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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
6 December 2004




September-December 2002

Volume XXV, Bulletin No. 3


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












I. SECRETARY-GENERAL PROVIDES HIGHLIGHTS OF
QUARTET’S MIDDLE EAST PEACE PLAN


The following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's introductory remarks to the press on 17 September 2002, made after the Quartet’s meeting at United Nations Headquarters on its plan for peace in the Middle East (SG/SM/8389):


There is a communiqué of today’s meeting. You should be receiving the communiqué later.

What I want to do instead of summarizing the communiqué as we did the last time, is to give you the highlights of what we agreed on.

The Quartet is continuing to work with the parties and key regional actors on an implementation road map, to achieve a final and comprehensive settlement within three years.

Comprehensive security performance is essential, as is an end to the morally repugnant violence and terror. But we are all in agreement that the overall plan must address the political, economic, humanitarian and institutional dimensions. It should spell out reciprocal steps to be taken by the parties in each of the phases. In short, we need a process that is both performance-driven and hope-driven. Because we need both: performance and hope.

The implementation road map will be in three phases. Progress between each phase will be based on the parties’ compliance with performance benchmarks to be monitored and assessed by a mechanism of the Quartet.

The first phase will see Palestinian security reform, Israeli withdrawals, and support for Palestinian elections to be held in early 2003. There will also be an Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in November to review the humanitarian situation and identify priority areas, including the reform process, for development assistance in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the second phase, during 2003, our efforts should focus on the option of creating a Palestinian State with provisional borders and based on a new constitution, as a way station to a permanent status settlement.

In the third phase (from 2004 to mid-2005), we envision Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status solution.

Both the Palestinian reform effort and political progress must include Israeli measures to improve the lives of Palestinians: to allow the resumption of economic activity and the movement of goods, people and essential services, and to ease or lift the curfew and the closures. Israel must also return the tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, and all Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territory must stop.

The Palestinians must work with the US and regional partners to reform their security services and combat terrorism, and both sides should work to allow policing and law and order for the civilian population of the West Bank and Gaza. Israelis and Palestinians should re-establish security cooperation.

The Quartet is continuing to discuss the timing and modalities for an international conference.

As you know, the Quartet also had two other meetings this morning, and I think I have indicated that to you. The Quartet remains committed to the search for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, including the Syrian/Israeli and the Lebanese/Israeli tracks.



II. ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE ISSUES FINAL
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE ANNUAL COORDINATION MEETING
OF FOREIGN MINISTERS


The Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), held at United Nations Headquarters, adopted a final communiqué on 17 September 2002. The text of the communiqué was transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in a letter dated 27 September 2002 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the Sudan to the United Nations (A/57/458-S/2002/1125). The letter included the report of the meeting of the OIC six-member Committee on Palestine that took place on 12 September 2002 at New York. Excerpts of the communiqué and the report are reproduced below:

Final communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference


1. The Meeting called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by compelling Israel to end its aggression, respect the international covenants, conventions, and resolutions and undertake the following:

(a) Pull out its forces to the areas it has occupied before 28 September 2000, as a preliminary step towards the complete withdrawal of all its forces from the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories to the 4th of June 1967 borders in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973); lift the internal and external blockade, and end the cordons imposed upon all Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps.

(b) Lift the oppressive blockade imposed upon the Palestinian people and leadership, terminate all inhumane measures and practices, and cease the collective punishments being imposed upon the Palestinian people, which are contrary to all international covenants and conventions.

(c) Halt and back down from building the Apartheid Wall aimed at plundering Palestinian land, and thereby creating obstacles to the establishment of the Palestinian State, and exacerbating the situation on the ground. Consideration should also be given to the fact that setting up such a wall constitutes a flagrant violation of international covenants and conventions and of the agreements it has signed with the Palestinian side.

(d) Put an end to targeting civilians, committing massacres and assassinations, destroying homes and deporting the families of Palestinian activists.

(e) Release the prisoners and detainees, and abstain from violating the freedoms and properties of the Palestinians.

(f) Release the funds due to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which it has seized, and allow the entry of goods and medical assistance to the Palestinian people.

2. The Meeting hailed the efforts deployed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, to preserve the Arab-Islamic identity of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and ensure that this city remains a cradle of dialogue and co-existence between the three revealed religions.

3. The Meeting exhorted the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibilities by ensuring the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people. It urged the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to take the necessary measures for implementing the provisions related to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

4. The Meeting called on all States to recognize the State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, as soon as it is proclaimed on Palestinian soil and to provide all forms of support to it so that it can concretize its sovereignty over Palestinian land within the 4th of June 1967 borders and in conformity with the resolutions of international legitimacy. It appealed to all States, as well, to support the State of Palestine's candidature for full membership of the United Nations Organization. It also reiterated its support for the legitimate Palestinian leadership and reaffirmed that the Palestinian people are the only party habilitated to choose their leadership.

5. The Meeting called for a more active participation on the part of the United Nations in helping to ensure the success of the Middle East peace process and affirming the United Nations' continuing and firm responsibility towards the question of Palestine until such time as a just and comprehensive peace settlement of all its aspects is reached. It also affirmed the continuing responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in fulfilling its functions towards the Palestinian nationals wherever they may be residing by virtue of the relevant General Assembly resolution.

6. The Meeting expressed support for Lebanon in its efforts to complete the liberation of all its territories up to its internationally recognized borders and urged the United Nations to compel Israel to pay reparations for all the losses it has inflicted, or caused, as a result of its persistent aggression against Lebanon. It further supported Lebanon in its demands for the removal of the mines left behind by the Israeli occupation, which is responsible for planting those mines and therefore for removing them. It also supported the inalienable rights of Lebanon to utilize its waters in accordance with international law and condemned Israel's designs on those waters. It held Israel responsible for any action such as to infringe upon Lebanon's sovereignty, its political independence, the safety of its people, or the integrity of its territories.

7. The Meeting strongly condemned Israel's policy of refusing to comply with United Nations Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and of imposing its laws, mandate, and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan as well as its policies of annexation, building of settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources, and imposition of Israeli citizenship upon Syrian citizens. It considered all such measures as null and void and constituting a violation of the provisions and principles of international law and international humanitarian law, particularly the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. It urged Israel to fully withdraw from the whole of the occupied Syrian Golan and to pull back to the 4th of June 1967 lines.

8. The Meeting took up the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the 14th Summit of the League of Arab States held in March 2002 in Beirut.

Report of the meeting of the OIC six-member Committee on Palestine held on 5 Rajab 1423H (12 September 2002)


The OIC Six-Member Committee on Palestine held a meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York, on 5 Rajab 1423H (12 September 2002), under the chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, Secretary General of the OIC.

2. The meeting was attended by Their Excellencies the Foreign Ministers of the Committee Member States, namely:

3. In his inaugural address, the Secretary-General reiterated the OIC's unwavering position on the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif. He called for concerted efforts to put an end to the illegal and inhuman Israeli measures being perpetrated against the Palestinian people, and to salvage the peace process by working for the implementation of all international resolutions, primarily Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and General Assembly resolution 194 (III) (1948) as well as all resolutions on Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

4. The Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine then delivered a statement which included a detailed review of the deteriorating conditions in Palestine as well as the continuing and escalating Israeli aggression, now in its second consecutive year. He elaborated on the Arab and Islamic efforts being exerted to stop the bloodshed in the occupied Palestinian territories and to resume negotiations in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative.

