Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
24 August 1993
SEVENTH UNITED NATIONS
EUROPEAN NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Austria Centre, Vienna
23-24 August 1993
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Declaration adopted by the Seventh United Nations
European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
1993-1995 European Coordinating Committee for NGOs
on the Question of Palestine
List of participants and observers
1. The Seventh United Nations European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Austria Centre, Vienna, on 23 and 24 August 1993. The Symposium was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 46/74 A of 11 December 1991.
2. The Symposium was attended by 38 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 15 of them as observers. It was also attended by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies (see annex IV below).
3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee; H.E. Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; H.E. Mr. A. G. Ravan Farhadi (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; H.E. Mr. Joseph Cassar (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee; and Mr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).
4. The programme of the Symposium was formulated by the Committee in consultation with the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP). Its theme was "The Middle East process; Palestinian rights and development - a challenge to Europe".
5. A plenary meeting was held on the subject: "Palestine - the current situation". Presentations were made by the following experts: Mr. Haider Abdel Shafi (Palestinian); Mrs. Naomi Chazan (Israel); and Mr. Johan Nordenfelt (United Nations).
6. Two workshops were held on the following topics:
(a) Palestinian national and human rights;
(b) Palestinian development.
7. The Symposium adopted a Declaration, as well as proposals emanating from the workshops (see annexes I and II below).
I. OPENING MEETING
8. Opening the meeting,
H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé
(Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, noted that Vienna was the site of the first United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, held in 1986. After expressing the Committee's appreciation to the Austrian Government for offering its assistance and facilities in organizing the meeting in Vienna, he said that the Symposium was being held at a particularly difficult and very sensitive time in the long history of international efforts to find a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine in particular. He added that the Middle East peace talks, co-sponsored by the Russian Federation and the United States of America, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), had brought hope that real progress could be made towards achieving a settlement to this long and tragic conflict.
9. The 10 rounds of talks which had been held so far had proven that dialogue was possible, with political will and courage to move forward. He urged that the process be maintained and developed, although it had not yet yielded any substantive agreement. The Committee remained greatly concerned at the continued violence and repression taking place in the occupied Palestinian territory and believed it was crucial for the international community to provide safety and protection to the Palestinian civilians in those areas. The involvement of the international community was also vital because of the stifling effect of the Israeli measures on the Palestinian economy.
10. He said the Committee had strongly condemned measures taken by the Israeli occupation authorities, including collective punishments, deportations and administrative detentions, as well as Israel's recent bombardment of southern Lebanon. Those and other disturbing events underscored the pressing need to move as swiftly as possible towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Committee had always highly valued the consistent efforts made by the European countries to promote a comprehensive settlement based on international law and respect for the rights of all parties concerned. He expressed the Committee's appreciation for the indefatigable and committed work carried out by ECCP.
Mr. Faisal Aweidah
, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations at Vienna, read a message to the Symposium from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In his message Mr. Arafat expressed appreciation for the continuous efforts of the NGOs for their activities in providing objective information about the justice of the struggle of the Palestinian people towards putting an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a just peace in the region. He said that the Middle East peace talks were stalled due to the attempts by Israel and the United States Administration to change the principles and points of reference on which the peace process had been based.
12. It had been Mr. Arafat's hope that the two visits to the region by United States delegations would have broken the deadlock. However, the paper which was presented by the delegations was rejected by the Palestinian side because of the unacceptable way it dealt with certain issues such as Jerusalem, the Israeli settlements, territorial jurisdiction, the status of the territories and the early handing over of authority in the occupied territories. He also stressed the intensification by Israel of the "iron-fist" policy and the increase of its repressive measures in violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people under occupation.
13. Furthermore, the economic situation was deteriorating as a result of the blockade imposed by Israel, he said, stressing that the situation in Gaza had reached famine proportions. He called for an open dialogue between the PLO and Israel and a resumption of talks between the PLO and the American Administration. He appealed to European NGOs to continue and redouble their efforts on behalf of the Palestinian people so that it would one day be on the same footing with other peoples of the world.
Mr. Bernard Mills
, Chairman of ECCP, said the Symposium was being held at a time of crisis in the Middle East, with the peace talks at a seeming stalemate. The Palestinians had exhausted their stock of concessions and the Israelis were reluctant to make any meaningful ones. At their last meeting, European NGOs had been hopeful since the new Israeli Government had pledged to achieve peace with the Palestinians and, supported by strong American incentives to do so, this would have brought about a radical change for the better in the Middle East situation. That hope had, sadly, not been realized.
