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





SPECIAL BULLETIN ON

THE COMMEMORATION OF THE

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY

WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

2010







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

On 29 November 2010, 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, intergovernmental organizations, specialized agencies and other observers 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; Joseph Deiss (Switzerland), President of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly; Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, reading a message of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), President of the Security Council for the month of November 2010. 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 Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; Sirodjidin M. Aslov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the United Nations, read out a message from Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, in his capacity as Chairman of the thirty-seventh session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers; Oumar Daou, Permanent Representative of Mali 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 Amre Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. Judith Le Blanc, member of the Steering Committee of the United States Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, 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, and Abdou Salam Diallo, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

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 26 Heads of State, 4 Heads of Government, 4 Governments, 9 Ministers for Foreign Affairs, as well as from the European Union, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. A message was received from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations system and from Caritas Jerusalem, a non-governmental organization.
The special meeting was followed by a performance by the Ashtar Theatre, entitled Gaza Monologues, in Conference Room 2-NLB.

A photographic exhibit, “Summer Games in Gaza”, was presented by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations and under the auspices of the Committee.

At the United Nations Office at Geneva, a special meeting was held on 29 November. The meeting was chaired by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, 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 Afghanistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Zalmai Aziz, spoke on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. A representative of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Momar Guèye, 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 the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Hisham Badr, representative of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries; Kadija Rachida Masri, representative of the African Union; and Madeleine Rees, Secretary-General of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 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 2010. Ms. Norma Goicochea Estenoz, Permanent Representative 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. Maher Nasser, Director of the United Nations Information System, delivered the message of the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. Friedrich Stift, Director of the Department for the Near and Middle East of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, read a message on behalf of the host country, and Norma Goicochea Estenoz, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Vienna, spoke on behalf of the Chairman 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; Nabeel Shaath, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, presented the latest developments on the Palestine Question; and Fritz Edlinger, President, Society for Austria-Arab Relations, on behalf of civil society organizations active on the question of Palestine. Representatives from more than 30 Member States and Permanent Observer entities, 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, 2010

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

[Original: French]

Speaking for the first time as President of the Committee, I have the great honour to thank you for participating in this special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I also express my appreciation to all who are joining through the United Nations webcast system.

Allow me also express to the Secretary-General the sincere gratitude of the members of the Committee for his personal efforts and commitment to promoting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. His leadership on this issue is deeply appreciated by all.

I also extend a warm welcome to Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly, and sincerely thank him for honouring today’s meeting with his presence. Your country, Sir, as the depository of the Geneva Conventions, has special responsibilities in this matter.

I would also like to extend a special welcome to Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in his capacity as President of the Security Council for this month. The active involvement of the Security Council in the search for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in accordance with the norms of international law is vital. On behalf of the Committee, I warmly welcome his participation today and express the hope that the Council will use its full authority to seek new ways forward.

The members of the Committee welcome and support all the efforts of the Member States and Observers, the Security Council, the Quartet, the Arab League, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Conference and civil society in support of our common objectives. Our solidarity also manifests itself in the daily work of the United Nations agencies and many other international and civil society organizations, which are doing everything possible to provide basic services for the Palestinians.

Sixty-three years ago, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which changed the course of history in the Middle East and beyond. It embodied a solemn commitment by the international community to the establishment of two States in mandated Palestine. Today, that promise stands only half fulfilled. Although a Jewish State, Israel, came into being in 1948, Palestine, the Arab State, which was also supposed to be established, remains a vision yet to be realized. The question of Palestine weighs heavily on our collective consciousness as the great unfinished business of the twentieth century. Today, Palestinians and Israelis continue to pay the price for that failure.

I would like to dwell in particular on the human tragedy of the situation. For decades now, half of the Palestinians have been deprived of freedom, living under occupation in their own land. The other half has been living as refugees, with all the hardships that that status entails. The international community has a duty to restore the political and diplomatic means to give back to the Palestinians the hope of at last recovering a measure of dignity fully equal to that of all the peoples in the region.

It will be recalled that the Committee warmly welcomed the peace process launched in 1991 as a guarantee of the establishment of a viable Palestinian State while simultaneously providing Israel with recognition, peace and security, pursuant to the recommendations of the Quartet Road Map. We called on the parties to refrain from taking destabilizing unilateral actions on the ground, including the building of new or the expansion of existing settlements.

Unfortunately, it appears that Israel has not been able to assume this undertaking, which is recognized by the entire international community as a minimal confidence-building measure. It is therefore not difficult to understand the frustration of the Palestinian Authority and it’s reluctance to negotiate under such circumstances.

The General Assembly has reaffirmed that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility with respect to the question of Palestine until the matter is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory way, in accordance with international law. Not only must the Assembly continue to promote the guidelines required for the parties to commit themselves in good faith to that end, but Member States must individually and collectively demonstrate their active solidarity and take immediate action to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.

An urgent first step is to lift the blockade that has unfairly weighed on the civilian population of Gaza for over three years. The second step is to require all relevant international bodies to combat impunity, particularly during military operations in the Palestinian territory, and to ensure that the status of East Jerusalem and the holy sites is respected. Israel must also be called on to adhere strictly to international humanitarian law. Lastly, we must demonstrate our solidarity with Palestine by giving our strong support to the Fayyad plan, which must be implemented if a Palestinian State is to be viable. We must do everything to ensure that the plan is funded.

Let me assure all present that the Committee will continue to fulfil the mandate given to it by the General Assembly until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized. This goes hand in hand with the final settlement of the conflict through the emergence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.


Joseph Deiss (Switzerland), President
of the sixty-fifth 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, its Chair and Vice-Chairs for the invitation to address this meeting today.

We meet to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as we have done every year since 1978. The date of 29 November was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people. On this day in 1947, as you just mentioned, Sir, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which partitioned the territory known as Mandate Palestine into two States — one Jewish and one Arab.

However, as we are all sadly aware, the resolution did not translate into a just and lasting solution. We continue therefore to observe this day in order to show our enduring commitment and solidarity to the peoples of the region. And by doing so, we also reaffirm the permanent responsibility of the United Nations to remain seized of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects.

In this regard, I commend you, Mr. Chair, for what you and your Committee have done to remind us of this shared responsibility. I also commend and pay tribute to the United Nations in general, and in particular the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as non-governmental organizations and civil society, for their invaluable efforts on the ground. I encourage all Member States to continue to support their efforts.

Violence, human suffering and mistrust have dominated Palestinian-Israeli relations for far too long. How shall we explain to the coming generations our inability over the course of 63 years to end the dramatic situation inflicted on the peoples of the region? If we want to move forward, we must restore hope and a sense of positive direction to the peoples of the region.

Now more than ever, the parties must step up their efforts to engage each other in honest negotiations and overcome deadlocks. Violence and acts of terror must cease. International law and United Nations resolutions must be respected, and actions that could aggravate the situation and increase suspicion and mistrust must be stopped. Now is the time for peace. Everything must be done to alleviate the daily suffering of the Palestinian people. Access and mobility are crucial for dealing with unemployment and poverty.

We, the international community, must also intensify our engagement in helping the parties to end a conflict that for far too long has tormented the region and its peoples. We must spare no effort to assist both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to decades of confrontation, conflict and violence. This is in the interest of the parties, in the interest of the region and in the interest of international peace and security. Let us therefore reaffirm our commitment to the Middle East peace process and continue to mobilize international assistance for the Palestinian people. They deserve a life of dignity and a future of peace and security.



Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
message delivered by Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy-Secretary-General
of the United Nations
[Original: English]

Every year on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we reflect on the situation of the Palestinians and consider what more we can do for peace.

Two timelines will reach a critical point in 2011. First, Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have pledged to seek a framework agreement on permanent status by September. Secondly, the Palestinian Authority is on track to complete its two-year agenda of readiness for statehood by August.

At its meeting in September 2010, the Quartet stated that an agreement can be reached in the time frame set out by the leaders themselves, and that the Palestinian Authority, if it maintains its current performance in institution-building and the delivery of public services, is well-positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future.

Yet few Palestinians are optimistic that anything decisive will be achieved next year, or even at all. Looking at the situation on the ground, I understand this despair. Soon after direct talks on final status began in September, they were undermined by the expiry of Israel’s commendable settlement moratorium. The construction of hundreds of new units throughout the West Bank commenced, and new approvals for settlements in East Jerusalem were given. This development is a serious blow to the credibility of the political process. The obligation remains on Israel to meet its responsibilities under international law and the Road Map to freeze settlement activity.

It is also true that few Israelis seem hopeful that peace can be achieved soon, and I am sensitive to Israel’s security concerns. But I ask all Israelis to look with fresh eyes at the indisputable emergence of a reliable security partner on the ground, and the continued commitment of President Abbas to Israel’s right to live in peace and security and to his rejection of violence and terrorism. I also remind everyone of the promise of the Arab Peace Initiative that a two-State solution and comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace would be followed by the establishment of normal relations between Israel and all Arab States.

I commend the steps taken during the past year to improve conditions on the ground. However, much more is needed. The Palestinian Authority must continue to roll out the institutions of statehood, combat terrorist attacks and curb incitement. Meanwhile, it is both in Israel’s interest and its duty to begin rolling back the measures of occupation, particularly with respect to movement, access and security actions.

I remain very concerned about conditions in Gaza. I express appreciation for the modification of Israel’s policy and the approval of a substantial number of United Nations projects. But this can only be a first step. The full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) should follow. Israel needs to enable broader civilian reconstruction, free movement of persons and the export of goods, and to facilitate the swift implementation of projects. Rocket fire from Gaza must stop. A prisoner exchange, the extension of de facto calm and progress on Palestinian reconciliation are also key steps.

An overwhelming international consensus exists on the need to end the occupation that began in 1967, address the fundamental security concerns of both parties, find a solution to the refugee issue and see Jerusalem emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States. I challenge the two leaders to show statesmanship and political courage in reaching a historic peace. The international community, for its part, must be ready to assume its own responsibilities for peace.

Let the year ahead be the one in which we realize, finally, 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 Road Map of the Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative. I will do everything in my power to support these efforts.


Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland),
President of the Security Council for the month of November 2010
[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.

We are here to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In June 2009, 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 of the Quartet, the Arab Peace Initiative and the agreements previously reached between the parties.

The Security 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.

In September, the Quartet reaffirmed its full commitment to 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 other neighbours.

Throughout the past year, the Security Council has continued to receive regular briefings from the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Department of Political Affairs and to hold open debates. These meetings have covered a range of issues and opinions.

First, members of the Security Council have underscored that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties, and re-emphasized that only a two-State solution with an independent and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours can bring peace to the region.

Secondly, members of the Security Council have urged the parties to avoid any unilateral and provocative actions, and have called on all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region. As the Quartet has said, unilateral actions by either party, including settlement activity, cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.

Thirdly, transformative change on the ground is integral to peace. Council members have welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s State-building plan, which demonstrates the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to an independent State that provides opportunity, justice and security to the Palestinian people and is a responsible neighbour to all States in the region.

Fourthly, members of the Security Council continue to view the situation in Gaza with concern. In June 2010, the Council agreed on a statement (S/PRST/2010/9) following the tragic Gaza flotilla incident, which stressed that the situation in Gaza was not sustainable. We emphasize the importance of full implementation of Security Council resolutions 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009), and in that context stress the need for a sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza, as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

As the Quartet reaffirmed in September 2010, the current situation in Gaza is not in the interests of Palestinians or Israelis. The Quartet welcomed the shift in Israel’s policy on Gaza since June 2010 and called for further efforts by all concerned to ensure the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza and to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

Finally, all Council members have commended the laudable efforts of humanitarian organization and agencies on the ground, particularly 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.

In conclusion, allow me to assure all Member States of the commitment of the Security Council to the ultimate goal of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East and to the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for 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]

As the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am pleased to convey the warmest greetings of the Palestinian people and their leadership to the Committee and the international community. We are profoundly grateful for the Committee’s solidarity with our people and its support for their struggle to realize their inalienable rights and to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East region.

I also wish to express our deep appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chair, Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, for their efforts to restore the rights of the Palestinian people, bring an end to their suffering and achieve peace in the region. Their all-important role has clearly and effectively contributed to the promotion of international solidarity with our cause and to broad support for the noble aspirations of our people to self-determination, freedom and independence.