5. In their interventions, the Committee members reiterated their respective governments' positions supporting Palestinian rights, the steadfast Palestinian position on the issue, and the valiant Palestinian Intifada. Their Excellencies affirmed the need to launch an international campaign for the cause of Palestine; and to put an end to the continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. In that connection, they recommended the formation of a delegation, at the level of Heads of State, which would pursue the necessary contacts and actions. They proposed that the delegation be composed of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee; His Highness Sheikh Hmad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, Chairman of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference; His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; His Royal Highness Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, initiator of the Arab Peace Initiative; and His Excellency Dato' Seri Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, the host country of the next Islamic Summit Conference.

6. The Committee submitted the following recommendations to the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States:

i- Reaffirming the provisions of all the resolutions adopted by the relevant Islamic conferences and the Al-Quds Committee on the question of Palestine and Al-Quds as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict.

ii- Commending the resistance of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and their defense of Al-Quds Al-Sharif as well as all Islamic and Christian shrines so as to put an end to the Israeli occupation and concretize the freedom, sovereignty, and independence of the Palestinian people. The Committee also invited Member States to continue strengthening solidarity with the legitimate and just struggle of the Palestinian people. It invited Member States to continue backing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Palestinian people who were experiencing a dire financial and economic situation. iii - Condemning the Israeli expansionist settlement policy, and affirming the necessity of working for a halt of all Israeli settlement acts, practices, and measures, which run counter to the resolutions of international legitimacy as well as the agreements concluded between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in that regard. The Commission called upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to prevent such measures and to act for the dismantling of the Israeli settlements, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 465 (1980), and to revive the International Committee for Supervision and Control to Prevent Settlements in Al-Quds and the Occupied Arab Territories, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 446 (1979). iv - Requesting the international community to assume its responsibilities by compelling Israel to end its aggression, respect international conventions, norms, and resolutions and undertake the following actions:

(a) Pull out its forces immediately to the positions it was occupying before 28 September 2000 as a preliminary step towards the total Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to the borders of the 4th of June 1967, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973); lift the internal and external blockade, and end the cordons imposed upon all Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps. (b) Lift the oppressive blockade imposed upon the Palestinian people and leadership, terminate all inhumane measures and practices, and cease the collective punishments imposed upon the Palestinian people, which are contrary to all international conventions and norms.

(c) Halt and roll back the scheme of building the Apartheid Wall aimed at plundering Palestinian land, thereby creating obstacles to the establishment of the Palestinian State, and exacerbating the situation on the ground. Consideration should also be given to the fact that setting up such a wall constitutes a flagrant violation of international covenants and conventions, and of the agreements signed with the Palestinian side.

(d) Put an end to targeting civilians, perpetrating massacres and assassinations, destroying homes, and deporting the families of Palestinian activists.

(e) Release the prisoners and detainees, and abstain from violating the freedoms and properties of the Palestinians.

(f) Release the funds due to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which it has seized, and allow the entry of food and medical assistance to the Palestinian people.

v - Exhorting the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities by ensuring the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people, and urging the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take the necessary measures to implement the provisions related to protecting civilians in times of war in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

vi - Reaffirming the necessity of implementing Security Council resolution 237 (1967) on the return of displaced Palestinians, as well as UN General Assembly resolution 194 (III) (1948) relating to the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties, considering that those two resolutions constitute two fundamental requirements of a comprehensive and just settlement.

vii - Reaffirming that all occupation and colonialist settlement measures and practices in Al-Quds and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories are null and void, in consonance with the decisions of international legitimacy as well as international covenants and conventions, which consider all Israeli legislative, administrative, and settlement schemes and measures designed to alter the legal, demographic, architectural, cultural, and civilizational status of the Holy City as null and void, running counter to the resolutions of international legitimacy, and international covenants and conventions as well as the agreements signed by both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The Commission called upon the UN Security Council to revive the Committee for supervision and control to prevent settlements in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories, in accordance with Security Council resolution 446 (1979).

viii - Inviting all countries of the world to recognize the State of Palestine with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, as soon as it is proclaimed on Palestinian soil, and provide all forms of support to this State to concretize its sovereignty over Palestinian land within the 4th of June 1967 borders, in conformity with the resolutions of international legitimacy. Appealing to all countries, as well, to support the State of Palestine's candidature for full-fledged membership of the United Nations. The Committee stressed its support to the elected and legitimate Palestinian leadership. It also reaffirmed that the Palestinian people are the only party having the right to elect their leadership.

ix - Highlighting its backing of the Middle East peace process on the basis of the foundations that were laid down for it at the Madrid Peace Conference, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and resolutions, especially Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and the "land-for-peace" principle. It reaffirmed its support of the Arab- Peace Initiative to solve the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

x - Urging more effective participation of the United Nations in promoting the peace process in the Middle East, and stressing the necessity for the United Nations to pursue its enduring responsibility towards the question of Palestine until a comprehensive and just settlement has been reached.

xi - Affirming the continued responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in fulfilling its mission and discharging its duties towards Palestinian nationals wherever they may be residing, by virtue of the relevant General Assembly resolutions.

xii - Exhorting the international community and the Security Council to compel Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 487 (1981); to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and implement the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to which all Israeli nuclear installations must be subjected to the Agency's system of comprehensive safeguards; and request that Israel publicly renounce nuclear armaments and submit a complete statement on its capabilities and reserves in terms of nuclear arms and substances to both the Security Council and the IAEA, as a prerequisite to the creation of an area free of ones in the Middle East of mass destruction, foremost among which are the nuclear weapons, and the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace in the region.

xiii - Mandating the Secretary-General of the OIC to take all necessary measures to enhance communications and coordination on the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict between the OIC, on the one hand, and the League of Arab States, the African Union (AU), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the European Union (EU), the United Nations, and its specialized agencies, on the other, and to express appreciation for the positions taken by those organizations in solidarity with and support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.



III. GROUP OF 77 ISSUES MINISTERIAL DECLARATION
A Ministerial Declaration was issued on the occasion of the Twenty-sixth Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 September 2002. Excerpts of the declaration, which was transmitted to the Secretary-General in a letter from the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations on 23 September 2002 (A/57/444), are reproduced below:

We, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77, guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and by full respect for the principles of international law, convened at the Twenty-sixth Annual Meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 September 2002, adopted the following declaration:

VII. Situation in Palestine and the Middle East

26. We remain gravely concerned over the tragic and dangerous situation in the occupied Palestine territory, including Jerusalem, which has resulted in the grave deterioration of the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people, and has negatively affected stability and development in the region as a whole. We call for the immediate and complete cessation and end to settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, an end to the recent Israeli occupation and siege of Palestinian cities, towns and villages, which are in violation of

international law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and all forms of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, as well as the return to the negotiating table. We also call for the immediate Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and from the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967, and from all the other Arab occupied territories. We reaffirm our support to the Palestinian people in their effort to achieve their inalienable rights, including their right to establish an independent State on their national soil, including Jerusalem. We also call for an end to Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity.