15. Instead, the last year had brought misery and death to Palestinians and their Lebanese neighbours at the hands of the new Israeli Government, unchecked and even supported at times by a new and "seemingly weak and indecisive" American Administration. He urged participants to listen carefully to the perspectives to be presented in the Symposium because actions in Europe during the coming year must be based on such evidence and advice. Europe, particularly the European Community, had so far played only a supportive role to the United States in its sponsorship of the peace talks. However, Europe, as a neighbour of the Middle East, had so much to lose if there was war or instability in the region. It could not afford to let another country, far away, play the dominant role in mediation.
16. He urged participants to elect a strong, representative coordinating committee, which could express the feelings of its network of NGOs to the United Nations and to European representative bodies. NGOs had a duty to lobby their Governments and elected representatives on Palestinian matters. It was also important for the coordinating committee to be representative of the broad geographical span of Europe.
17. He reviewed the coordinating committee's activities during the past year, stressing its growing standing in European affairs and the importance of having established an office at Brussels. His own organization, the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, would be putting itself forward for election to the new coordinating committee.
II. PANEL DISCUSSION
Palestine - the current situation
Mr. Haidar Abdel Shafi
, head of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace talks, said that after over 20 months and 10 rounds of discussion in the peace process, the talks remained bogged down in barren debate. He called for close examination and careful assessment. It was important to discuss major topics and facts which should be taken into consideration in the peace process.
19. He reviewed the history of international recognition of the Palestinians' right to self-determination since the League of Nations, stressing that the lack of peace in the region was the result of the denial of that right. Regarding Israel's protestations of seeking peace, he cited the view stated by Simha Flapan in his book,
The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities
, that from the end of the Second World War until 1952, Israel had turned down successive peace proposals by Arab States and neutral mediators that might have brought about an accommodation. Israel's aggressive actions against southern Lebanon, its colonization programme in the occupied territories and its intransigence at the negotiating table were indications that the Government would pursue a settlement only on the basis of the Zionist doctrine of "peace through force".
20. With regard to contradictions between Zionist assumptions and realities in the Middle East, he said Israeli political thinking had been moulded during the pre-State period on the basis of such concepts as non-recognition of a Palestinian national entity, the "civilizing mission" of Zionism in an undeveloped area and economic and cultural segregation as a prerequisite for a renaissance of Jewish national life. The predicament for Israel was how to reconcile its aspirations with the innate rights of the Palestinian people. Unfortunately, Israel had adopted the "wrong approach", namely that of power and violence. Eventually, Israel found no contradiction between sitting with Palestinians at the negotiating table and denying their presence as a people.
21. As for the attitude of the United States, he reviewed the history of that country's "bias and unevenhandedness" in supporting Israel's policies and actions. He felt that the United States had adopted a double standard in relation to Security Council resolutions. Its role as a sponsor of the Middle East peace talks had further exposed its bias in failing to force Israel to freeze its colonization programme and repeal the law annexing East Jerusalem.
22. The endurance and broad-based character of the
, and the brutal response of the occupation forces, had shown that the popular response to occupation stemmed from the depth of the human conscience. Despite its external spectacle of confrontation and semi-violence, it inspired a yearning for peace and justice. Although Israel rejected the Palestinian peace initiative of 1988, the offer still stood, underlying the two-State principle of the Palestinian delegation to the negotiations.
23. To achieve peace in the Middle East, the denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination should be reconsidered and the Israeli concept of "peace from strength" should be altered. The current application of the double-standard morality and malfunctioning of the United Nations in the face of super-Power hegemony should also be reconsidered.
Mrs. Naomi Chazan
, member of the Israeli Knesset, said there was a growing frustration over the lack of results in the peace talks, compounded by misery and an increase in the suffering on the ground. On the other hand, there was real progress at the negotiating table and there was hope that the current situation differed from what it was a year ago. She said she was not claiming that her views reflected the majority point of view in Israel but reflected the attitude of a growing number of Israelis, including those in the Government.
25. Efforts to reach a just peace had to be based on recognition of the right of Palestinians to self-determination, Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and agreements which would take into account the interests of all parties concerned. Among the obstacles to progress in the peace process were the exacerbation of the humiliation of daily life under occupation, the deportations carried out in 1992 and the campaign in southern Lebanon.