Since its inception, the United Nations has continued to address and shoulder its responsibilities towards the question of Palestine. It has done so with a view to resolving the issue in all its aspects by putting an end to the Israeli occupation of our land and our holy places, thereby allowing our people to determine their destiny in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the consensus of the entire world. It has adopted numerous resolutions based on the Charter of the United Nations and on international law, including international humanitarian law.

Although those resolutions have not yet been implemented owing to Israel’s refusal and intransigence, they remain valid and still constitute the foundation for the protection of the rights of our people and the basis for achieving justice, which is the prerequisite for achieving peace. We recall that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) constitute the basis for the entire peace process in the Middle East.

A reality that cannot be ignored or denied is the historical and ongoing injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people. Another reality is that the Palestine Liberation Organization has for many long years engaged in our struggle with a considerable sense of realism. Since 1974, our national councils have acknowledged the principle of resolving the conflict on the basis of two States and through negotiations. Our people declared the independence of the State of Palestine as a peace initiative in 1988, in which we made a historic, painful concession so as to achieve a peace that would guarantee our rights through the establishment of a Palestinian State based on the 4 June 1967 borders in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

But the basis for progress towards a peaceful settlement is the principle of partnership and agreement on the legal terms of reference and on commitment to agreements reached with a view to solving the problems imposed by the legacy of this long, bitter and bloody conflict. This partnership must be one in which each party understands the legitimate concerns of the other. It must be a partnership that lays the foundations for a new and different future for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

I must stress here that the Palestinian partner will continue to be a real partner, not to whitewash the ugly face of the occupation but to bring an end to that occupation. Moreover, negotiations must be fair and lead to a clear and binding agreement. That does not mean that the powerful party, Israel, should be permitted to consistently impose its will on us. We have a strong and firm commitment to achieving a comprehensive agreement that leads to two viable States based on the borders of 4 June 1967, one being Israel, which already exists, and the other, the State of Palestine, which must achieve its independence.

In that framework and based on our determination to achieve peace, we have responded to the efforts and initiatives of the United States of America and the international community seeking a resumption of the peace process and of negotiations between us and Israel following a period of stalemate. With the help of many Arab and international parties, we were able to break the deadlock that plagued the process.

We had hoped that the removal of the obstacles to the resumption of negotiations on final status issues and a permanent settlement would mark a serious and true beginning towards achieving genuine and lasting peace and security between us and Israel. For that to happen, efforts must be made to address the deterioration in the peace process, create an enabling atmosphere and build bridges of trust between the two sides.

That can be accomplished only through respect for the terms of reference of the peace process, as defined in the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative, the vision of two States and the strict and honest implementation of the signed agreements. That, in turn, requires bringing a decisive and final end to the vicious Israeli colonial settlement campaign in all the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. The settlement campaign is a time bomb that could at any moment destroy everything we have accomplished on the road to peace.

The seizure of land, the expulsion of Palestinian citizens from their homes and the construction of the annexation apartheid wall, which has been internationally condemned, must be ceased. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails must be released.

The unjust and inhumane siege imposed on our people in the Gaza Strip must be lifted. The illegal transfer of Israeli civilians to the occupied Palestinian territories, including Holy Jerusalem, must be halted, because settlement activities cannot coexist with peace. Settlements are a flagrant and aggressive manifestation of the occupation and the mentality of expansion, while peace means recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian people and a commitment to implementing resolutions of international legitimacy in both letter and spirit, the principle of land for peace, the vision of the two-State solution and the Road Map.

There is no way to attain a real, lasting and comprehensive peace if such a peace is not based on resolutions of international legitimacy that call on Israel to withdraw completely from all the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The alternative is to slip further into the unknown. A commitment to negotiations and to the obligation of ensuring a just and lasting peace must be reaffirmed. That is required by the demands of justice and international law; that is what will bring peace, not the so-called economic peace or practical considerations that are based on what can be accepted by the occupying Power, the pre-acceptance of which has undermined the peace process and the prospects for security and stability in the region.

To extinguish the fire of violence and to control extremist tendencies, a brave step must be taken towards final status negotiations so as to reach practical and fair agreements that would end the occupation of our land and our holy places and provide firm stability for the region, which is replete with tensions that give rise to both overt and less obvious outbreaks. That is why we strongly reject all unilateral actions by Israel, the occupying Power, and demand their immediate cessation, because they affect the final status issues and represent a clear attempt to unilaterally determine the final status map.

I address my words, through you, to the entire international community. We must draw lessons from the results of past failures of international efforts to compel Israel to end its settlement policies and aggressive practices, which have caused so much damage and undermined the credibility of the peace process in the eyes of our people. The core of the conflict is the occupation and the settlement activities, and it is time for the world to address the roots of this conflict by ending the occupation and allowing for the achievement of an independent State of Palestine, which we hope, as President Obama stated in the General Assembly last September, will become a new, active and recognized Member of the United Nations in the next year. I wish to assure you all that the United Nations and international legitimacy will remain the reference and resort for us in terms of taking any decisions in the event that negotiations fail, although we are determined to make every effort to ensure their success.

The Palestinian people draw their unwavering faith from the justness of their cause and from your support and the support and solidarity of all brothers and friends who wish to see the peace process succeed. We thus need your continued efforts and those of the co-sponsors of the peace process, including President Barack Obama, the Russian Federation, the European Union, Japan, China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and our Arab brothers and friends everywhere, in particular here at the United Nations.
I am completely confident, as we are on the threshold of celebrating a new year that the suffering of our people is coming to an end. I am also sure that the renewal and the confirmation of your solidarity and support for our people, especially at this time, will bolster our steadfastness, as you will support our just position and our sincere efforts to establish a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region, a peace that will last and will be consolidated and entrenched; a peace based on justice, rights, equality, mutual respect and creative cooperation; a peace that guarantees all the peoples of the region security, stability and prosperity as well as freedom and independence for the Palestinian people; a peace that will turn the page on the past with all its agonies, pain, repression and suffering; a peace that will herald a new era of cooperation and coexistence in the region, with hope, security and prospects for a better future for all our children.

We reiterate to all of you our gratitude and appreciation for your determined efforts and your firm and constant solidarity with the cause of our people. I reiterate also to the Israeli people that our hand is still capable of plucking the dry olive branch from the rubble and will remain outstretched in the quest for a just peace in order to secure a safe future for our children and their children.



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 have the honour to address this meeting as the Chairman of the General Assembly-mandated Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, as it commemorates the 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 finally resolve the Palestinian question in a just and equitable manner.

I am saddened to address the Committee at a time when the situation for the occupied Palestinian people remains dire. Despite well-intentioned efforts to revive the peace talks this year, the facts on the ground reveal that prospects for the achievement of their fundamental right to self-determination are as distant and elusive as ever. Ongoing confiscation of land, settlement and housing expansion and the construction of the wall are severely undermining prospects for the attainment of Palestinian Statehood.

Policies and practices emanating from the current regime of occupation continue to infringe on a whole spectrum of rights. Consequently, a significant proportion of the occupied population lives in poverty, many of them totally dependent on humanitarian aid. Levels of poverty are particularly high in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli-imposed blockade, as well as in area C of the West Bank due to restrictive access and discriminatory planning. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned by the ongoing loss of life and injuries in conflict-related violence. Moreover, over 6,200 Palestinian prisoners remain in detention, while allegations of torture and ill treatment have been made.

Earlier this month, the Special Committee presented its forty-second report (see A/65/327) on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and occupied Syrian Golan. Our report concluded that an unacceptable culture of impunity prevails, leading to the repetition of violations that are highlighted year after year by our Committee and many others. As a key means to address the long-standing pattern of systematic human rights violations, the Special Committee calls for diplomatic efforts to be intensified with a view to adopting appropriate measures to require Israel’s compliance with Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the Palestinian question and with international humanitarian and human rights law. It is only through a political solution with human rights at its heart that Palestinians and Israelis will begin to enjoy human security and peace and live as neighbours.



Hosni Mubarak, President 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 write to the Committee to reaffirm the full support of Egypt and the Non-Aligned Movement for the brotherly Palestinian people in their legitimate quest to restore and exercise all their inalienable rights, primary among which is their legitimate right to establish an independent and sovereign State of their own, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of all relevant terms of reference and in accordance with the rules and provisions of international law, international humanitarian law, the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, the principles of Madrid Conference and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Despite the fact that 63 years have elapsed since the partition resolution, the suffering of the Palestinian people still goes on, requiring this Committee’s continued efforts to put an end to that suffering by ending the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and calling a halt to Israeli practices and violations of the rights of the Palestinian people. Those practices and violations include an unlawful and oppressive Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in an unprecedented deterioration of Palestinian living conditions.

Israel’s failure to meet its commitments as an occupying Power, its continued settlement policy and alteration of the situation on the ground, the expropriation of Palestinian land and property, the attempt to change the features of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, assaults on the sanctity of the holy places and those who frequent them, in particular, the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, the continued building of the separation wall and other practices that are against the rules of international law and international humanitarian law constitute flagrant violations of human rights, one such violation being the recent decision concerning the oath of allegiance to the Jewish character of the State, which is a clear violation of the rights of Israeli Palestinian Arabs and an obvious attempt to expel them from Israeli territory.

Egypt and the Non-Aligned Movement highly appreciate the efforts of this Committee towards bringing about a Palestinian State, as well as its support for the Palestinian people’s recovery of their inalienable legitimate rights, with a view towards a just settlement of the Palestinian question as an inseparable part of the overall solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and as one of the prerequisites for stability in the Middle East region.

It is our view that the defining features of a definitive solution are known to all, including the parties to the conflict themselves. What is needed now is genuine will for peace on the part of Israel, inasmuch as everyone has understood the seriousness of the Palestinian Authority and its commitment to the peace process, while Israel’s actions bespeak its insistence on prevarication and stripping the political process of its content. That requires action on the part of the international community, which must shoulder its responsibilities in pooling all the efforts of the parties in the international arena to ensure the resumption of the negotiation process based on the clear terms of reference within a definite time frame and on the necessary sound bases, the first of which is the total and unconditional cessation of settlement activity and all the Israeli policies that thwart the achievement of the desired peace.

At the same time that I express to the Committee my praise and that of the Non-Aligned Movement for its efforts during the past year and reiterate Egypt’s firm commitment to continued efforts towards the achievement of Palestinian national reconciliation and a just and comprehensive peace, let me reaffirm our full backing for the Committee’s activities aimed at mobilizing the requisite international support for the Palestinian people’s recovery and exercise of its inalienable rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

I would ask that the Committee accept the assurances of my highest consideration, together with my best wishes to it and its members for continued success.


Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan,
in his capacity as Chairman of the thirty-seventh session of the
Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference: message delivered by Sirodjidin M. Aslov,
Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the United Nations


[Original: Arabic]


I have the honour to express to you, Mr. Chairman, as head of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, my profound gratitude for having organized this special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

On 29 November 1947, General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was adopted on the establishment of two States on the Territory of Palestine. Pursuant to that resolution, to date only one State has been established. The hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people for the establishment of their own State remain unrealized.

A few months ago, the thirty-seventh session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the countries members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference took place in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. A number of resolutions on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, were adopted. Those resolutions demand the lifting of the blockade and call for brotherly material assistance for the reconstruction of Gaza.

More than 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip under the conditions of the blockade suffer from a shortage of food, electricity, medicines and building materials. They look to the international community to take concrete steps to put an end to their tragedy and great suffering.

Here, I would like to draw attention to two important issues, the building of settlements and East Jerusalem, on which an absolute majority of the international community agrees. The international community acknowledges that the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is unlawful under international law and runs counter to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map. All settlement activities, including natural growth, must be ended. Building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories clearly increases tension, creates insurmountable obstacles to achieving peace between the Israelis and Palestinians and undermines efforts to establish a Palestinian State.

All Israeli measures that change the status of the city or seek to change its status have no legal basis or legitimacy in international law. The status of East Jerusalem was clearly defined in many Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and Israel should abide by them. We support the establishment of two States, which would provide for the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security.

That is the only possible solution by which the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people can be realized. It will also bring peace and security to the people of Israel and provide a major impetus to development and economic cooperation in the Middle East region. In that context, the international community should implement all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in 1967 and on ensuring the right of return and guaranteeing the rights of refugees from the occupied territories, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 1948.

I would like once again to address to the international community from this rostrum to call on it to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian people and to make serious efforts to ensure the implementation of international treaties and agreements. We highly value the work of the Committee and call on it to continue to support the Palestinian people in their just struggle for the liberation of their occupied territories and the exercise of their inalienable rights, including the right of return to their homes.