27. We reaffirm our support for the Middle East peace process started in Madrid in 1991, and aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the principle of land for peace. In this context, we support the peace initiative adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002.


IV. SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES THE SECURITY COUNCIL


On 23 September 2003, Secretary-General Kofi Annan made the following statement at the Security Council meeting on the Middle East (verbatim records on this and related Security Council meetings can be found in documents S/PV.4614, S/PV.4614 (Resumptions 1 and 2) and S/PV.4614/Corr.1 ):

Less than a week ago, the Quartet met in this building and agreed on the need for a road map to achieve a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We agreed that it was essential and urgent for the Palestinians to take all possible steps to improve security, by bringing an immediate end to violence and terror. But we also agreed that it had to be done within the context of an overall plan, which must address the political, economic, humanitarian and institutional dimensions of the problem.

We agreed that the plan must spell out reciprocal steps to be taken by the parties in each of three phases, with a Quartet mechanism to monitor and assess each party’s progress against specific bench-marks, culminating in the negotiation of a final and comprehensive settlement by 2005.

We agreed, in short, on the need for a process driven both by performance and by hope.

That linkage is essential, and I cannot emphasize it too strongly. Yes, we need performance. But there must be hope, too. For without hope there will be no performance.

So, far from seeing the first steps towards implementing the Quartet’s vision, the events of the past few days represent a tragic step in the opposite direction.

Until last week, there had been six weeks of relative calm in Israel itself, but during the same period in the occupied territory at least 54 Palestinians were killed in Israeli military operations.

Then, in the space of three days – 17 to 19 September – we saw a bomb explode in a Palestinian school, and two new suicide attacks perpetrated against Israeli civilians inside Israel.

I have said over and over again that such acts are “morally repugnant” – and I say it again today. Each time those words have to be repeated, they become even more grimly apt.

These acts are to be condemned, both for the utterly unjustifiable loss of life, the pain and misery that they cause to innocent people, and because they set back even further the prospect for a just and lasting settlement. They strike directly at that very hope which – as the Quartet agreed – is an essential driver of political progress.

Once again I urge all Palestinians, especially the leaders of all political factions, to renounce this wicked instrument of terror – clearly and irrevocably, now and forever.

Last week, the Quartet recognized Israel’s legitimate security concerns, and repeated its demand that terrorist attacks be stopped once and for all. It also repeated its call on the Palestinian Authority to work with the United States and regional partners to reform security services and combat terrorism.

But how can the Palestinians respond to that call, if what is left of the civil and security infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority – which already gravely weakened – is now in the process of being destroyed? Surely, such destruction will only set back even further the prospects for implementing necessary reforms and ensuring real improvements in the Authority’s security performance?

Similarly, the continuing destruction of ministries’ and municipalities’ capacity to provide basic services – such as water, electricity, and education – will hamper and even undermine efforts to meet humanitarian needs, whether by Palestinian or by international organizations. Further misery is hardly a basis for progress, whether political, security or economic.

The Quartet and our Arab partners in the region are working intensively with the Palestinian Authority to see that security and institutional reforms are implemented. But we can succeed only if the Government of Israel actively supports the process, rather than hindering it.

The systematic and literal grinding down of the Authority’s headquarters in Ramallah, in which a further 10 Palestinians have been killed, is also likely to cause greater political instability in the West Bank and Gaza.

Despite the reimposition of curfews in most West Bank towns, it has already prompted mass demonstrations in a number of Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, and efforts to address key reform issues have been postponed as a result.

This too will set back the prospects for resuming the peace process. Once again, I appeal to Israel to take greater care to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians, and to refrain from policies and actions that are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

My Special Envoy is in constant contact with both parties, and has repeatedly spoken to Chairman Arafat and other senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah. He met this morning with Foreign Minister Peres, and is now in Ramallah with the Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Abu Mazen. He is working in close coordination with the other members of the Quartet and key actors in the region.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not going to be resolved by military might alone, or by violent means of any kind. A policy based on forcing the other side to capitulate is a bankrupt policy. It is not working, and it will never work. It only encourages desperation. It weakens moderates, and strengthens extremists.

In the end there will have to be a political settlement, negotiated between the two peoples on an equal basis; a settlement in which – as this Council has said – two States, Israel and Palestine, are living side-by-side within secure and recognized borders.

Why not reach that end sooner rather than later? How many hundreds or thousands more have to die, how much more pain and misery must be endured, before leaders on both sides find the vision and the courage to accept the inevitable?

Only a settlement on that basis can bring real peace and security to both peoples, and only a comprehensive approach can bring a settlement on that basis nearer.

The so-called “sequential” approach, which insists on full security as a precondition for progress on the political, humanitarian and institutional fronts, has clearly failed.

Israel needs to understand that there will be no lasting security without a political settlement – and therefore, even while defending itself against terrorist attacks, Israel should cooperate actively with the Quartet's efforts to reach such a settlement within the next three years.

The Palestinians, on their side, need to understand that there will be no settlement without lasting security for Israel.

Both sides must be urged – by all who have any influence over them – to accept and act on those understandings, so that at last there can be peace and security for both peoples, as part of a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.

But I fear this vision will remain a distant mirage, so long as our television screens – and the minds of all those involved – are filled with ugly scenes of death and destruction, whether in the streets of Tel Aviv or at the mukataa in Ramallah.

More than 80 years ago the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats wrote of a time in his country when
Alas, those words have been true of many times and many places since, and they seem all too true of the situation between Israelis and Palestinians today.

But let us not resign ourselves to that state of affairs. Let us help the best on both sides, Palestinian and Israeli, to regain their passion for peace, and the conviction that brought them so close to agreement two years ago.

Let us resist the downward spiral into anarchy. Let us rebuild a centre that can hold.


V. UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY
IN SUPPORT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


The United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 23 and 24 September 2002, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 56/33 and 56/34 of 3 December 2001.

The Committee was represented at the Conference by a delegation comprising Papa Louis Fall (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee; Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; Ravan A.G. Farhâdi (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman of the Committee; Walter Balzan (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee; and Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).

The theme of the Conference was “End the Occupation!”. Twelve experts were invited to serve as members of the Steering Committee of the Conference. The members chaired the different sessions of the Conference, conferred with the other participants, and drafted the final document of the Conference in consultation with the Bureau of the United Nations Committee.

Presentations were made by 21 panellists, including Palestinians and Israelis, and 291 representatives of 113 civil society organizations participated in the Conference. Representatives of 50 Governments, Palestine, 4 intergovernmental organizations and 1 United Nations programme attended the Conference as observers.

Participants adopted the NGO Declaration and the NGO Plan of Action at the close of the Conference. They also addressed a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations calling for an international protection force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Declaration and the Plan of Action are reproduced below:


NGO Declaration

We come together as non-governmental and civil society organizations committed to the United Nations goal reflected in the theme of this conference: "End the Occupation!". Our organizations, in Africa, in Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America, in the Middle East, together with our Palestinian and Israeli partners, are working in our countries to bring this goal to fruition.

It is very appropriate that we meet at the United Nations given the permanent responsibility the Organization has for the question of Palestine. We believe that the immediate cause of the conflict is the occupation by Israel since 1967 of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We demand unequivocally: “End the occupation!” – a call rooted in international law and the position of the United Nations.