26. It was not necessary, she said, to exaggerate statistics on deaths and injuries in the occupied territories; every Palestinian child killed in the occupied territories was one too many. There was a tendency on both sides to link participation in the talks to an amelioration of conditions on the ground. However, human rights must not be used as "blackmail", and any attempt to mortgage the peace process to human rights or to mortgage human rights to the peace process should be rejected. The gravest violation of human rights was the occupation itself, and only by ending it through negotiation could other rights be ensured.
27. She went on to say that Israelis had realized that if Israel truly wanted to achieve peace, it had to talk to the PLO and that its best negotiating partner was the PLO. They had also come to realize that the closure of the territories had institutionalized the "green line" and had contributed to the lack of security of many Israelis. However, Israelis continued to be very fearful because they lived with a daily fear of violence. That threat and the frustration about the negotiations created a climate for the activities of extremists.
28. The past year had demonstrated for the Israelis that they could adjust well to changes which they had feared in the past. The challenge for the Government was to combat extremism while carrying public opinion along. The most critical factor was that the current Israeli Government had come into office with a totally different concept of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The current Government would pursue peace based on ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
29. The two outstanding issues were the status of Jerusalem during the interim phase and the composition of the Palestinian delegation. At this juncture, it was possible to move ahead quickly. It was possible for Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate directly, possibly leaving the United States behind. Three processes could occur simultaneously: an amelioration of conditions on the ground, a formal negotiating process and a final peace agreement. People on all sides were probably going to have to give up more than they thought possible. There was no alternative to a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians and without such a settlement it would be impossible to end the Arab-Israeli conflict which was the "last residue of the cold war".
Mr. Johan Nordenfelt
, Director, Programmes against Apartheid and for Palestinian Rights, Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, outlined the history of the current peace process which had begun in Madrid in 1991 and the role of the United Nations. Since the United Nations had accepted an invitation to become a full, extra-regional participant in October 1992, a number of agencies had made practical proposals in specific areas, including alternative concepts for water development in arid and semi-arid areas and environmental protection.
31. He said that the multilateral talks constituted a process of confidence- and security-building in support of bilateral efforts to achieve a political agreement. The Secretary-General was also following closely the bilateral negotiations and stood ready to assist if requested by the parties.
III. CLOSING STATEMENTS
Mr. Bernard Mills
, Chairman of ECCP, referred to the noticeable fall in attendance of network NGOs at this year's Symposium. He said that this was owing in part to the recession, which had cut deeply into the funding of many NGOs, and also to the fact that the Symposium was taking place at a time of hiatus in the Middle East peace process, during which NGOs were uncertain of the rules or conditions under which their programmes might be operating. He said he believed the sidelining of the United Nations from the peace process had had its effect on such symposia and conferences.
33. "We are no longer at centre stage", he continued, "the international peace conference called for by successive United Nations resolutions has been put effectively on ice." He felt that all those reasons had affected Symposium attendance but that did not mean that NGOs were not still working hard on the question of Palestine. He said the coordinating committee should consider a new format for the Symposium and discuss it with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights. He also welcomed the new coordinating committee which he said contained a blend of old and new members.
H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé
, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said the presentations, discussions and proposals made would make a significant impact on the continued effort to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. He said that although the peace process had been approaching its eleventh round in Washington and while Israeli violations of the human rights of Palestinians had been condemned by the international community, the world had been unable thus far to devise ways and means to ensure the physical protection of Palestinians under Israeli occupation and to guarantee respect for their rights in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law.
35. However, the Committee had been encouraged by the express wish of the co-sponsors of the conference to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). He said that NGOs, the European ones in particular, could play a very important role in the international efforts to achieve this objective.
DECLARATION ADOPTED BY THE SEVENTH UNITED NATIONS
EUROPEAN NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
1. We, the representatives of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the Seventh United Nations European NGO Symposium, held at the Austria Centre in Vienna on 23 and 24 August 1993, reaffirm our support to the Palestinian people and their courageous
and their just and incessant struggle for self-determination and the establishment of their own independent sovereign State of Palestine.
2. The experience of the two years that have passed since the launching in Madrid of talks between Arabs and Israelis has reinforced our conviction that peace will not come until the Palestinian people, through their representatives, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), are enabled to determine their own future. Serious negotiations have yet to begin and the terms of reference of these talks, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), have yet to be honoured.
3. Worse, despite the ongoing peace talks the situation has further deteriorated in the occupied Palestinian territory. This has been documented in the reports and papers presented by eminent panellists and resource persons.