Statement on behalf of the African Group by Oumar Daou,
Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations
[Original: French]

We are gathered here today to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On behalf of the African Group, I would like to echo previous speakers in order to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for having organized this event. This day gives us the opportunity to reaffirm once again our active solidarity with the Palestinian people, who have suffered a tragedy for more than 60 years owing to the Israeli occupation. The situation in the Middle East is of great concern to the international community. Therefore, need we recall here that if there is one issue that unites all in resentment in that part of the world, it is clearly the Palestinian question?

As the United Nations and the international community commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, our thoughts turn to the Palestinian people living in the occupied territories, in particular those in Gaza, who live in a very critical socio-economic and humanitarian situation, specifically owing to the blockade imposed by the Israeli authorities and the harmful consequences of the Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009.

Our thoughts are also with the millions of Palestinian refugees living in the occupied Palestinian territory and in neighbouring countries. Their situation remains an issue of serious concern to the international community. I should like to pay warm tribute to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its remarkable work on the ground to provide the necessary assistance to Palestinian refugees and to those in particularly difficult situations, specifically given the many restrictions imposed on its staff and the harassment and intimidation that they suffer daily. At the same time, we commend the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations working on the ground.

Settling the Palestinian question cannot be postponed indefinitely. For a long time now, a negotiated solution has been defined that includes the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State within recognized borders, living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel. It is therefore time to work to bring about this lofty objective. It is important in that respect to ensure the effective implementation of the relevant resolutions of the Organization, advocating in particular the lifting of the embargo against Gaza and the relaunching of negotiations with a view to bringing about a comprehensive and lasting peace.

Sustained diplomatic efforts must also be made in order to bring all the parties to the negotiating table. In parallel, Israel must commit to dismantling settlements and ceasing all of its activities relating to the establishment of new settlements. Israel must also commit to removing the blockade imposed on Gaza and to creating conditions that are conducive to the relaunching of the negotiations.

Along the road to this just and comprehensive peace which we so strongly desire, Africa reaffirms its unwavering support for the initiatives of the United Nations, the Quartet, the European Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and other international organizations.

I should like, on this momentous day, to underline that it is high time that the courageous Palestinian people recovered all their national rights, including their right to a sovereign and independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The African Group, for its part, will spare no effort in contributing to the quest for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, which is at the heart of the situation in the Middle East.



Amre Moussa, 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]

I should like to convey my greetings and gratitude for the efforts made by the Committee in support of and in solidarity with the Palestinian people and its right to self-determination.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an integral part of the efforts to address the dangerous situation that threatens the peace process and impedes the two-State solution, as it prevents the establishment of a sovereign Arab Palestinian State and hinders a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

It is clear that Israel’s policy of colonization and settlements and its efforts to make Israel a Jewish State create difficulties and obstacles to the resumption of serious negotiations that would address all aspects of the final status issues on the basis of international legitimacy and in accordance with the terms of reference set out in a specific timetable. Occupied Palestinian lands, including East Jerusalem, are governed by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant provisions of international law on foreign occupation. The unilateral measures taken by Israel are null and void; they produce no rights and no commitments.

We call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to shoulder their responsibilities and to ensure the implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions with regard to the peace process and to negotiations. The core of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the occupation of Arab territories. A just and comprehensive peace with Israel can be realized only through the full withdrawal by Israel from those territories to the 1967 borders, including the occupied Arab Syrian Golan Heights and the territories that are still occupied in southern Lebanon, the creation of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and reciprocal commitments as proposed in the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

We call upon the international community to immediately take the measures necessary to put an end to Israel’s inhumane and unjust siege of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Government is responsible for freezing the direct negotiations launched by President Obama in Washington, D.C. in September 2010. Its persistence in illegal settlement policies has had dangerous, negative consequences and impacts.

Resumption of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel requires a complete freeze on and stoppage of all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. Israel has defied and disregarded international legality and world public opinion and violated human rights instruments. The international community must realize that resolving the Palestinian question is the key to peace and stability in the region, which is necessary for the benefit of all peoples that have long suffered from war, and to finding a lasting and just solution to the conflict, which has lasted for decades. Continued Israeli occupation would destabilize the region and increase tensions. This is a very dangerous situation for international peace and security.

The Ministerial Committee of the Arab Peace Initiative has responded favourably to the efforts made by President Obama to relaunch the negotiation process. The ministerial meeting held on 29 July 2010 sent a message to the authorities of the United States with regard to the requirements for the relaunching of serious and meaningful negotiations.

Those efforts, and the favourable reaction of the Arab, in particular the Palestinian, people have come up against the attitude of Israel, which constantly and categorically rejects all initiatives and proposals that could lead to a balanced settlement. The Arab League greatly appreciates the position that President Obama took vis-à-vis the rights of the Palestinian people in the statement he made before the General Assembly on 23 September 2010. The League of Arab States, as always, stands ready to cooperate with the United States Administration to ensure the implementation of what was set out in that speech. We call upon the United States to continue its efforts to create favourable conditions, in particular to put an end to colonialist settlements, so that the peace process can be allowed to proceed on the right track.



Judith Le Blanc, Member of the Steering Committee of the United States Campaign
to End the Israeli Occupation, on behalf of civil society organizations
active on the question Palestine
[Original: English]

It is an honour to address the special meeting today. I have attended these important United Nations events in the past. The first time was just after my return from participating in a peace delegation to the West Bank during the second intifada. Upon my return, I went on a national tour, speaking at community centres, churches, synagogues and mosques. It is with sadness that I say that I could give nearly the same speech today as then about the cruel, inhumane realities of the Israeli occupation and the stalled political negotiations.

As a member of the National Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Occupation and an organizer for Peace Action, the largest peace organization in the United States, I am mindful of the opportunities and challenges we face in a world where many conflicts, inequalities and pressures to undermine international institutions and law.

The International Day of Solidarity is a moment to examine the opportunities and challenges in the fight for the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions, including the right of return and return to the 1967 borders, for the economic and social rights for Palestinian refugees, and against United States military aid to the Israeli occupation.

To paraphrase Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, the daunting challenge we confront is the prolonged occupation combined with the expansion of the settlements, which now amounts to de facto annexation.

The prospects for a comprehensive and just peace are precarious at a moment when there is a growing consensus in support of the two-State solution. The only path forward is negotiations based on international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions.

No great social change, resolution of an international crisis or just solution has happened without civil society being engaged and organized for justice. The opportunity and challenge we have as civil society organizations today is to mobilize international public opinion to help break the deadlock of more than 60 years of occupation. The tactics of non-violent direct action, boycotts, divestment and sanctions are best when aimed at solidifying public opinion in support of the implementation of United Nations resolutions and international law. In this, the public opinion in the United States is decisive.

The Israeli military action on the Gaza freedom flotilla ignited a groundswell of international solidarity, indignation and debate. As a result, the international movement in support of the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions issued by Palestinian civil society continues to grow. But United States public opinion and official policy remain the biggest barriers to effecting change in the conflict. Organizing to shift and solidify public opinion in the United States for effective political pressure on the Obama Administration and Congress is critical.

Recent United States public opinion polls show that pluralities know the ongoing illegal Israeli settlements in occupied land are wrong and should be stopped. They support President Obama’s efforts, but a majority of Americans still do not understand the history of and issues surrounding the conflict, or the role that the United States plays in supporting the Israeli regime.

Most do not understand that Israel ignores the United Nations and international law because the United States Government has poured over $3 trillion into Israel’s economy, plus $3 billion in annual military aid, and has used over 48 Security Council vetoes to protect Israel from international condemnation.

The recent United States midterm elections compound the complexity for solidarity organizing here in the United States. Now, two thirds of registered Democrats are opposed to Israeli policies, as compared to two thirds of registered Republicans who support Israeli policy at all costs. This is not new; it existed under the Clinton and Bush Administrations. The divide, though, has deepened with President Obama’s support for a freeze on settlements.

The United States solidarity movement must develop tactics that engage the new level of concern about United States policy in the Middle East while at the same time educate the public about what in fact the United States must do differently to break the impasse in the region. Many had hoped that the election of President Obama would represent a break in the continuum of United States foreign policy towards Israel. The reality is that the United States continues to interfere with the diplomatic role of the United Nations, as mandated in the Charter, and the implementation of United Nations resolutions, such as that on the Goldstone report (resolution 64/10), all due to politically driven domestic pressures.

The most recent example is the United States promise to turn over $3 billion in stealth fighters to Israel and to veto any United Nations resolution that questions Israel’s legitimacy, in exchange for Israel’s pledge to extend a 10-month partial settlement moratorium for another 90 days. The cold reality is that the powerful, moneyed, pro-Israel lobby remains one of the strongest influences on United States foreign policy.

On this International Day of Solidarity, we must recommit to organizing civil society. The powerful pro-Israel lobby’s influence on United States policy will only be challenged by internationally organized and sustained civil society pressure. The most critical part of that movement must be organized in the United States. The United States solidarity movement must creatively organize actions and campaigns that capture the hearts and minds of the American people.

There are new and important examples towards this end. In California, member groups of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation successfully campaigned to place a referendum on the state-wide ballot in the next elections. It calls on that state to divest teachers’ and state workers’ retirement pension funds from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Nationally, churches and civic groups are increasingly debating divestment from companies that do business with Israel, sell weapons to Israel or provide them bulldozers for the demolition of houses. In the past few weeks, international pressures have made it difficult for the United States Government to send previously promised Caterpillar tractors, long a target for boycott organizing since the killing of Rachel Corrie.

Frustration over United Nations and United States failures continues to compel organizing for more humanitarian efforts by United States citizens and others to break the cruel and inhumane blockade of the people of Gaza. The boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns all over the world are having a real impact on Israel. They say that this so called de-legitimization project is more dangerous to their security than the violence on the part of Palestinian resistance.

These are all important developments, but civil society alone win not end the occupation of Palestine. The United Nations must continue to challenge the unilateral role of the United States Government in the region. It must resist the attempts to circumvent international law. The United Nations various bodies and institutions remain critical to revealing the truth about the Israeli occupation and the plight of the Palestinian people, while creating a framework for the long-term resolution of the conflict.

The United Nations is where international public opinion can be registered and international law revived. The United Nations is the standard by which we judge the actions of our own Governments. The irony of this statement is not lost today in the wake of the recent WikiLeaks publications.

Our road map for reversing the damage of the Gaza blockade, removing the apartheid wall and ending the occupation as a whole must combine the moral authority of the United Nations with the collaboration of our own Governments and the grassroots reach of global civil society. Only through the harnessing of all of these forces — the United Nations, our Governments and civil society — can right overcome might in Israel and Palestine; can the rule of international law become the norm rather than the exception in the Middle East; can we put an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation in the region; can we realize the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions.

I thank the Committee for providing the opportunity for civil society voices to be raised in support of justice for the Palestinian people. Our cause is just. Our task is urgent.


Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine
to the United Nations
[Original: English]

On behalf of Palestine, the Palestinian people and the leadership of Palestine, I would like to express our gratitude to all those who were with us today in expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people on this very important occasion, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. We also express our gratitude and appreciation to all the countries that sent messages on this occasion to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people — all the Presidents, Heads of State, Kings, Emirs, Prime Ministers, Ministers and all others. I would also like to express our appreciation for the strong presence of civil society with us and the statement made on behalf of civil society. We believe that the cause of Palestine is a very important one that is close to the hearts of all civil societies that support just causes.

In conclusion, I would also like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Ashtar Theatre Group from Ramallah, which has been touring all corners of the globe and decided to conclude its trip by performing “The Gaza Monologues”, a series of vignettes about the suffering of our people in Gaza. They will be with us in a few minutes. I would like to express, on behalf of Palestine and all participants here today, our appreciation to the Ashtar Theatre Group. The members of the group, who come from more than 20 different countries, have come together to tell stories of the suffering of our people in Gaza.
Again, I thank the Committee very much for its strong message of solidarity. I am sure that, hopefully, next year or very soon, we will celebrate the independence of the State of Palestine and its full membership in the United Nations system.


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 would like to thank all those who have helped to organize this meeting — in particular staff members from the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, the Department of Public Information and the Office of Central Support Services — and all those who worked for the success of this meeting.