As civil society organizations, we are appalled by the international community's failure, so far, to provide serious protection for Palestinian civilians living under military occupation. While efforts have been made in the United Nations towards such protection, the use and threat of a veto by the United States has prevented the adoption of the appropriate resolutions. In its place, non-violent activists of non-governmental and civil society organizations from around the world, at extraordinary personal risk, have mobilized to provide human protection to Palestinians facing the onslaught of military occupation. We highly commend the work of these brave activists. However, we believe that the necessity of their presence, as the only buffer between helpless civilians and a powerful military machine, stands as an indictment of the international community's failure to provide the serious protection of Palestinian civilians living under occupation that is required under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We fear that the consequences of a U.S. war against Iraq will be calamitous for Palestinians and others in the region. Specifically, we are gravely concerned that such a war could be used to conceal the “transfer” – ethnic cleansing – of Palestinians from their homeland.

We are angered and dismayed at the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and at the escalation of repressive measures being used against the Palestinian people, its leadership and its institutions, in particular the siege of Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah, by the Occupying Power in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Those include annexation and settlement, the reoccupation of Palestinian cities and blocking of roads between them; expulsions and targeted assassinations of scores of Palestinians; attacks on ambulances and medical personnel; house demolitions; destruction of water storage facilities; uprooting of thousands of fruit and olive trees; 24-hour curfews; almost permanent closures of towns, villages and cities; and excessive use of force, including weapons of war such as F-16 bombers and helicopter gunships used against apartment houses, refugee camps and other civilian targets, causing the deaths of numerous Palestinians. We deplore the loss of innocent lives on both sides.

Our Call:

 We look to the United Nations to bring an end to these violations. We believe that the United Nations, its Charter, its resolutions, as well as the Geneva Conventions and other sources of international law, provide the best framework for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict and ending Israel's occupation, leading to conditions of justice and a comprehensive and lasting peace.  We hold Israel accountable to end the occupation, and to implement the Geneva Conventions’ protections of Palestinians while it is ending the occupation.

 We hold the international community responsible for protecting Palestinians living under an illegal occupation, through ensuring implementation of the Geneva Conventions’ protection of occupied populations and civilian populations in times of war and through enforcement of the numerous United Nations resolutions calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

 We recall the words of U.S. President George W. Bush, in a far different context, when he asked whether United Nations "resolutions [are] to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence?" We believe all United Nations resolutions must be honored and enforced, and we believe the consequences for failing to honor and enforce the decisions of the international community are serious and have a global impact. Such violations of the Geneva Conventions constitute grounds for war crimes prosecution under the terms of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. We know that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) serve as the linchpins of diplomatic peace efforts. We urge full and immediate compliance with those resolutions. We also call on our Governments and on the international community acting in concert to ensure swift and comprehensive enforcement of all outstanding resolutions regarding Israel's illegal occupation, non-compliance with the Geneva Conventions, human rights and other violations.

 We urge the parties to return to the negotiating table and to seek with the support of the international community a just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict. It should be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2001) and lead to the end of Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security. It must also include the right of return, the status of Jerusalem and other outstanding issues.

 We call on the United Nations to establish a Women’s Commission of Palestinian, Israeli and other peace activists, in accordance with the mandate of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).


Our Commitments:

 We commit ourselves and our organizations to work within our own countries, to pressure our own Governments and parliaments, and to urge the United Nations itself, in particular the members of the Security Council, to move quickly to create an international interposition (buffer) and protection force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, recognizing that any protection force must be tied to a political process leading to an end to the occupation. Should the Security Council continue to be paralyzed on this issue, we call on the General Assembly to exercise its authority to consider this issue and to reach its own determination and decision regarding the authorization, mandate, funding, recruitment and deployment of such an international force. Such an international force would provide crucial protection for Palestinian civilians living under occupation as well as for Israeli civilians deprived of personal security as a consequence of occupation. We intend to press our own Governments to support such a move in the General Assembly.

 We will continue to support the NGO and civil society movements inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory that are working under tremendous odds to provide for the humanitarian needs of their people and for the realization of an end to occupation. We will continue to participate in and support the work of those groups working directly to protect Palestinians from the military assault of the occupation forces.

 We will work to press our own Governments, as well as regional and international organizations, to fully implement all relevant United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine, including those dealing with the end of the occupation, the creation of a Palestinian State with its capital in Jerusalem, the right of return, the removal of settlements, and related issues. We look forward to continuing to coordinate our work and campaigns with the NGO network on the question of Palestine worldwide. We also call for full implementation of paragraph 14 of United Nations Security Council resolution 687 (1991) which calls for the establishment of a “zone free from weapons of mass destruction” throughout the Middle East.

 We encourage the United Nations and its Secretary-General to take the lead in the international efforts to find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution.

 We commend the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for hosting this NGO and civil society forum. We express our deep thanks to the Division for Palestinian Rights and other units of the Secretariat for their work in preparing and organizing the forum. We urge the Committee to continue to convene such international and regional forums to enable the network of international civil society organizations to continue its coordination of campaigns until such time as the occupation is ended.

As non-governmental and civil society organizations, we stand with the United Nations in the effort to realize the goal of this Conference: to End the Occupation.
New York, 24 September 2002



NGO Plan of Action

We, non-governmental and civil society organizations gathered in this international forum, commit to joining our efforts and resources to uphold international law, end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

 We will work with our Governments and parliaments to ensure that the United Nations Security Council and/or General Assembly authorize an international interposition (buffer) and protection force as a first step to ending the occupation and implementing outstanding United Nations resolutions regarding a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Such a force, with a well-defined mandate and within a clear timeline for an end to occupation, will spare Palestinian civilians further death and destruction at the hands of the occupying Israeli military forces and the illegal acts of successive Israeli Governments in the occupied Palestinian territory. It will also protect Israeli civilians from acts of violence which are a consequence of the brutal 35-year-old occupation. At the same time, we will continue to support and participate in the important work of the international citizens movement to provide protection for and solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.

 We will use all means at our disposal to educate the public in our countries about the realities of life under occupation and the daily violations of Palestinian human rights – including the rights to life, liberty, freedom of movement and association, shelter, food, education, health, and self-determination – and about the actions they can take to uphold international law and to oppose such violations of human rights, including boycotts, divestment, and suspension of aid and trade until the occupation is ended. This includes pressure on Governments to implement such sanctions.

 We call on the General Assembly to request from the International Court of Justice an advisory opinion regarding the illegality of Israel’s occupation, including issues of settlements, violation of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine.

 We commit ourselves to help establish an International Citizens Commission to investigate violations of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, United Nations resolutions, and the Geneva Conventions.

 We call on the signatories to the 1949 Geneva Conventions to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, many of which constitute war crimes under the Conventions. We will ring the alarm about the consequences for the region of a United States war against Iraq for the region. We will work to ensure that the “transfer” - or ethnic cleansing - of Palestinians that has happened twice over the past century never happens again, and that past wrongs are righted in accordance with international law.

 We endorse the efforts of all organizations represented here today that are working to uphold Palestinian human rights, in particular those responding to the call by Palestinian NGOs to provide civilian international protection for the Palestinians, helping farmers with their olive harvest, organizing a peaceful circle of hands around Jerusalem, rebuilding demolished Palestinian homes, and other initiatives. We will reinforce our support for the Israeli anti-occupation movements.