(a) From the beginning of the peace talks to this day, an ever-growing number of civilians are being killed and injured by the Israeli occupying military forces and under-cover units;
(b) The continuing arrests and torture of Palestinians exacerbate the already intolerable human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory;
(c) In December 1992, 415 Palestinians were deported to the Israeli-Lebanese border and in spite of the worldwide outcry, Israel has refused to comply with Security Council resolution 799 (1992) calling for their immediate return, and 396 deportees are still encamped on the Lebanese border as we are meeting;
(d) The recent closure of the territories is the latest manifestation of illegal collective punishment. It has divided Palestine into four parts, separating the south and the north of the West Bank and isolating the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and severely restricting the movement of the Palestinian population of 2 million people. The roadblocks have created enclaves, depriving the people living in them of access to family, work, schools and medical care. This has been the most damaging and disruptive policy of the occupying Power since 1967;
(e) In spite of the Israeli Government's announcement of a settlement freeze, there are at the moment more than 19,500 housing units under construction and highways and roads are continuously being built to link settlements with one another and with the State of Israel;
(f) House demolitions have increased; in the Gaza Strip more than 50 houses have been blown up by anti-tank rockets.
4. We condemn all the above-mentioned Israeli policies and practices which violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. We urge the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene the High Contracting Parties to the Convention to decide ways and means to ensure Israel's compliance with the aforesaid Convention, according to Security Council resolution 681 (1990).
5. We call upon the European Governments and the European Community to take all necessary political and economic measures in order to impose on Israel respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention. We demand that the European Community freeze all economic and scientific protocols and preferential agreements with Israel until it complies.
6. We are deeply concerned about the stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli talks. Without Palestinian-Israeli agreement, there can be no real movement in either the bilateral or multilateral talks. We note that, to facilitate negotiations, concessions have been made by the Palestinians with no meaningful response from the Israelis.
7. We note with dismay the biased attitude of the current United States Administration, which came into the open during the ninth and tenth rounds of talks. We believe the United States has a responsibility, now that it is effectively the only sponsor, to respect the terms of reference of the Madrid process which require full implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
8. We support the call in successive United Nations resolutions for an international peace conference with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing and with equal rights, in order to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.
9. We reiterate our support for all Israeli NGOs and peace forces, which have undertaken the hard task of raising the awareness of Israeli society in support of Palestinian national and human rights.
10. At the same time, we call attention to the ongoing discrimination by the Israeli Government and local authorities against the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
11. We strongly condemn Israel's military raids against Lebanese villages and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon that have caused the death of 150 civilians, the injury of hundreds and made thousands homeless. We urge the Security Council to ensure that Israel fully complies with Security Council resolution 425 (1978) which provides for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.
12. We, as European NGOs, call upon our Governments and particularly upon the European members of the Security Council, to lend their full support to efforts aimed at achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to take action to end a situation which perpetuates injustice and threatens the security of Europe. Peace cannot prevail in the area until Israel complies with all United Nations resolutions and withdraws from the occupied Palestinian territory, Lebanon and the Golan Heights.
13. We, the European NGOs, welcome the Palestine development plan and pledge ourselves to sustain and encourage all Palestinian efforts in the field of development. We shall urge European and other Governments, United Nations bodies, etc., through all channels and all levels, to respond to Palestinian needs.
14. We, the European NGOs, aware of the urgency of the situation, pledge to intensify our concerted efforts for the achievement of our objectives as outlined in this Declaration and the conclusions and recommendations included in the two workshop reports appended to this Declaration.
15. We express our appreciation to the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine for their peace conference information project; to the Coordinating Committee of the International Non-Governmental Organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for their reports on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and for the services rendered by the Network for European Non-Governmental Organizations in the Occupied Territories in the field of development. All these information services have facilitated the work of the European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and individual NGOs.
16. We warmly thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this Symposium and for its relentless and continuous efforts to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights. We request its Chairman, H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé, to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session as part of the Committee's report and we request the convening of a European symposium in 1994.
17. We extend our thanks to the Division for Palestinian Rights, its secretariat, the various departments and offices of the United Nations Office at Vienna and the interpreters who assisted us.
18. We wish to thank the Austrian Government for hosting this Symposium at Vienna and making available the Austria Centre for our deliberations.
Palestinian national and human rights
1. The workshop recognizes and emphasizes that, although the grave repression of Palestinian national and human rights arises as the result of the illegal occupation of territory and is unique in that respect, it must nevertheless be seen in a global context of international law and so must be an essential matter for the negotiations initiated by the 1991 Madrid Conference. We note with great concern that European Governments are less willing to intervene on issues of national and human rights because they feel that by so doing they would be creating obstacles for what has been called "the peace process". This means that, in effect, "the peace process" has actually become an obstacle to the defence of Palestinian rights.