Immediately following the conclusion of this meeting, here in this conference room, the Ramallah-based Ashtar Theatre Group will give a performance entitled “The Gaza Monologues”. Poignant testimonies of the young people of Gaza will be performed by actors from all corners of the world who have come together for this occasion. As a token of our solidarity, I invite participants to remain in the room for the performance.

I would also like to invite participants to this evening’s opening of an exhibition presented by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, entitled “Summer Games in Gaza”, which will take place at 6 p.m. in the north-east gallery of the Public Lobby of the General Assembly Building. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Finnish Government, which we thank. It will be accompanied by a performance of the second part of “The Gaza Monologues”. I look forward to seeing everyone 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.


Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria
[Original: Arabic]

It is essential, in the first place, to express our gratitude to your esteemed Committee for its annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and to commend its efforts and tireless exertions to garner international support for this just cause.

This year, the occasion is yet again being marked with no change having taken place in the situation being endured by the Palestinian people as a result of the violation of its legitimate right to recover its land and establish an independent State.

The continuation of settlement and the Judaization of the city of Jerusalem, in addition to the tyrannical siege that has been imposed on the population of Gaza, constitute further impediments to the permanent and just resolution of the Palestinian issue.

The whole international community is witness to the intransigence of the Israelis with regard to its settlement policy, which recently prevented the resumption of direct talks between the two parties. That confirmed, yet again, that Israel is not serious about moving towards or attaining peace.

The humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people have continued to deteriorate, to the point where its most basic rights are not guaranteed by the Israeli occupying authorities, which persist in violating international instruments. The scorn it demonstrates for international legitimacy does not absolve Israel from its responsibility towards the international community.

The Israeli occupation continues to defy international legitimacy and humanitarian principles in an attempt to impose a fait accompli on the Palestinian people. Israel pursues a policy that includes killing, forced migration, detention, incarceration, abduction and siege, all of which constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity. The attack that was carried out in international waters on the freedom flotilla that was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza merely reflected the criminal logic of the Zionist entity.

Deprivation and a sense of injustice generate frustration in many Palestinians and drive them to adopt heroic stances, the legitimacy of which cannot be contested in that they represent a justifiable defence of the self, territory and dignity. That situation creates a vortex of disproportional violence from which there is no escape because of Israel’s pursuit of a policy of systematic State terrorism.

That policy of obduracy, arrogance and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people could not continue were it not for the fact that many of the relevant international parties refuse to accept or evade their responsibility to bring credible pressure to bear on Israel to cease those practices and honour its international obligations and agreements with the Palestinian Authority.

The continuing suffering of the Palestinian people demands that we stand resolutely beside that people, provide it with political and material support and condole with it on its tragedy, while exposing its torturers in international forums and, in particular, the United Nations.

In Algeria, we believe that the international community must never lose sight of the question of the Palestinian people or cease defending its legitimate, inalienable rights, especially the right to establish an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. That State must have geographical contiguity and sovereignty and must be able to survive and develop.

The peace that is hoped for as a result of the Arab Peace Initiative will only prevail when honourable people throughout the world induce the occupier and aggressor to completely withdraw from all the Arab territory occupied since 1967.

Condemnation and criticism will not in themselves compel Israel to respect human rights in the occupied territories. In order be able to face history and future generations, the international community must assume complete responsibility for ensuring that the situation of the Palestinian people does not become a shameful scar on the face of humankind that is synonymous with the tyranny of the logic of force over the rule of international law.

In conclusion, I must take the opportunity afforded by the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to renew the full and sincere support of Algeria for the Palestinian issue and its support for all the legitimate and indivisible rights of the Palestinian people, and to commend the efforts exerted by the Committee with a view to restoring its rights to the Palestinian people, notwithstanding the challenges, difficulties and obstacles that must continually be faced.



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 express, on behalf of the Argentine people and on my own behalf, our support for this important event and to reaffirm the need to pursue negotiations with a view to achieving a peaceful, just, final and global solution to the Middle East conflict that provides for an independent and viable Palestinian State, as well as for the right of Israel to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders.

As I recently stated in my address during the general debate of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, we hope that the State of Palestine will be able to participate as a full member in the next regular session of the General Assembly. This would contribute significantly to the maintenance of international peace and security.


King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa of Bahrain
[Original: Arabic]

Today the world is commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which the United Nations marks every year on the anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181(II) of 1947, concerning the partition of Palestine. This occasion represents an international acknowledgement of responsibility for the injustice and historic injury that was consequently suffered by the Palestinian people and recognition of the legitimacy of its cause over the past 60 years.

It is regrettable that this day comes at a time when the Israeli occupying authorities in the occupied West Bank are continuing their practices of deportation, home demolition and appropriation of territory and continuing to build settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, with a view to frustrating international endeavours to establish a viable, independent Palestinian State.

On this occasion, the Kingdom of Bahrain, which is desirous of peace, calls upon the countries of the world to assume the responsibilities of the international community towards the Palestinian people and to take action to restore its legitimate, established rights, in particular, the right to self-determination and to establish an independent State on its own territory, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, which is anxious for the pillars of peace to be firmly established in the region, calls upon the international community, through the esteemed Committee, to prevent any more of the gross human rights violations that are continuing to be perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territories and to take action to implement the provisions of international instruments, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Kingdom of Bahrain further adjures all the other parties to honour their commitments under the international terms of reference. In that regard, we trust that the United States of America, as the sponsor of the direct negotiations, will conclude its endeavours to make a success of the peace process and surmount all the obstacles to achieving a just and lasting peace on the basis of a two-State solution. Bahrain greatly appreciates the historic commitment and sustained efforts exerted by President Barack Obama and his administration with a view to advancing the peace process in the Middle East and bringing together Palestine and Israel in direct negotiations to end this long-standing struggle. Such great efforts require the full commitment and sustained support of all the parties, in addition to the taking of practical steps that will open the doors to coexistence and guarantee a high level of communication, enabling each party to reassure the other that they will be able to coexist in the region as neighbours rather than as enemies who will seek to destroy each other. The Arab Peace Initiative is the ideal model for such coexistence; an initiative to the provisions of which all are committed in a genuine desire for true peace.

Finally, I have the honour to convey all very best wishes to the fraternal Palestinian people in its struggle and assure it of the solidarity of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Once again, we affirm our staunch commitment to a just, comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Middle East problem that will enable all its peoples and, in particular, the Palestinian people, to plan a promising future in which all will enjoy security, peace and well-being.



Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
[Original: English]

Bangladesh joins the international community on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in reaffirming its commitment for the realization of an independent, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side-by-side and in peace with all its neighbours. On this day the people and the Government of Bangladesh reiterate our unwavering solidarity with the just and legitimate struggle of the people of Palestine for their self-determination and Statehood.

The Palestinian people have been subjected to gross injustice and flagrant violation of human rights. The Palestine crisis has been one of the saddest episodes in the history of mankind and remains a source of contention and violence in the Middle East even after 63 years since its genesis. It is a matter of deep regret that despite several peace initiatives for a comprehensive solution to the Middle-East crisis, the loss of innocent lives and immeasurable sufferings continue unabated in the region and the Palestinian people still struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination while a free and independent Palestinian homeland remains illusive.

Bangladesh, standing firm in its constitutional commitment to support oppressed people around the world, has consistently supported the right cause of self-determination of the Palestinian people. We condemn the attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank and the deaths of innocent Palestinians, including women and children. There is no pretext that can justify killings of innocent civilians or the breach of international humanitarian laws and human rights standards.


Bangladesh wants to see Palestine as a sovereign State with a recognized border, living side by side in peace with Israel. We welcome in this regard, multilateral initiatives, particularly the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the efforts made by the UN Quartet. The biggest challenge to peace in the Middle East is the absence of a conducive environment of trust and confidence. We hope that parties involved will demonstrate sincerity in transforming the vision of “two states” into a reality. On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we call upon the international community to take serious steps in alleviating the plight of our Palestinian brethren, revive the peace process and allow global values of mutual respect, human rights, harmonious coexistence of nations and peaceful resolution of disputes to prevail in the Middle East.



Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil

[Original: English]

On the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Brazilian Government reiterates its full support to the struggle of the Palestinian people to fulfill 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 commend the steps taken by the Palestinian National Authority, following Prime Minister Fayyad’s Plan, to build institutional capacity and set the grounds for a viable Palestinian State. The assessment by the World Bank confirming that recent economic reforms contribute to reaching this goal invites for greater international support and engagement.

Dialogue is the only way to reach a just and comprehensive agreement. That is why we have fully supported the resumption of negotiations to end the conflict and reach a two-state solution in a one-year time frame, based on United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the Road Map and all previous agreements. The outcome of any negotiation should take into account the need for the full exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.


In order to create the conditions for the peace process to be preserved and yield satisfactory results, Israel must suspend all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as its legal obligation under international law and as a major contribution to peace in the region.

Palestinian reconciliation is also indispensable. We hope concrete progress will be made soon. We commend Egypt for its longstanding efforts.

It is also key that all concerned avoid all acts of violence or provocation. In this regard, rocket-firing, air strikes, evictions, demolitions and raids must stop immediately. Not only they impose unacceptable human sacrifice and material losses, but they also threaten a fragile political process.

Brazil has always been ready to help the parties to strengthen dialogue and build confidence to achieve a fair and durable peace. By the end of July, the Minister of External Relations of Brazil had paid five visits to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We will continue to pay close attention to the region and be available to assist the parties, if they so wish.

The situation in Gaza remains unacceptable. We welcome the Israeli decision to ease the blockade and to authorize reconstruction projects, including those financed by Brazil in conjunction with India and South Africa. Much more is needed, however. The blockade is a violation of international law and should be lifted entirely, without prejudice to Israel’s legitimate security concerns.


Last July, Brazil fulfilled its pledge made at the International Donors Conference of Sharm el-Sheikh and donated approximately $ 15 million for funding humanitarian projects in Gaza through United Nations agencies, in the context of our evolving cooperation with the Palestinian people. Brazil will continue to actively support all efforts to bring just and lasting peace to Palestine.




Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei Darussalam
[Original: English]

The Government and People of Brunei Darussalam join me on this special day in expressing our deepest respect for the Palestinian people and our lasting support in their continued struggle for peace, security and justice and, above all, their own, independent State.

Once again, as members of the United Nations, this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People reminds us that the promise of these inalienable rights is unfulfilled after well over half a century.

At the same time, however, we have been encouraged over the past year by positive efforts being made by the international community of nations, especially its most influential members, to resolve this regrettable situation.

We express our appreciation to the members of the international Quartet, both collectively and individually, and to the Governments most immediately involved in the region, for their ongoing work to ensure progress in the peace process and the establishment of a two-State solution.


We also thank the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for the lead they have taken in helping improve the lives of Palestinians, both exiled and in the Occupied Territories.

To this, we add our acknowledgement of the invaluable work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in promoting international support for their cause and their right to self-determination.

In doing so, we pledge our continued support for all international efforts to bring an end to the suffering of Palestine and a new beginning for its 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 Chinese Government, warm congratulations to the commemorative meeting.

The question of Palestine is at the centre of the Middle East issue. The Chinese Government consistently and firmly supports the Palestinian people in their just cause of restoring the lawful national rights and interests and supports the efforts to push forward the Middle East peace process. The peace talks between Palestine and Israel are now in a crucial period. We hope that both sides will stick to the path of peace talks, take positive and constructive steps, and avoid any disruption to the talks. We hope the two sides will cooperate with the international community in its efforts for peace and continue to advance the negotiation process on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions and the principle of “land for peace” so that an independent Palestinian State with full sovereignty will eventually be established and the two states of Palestine and Israel will live side by side in peace.


Early resolution of the question of Palestine is a common aspiration of people in the Middle East and the entire international community. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China will continue to support the United Nations in playing an important role in resolving the Middle East issue. We will work tirelessly with the rest of the international community towards the just settlement of the question of Palestine and towards peace, stability and development in the Middle East.



Kim Yong Nam, President of the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea
[Original: Korean]
[Unofficial translation]

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

I take this opportunity to reaffirm firm solidarity of our people with the Palestinian people in their just cause to regain their legitimate national rights, including the right to self-determination and return home as well as the right to establishment of an independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.