 We call for a worldwide Day to End the Israeli Occupation and Support International Protection and a Just Peace in coordination with the plans of Grassroots International Protection for Palestinians.

 We will coordinate our work, using among others the tools that technology makes available to us (a web site for our organizations, list servers, and conference calls). We call on the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations as well as NGOs to contribute to fund an international coordinator, office, travel, and meetings, to further support the coordination of our work.

 We thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights for convening this Conference in response to the Plan of Action adopted at the United Nations NGO Meeting in Solidarity with the Palestinian People in Madrid in 2001, and for their ongoing support of our work. We call on the United Nations to host regional NGO meetings and to host an international conference in 2003, so that we can assess progress and commit to further steps in support of a just peace.

New York, 24 September 2002




VI. SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1435 (2002)


At its 4614th meeting, on 24 September 2002, the Security Council adopted resolution 1435 (2002). The draft resolution, submitted by Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted by 14 votes to none, with one abstention. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:

Resolut ion 1435 (2002)

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002 and 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002, as well as the statements of its President, of 10 April 2002 and 18 July 2002,

Reiterating its grave concern at the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000 and the continuous deterioration of the situation,

Condemning all terrorist attacks against any civilians, including the terrorist bombings in Israel on 18 and 19 September 2002 and in a Palestinian school in Hebron on 17 September 2002,

Gravely concerned at the reoccupation of the headquarters of the President of the Palestinian Authority in the City of Ramallah that took place on 19 September 2002, and demanding its immediate end,

Alarmed at the reoccupation of Palestinian cities as well as the severe restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement of persons and goods, and gravely concerned at the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Palestinian people,

Reiterating the need for respect in all circumstances of international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,

1. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

2. Demands that Israel immediately cease measures in and around Ramallah including the destruction of Palestinian civilian and security infrastructure;

3. Demands also the expeditious withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian cities towards the return to the positions held prior to September 2000;

4. Calls on the Palestinian Authority to meet its expressed commitment to ensure that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice by it;

5. Expresses its full support for the efforts of the Quartet and calls upon the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and all States in the region to cooperate with these efforts, and recognizes in this context the continuing importance of the initiative endorsed at the Arab League Beirut Summit;

6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.





VII. COMMISSION OF THE AFRICAN UNION ISSUES STATEMENT ON RAMALLAH SIEGE


On 25 September 2002, the Commission of the African Union issued a statement on the destruction and the ongoing siege of President Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah. The statement, which was communicated to the President of the Security Council in a letter dated 26 September 2002, from the Charge d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations (S/2002/1090), is reproduced below:


Statement on the destruction and the ongoing siege of President Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah


The Commission of the African Union is gravely concerned about current events in Palestine characterized by the Israeli policy of destruction and the continuing siege of President Yasser Arafat’s office compound in Ramallah, which has resulted in the deaths of many innocent Palestinian demonstrators.

The Commission of the African Union joins members of the international community in strongly condemning the use of military forces and massive attacks on the person and offices of the leader of the Palestinian people, despite repeated appeals to Israel to put a stop to such policies.

The Commission of the African Union calls upon the Government of Israel to forthwith put an end to its current policy of destruction and siege of President Yasser Arafat’s office compound and to heed to the appeal by the United Nations Security Council.

The Commission of the African Union wishes to reiterate that only a genuine and mutually acceptable political solution, recognizing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their right to sovereign independence, based on relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, can ensure lasting peace in the region.

The Commission of the African Union therefore calls upon Israel to end its military incursion and withdraw from Palestinian-controlled areas so as to create the conducive atmosphere that will facilitate a return to the peace negotiations.


Addis Ababa, 25 September 2002



VIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES STATEMENT ON LIFTING OF SIEGE
In a statement issued on 1 October 2002 by his spokesman, the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, welcomed the decision by the Israeli government to lift the siege of the Ramallah compound (SG/SM/8410). The statement is reproduced below:


The Secretary-General welcomes the decision of the Government of Israel to lift the siege of President Arafat's Ramallah compound. He strongly believes that both sides should fully implement Security Council resolution 1435 (2002) immediately and return to the negotiating table. The best path away from violence and stalemate is through the road map set out by the Quartet in its 17 September communiqué, which aims for a complete end of violence, the early establishment of a Palestinian State with provisional borders and a just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict.



IX. COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE REPORTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY


On 10 October 2002, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted its annual report for submission to the General Assembly (A/57/35). The report covers the period 11 October 2001 to 10 October 2002. The conclusions and recommendations of the Committee contained in the report are reproduced below:


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee

93. The greatest concern of the Committee since its last report to the General Assembly remained the most deplorable and increasingly dangerous situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The Committee was appalled by the intensity of Israeli military offensives, growing human losses among the Palestinians, the scope of devastation left by the occupying forces and the enormity of the humanitarian catastrophe that ensued. The fabric of Palestinian society has been badly damaged. Attempts to contain the violence, stabilize the situation and resolve the crisis have not been very successful. To complicate the situation, efforts at resuming a political dialogue have not produced desirable results. The Committee reiterates that the continuing Israeli occupation remains at the core of the conflict and must be addressed without further delay. At the same time, the Committee unreservedly condemns all acts of violence against civilians, from whatever quarter. It firmly believes that the solution to the question of Palestine should be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and other relevant resolutions, the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, and the coexistence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, within secure and recognized borders. The Committee will continue to work towards this objective by carrying out its General Assembly mandate. Through its programme of activities, the Committee will continue to contribute to international efforts at bringing peace to the region.

94. Pending a political settlement, the parties will need assistance in steering away from escalating violence and confrontation. In this regard, a central role should be played by members of the international community, individually and collectively. The United Nations should maintain its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions, in accordance with international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized. The Committee is much encouraged by and fully supports the role played within the framework of the Quartet by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Disturbed by the Israeli attacks on Palestine refugee camps run by UNRWA and by the Agency’s persistent financial crisis, the Committee reiterates its call on the international donor community to help UNRWA overcome the present severe crisis in order to continue its vital humanitarian work.

95. The Committee considers that its programme of meetings in various regions continues to play a useful role in heightening international awareness of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It helps promote a constructive analysis and discussion of the various aspects of the question of Palestine and mobilize international assistance. The Committee also highly appreciates the contribution made by a large number of civil society organizations working untiringly to mobilize solidarity with the Palestinian people, provide some form of protection, as well as emergency relief under difficult circumstances to the population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and raise international awareness of the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian land. In addition to civil society initiatives and given the situation on the ground, special emphasis should be laid on mobilizing wide public support for measures aimed at protecting the Palestinian people, such as action by the United Nations and the Security Council or by the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. In its programme of work for the next year, the Committee will strive to involve to a greater extent other sectors of civil society, such as academic institutions and think tanks, parliamentarians and the media. Its cooperation with the wide network of NGOs on the question of Palestine will be intensified on the basis of the new guidelines for accredited organizations. The Committee will continue to review and assess its programme with a view to making it more responsive to developments on the ground and in the peace process. It will focus its work in the next year on the question of the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, international initiatives aimed at resolving the question of Palestine and the role of the United Nations therein, and on international assistance to the Palestinian people.

