human rights will be protected, their security ensured and the demands of justice fairly and impartially respected.

To this end, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we affirm our deep commitment to the Palestinian people and to all persons of good will in the region, looking forward to a time when the rights of all are recognized and all will be able to live in harmony and peace.



Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia,
Africa and Latin America

[Original: Spanish]
[Unofficial translation]

On the 23rd anniversary of the proclamation of the Palestinian State and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America considers its duty to highlight the terrible suffering that the Palestinian people have been forced to endure since resolution 181 of 29November 1947 on the partition of Palestine and the creation of two States in its territory, one Arab and another Jewish, was approved by the United Nations.

That date marks the birth and acknowledgment of the State of Israel, which immediately became the occupying power, and the beginning of more than six decades marked by Zionist expansionism and genocide to modify the geographic and demographic composition of Palestine.

The coming into effect of said resolution marks the beginning of a continuous war, seizure, horrid massacres, mass expulsion, banishment and imprisonment of Palestinian patriots, increasing settlement construction, criminalization of every form of struggle, and premeditated stagnation of whichever negotiation initiative has been put into practice to end the unequal conflict.

The criminal policy of the State of Israel could not have possibly been maintained without the shelter, protection, impunity, war supplies and unlimited financing by the United States, the decadent super power, discredited but still hegemonic, that takes a cruel delight in the use of the anti-democratic right to veto to prevent the just recognition of the independent Palestinian State, within the frontiers of 1967, as a full member of the United Nations.

The recognition of Palestine by UNESCO as a full member was a first step and a significant victory. It is now possible for the international community of independent nations to demand the enforcement of international law, contributing to making up for a prolonged historical injustice against a people that has not ceased to resist, to persist, to rise heroically once and again, in defence of its rights to national independence, self-determination and peace.

Let us sensitize all consciences, let us join all wills, let us raise our voices with firmness for heroic Palestine!




Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations,
Presbyterian Church (USA)

[Original: English]

The United Nations recognizes 29 November 2011 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Presbyterian Church (USA) joins the world community in observing this Day.

On this Day of Solidarity, we remember the rich history of the three monotheistic religions in the Middle East. We reaffirm our deep commitment to our sisters and brothers in Christ in the region. We express our long-standing concern for a just and lasting peace for all its people.

This year saw the admission to the United Nations of a new Member State, South Sudan, in July. At the same time, we realize that our brothers and sisters in Palestine did not receive a favourable response to a similar request.

We serve a God who calls us to seek justice and reconciliation. We look forward to the day when all violence ceases, swords are beaten into plough shares, and God’s justice and peace prevail in the Middle East.

The Presbyterian Church (USA), with its more than two million members works both nationally and internationally with local churches, church organizations and mission partners, and holds special consultative status with Economic and Social Council.

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