General Sékouba Konaté, Interim Head of State,
President of the Transition of Guinea
[Original: French]

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being held this year at a critical time, when the situation in Palestine still gives cause for serious concern as a result of Israel’s continuing aggression against the Palestinian people and its attempts to undermine peace initiatives and implement unilateral measures and plans, with a view to imposing an unlawful unilateral solution.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Guinea, I would like, on this important occasion, to reaffirm our commitment to the principled positions outlined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and in the declarations on Palestine adopted by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

In that regard, I urge the international community to intensify its efforts to support a true peace process and ensure that the negotiations between the parties on all aspects of the peace process are resumed and that progress is made with a view to reaching a comprehensive, just, durable and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a whole.

The Republic of Guinea reiterates its complete solidarity with the historic struggle of the fraternal people of Palestine, under the wise and courageous leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine encompassing all the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Lastly, I address warm congratulations to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its perseverance and unwavering commitment to the realization of the legitimate national 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, Quartet Road map and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

India’s solidarity with Palestine’s struggle for the realization of its fundamental rights is an article of faith for us and enjoys national consensus in India. India has and will always support the Palestinian people in their pursuit of legitimate goals and quest for development based on dignity and self-reliance. Towards this objective, India extended further budgetary support of $10 million to the Palestine National Authority earlier this year, in addition to a similar contribution last year, to assist in their work of reconstruction and development.


India welcomes the “direct talks” between Israel and Palestine and reiterates its full support for efforts to achieve a durable, comprehensive and just settlement. We sincerely hope that the talks and negotiations would lead to a comprehensive peace process for final resolution of the Middle East conflict.
I take this opportunity to convey my best wishes and greetings to the friendly people of Palestine.


Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
[Original: Indonesian]
(Unofficial translation)

It is my great pleasure, on behalf of the people and the Government of Indonesia, to send my warmest greetings to all our Palestinian brothers and sisters today, on this solemn occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People.

Every year, member of the international community pause on this day to express their solidarity with the Palestinians.


This is the only occasion of this nature, set aside by the United Nations to remember Palestinians, and stand with them. Indonesia is proud to express this solidarity not just because the day has been so set aside, but because the people of our entire archipelago completely believe in the cause of every Palestinian.


This is a 60-year old cause, and 60 years is a very long time for a people whose land is occupied by ruthless and hostile adversary.


This year, however, this message comes with extra energy because it is a period of hope. We believe that, finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Indonesians heartily support these talks and encourage the commitment of both parties. I take this opportunity, once again, to express the full and unwavering support of all Indonesians to the Palestinians throughout this process.


I express the unequivocal solidarity of all Indonesians to the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for the full realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to self-determination and an independent and sovereign State of Palestine.


We believe in the prospect and viability of the two-States solution, and that an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel is an evitable conclusion. Success in the Palestine-Israel track also of strategic significance as it will provide a firm basis for the effort to resolve the other problems in the Middle East.

Direct talks finally began between our Palestinian brothers and the Israelis in September 2010.

However, there have been setbacks in the direct talks. But these must be kept within the realm of the expected. The conflict is ages old and complicated. We must exercise the patience and wisdom necessary to win the peace.

It is my honour, therefore, to take advantage of this International Day of Solidarity to call upon members of the international community, particularly the Quartet, to close ranks and work diligently to ensure that this historic opportunity leads to historic success.


Indonesia also urges Palestinians to work together to ensure that they achieve their objectives at the direct talks.


I wish to remind every Palestinian man, woman and child that Indonesia is solidly behind them, and will work with members of the international community to ensure their interest stay protected.



Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
[Original: Farsi]
[Unofficial translation]

The question of Palestine, which has considerable and international aspects, should not be viewed as a uniquely Arabic, Islamic or regional issue. It is rather a human issue with enormous international dimensions. The widespread reactions on the part of elites, politicians, thinkers and all freedom-loving human beings towards the grievous situation in which the Palestinian people live attests to this reality. The occupation of Palestine and the displacement of its people do not amount only to depriving them from their basic and legitimate rights; it is also the violation of all lofty human values and the disregard of rationality, logic and conscience of all humanity.

The Middle Eastern crisis and the lingering Palestinian question is one of the most complicated international issues, and thus far it has had grave consequences for peace and international security. In this process not only the Palestinian people but also all other Middle Eastern peoples have been adversely affected by the ongoing situation and by the expansionist, warmongering and inhumane policies adopted by the Zionist regime.


It is obvious that in the light of the occurring developments during the past six decades, there is no need to busying oneself with tying to provide evidence about the oppression of the Palestinian people and their depriving from all basic rights, including the right to self-determination, independence, national sovereignty and the enjoyment of an optimal life in their ancestral land. Thus, the most important priority and duty of the international community is to address the causes underlying the continuation of this situation and to make serious efforts to remove the impediments in the way of finding a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question.

One of these major impediments consists of the persistence of certain powers and those who designed the establishment of the Zionist regime in the continuation of their colonialist and biased policies in the region. In the past 60 years, they did not spare any effort to support these inhumane and illegitimate policies. The measures taken by those powers in the framework of international forums, especially in the Security Council, using the veto power, has not only made the Zionist regime more presumptuous in continuing with its inhumane and illegitimate policy and ignoring all international laws and regulations, but have also barred any logical or fair action aimed at resolving the crisis.

To shed light on this bitter reality, it is sufficient to review the approach taken by these powers towards the Zionist attack on the flotilla for freedom that carried humanitarian assistance. What these powers did in this respect cast doubt on their claims over issues such as human rights, democracy and abiding by international law. All the above have led the elite, freedom-loving nations and world public opinion to distrust these powers and lose hope about their initiatives and ideas for resolving the Palestinian question.

The establishment of the fabricated Zionist regime, the expansionist and occupying policies of the regime, its continual crime and the support of some powers and, regrettably, the passive approach of some other countries towards these problems are among the roots of the Palestinian question and the Middle Eastern crisis.

The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that it is impossible to resolve the Palestinian question unless the legitimate demands of the Palestinians, especially their right to exercising their national sovereignty, is recognized. In our view, any plan or initiative should draw on the above important principles and the reality as well as the experience accumulated in the past 60 years. We believe that holding a free election with the participation of the inhabitants of Palestine, be they Muslims, Christians or Jews, and the Palestinian refugees is the best way to realize the above goal. It is obvious that the international community, through the United Nations, can play an effective and major part in furthering this idea for resolving the Palestinian question and bringing the Middle Eastern crisis to an end.



King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein of Jordan
[Original: Arabic]

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we take pleasure in conveying to you and your esteemed Committee our thanks and esteem for the sustained and urgent endeavours which you exert in defence of the inalienable rights of the fraternal Palestinian people. Foremost among those rights is the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent, viable sovereign State on the national soil of Palestine, which has had a profound impact on garnering international support for the Palestinian people and its just cause.

The Committee has succeeded over long decades in keeping the issue of Palestine, which is central to the struggle in the Middle East, alive on the international stage. It has also drawn the attention of the world to the extent of the suffering of the Palestinian people, the disastrous economic and social conditions in which it exists and the huge injustice that is the consequence of the continuing Israeli occupation, which conflicts with every humanitarian value.

The harsh living conditions and ever-worsening humanitarian ordeal that are endured by the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which have exacerbated poverty, hunger, frustration and despair, must be alleviated by immediate and serious action. The siege must be lifted and the humanitarian disaster that is taking place there must end. The Jordanians continue to provide all types of support to our brothers the Palestinians, and will continue to take all possible courses of action, in various international gatherings, to draw the attention of the world to the extent of their suffering.

The activities and conferences with which the Committee was involved in 2010 have been instrumental in maintaining the rights of the Palestinian people as a leading priority and concern of the international community, and in focusing the interest of Governments, international governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the media on the urgent need to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli struggle and realize the aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State on national soil.

The Committee has proved its effectiveness and capacity for employing international endeavours within the United Nations to expose Israeli settlement policies, violations and acts of aggression against the Palestinian people, as well as the tyrannical and aggressive measures undertaken by Israel, including the demolition of homes, the destruction of infrastructure, excavations under the sacred Al-Aqsa mosque and the continual endeavour to Judaize Palestinian areas, particularly in East Jerusalem, which is being emptied of its Muslim and Christian Arab population.

Against that background, we value the activities of the esteemed Committee, which has extended contacts with parliaments with a view to urging Governments to take the steps that are essential to end the struggle on the basis of the two-State solution, which enjoys universal support, and to provide the assistance that is needed by the Palestinian people in order to alleviate the suffering that it must endure.

The two-State solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian State that will live in security and peace beside Israel, is the only way to end the Palestinian-Israeli struggle and ensure comprehensive regional peace. Redoubled efforts are required in order to overcome the obstacles to the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, which will mandate the cessation of all unilateral Israeli measures and, in particular, the continued building of settlements.

Failure to conclude a comprehensive and just peace will pose a challenge to international security and stability and drag the region into a bottomless pit. The international community must therefore combine efforts to create an environment in which the negotiations can be resumed. Those negotiations must address all the final status issues and, in particular, the issues of Jerusalem, borders and the refugees, on the basis of United Nations resolutions and the accepted terms of reference.

Today, we once again reiterate our call for an end to the struggle, and for the Palestinian people to be empowered to establish its independent, viable State on the Palestinian territory that was occupied in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital. That State should be established within a specific time frame and on the basis of the accepted terms of reference and, in particular, the Arab Peace Initiative, which reflects the harmonized Arab position with regard to the realization of a comprehensive and lasting peace that will guarantee true security and stability in the region.

The time has come to halt the injustice and abuses to which the fraternal Palestinian people is subjected, and to empower that people to exercise its natural and basic right to self-determination and establish independence on its national territory. Israel must make genuine moves towards peace and undertake meaningful and effective negotiations that build on what has already been achieved.

We congratulate you on your noble endeavours and trust that you will continue to gather international support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and for efforts to establish peace in the Middle East by finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question.

In conclusion, we greatly appreciate the constructive efforts of the Committee and wish you every success in achieving the worthy goals to which we all aspire.



Choummaly Sayasone, President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic
[Original: English]

As the world community commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic takes this opportunity to pay tribute to the oppressed people of Palestine and reiterates its consistent and firm support for the just and legitimate struggle to recover their inalienable rights, above all, the rights to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign State on Palestinian soil.

Today’s observance underlines the importance and urgency of finding a solution to the question of Palestine and of addressing the plight of the Palestinian people who live though tremendous suffering and humiliation. It is with grave concern to witness the volatile situation on the ground throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip exacerbated by the continued imposition by Israel of a severe blockade on the territory, obstructing movement of persons and goods.

In this regard, we join the international community in calling upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its unlawful colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, place a complete and indefinite freeze on all settlements activities and respond favourably and in good faith to the international consensus in this respect, in order to pave the way for an environment conducive to the pursuit of peace, which salvages the prospects of achieving a two-State solution, as enshrined in the Security Council resolutions and other relevant United Nations resolutions.

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic reaffirms its longstanding solidarity and unwavering support for the just cause of the Palestinian people in realizing their fundamental rights and achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region to through the implementation of the Quartet’s Road Map, which envisages 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 auspicious occasion, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic would like to 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]

For almost half a century, the international community had struggled to seek a solution that would peacefully end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Malaysia, as a member of the international community, has continuously supported the efforts of the international community to find a just and lasting solution to the Question of Palestine, including the current direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, facilitated by the United States of America. However, the hostile signals from Israel, negative statements by its leaders and unproductive actions of the State in encouraging illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, among others, have jeopardized this process, thus bringing all parties, including the international community, further away from the ultimate goal of peace.

Malaysia is baffled that although Israel agrees to a two-State solution, the illegal Israeli settlements continue to be constructed in the occupied Palestinian territories of West Bank and in East Jerusalem. In the interest of justice and fair-play, we call upon the international community, especially the members of the Quartet, to urge Israel to cease all settlement building activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. For peace to be permanent, all parties must demonstrate honesty and sincerity, in order for a just and lasting peace to prevail in Palestine and in the Middle East, based on the two-State solution. Words must be matched with actions to reflect this genuine desire.


Let there be no doubt that this protracted illegal occupation of Palestine has led the younger generations of people across the globe to radicalism and extremism, which has negatively affected global peace. All parties should seize the opportunity for peace presented at this moment of time, as failure to do so would have serious consequences, not only for the Middle East, but the world at large.

As a responsible member of the international community, Malaysia is also deeply concerned with the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza. The international community must not forego its moral obligation to ensure that Israel completely lifts the illegal blockade on Gaza, which is a form of collective punishment and is in clear violation of international law, including international humanitarian law.