96. The Committee stresses the essential contribution of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat in support of the Committee’s objectives and requests it to continue its programme of publications and other informational activities, including the further development of the UNISPAL documents collection. The Committee also considers that the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority has demonstrated its usefulness and requests that it be continued.

97. The Committee is of the view that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information has made an important contribution to informing the media and public opinion on the relevant issues. The Committee requests the programme’s continuation, with the necessary flexibility, as warranted by developments relevant to the question of Palestine.

98. Wishing to make its contribution to the achievement of a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine and in view of the many difficulties facing the Palestinian people and besetting the peace process, the Committee calls upon all States to join in this endeavour and invites the General Assembly once again to recognize the importance of its role and to reconfirm its mandate with overwhelming support.



X. INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE ISSUES REPORT ON TECHNICAL COOPERATION FOR THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES


The following report was issued by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office on 14 October 2002 and was considered at its 285th session held in Geneva from 7 to 22 November 2002 (GB.285/6). The report proposes an expanded programme of technical assistance, tailored to the particular situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where the ILO has been requested to assist in a number of areas, especially the establishment of the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Promotion. Excerpts of the report are reproduced below:


Enhanced programme of technical
cooperation for the occupied
Palestinian territories
…. A. The Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection

8. There is a consensus that, in the present circumstances, the creation of the Fund is the most effective mechanism for dealing with the mounting problems of unemployment and poverty. In fact, the Arab Labour Organization has passed a resolution calling on the ILO to contribute effectively towards the creation of such a fund.

9. The objective of this Fund is to provide the institutional framework for promoting decent work among Palestinians, especially youth, thus reducing the insecurity of the majority of workers by dealing with one of the root causes of violence: unemployment and loss of livelihood. To achieve this objective the Fund will have the following major components: – Youth training and employment programme: Three-month in-class vocational training for youth (age group to be determined) and three months’ apprenticeship in enterprises, with a subsidy (amount to be determined, for example, 80 per cent of minimum wage).

– Subsidy scheme for small enterprises (sizes to be determined) to retain their present workforce (amount to be determined, for example, 50 per cent of labour cost to employer) for a renewable period of three months.

– Public works programme to rehabilitate infrastructure and services damaged as a result of military incursion, to be implemented through municipalities; priority to be given to unemployed.

– Subsidies to families (income group to be defined) to rehabilitate family plots or family farms in order to grow food (farm implements, seeds, and the like, total amount per family to be determined). 10. In designing the Fund, it is essential to aim at the creation of a semi-autonomous institution with outreach to employers’ and workers’ organizations, NGOs (which are extremely effective in the territories) and local-level organizations.

11. The ILO will be drawing on the experience of social development funds (for example, in Egypt), which provide a good illustration of the range of employment-related activities that can be financed with such a mechanism. Small projects are implemented in close collaboration with local government and communities. The feasibility of setting up a Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection is being investigated, in close consultation with donors regarding funding and with technical agencies and units in the occupied territories on implementation mechanisms. The ILO will draw on its expertise to provide technical assistance to the Palestinian Authority in order to carry out a study of the desirability and feasibility of such an institution in cooperation with donor countries and other multilateral organizations. It will also initiate projects in some of the areas mentioned above while the creation of the Fund is being considered. Such a fund would need to complement rather than supplant existing assistance already provided by donors, the United Nations and international financial institutions. 12. While the ILO is financing the technical assistance phase to set up the Fund, the donor community will be expected to contribute the funds necessary for the investment activities, as is the case with other social development funds.
13. A feasibility study has been carried out for the establishment of the Fund drawing on ILO resources, and completed by October 2002. It has been drafted in consultation with donor countries and key multilateral agencies. The Director-General intends to allocate ILO resources through specific initial projects as seed money for the Fund. Once the design of the Fund is completed, the ILO would sponsor a donors’ meeting, which will be held in the most appropriate existing multilateral cooperation framework. It should be considered as an ILO contribution to the wider efforts of the international community and should be part of an integrated programme. Based on the results of the donors’ meeting in Oslo (May 2002), and interest expressed by certain donors to the ILO (notably the European Union, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and Turkey) the meeting will bring together both multilateral and Arab development funds and will be held by December 2002. The idea has also received the support of international employers’ and workers’ organizations, notably the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The Director-General had submitted the idea of the Fund to the “Quartet” of international bodies engaged in the Middle East peace process (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and United States). B. Capacity-building

14. At the request of the Minister of Labour, the ILO fielded a mission to assist with the reconstruction of the Ministry within the broader framework of the Palestinian Authority reform. The mission worked closely with the constituents (Ramallah, 8-15 September 2002), and its report provided a road map for reform and possible ILO assistance. Similar exercises with employers’ and workers’ organizations are envisaged in the near future. Funding to respond to the immediate requirements of the Ministry and of workers’ and employers’ organizations is included in the recommendations on the use of the surplus. C. Social protection

15. First, initial ILO work on the design of a Palestinian social protection system will be pursued. Rather than starting with a fully fledged system that would invariably face financial limitations, an incremental approach is preferable, giving priority to one or only a few contingencies. Preliminary discussions suggest these might be occupational injuries and disabilities, and old-age pensions. The absence of any institutionalized form of income support for persons in old age is a significant cause of poverty. The Fund will play an important role in implementing this programme. 16. Second, the terms of the Paris Protocol on the transfer of social security rights accumulated by Palestinian workers working in Israel need to be given effect (Paris Protocol, 1994). The ILO will undertake an initial exploration of the possible mechanisms by which Palestinian workers could be guaranteed more transparent access to information on their social security rights, as well as a more effective disbursement mechanism. Close consultations with employers’ and workers’ organizations in Israel and in the occupied territories will provide the basis for resuming dialogue between the two sides.

D. Social dialogue

17. The ILO will enhance the support provided to strengthening the institutional capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations. In particular, their ability to provide services to their members will be expanded. In parallel, some innovative approaches to social dialogue will be adopted, with institutional training on issues such as conflict resolution and building constructive relations. This is an area of ILO expertise that can be mobilized with universities abroad (for example, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and York University, Toronto) or institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, such as PASSIA and Al-Quds University. The ILO International Training Centre in Turin will also be used as a “neutral” place where such training could be conducted. The dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis will be facilitated to negotiate two important issues:

E. Strengthening the ILO Office in Jerusalem

18. To advance on these issues, as well as others that may come up, the ILO Jerusalem Office will be strengthened using mainly ILO resources.
Geneva, 14 October 2002.