2. We strongly point out that all European Governments, as High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, have a legal duty to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of that Convention for the defence of the rights of people under occupation and that, by not so doing, they are themselves in violation of that Convention. We further point out that the existing situation, as well as being immoral, is also against the specific interests of all European countries because it threatens regional peace, internal security and international commerce.
3. Accordingly, we urge all European NGOs to press their Governments to fulfil their obligations actively to uphold human rights in the occupied territories. We also press those NGOs which are in countries which are members of the European Community to make representations to the Commission of the Community for action.
4. Noting that the European Community is Israel's largest export market, that Israel enjoys special trading privileges and has actively prevented exports from the occupied territories even though the Community has granted those exports equal status with Israeli exports, we call upon the Community to end Israeli trading privileges until Israel observes the Fourth Geneva Convention, and to recognize that trading privileges must always be linked with full respect for human rights. We urge all NGOs to press members of the European Parliament, who have shown support for that course of action in the past, to act immediately.
5. Noting that 1994 will be the year for the election of a new European Parliament, we call upon all NGOs in the Community to press all candidates in all parties for categoric undertakings that they will use the trading power of the Community to compel Israel to observe international law in every respect and that trading privileges will be withdrawn and aid will stop if it does not do so.
6. We urge NGOs in all European countries to press professional associations, legal, medical, educational, trade unions, churches and women's organizations to campaign for Palestinian rights, including where possible visits by delegations of their members to see for themselves the appalling suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people and, where possible, to arrange visits to European associations by representatives from Palestine to make the condition of the Palestinian people widely known.
7. We strongly urge all NGOs to feed back information on their activities and their specialist knowledge to ECCP in order that there can be a full, continent-wide coordination of practical activities to uphold human rights. We recommend that the resource papers presented to our workshop and this report be widely publicized.
8. Finally, we draw the attention of all NGOs to the inspiring words of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence that "we call upon our great people to rally to the Palestinian flag, to take pride in it and to defend it so that it shall remain forever a symbol of our freedom and dignity in a homeland that shall be forever free and the abode of a people of free men and women". We call upon European NGOs never to cease their activities in the cause of achieving that great ideal.
Rev. Paul Hoffman
1. The present ambiguity about the whole question of Palestinian development has had a stalling influence on the progress of the various negotiations regarding the future of the Palestinian people. However, surely no one would argue against the basic human right of a people to the self-determination of their development! The present position of fragmentation and confusion results from a history of piecemeal input, leading to a lack of coordination and wasteful duplication of efforts, and to gaps in the provision for the basic needs of the society which we must hope is on the verge of gaining the freedom to determine its own way forward.
2. Clearly, the wishes of the Palestinian people, whom we as NGOs wish to sustain and encourage as they define and articulate their framework, should be the reference point of all our endeavours. Palestinian thinking is not crystallized: even the Palestinian development plan is seen as an initiative for further discussion. It is a partial vision of the future based on international cooperation as the best guarantee of successful growth, and a long period of convergence is necessary, contingent upon the future State achieving a high degree of dynamism. And yet, even bringing the Palestinian economy to the threshold of development will require massive international investment. At the core of the present state of underdevelopment caused by the policies of the occupation authorities are:
(a) Expropriation of approximately 60 per cent of the West Bank and 40 per cent of the Gaza Strip, and land use and water restrictions;
(b) Denial of permits for new wells and the drying up of existing ones due to the deepening of Israeli bores, over exploitation by Israel leading to salination and the consequent impairment of crop quality, and also health problems; restrictive zoning policies and the prohibition of fruit tree and vegetable planting;
(c) Israeli trade restrictions designed to raise costs and decrease the value of Palestinian produce;
(d) Closure of banks after 1967, leaving the occupied Palestinian territory without a financial system;
(e) Military orders restricting commodity and raw material transfer, inequitable import/export restrictions.
3. Additional needs which require the speediest resolution include:
(a) Development, almost from scratch, of a modern physical infrastructure: roads, electricity, communication networks, water supply, sewage, industrial and science parts, etc.;
(b) Absorption of refugees currently residing in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as returnees, and the creation of employment opportunities for the part of the labour force that used to work in Israel;
(c) Housing, with an estimated 100,000 units needed for the existing population in the occupied Palestinian territory and a further estimated 85,000 units needed during the first five years to house returnees;
(d) Industrialization, with investment in machinery, production processes and technological expertise towards the goal of establishing an export-oriented economy;
(e) Development of tourism and the service sector, together with increased input into training and income-generating projects;
(f) Development of the agricultural sector, moving gradually from rain-fed agriculture to modern capital-intensive irrigated agriculture.