Israel must show genuine and honest desire at finding a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, based on the two-State solution. All parties must honestly fulfil their obligations in order to ensure that this peace process would bring to an end the suffering of the Palestinians. Towards that end, Malaysia stands ready to contribute in any way it can, as it has demonstrated over the past 40 years.



King Mohammed VI of Morocco
[Original: Arabic]
[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it gives me great pleasure to say how much I appreciate your untiring efforts and those of the esteemed Committee members to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to establish an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Throughout the various developments of the Palestinian issue, the Committee has shown its unswerving commitment as well as its continued support for the international community’s serious efforts to alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers and defend their legitimate rights. This has earned your Committee great respect from freedom and peace advocates, supporters of justice and legitimacy and all those who are sympathetic to this just cause.

I should like to commend your Committee on including in this year’s programme of action such important activities as the Committee’s African meeting, which the Kingdom of Morocco had the honour to host last July. This meeting has had a positive impact in terms of sensitizing influential international actors about the need to end the conflict in the region and to press ahead with efforts to achieve the desired goal of bringing about peace on the basis of a two-state solution, so that the Palestinian people may establish their own viable, independent state in Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, in accordance with a specific time frame and in keeping with the principles and resolutions of international legitimacy.


In view of the current crucial situation, which is the result of the Israeli Government’s persistent policy of building settlements and Judaization, its fait accompli tactics and its denial of the Palestinian people’s historic, legitimate rights, I call upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and to compel Israel to stop resorting to unilateral practices, give peace a chance and pave the way for serious international efforts aimed at finding a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question.


As Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, I shall spare no effort to pursue the action designed to save the holy city and to preserve its character as well as its religious and cultural heritage. I call on all the stakeholders who are committed to peace to step up efforts in order to oblige Israel to cease its aggressive policies as well as its settlement and expansion projects which, as everyone knows, constitute the most serious hurdle to clear before serious, constructive negotiations can be launched.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm my strong, unswerving support for the Palestinian National Authority, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. I call on all our Palestinian brothers to strive to preserve national Palestinian unity and enhance their ability to make their own decisions so that they may fulfil the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for independence and the achievement of sovereignty.


I should like to reiterate my sincere appreciation for your constructive efforts to uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and achieve peace in the Middle East by working to find a just, lasting solution to the Palestinian question. I assure you of my constant support to help you attain your lofty goals and pray that Almighty God grant you continued success.



Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia
[Original: English]

It is my sincere pleasure to once again express to you, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Namibia, and indeed on my own behalf, warm greetings on this important observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The Government and people of Namibia wish to reiterate to the people of Palestine the assurance of our unwavering support and solidarity. We encourage the Palestine people to persevere and to stand firm in their pursuit of theft inalienable right to self-determination, in keeping with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council.

Namibia is concerned about the lack of progress in the negotiations on the Question of Palestine. The United Nations has a historic responsibility towards the people of Palestine. We, therefore, call for the immediate implementation without further delay of all United Nations resolutions on Palestine and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, living side by side with Israel.




Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, President of the Philippines
[Original: English]

The Philippines joins the international community in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

We support Palestinian’s quest for self-rule and self-determination, including the establishment of a Palestinian homeland.


The Philippines welcomes the resumption of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel, and looks forward to a breakthrough in the peace process between Israel and Palestine soon.


We hope that one day an independent and prosperous Palestinian State may live side by side in peace and security with its neighbours.


The Philippines congratulates the Palestinian people on this auspicious day.



Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar
[Original: Arabic]

Notwithstanding the best efforts of the international community, including those exerted by the Quartet and the States sponsors of the peace process, to move that process forward, which initially led to the proximity talks and then the resumption of the direct negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, Israel has proved intransigent and continues to build settlements and to ignore international calls for such activity to cease in order to allow the negotiations to proceed. As a result, no significant progress has yet been made. While the Arab States have demonstrated a genuine desire for peace and for the creation of an environment conducive to peace negotiations, there has been no response from the Israeli side.

In September 2009, Qatar, on behalf of the Arab States, addressed a communication to the American intermediary in which guarantees were requested from the Israeli side that would enable those States to maintain their stance. More than one year later, the intransigence of the Government of Israel which is obvious to the whole world, has recently obstructed the negotiations. That Government continues to pursue its policy of building illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and in the occupied Syrian Golan, in defiance of the international community and of the request made by the Ministerial Council for the Arab Peace Initiative in its statements, the most recent of which was the statement made at its meeting on 8 October 2010, over which Qatar presided in the Libyan city of Sirte, prior to the Arab special summit.

Qatar has repeatedly stressed that peace in the Middle East, based on the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map, is a strategic choice. We underline that Israel’s persistent rejection of both peace and the establishment of a Palestinian State on all the Palestinian territory that has been occupied since 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, does not further opportunities for achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Nor does it serve the interests of Israel itself or international security and peace.

Qatar will continue to provide the fraternal Palestinian people with material and political support, and in cooperation with the international community, will exert every effort to ensure that it may exercise its legitimate national rights.



Dmitry A. Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation
[Original: Russian]
[Unofficial translation]

I congratulate you on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

On this auspicious day I would like to reiterate our continued support for the indisputable right of the Palestinians to establish an independent and viable State. I believe that this step will become a stabilizing factor in the region and that it will contribute to peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries and peoples.

I highly esteem your resolute intention to continue the peace process in order to find ways to attain a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the universally recognized international legal basis. At the present stage, which is key to the peace process, we call upon the parties to continue the dialogue to achieve agreement on all final status issues, both bilaterally and within the work of the Quartet of international mediators, without prejudging the outcome of negotiations unilaterally.

We intend to continue to exert all efforts to establish lasting peace and security in the Middle East. We will keep providing to the Palestinian National Authority our comprehensive assistance in forming its state structures and in addressing topical social and economic problems. I wish you, Mr. Abbas, success in your work, and wish the entire Palestinian people a future of peace, prosperity and welfare in their native land.




Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal
[Original: French]

The celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November 2010 gives me the opportunity, on behalf of our Committee and on my own behalf, to reiterate our unwavering support for the Palestinian people and their leaders in their just and legitimate demand for the creation of a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The fact that our Committee is meeting, once again, to commemorate this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people is a reminder to the whole international community that the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab- Israeli conflict, remains, to our profound regret, unresolved.

Indeed, since last year’s commemoration, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has even deteriorated.

The facts, although they are unfortunately not exhaustive, testify to this.

In East Jerusalem, the occupying Power has demolished many Palestinian homes and thrown out the homeowners.

The Government of Israel’s decision in February to list the Ibrahimi Mosque (Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi) and the Bilal Mosque (Masjid Bilal) as part of Israel’s national heritage illustrates its determination to erase the multi-faith heritage of these holy sites, which are shared by the three revealed religions.

Lastly, how can we forget the Israeli army’s deadly attack last May on a civilian flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza?

These regrettable developments are compounded by the illegal Israeli practices in the occupied Arab territories, including the ever-increasing pace of settlement construction in the West Bank, collective punishments, the disproportionate use of force, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, the blockade on the Gaza Strip and other hindrances to the daily lives of the people, including in the critical area of health.

I am gravely concerned by these repeated violations of international humanitarian law.

I must also reiterate our frustration and disappointment over the deadlock in the peace talks only a few weeks after they had been resumed, precisely because of the Israeli Government’s refusal to freeze settlement activities.

Nobody can truthfully be unaware that the issue of land is a key element of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Therefore, the continuing construction of settlements is inconsistent with a viable peace process.

That is why I once again urge the Israeli Government, the occupying Power, to choose peace by lifting the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and freezing the construction of settlements on Palestinian land in order to create conditions conducive to negotiation.

Since violence, by whomsoever committed and in whatever form, is not acceptable, force alone can neither create the law nor legitimize facts on the ground.

The right choice, the courageous choice, is the choice of peace and security for all.

To choose the path of peace and security for all is to understand and accept that the prospect of a normal life, devoid of the grip of fear, can only come to pass for all the peoples of the region, including of course the Israeli people, if a peaceful, just and lasting solution is found to the question of Palestine.

That is why, no matter what obstacles crop up along the road to peace, our Committee should neither be discouraged nor give up.

Our mandate from the General Assembly and the inherent right of peoples to live in freedom should renew our sense of purpose in pursuit of our mission until such time as the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized.

In support of this just cause, I trust that each and every member of our Committee will remain collectively dedicated to our common undertaking.



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 thirty-third anniversary of the 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. It is also a day on which world attention is focused on the Middle East peace process.

This year has been a year of turbulent developments in the Middle East, as the international community and Palestinian leadership have grappled with developments in the region, exacerbated by the polices of Israel and their continued lack of commitment to honour international agreements on the Palestinian question.


South Africa commends the recent efforts of the United States, the Quartet, Egypt and Jordan to restart direct consultations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. When the peace talks were resumed in September 2010, there was a sense of quiet optimism that real progress could be made towards the establishment of a viable Palestinian State along the lines of agreements and commitments undertaken by both parties, including the Oslo Peace Accords and the Quartet Road Map. However, when the limited 10-month moratorium on settlement expansion instituted by Israel was not renewed on 26 September 2010, it led to a break down in the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Government of President Mahmoud Abbas. This action on the part of Israel was at the time condemned by the international community, including the Arab world, the Quartet and South Africa.


South Africa notes that the Palestine National Authority has now brought the issue of settlement expansion to the Security Council, highlighting the continuous breeches to previously agreed upon commitments and accords by Israel, in violation of human rights and United Nations resolutions.


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.


Now is the time for bold leadership decisions on both sides so as not to repeat mistakes of the past that have led to a situation of increased violence and reprisals by Palestinians and Israelis.


The people of South Africa have stood steadfast in support for the right of the Palestinian people for 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, as set out in United Nations resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 465 (1980), 681 (1990), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003) and the Arab Peace Initiative. South Africa, together with the members of the Non-Aligned Movement, realizes that for as long as our brothers and sisters in the occupied Palestinian territories are not free, neither are we.


South Africa also continues to support the mediation efforts by the Arab countries and Egypt in particular, to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas and to bring about intra-Palestinian unity. The South African Government has also noted with interest the latest round of talks between Fatah and Hamas and it urges both parties to set aside their differences and to work tirelessly to unite the Palestinian people, as a divided Palestine only serves the interests of’ those forces for whom a peaceful and prosperous Palestine, existing in peace with its neighbours, inside internationally accepted borders, is not a possibility.

The South African Government’s clear position of support for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State is based on its firm belief that only a realistic two-State solution can bring lasting peace to the Middle East.


In 2011, South Africa takes its seat, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, for a historic second time. The confidence shown by Africa and the international community in voting for South Africa, will serve as a guiding light during its tenure in the United Nations. The South Africa would like to assure the people of Palestine that finding a peaceful solution to the statehood of Palestine will be an issue of priority for South Africa during its 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 Israelis and Palestinians to achieve the peace that both peoples aspire to. In this regard, South Africa has consistently pledged its 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 important occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to renew, on behalf of my Government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere and unwavering support fox the just struggle of Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including their right to statehood.

I have personally associated myself with the Palestinian cause for over 30 years, and it is my conviction that the Palestinians have been denied their basic rights for far too long. It is in the mutual benefits of both Israel and Palestine that proximity talks should recommence without further delay. We therefore take this opportunity to earnestly request for utmost restraint and the cessation of all provocations to ensure the re-establishment of trust and confidence among all parties. It is hoped that the pasties would continue to demonstrate leadership and political courage and keep open the door to peace, the dream of the people of the region for decades.


It is peace in Palestine that can pave the way for a stable and peaceful Middle Eastern region. It is by securing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including by creating an independent, self sustaining State of Palestine consistent with a negotiated comprehensive solution, that peace and security in the region could be ensured.

It is the continuing hope of Sri Lanka that this day would arrive soon.



Abhisit Vejjajiva, 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 closely followed the developments related to the Middle East peace process with great interest, as it is crucial for the peace and prosperity of the region and beyond. Thailand supports the international efforts to advance the peace process, on the basis of the two-State solution, the Quartet’s Road Map, relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. To that end, Thailand strongly hopes that all parties concerned would exert their utmost efforts to ensure that peace and stability will prevail in the Middle East for the benefit of the peoples in the region.


As a reflection of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Royal Thai Government, on behalf of the Thai people, has, since 1978, provided financial assistance to the Palestinians through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. In commemorating this annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it is the hope and prayer of the Thai people that the dreams of the Palestinians will soon be realized and that lasting peace and stability will prevail in the Middle East.



Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, President of Tunisia
[Original: Arabic]

Tunisia, in common with the whole international community, marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and, on this occasion, affirms once more its firm and principled stance in support of the fraternal Palestinian people and its complete solidarity with that people in its legitimate struggle for the restoration of its national rights and the establishment of an independent State on its territory. Tunisia’s stance is based on its belief in law and justice and its attachment to the constituents of international legitimacy and principles of international law.

Tunisia expresses its deep concern with regard to the hostility shown by Israel towards international legitimacy and the basic terms of reference of the peace process, its continuing pursuit of its settlement policy, practices against the Palestinian people and attempts to obliterate the Arab and Islamic characteristics of the holy city of Jerusalem. Such practices merely increase impediments to the progress of the negotiations and demolish the very foundations of peace and stability in the region.

On this occasion, Tunisia reiterates its call to all the international parties to exert every effort to prevail upon Israel to halt settlement activity and remove all obstacles to the resumption of peace negotiations; and appeals to the international community and, in particular, parties with influence and the Quartet, to redouble efforts aimed at the resumption of those negotiations, with a view to bringing the Palestinian issue to a just, comprehensive and lasting conclusion that is based on international legitimacy, the central terms of reference of the peace process and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Tunisia also reiterates its call to the United Nations and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to continue efforts to make those rights materialize and redouble endeavours to attract the attention of the world to the tragic conditions in which the fraternal Palestinian people lives because of the continuing Israeli occupation and empower that people to realize its legitimate aspiration to live in freedom and dignity in its own State in an atmosphere of security and stability.

Tunisia further affirms its commitment to continue to contribute to the success of all efforts and initiatives to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which will support the security, stability and development of the peoples of the whole region.



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 on my own behalf, our support for the just cause of the Palestinian people.

Turkey is of the conviction that in order for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace to be established in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved and the Palestinian people must as soon as possible be able to fully exercise their inalienable rights. In the period ahead, Turkey is determined to maintain its material, moral and political support for the alleviation of the difficult circumstances that our Palestinian sisters and brothers find themselves in.


As a country that has for long supported the solution of the Palestinian question in the context of two States living side by side within recognized borders and on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative, Turkey attributes great importance to the continuation and increase of international efforts to ensure the realization of the just expectations of the Palestinian people.


While the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians was welcomed, the suspension of these talks has been met with disappointment not only in Turkey but also in the international community. Taking this opportunity, I would like to emphasize that we commend the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People aimed at amplifying the voice and expectations of the Palestinian people in the international arena. Turkey hosted the successful Committee meeting in Istanbul in 2010 based on this understanding and has thus once again shown the importance we attach to the work of this United Nations body.


I reiterate our full support for the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in defense of the just causes of the Palestinians and extend my sincere wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the Palestinian People.




Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
[Original: English]

On the occasion of commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm the support of the Government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania has given to the struggle of the Palestinian people to regain its inalienable rights.

This important day has continued to provide on opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine is still unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly.

The Palestinian cause is a fundamental one for us and it is therefore imperative that we continue supporting the steadfast Palestinian people so that they may achieve their legitimate right to an independent homeland living peacefully side by side with the State of Israel.

I would like to reiterate my full continued support for President Mahmoud Abbas and for the legitimate Palestinian Authority. I also wish to avail myself of this opportunity to call upon the international community to provide further financial, economic and humanitarian assistance in order to enable the Palestinian people to fulfil their legitimate aspirations.


Nguyen Minh Triet, President of Viet Nam
[Original: Vietnamese)
[Unofficial translation]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to extend to you and through you 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. 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 Vietnamese Government 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

Ghana

[Original: English]

The Government and people of the Republic of Ghana once again join the international community in expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people in the exercise of their inalienable rights in pursuit of an independent State of Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and relevant international human rights conventions.

The continued occupation of Palestinian territories is a gross violation that calls for renewed effort by the international community to ensure the respect of the rights of Palestinians by the Government of Israel and the attainment of just comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.


To that end, Ghana continues to reiterate her commitment to a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the question of Palestine and it is our hope that peace talks aimed at advancing the peace process will resume without further delay.


On this occasion, may both sides be reminded of their utmost duty to their people and work towards a new era of stability, sustained economic growth and shared prosperity for all.



Guyana
[Original: English]

On the solemn occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Government and people of Guyana avail themselves of this opportunity to renew their unwavering 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. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides the international community with yet another reminder that the tragedy surrounding the question of Palestine, as one of the oldest issues on the United Nations agenda, remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people continue to struggle after more than 60 years for the full exercise of their inalienable human rights, including the right to self-determination.

This year’s observance takes place against the background of renewed efforts in the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resumption, in September 2010, of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel raised fresh hopes that the parties would be able to break new ground on the path to peace, a peace which has eluded the region for far too long and which has entailed a disastrous human cost borne primarily by the Palestinians. The Government of Guyana regrets that negotiations are now at an impasse, not least because of the Israeli refusal to halt the building of settlements on occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. Guyana supports ongoing diplomatic initiatives to address the existing impediments to the progress of these talks and we urge the 1aders of Israel and Palestine to exert all efforts to overcome obstacles to the peace process.

As this commemoration is being held, Palestinian men, women, and children continue to suffer unfathomable injustice and Guyana remains deeply concerned at the persistent violations of the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people. We call on Israel, as the occupying power, to honour its obligations under international law with respect to the people and territory under occupation. The decision by the Israeli Government to allow for some imports into Gaza is a positive step forward. Guyana reiterates its call for the full lifting of the blockade on Gaza to allow for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and people.


The Government of Guyana expresses the hope that the peoples of Palestine and Israel will soon be able to live in peace and dignity within secure and internationally recognized borders. We reiterate our support for the efforts by the international community aimed at securing an end to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and a just and lasting peace in the entire Middle East region in keeping with relevant United Nations resolutions.



Nigeria
[Original: English]

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, Nigeria is pleased to join members of the international community to express its strong support for the people of Palestine in their struggle for self-determination, justice and freedom.

The Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have always identified and shown solidarity with people who are fighting for their legitimate rights. This is a principled policy not determined or affected by geography, race or cultural considerations. Rather, Nigeria believes that injustice to any people anywhere is injustice to all. The people of Palestine can count on Nigeria’s unwavering support in their just struggle to become masters of their destiny. Their right to govern themselves, within a defined and secure territory, in accordance with United Nations resolution 242 (1967) is non-negotiable.


Experience has shown that the struggle for self-determination is not only a tortuous, long and drawn out process, it is also demanding and, at times, demoralizing. As expected, the Palestinian struggle has not been different. Nigeria therefore encourages the Palestinians to persevere in their cause just.

Today, the people of Palestine are not only under occupation, but under siege. Some are imprisoned while others remain scattered as refugees in other lands across the globe.


We urge the Palestinians to remain positive, for the long sought after solution is at hand. We look forward to welcoming the Republic of Palestine in due course as a full-fledged member of the United Nations, free from foreign occupation.


The Government and people of Nigeria wish you all the best in your just struggle for peace. We remain committed to your cause.




Oman
[Original: Arabic]

On this occasion, we would like to express our thanks for and appreciation of the efforts that the Committee exerts in defence of the rights of the Palestinian people with a view to empowering that people to exercise its inalienable rights, all of which have been affirmed by United Nations resolutions.

On the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we wish to commend your endeavours and support for recognition of the suffering endured by the Palestinian people as a consequence of the Israeli occupation. Oman’s participation in the observance of this day reflects its unchanging policy with regard to the Palestinian people. Oman has consistently demanded that a just and comprehensive solution should be found to the Palestinian question, thereby permitting the fraternal Palestinian people to live in dignity, security and peace, in common with every other people, within secure and internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Against that background, we once again affirm that the Middle East question remains one of Oman’s top priorities. Peace and security must be attained; a just and lasting solution must be found to the Palestinian issue; and Israel must withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territory, the Syrian Golan and the areas that it continues to occupy in South Lebanon.

There is no doubt that the violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by the Israeli forces during the brutal onslaught on the Gaza Strip in “Operation Cast Lead” and the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which they continue to commit, in addition to its policy of collective punishment of the people of Gaza, have demonstrated to the whole world that Israel does not want peace. Today, the international community is expressing its support for and solidarity with the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. It is also expressing its 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 both the direct negotiations that were inaugurated in Washington, D.C. in September 2010 and the mature American stance that was announced on 23 September 2010 by President Obama during his address to the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly. He said “when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations — an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.” While we welcome that development, we also urge Israel to halt its settlement activity and make use of the international thrust in support of direct negotiations.

In conclusion, we acknowledge once again the efforts made by you and the Committee and affirm the full support of the Sultanate of Oman for the Palestinian people and for a just and comprehensive resolution of the Palestine issue on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.



C. Messages from Ministers for Foreign Affairs


Phandu T.C. Skalemani, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International
Cooperation of Botswana
[Original: English]

On this day 29 November 2010 which marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I am pleased to convey on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Botswana this message of solidarity.

Botswana is resolute in her support for the Palestinian people in their quest to realize their inalienable right to self-determination and the pursuit of a peaceful, dignified, secure and stable existence.


It is in this light that Botswana reaffirms her belief in the applicability of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly in paving the way towards a sovereign Palestine.

Botswana is deeply concerned about the situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine, and views the protracted disputes between the parties as a blemish in the conscience of the international community as well as a threat to international peace and security. Botswana remains steadfast in her support for the peaceful and amicable resolution of disputes relating to the future of the Palestinian people and therefore strongly encourages the ongoing efforts of the international community to achieve a negotiated settlement. There is room for both Israel and Palestine to co-exist as good friendly neighbours.



María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, Minster for Foreign Affairs of Colombia
[Original: Spanish]

I have the honour to write to you on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to be observed on 29 November 2010.

By virtue of the ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between our peoples, allow me to reaffirm the solidarity of the Republic of Colombia with the Palestinian people and their leaders.

Colombia views the observance of this symbolic day as an opportunity to emphasize the need for dialogue as the best way to ensure harmony in the region. It reaffirms its commitment to finding a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East, one that will allow the region to live in a favourable environment within secure and internationally recognized borders and will enable the Palestinian people to exercise their rights and achieve economic and social well-being.


Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba
[Original: Spanish]
[Unofficial translation]

On behalf of the Cuban people and Government, I am honored to write again to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November.

Allow me to reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestinian people and to reiterate the need to increase efforts to resolve, in a peaceful, just and comprehensive manner, the question of Palestine, including the situation of its refugees, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law and United Nations resolutions.


It is appropriate to reiterate our concern over the growing deterioration of the political, economic, social and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of the ongoing illegal Israeli policies and practices, including serious violations of human rights and constant war crimes, which have caused the Palestinian people ever more suffering and hardships.


The construction and expansion of illegal settlements, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the continuing existence of the wall, the demographic alteration of the population, the demolition of houses, the excavations and the imposition of arbitrary and racist restrictions on movement around the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in and around East Jerusalem, are practices that must cease immediately.


In grave breach of international law and the objectives of the peace process, the occupying power continues the illegal construction of settlements and the wall in the West Bank, particularly in and around East Jerusalem. Israel also continues to demolish Palestinian houses and evict Palestinian families, as well as other actions of incitement, provocations and aggressions by extremist settlers against the Palestinian population and sacred sites. All this makes the current situation very volatile and dangerous.


The policy of illegal settlements and other colonization practices exercised by Israel prevent, in practical terms, the existence of a Palestinian State in the borders of 1967 and consequently the possibility of a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This impact was evident when peace negotiations were suspended last October, as a consequence of the resumption of said settlements.
This is also an opportune time to reaffirm our demand for the immediate, total and unconditional lifting of the cruel and illegal blockade by Israel on the Gaza Strip, as well as for the opening of border crossings in order to allow the free movement of supplies from and to the Gaza Strip and permanent humanitarian access.

Restrictions on freedom of movement and the access of persons and goods, including humanitarian and medical supplies, make the recovery and reconstruction of the zone virtually impossible, and have further affected the already precarious living standards of the population.


We condemn the criminal attack, in international waters, perpetrated on May 2010 by the special forces of the Israeli Army against a peaceful flotilla of ships that was carrying humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death and serious injures of various participants in the attack.