XI. UNCTAD REPORTS TO THE TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD
ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


At its 935th plenary meeting, on 17 October 2002, the Trade and Development Board took note of the secretariat’s report on UNCTAD’s assistance to the Palestinian people (TD/B/49/9) and of the statements made thereon and decided to submit the account of its discussion to the General Assembly in accordance with General Assembly decision 47/445. (The Board’s discussion of the report is contained in document A/57/15 (Part III)-TD/B/49/15 (Vol.I). The executive summary of the report is reproduced below:


Executive summary

The intensification in 2002 of the crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory and the recurrent border closures of the West Bank and Gaza have resulted in precipitous declines in national income, destruction of public and private sector infrastructure, and widespread disruption of Palestinian economic activity for much of the year. In the eighteen months since October 2000, the Palestinian economy has lost the equivalent of over half of its annual gross domestic product, unemployment has increased threefold, and poverty has risen substantially, with more than two-thirds of Palestinian households living below the poverty line. The Palestinian economy is now set on a path of “de-development”, with serious ramifications for its public finances, trade balance, saving-investment gap and social services. The situation in the occupied territory is a telling example of “complex humanitarian emergencies”, where vulnerability is great and the impact on the productive capacity, institutional infrastructure and the economy as a whole is severe. This economic and humanitarian crisis is once more forcing the Palestinian Authority into heavy dependence on donor support for maintaining its basic activities, while diverting attention from long-term development goals and activities.

The realities on the ground have imposed new priorities, which require promoting dynamic synergies between rehabilitation, reconstruction and strategic development needs. This framework will guide UNCTAD’s technical assistance programme in the short and medium term. Despite increasing difficulties in the provision of technical assistance, UNCTAD was able to initiate a new research project in 2002, while also achieving concrete progress on five other capacity-building projects. In consultation with Palestine, the secretariat is examining possibilities of initiating targeted technical assistance in new areas: food security and commodity trade; trade logistics and facilitation; trade promotion; trade policy and preferential market access; and investment promotion.



XII. SECRETARY-GENERAL SADDENED BY DEATH OF UNRWA OFFICIAL


The following statement was issued on 22 November 2002 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan (SG/SM/8521):


The Secretary-General is saddened by the death this morning in the Jenin refugee camp of Ian Hook, project manager of the Jenin camp rehabilitation project of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The full circumstances surrounding the incident have not yet been established, but the Secretary-General is greatly disturbed by the fact that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) refused immediate access for an ambulance which had been summoned by UNRWA to take Mr. Hook to a hospital. Mr. Hook subsequently died before reaching the hospital.

The Secretary-General has on a number of previous occasions called on the IDF to allow ambulances unimpeded access to the sick and injured. The Secretary-General expects to issue a further statement. Meanwhile, he extends his heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim.


XIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL SENDS MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY
OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


On 29 November 2002, the United Nations observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at New York, Geneva and Vienna in accordance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977. The Secretary-General conveyed a message that was delivered on his behalf by S. Iqbal Riza, Under-Secretary-General and Chef de Cabinet, in New York and by the Directors-General at Geneva and Vienna. At the meeting in New York, statements and messages were also delivered by Louis Papa Fall (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, other permanent representatives to the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly and officials from the Palestinian Authority. The texts of statements and messages made on this occasion were included in an International Day of Solidarity Special Bulletin published by the Division for Palestinian Rights. The statement of the Secretary General is reproduced below (SG/SM/8529):


I am pleased to take part in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and I deeply regret that I am unable to do so in person. I am grateful to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for having invited me, and congratulate them on their important and urgent work.

This Day of Solidarity is a day of mourning and a day of grief. The human and material losses sustained by the Palestinian people in the last two years have been nothing short of catastrophic. The deplorable situation in the occupied Palestinian territory has kept the whole region in a continuous state of crisis for over two years now, with no end in sight. Hundreds of lives have been lost, mostly among Palestinians, but also among Israelis. Tragically, and unacceptably, many of the victims have been children.

Excessive and disproportionate force has often been used by the Israeli authorities, along with extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, deportations and collective punishment measures such as house demolitions. Such actions only intensify rage, desperation and a desire for revenge. At the same time, cruel and devastating terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings, have claimed large numbers of innocent lives, and wounded many more. Such actions only set back the Palestinian cause. The result of these actions has been the near-total destruction of the belief on either side that there is a genuine partner for a just peace.

Since last March, major West Bank cities have been reoccupied in the course of Israeli military operations. Wide-scale destruction has brought economic activity in the occupied Palestinian territory to a standstill, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that the outside world is only beginning to appreciate. Tight closures and curfews have further stifled the Palestinian economy and have reduced life for thousands of Palestinian households to a harsh struggle for daily survival. The capacity of the Palestinian Authority to function has been severely diminished. Chairman Arafat has been confined to the last building standing in his Ramallah headquarters. There are even reports of plans to expel Chairman Arafat from the West – an act that the international community could not accept.

Despite this descent into a seemingly endless cycle of killing and destruction, a parallel process of diplomatic and political progress has taken place. There is today a global consensus on a solution that should satisfy the fundamental needs of both sides and win the widest international support. It is the two-State vision affirmed in Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) and accepted by all parties. Achieving this objective requires “complete cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction”, as again demanded by the Council in its latest resolution 1435 (2002).

Through contacts on the ground and in the world’s capitals, the Quartet of international mediators has been trying to help the parties move away from confrontation and towards a resumption of a political process. At our meeting in New York on 17 September, the Quartet principals agreed on a “road map” for the achievement of a final settlement, including Palestinian statehood, within three years. We are in constant touch with the parties in order to work out with them the specifics of the “road map”, strongly urging them to embark swiftly on this path. We are assisted in this effort by regional and other interested Powers and we have been encouraged by initiatives like that of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, which was adopted by the Arab League Summit in Beirut last March.

I would like to say here once again that sustainable progress could only be achieved if simultaneous steps are taken on the security, economic, humanitarian and political aspects of the conflict. There can be no solution imposed by force. No lasting progress can be made without a clear political horizon: namely a clearly defined final settlement acceptable to both sides.

Reform of Palestinian institutions is essential, primarily for the benefit of the Palestinian people themselves. However, to take root and produce tangible results, it must be matched by Israeli measures that would create favourable conditions for the resumption of Palestinian economic activity. This includes the conclusion of a Palestinian/Israeli security agreement ensuring the end of all forms of violence, withdrawal from Palestinian-controlled areas, the immediate cessation of settlement activity, the lifting of restrictions on movement of people, goods and essential services, and the disbursement of all outstanding value-added tax and customs revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority.

In the meantime, the Palestinian people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and emergency relief, as Catherine Bertini, who visited the region as my Personal Humanitarian Envoy, clearly indicated in her report. The international donor community has to continue to contribute generously in this time of great need until the crisis is over and the situation has stabilized. The Israeli Government should now implement its stated commitments, lift the restrictions and provide unfettered access of humanitarian convoys and relief missions to the civilian population in the occupied territory.

The United Nations has been trying to do its part, not least through the efforts of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other bodies. Most importantly, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continues to play a central role in dealing with the mounting needs of the refugee community.

Within the framework of the Quartet, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed- Larsen, continues to work very closely with the parties and with various representatives of the international community in supporting the peace process and the coordination of international assistance.

I would like to take this opportunity to renew my commitment to working with all parties until a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine is achieved, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (3003) and the principle of land for peace. With the intensified efforts of all of us, the day will come, sooner rather than later, when the Palestinian people will be finally able to enjoy their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and to a sovereign State called Palestine.



XIV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
At its 57th session, the General Assembly considered item 35 entitled “Question of Palestine” at three plenary meetings, held on 29 November and 2 and 3 December 2002. Submitted under the agenda item were the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/57/35) and the report of the Secretary-General (A/57/621-S/2002/1268). The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People introduced draft resolutions A/57/L.34, A/57/L.35, A/57/L.36 and A/57/L.37 at the 63rd plenary meeting, held on 29 November 2002.