Steps towards survival
4. To avoid the danger of social disintegration fuelled by the constant deterioration in living conditions and the frustration of legitimate hopes, pressures must be brought to bear to re-legitimize the peace negotiations to bring forth speedier and more meaningful results.
5. There has to be a protected space to allow the development of a Palestinian economy without outside political interference. A Palestinian development fund, possibly incorporating existing organizations, should be set up with funds from Palestinian and other sources worldwide.
6. All interested in the stability of the region, from individuals to Governments, have a responsibility to pressure the European Community, the United Nations and Israel through all available channels. The hampering of all Palestinian initiatives by Israeli regulations, military orders and procedural reluctance must be shown up and countermanded through all possible means. Measures such as the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, which causes such a small population daily losses of up to $2 million to $3 million, and the denial of access to main centres of health care, commerce and worship must be portrayed as the repression that they are.
EUROPEAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Association Medicale Franco-Palestinienne
Mr. Jean Marie Lambert
84360 Paris, France
Tel: (33) 90 08 25 23
Fax: (33) 90 08 33 74
Rev. Paul Hoffman
1000 Berlin 4, Germany
Tel: (49-30) 85-00-04
Fax: (49-30) 859-30-11
Comité Español de los ONGs sobre la Cuestión de Palestina
Ms. Luisa Sirvent
José Ortega y Gasse 77, 2do A
28006 Madrid, Spain
Tel: (34-91) 4022312
Fax: (34-91) 4028499
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
Mr. Bernard Mills
European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
London, United Kingdom
Fax: (44-91) 835-2088
Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association
2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
Greek Committee for International Solidarity
Ms. Maria Gazi
25 Spirou Trikoupi Street
10683 Athens, Greece
Tel: (30-1) 361-3052
Fax: (30-1) 363-1603
Imperial Orthodox Russian-Palestinian Foundation
Mr. Oleg Fomine
Moscow 121019, Russian Federation
39, rue du Conseil
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation, German Section
D-5200 Bonn, Germany
Salaam - Children of the Olive Tree
22 Via G. B. Vico
I-00196 Rome, Italy
Society for Austro-Arab Relations
Mr. Fritz Froehlich
P.O. Box 31840
Tel: (972-2) 819553
Fax: (972-2) 823757
Honorary Member - Palestine Committee for NGOs
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
ARCI - Cultura e Sviluppo
Association Medicale Franco-Palestinienne
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
CIMADE - Service Oecuménique d'Entraide
Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
Friends of the Palestinian People
Greek Committee for International Democratic Solidarity
Instituto de Estudios Politicos para America Latina y Africa
International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Ligue Internationale pour les droits et la libération des peuples
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Salaam - Children of the Olive Tree
Save the Children Fund
Society for Austro-Arab Relations
Spanish NGO Committee on the Question of Palestine
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
World Peace Council
Arab Association for Development
Arab Lawyers' Unions
Arab Coordination Committee
Asamblea de Cooperación por la Paz
Asociacion de Ayuda Humanitaria para el Pueblo Palestino
Association of Forty
Beit Hanina Development Association
Bisan Center for Research and Development
Enfants Réfugiés du Monde
Friends of Prisoners and Detainees Association
Fund for the Development of Technological Education
in the Arab Sector in Israel
General Union of Palestinian Women
Panorama Center for the Dissemination of Alternative Information
Solidaridad para el Desarrollo y la Paz
Regional coordinating committees for NGOs
on the question of Palestine
European Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
Palestine Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
Panellists and workshop resource persons
Haidar Abdel Shafi
Rev. Paul Hoffman
Delegation of the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York and Chairman of the Committee
H.E. Mr. Alcibiades Hidalgo Basulto, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations in New York and Vice-Chairman of the Committee
H.E. Mr. A. G. Ravan Farhadi, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York and Vice-Chairman of the Committee
H.E. Mr. Joseph Cassar, Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations in New York and Rapporteur of the Committee
Mr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations in New York and Observer on the Committee
States Members of the United Nations represented by observers
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Specialized agencies and bodies
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Organizations having received a standing invitation to participate
in the sessions and work of the General Assembly as observers
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