In such a significant date, it is essential to reaffirm the support that Cuba, along with the Non-Aligned Movement, has given to the fight of the Palestinian people for its inalienable rights. Cuba reiterates its unequivocal support to the cause of the Palestinian people, in its noble and legitimate aspiration to create a free, independent and sovereign Palestinian State, on the basis of the borders of 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital.


As I reiterate to you the decisive and warm support of the Cuban people and Government to the exercise of your important responsibilities as Chairman of the Committee, please accept the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.


Seiji Maehara, 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 co-exist in peace.

Japan is convinced that the two-State solution is the only path towards peace and prosperity in the region. Japan remains determined to continue to support President Abbas, and the Palestinian Authority under his leadership, that seek peaceful co-existence and mutual prosperity with Israel leading to a just and lasting peace. While highly appreciating the courageous decisions by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to re-launch their direct negotiations, Japan sincerely hopes that the suspended direct negotiations will be resumed immediately. Recently Japan issued a statement titled “Japan’s stance on the peace in the Middle East” in order to promote resolution of the final status issues through negotiations. In the statement, Japan reaffirms its stance that Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, should be completely frozen.


With regard to conditions in the Gaza Strip, we are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation, which has not shown improvement even nearly two years after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), and we continue to call for the full implementation of the resolution. At the same time, Japan calls on Hamas to abandon its policy of armed struggle against Israel and reaffirms its support for Egypt’s initiative towards reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

Japan is also determined to contribute to the capacity- and institution- building that is required to build a future, independent and viable Palestinian state. Japan is enhancing such assistance in cooperation with East Asian countries. In this fiscal year, Japan’s assistance to the Palestinians, including promotion of the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative, will reach approximately 100 million dollars.

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



Musa M. Abdussalam Kousa, Secretary of the General People’s Committee
for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of the
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
[Original: Arabic]

I take the opportunity afforded by the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to salute the great and steadfast Palestinian people which, throughout the long years of occupation and oppression, have not been diverted from its legitimate right to return to its land, exercise self-determination and establish an independent State on all its national territory.

No other people in the world has suffered the injustice to which the Palestinian people is subjected. It is the only people that has had to endure colonial settlement that is using every possible means to drive it from its land in order to establish there a racist State exclusively for Jews. It is the only people of which more than half its numbers are in refugee camps that lie only a few kilometres away from its own land. It is the only people whose resistance to occupation is described as terrorism, while the terrorism of the occupier is called self-defence. It is the only people whose rights are violated without opposition, because the aggressor is protected by the Security Council. The Council protects the occupying Power, which has perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity in respect of the Palestinian people.

The Libyan Arab Republic condemns the Israeli colonial settlement and all the measures taken by Israel against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. We call upon the international community to revise its position and stand beside the Palestinian people by taking action to halt the killings, acts of terrorism, exemplary punishments and siege to which the Palestinians are being subjected by the occupying authorities. The Israeli entity must be brought to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people; the demolition of homes and appropriation of Palestinian lands must cease and the Palestinians must no longer be driven from their country.

We trust that the so-called peace process will not one day prove to be a mere waste of time and a means of empowering the Israeli entity to extend its authority over the whole of historical Palestine and to establish, exclusively for Jews, a racist State in which there are no Palestinians. The time has therefore come for the international community to declare its support for the proposal to establish a single, democratic State in historical Palestine, to which all the Palestine refugees may return and in which all Palestinians and Jews may live together in equality and mutual tolerance.

I take this opportunity to commend the efforts exerted by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and wish it every success in its undertakings.


Hippolyte Rarison Ramaroson, Minister for Foreign
Affairs of Madagascar
[Original: French]

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Madagascar would like to express its deep sympathy for the Palestinian people, who experience on a daily basis the violence of the struggle for the right to self-determination and peace, fundamental principles clearly expressed in the Charter of the United Nations.

The intensity of the current talks on the issue has generated considerable hope both among the parties directly concerned and within the international community. Palestinians need to resolve their differences in order to present a unified front in the negotiations with the State of Israel.

The resumption of the dialogue in Washington, D.C. last September is an encouraging sign.

In that regard, Madagascar urges the mediators and the parties not to give up in the face of the long and difficult negotiations. We believe that it is people who hold the key to the success of the peace process.

Sometimes, significant and painful concessions are the price of peace and mutual understanding.

Madagascar remains optimistic that a sustainable and lasting agreement can be reached that reconciles the existence of a Palestinian State with the security of Israel.

Lastly, we would like to pay tribute to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, for his commitment to working tirelessly towards a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.



Moctar Ouane, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International
Cooperation 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.



Walid Al-Moualem, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic
[Original: Arabic]

As your esteemed Committee meets to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we wish to express our great appreciation of the role that you play in organizing this important occasion, which represents significant support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people in its just struggle for its legitimate right to establish, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, an independent, sovereign State, with Jerusalem as its capital.

As we observe this day, Israel continues to perpetrate the most repugnant violations and crimes against the Palestinian people and, indeed, all Arab peoples, by its continued occupation of territory by force, the expulsion of the original owners of the land, the imprisonment of thousands of innocent citizens, the demolition of homes, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the violation of holy places.

It is lamentable that all such Israeli practices take place in full view of the entire world and with the support of certain super powers, which has encouraged Israel to continue to flout the resolutions of international legitimacy and perpetrate its crimes.

In this context, we should like to refer to the recent decision by the Israeli Knesset to hold a referendum on withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem that demonstrates contempt for international law and the position and wishes of the whole international community, which maintains its constant assertion that East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan are occupied Arab territory and that Israel’s decision to annex them are null and void. This new measure by Israel affirms that it rejects the requirements for a just and comprehensive peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace. The Syrian Arab Republic believes that this measure is for the benefit of those who continue to imagine that the current Government of Israel is interested in peace and, on the basis of that belief, shower it with benefits.

While we greatly appreciate the Committee and the important and effective role it plays, we believe that the endeavours exerted are powerless to provide the necessary support for the Palestinian people that would require urgent action on the part of the United Nations and the Security Council.

The actions undertaken by Israel not only imperil the Palestinian people and the States of the region, but also constitute a threat to international security and peace and undermine the United Nations and its resolutions, which should be solely responsible for stability and the maintenance of international stability and peace in the region and the world.

The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates its readiness to provide the support required by the Committee for the performance of its worthy task, and calls upon all the States in the world that believe in the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination to encourage the Committee in its duty of assisting the Palestinian people in its righteous struggle.



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 Turkey, Croatia
1 and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, the countries of the stabilization and association process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this message.

The European Union would like to reiterate its full support for current efforts being exerted to ensure the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.


Continued direct negotiations between the parties on all final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, security and water, respecting previous agreements and understandings, including the Road Map, currently represent the best way to achieve peace in the region. These direct negotiations should lead, within an agreed time frame, to a two-State solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The European Union will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. The European Union calls on both parties to uphold previous commitments and to strive to create an environment conducive to a successful outcome.


To help 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 is in the interest of Israelis and Palestinians, the peoples of the region and the international community.


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.

In particular, 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 European Union wishes to stress the crucial importance of the continuation of the building process for the Palestinian State, 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 the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Near East (UNRWA). The European Union and its Member States remain UNRWA’s largest donor. In 2009, the European Union provided 175 million euros to the UNRWA regular budget. Moreover, the European Union and its Member States regularly make large contributions to the Agency’s special programmes and emergency appeals, and made additional efforts to alleviate its acute funding shortfalls at the end of 2009 and in 2010. This continued commitment by the European Union and its Member States to support generously the activities of UNRWA is a reflection of the Union’s commitment to 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 Union 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 the Islamic Conference: 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 Organization of the Islamic Conference and its Member States to the United Nations and its organs 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 would like to highlight, in particular, the commendable efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and your 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 difficult times. Difficulties stem from the persisting of Israeli aggression, and its obstinacy in perpetrating its illegal practices, as well as creating de facto realities on the ground. Add to this its flagrant contravening of the tenets of international law and the terms of reference of the peace process.

The world has recently witnessed the Israeli attitude on the issue of settlement. Ignoring the international community’s demands and efforts to stop settlement activities in occupied lands, Israel, the occupying power, has persisted in defying international law and intensifying colonial settlement, and is indeed accelerating settlement-building in the West Bank and the occupied East Jerusalem. Adding insult to injury, Israel has encouraged settlers’ violence against Palestinians. This wave of violence has risen sharply this year and gone beyond killing and harming Palestinians to destroying their crops and uprooting thousands of olive trees. No other occupation force has ever done this before. This is an Israeli phenomenon par excellence.


At the same time, the Israeli violations of international law in occupied East Jerusalem have become more intense. Israeli authorities are conducting a systematic process of altering the historical Arab-Islamic identity of East Jerusalem through attempts to judaize it, denigrate its sanctities, tamper with its history and change its demographic composition in a flagrant 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 to carry out blatant attacks on international relief caravans at sea, preventing them from delivering assistance to the besieged population of the Gaza Strip. At the same time, it prevents the entry of vital goods and the construction materials needed to rebuild what was demolished by its recent aggression, making thousands of Palestinian families homeless. Israeli 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 prevail, and for Israel to comply with the will of the international community and respect the provisions of international law, which it has repeatedly violated by acting in total impunity as a State that is immune from any accountability.

The failure to find a just solution to the Palestinian cause as the core of the Middle East conflict perpetuates instability in the region and constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The international community should exert serious 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.

In this connection, the Organization of the Islamic Conference believes that the success of the peace process in reaching the aspired goals depends on a number of criteria, foremost among which is ending colonial settlement activities, which is one of the key obligations that Israel must meet. Israel must also refrain from carrying out all unilateral acts aimed at imposing new realities on the ground and prejudicing the outcome of negotiations. Needless to say that peace talks are meaningless as long as Israel seeks to dictate the negotiations’ outcome. It is also evident that the success of negotiations is largely contingent upon the existence of a clear timetable, implementation mechanisms, credible international monitoring and the ability for fair intervention. It is necessary to recall here that the aspired viable solution must be founded on the resolutions of international legitimacy and the terms of reference of the peace process which was launched in Madrid and the by Arab Peace Initiative.

In conclusion, I reaffirm and reiterate the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Muslim world’s solidarity with the Palestinian people in their endeavour to regain their national inalienable rights, including their right of return, self-determination and the establishment of their independent Palestinian State on their national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital.


I wish your meeting success in meeting its noble ends.




E. Message from a specialized agency of the United Nations system


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization:
Irina Bokova, Director-General
[Original: English]

Solidarity is the force that binds humanity together. It stretches beyond the boundaries of state, religion and kinship to take in all individuals, equal in dignity and respect. As the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds us, solidarity cannot be taken for granted. The defences of peace must be constructed in the minds of men and women. We must work every day to strengthen the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an important opportunity to recall the shared values that bind us. It is also a moment to mark our support with the Palestinian people in their quest for a peaceful and prosperous future.


UNESCO is working in this direction. In the fields of education, the sciences, culture and communication and information, we are helping to lay the foundations that are necessary today for state-building and for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future. All of our activities are driven by the goals to promote dialogue, to foster mutual understanding and to till the ground for peace.


UNESCO is working to protect and to promote the wealth of Palestinian cultural diversity. Culture is a source of identity, strength and development. In practice, this means that UNESCO is working to protect a number of major sites and monuments.


UNESCO is also committed to supporting the cultural expressions and cultural industries of the Palestinian people. Music, theatre and crafts are priorities in this respect, each contributing uniquely to deepening social cohesion and fostering economic development, especially in a context where cultural tourism is a rising vector of growth.


Support to the Palestinian education system is a core priority. Building a more peaceful and prosperous future starts with ensuring quality education for all today. This objective guides UNESCO’s activities in the area of teacher education and our assistance in developing systems to improve overall quality. UNESCO also supports educational planning and management in order to develop the skills and capacities necessary in this strategic area. The Organization is also active in supporting non-formal education through the work of its Non-Formal Education Supportive Centre.


These actions are expressions of UNESCO’s solidarity with the Palestinian people. Solidarity must be built, educated and fostered every day, on the basis of the principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect. These are the foundations for the dialogue and development necessary to strengthen peace and stability throughout the region.




F. Message from a non-governmental organization


Caritas Jerusalem
[Original: English]

Caritas supports vital services to vulnerable communities in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as well throughout the region to insure that none are left behind. Our confederation persists with sustained solidarity efforts, including advocacy within the United Nations system in New York and Geneva. Our first and fundamental commitment is to recognize the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people simultaneously with the search for a just peace and security for all.
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