On 3 December 2002, at its 66th plenary meeting the General Assembly adopted the draft resolutions as follows: resolutions 57/107, entitled “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People”; 57/108, entitled “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat”; 57/109, entitled “Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat”; and 57/110, entitled “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”. The four resolutions under item 35 are reproduced below with the indication of the vote. Voting details are given in a document prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights (A/AC.183/L.2/Add.24)


57/107. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including those adopted by the General Assembly at its emergency special sessions and resolution 56/33 of 3 December 2001,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,1/

Recalling the commencement of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the existing agreements between the two sides, beginning with the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993,2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report,1/ including the conclusions and recommendations contained in chapter VII thereof;

2. Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to support the Middle East peace process and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, and authorizes the Committee to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session and thereafter;

3. Also requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General, as appropriate;

4. Further requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional civil society organizations in its work;

5. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

7. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.

Adopted by a vote of 109 to 4, with 56 abstentions
66th plenary meeting
3 December 2002
___________
1/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/57/35).
2/See A/48/486-S/26560, annex. 57/108. Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including resolution 56/34 of 3 December 2001,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 56/34;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine, and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee and the Division in the performance of their tasks;

6. Requests the Committee and the Division, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, and encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.

Adopted by a vote of 108 to 4, with 56 abstentions
66th plenary meeting
3 December 2002
___________
1/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/57/35). 57/109. Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 56/35 of 3 December 2001,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of civil society organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Recalling the commencement of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the existing agreements between the two sides, beginning with the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993,2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 56/35;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2002-2003, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard, in particular the prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production and preservation of such material and the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the territory under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and the Occupied Territory;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995.

Adopted by a vote of 159 to 5, with no abstentions
66th plenary meeting
3 December 2002
____________
1/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/57/35).
2/See A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



57/110. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

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

Welcoming the affirmation by the Security Council of the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Noting that it has been fifty-five years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and thirty-five years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 56/36 of 3 December 2001,1/

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,2/ as well as the existing agreements concluded between the two sides, and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Noting with satisfaction the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and the holding of the first Palestinian general elections, as well as the preparations being undertaken for the second elections,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and its positive contribution,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, as well as all follow-up meetings and the international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Expressing its grave concern at the tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000 and the continued deterioration of the situation, including the rising number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, the deepening humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people and the widespread destruction of Palestinian property and infrastructure, both private and public, including many institutions of the Palestinian Authority,

Expressing its grave concern also at the repeated incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and the reoccupation of many Palestinian population centres by the Israeli occupying forces,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning all acts of violence and terror against civilians on both sides,

Gravely concerned at the increased suffering and casualties on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, the loss of confidence on both sides and the dire situation facing the Middle East peace process,

Affirming the urgent need for the parties to cooperate with all international efforts, including the efforts of the Quartet of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, to end the current tragic situation and to resume negotiations towards a final peace settlement,

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects and of intensifying all efforts to that end;

2. Also reaffirms its full support for the Middle East peace process, which began in Madrid, and the existing agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, stresses the necessity for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and welcomes in this regard the efforts of the Quartet;

3. Welcomes the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002;3/

4. Stresses the necessity for a commitment to the vision of the two-State solution and the principle of land for peace, as well as the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002);

5. Also stresses the need for a speedy end to the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres and for the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including military attacks, destruction and acts of terror;

6. Calls upon the concerned parties, the Quartet and other interested parties to exert all efforts and initiatives necessary to halt the deterioration of the situation and to reverse all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000, and to ensure the successful and speedy resumption of the peace process and the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement;

7. Stresses the need for:

(a) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

(b) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State;

8. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

9. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority during this critical period to help to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, rebuild the Palestinian economy and infrastructure and support the restructuring and reform of Palestinian institutions;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region and to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session a report on these efforts and on developments on this matter.


Adopted by a vote of 160 to 4, with 3 abstentions
66th plenary meeting
3 December 2002

____________
1/A/57/621-S/2002/1268.
2/See A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
3/A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.



XV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE
SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST


The General Assembly considered agenda item 36, entitled “The situation in the Middle East,” at three plenary meetings held on 2 and 3 December 2002. Under the item, the General Assembly had before it two reports, on Jerusalem (A/57/470), and on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (A/57/621-S/26560). For the verbatim records of the meetings, see documents A/57/PV. 64, 65 and 66.

On 3 December 2002, the General Assembly adopted two resolutions (A/57/111 and A/57/112), entitled “Jerusalem” and “The Syrian Golan” respectively. The resolution on Jerusalem is reproduced below with an indication of the vote. Voting details are given in a document prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights ( A/AC.183/L.2/Add.24).


57/111. Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem,

Recalling also its resolution 36/120 E of 10 December 1981 and all subsequent resolutions, including resolution 56/31 of 3 December 2001, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called “Basic Law” on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling further Security Council resolutions relevant to Jerusalem, including resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the “Basic Law” and called upon those States which had established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Expressing its grave concern at any action taken by any body, governmental or non-governmental, in violation of the above-mentioned resolutions,

Reaffirming that the international community, through the United Nations, has a legitimate interest in the question of the City of Jerusalem and the protection of the unique spiritual and religious dimension of the city, as foreseen in relevant United Nations resolutions on this matter,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

1. Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), and calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. Stresses that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the people of all religions and nationalities;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by a vote of 154 to 5, with 6 abstentions
66th plenary meeting
3 December 2002
_____________
1/A/57/470.


XVI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SEVEN RESOLUTIONS ON THE
UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST


On 11 December 2002, at its 73rd plenary meeting, the General Assembly considered agenda item 76, entitled “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”. Under the item, the Fourth Committee had considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/57/13) as well as the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/57/462). For the verbatim record of the consideration of the item in the plenary, see document A/57/PV.73.

On the recommendation of the Fourth Committee (A/57/520), the General Assembly adopted seven resolutions (resolutions 57/117-123) under agenda item 76. The texts of the resolutions are reproduced below. Voting details are given in a document prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights (A/AC.183/L.2/Add. 24).


57/117. Assistance to Palestine refugees The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 56/52 of 10 December 2001,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions,

Aware of the fact that the Palestine refugees have, for more than five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has played for more than fifty years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees in the fields of education, health and relief and social services,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,1/

Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and living conditions, and the continuous deterioration of those conditions during the recent period,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware that the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process has an important role to play in the peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of concern;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2003;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its operation and services for the well-being of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including those mentioned in recent emergency appeals.


Adopted by a vote of 158 to 1, with 5 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
____________
1/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).
2/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



57/118. Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2656 (XXV) of 7 December 1970, 2728 (XXV) of 15 December 1970, 2791 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971, 56/53 of 10 December 2001 and the previous resolutions on this question,

Recalling also its decision 36/462 of 16 March 1982, by which it took note of the special report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,1/

Having considered the report of the Working Group,2/

Taking into account the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,3/

Deeply concerned about the continuing financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuing provision of necessary Agency services to Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related and humanitarian programmes,

Emphasizing the continuing need for extraordinary efforts in order to maintain, at least at the current level, the activities of the Agency, as well as to enable the Agency to carry out essential construction,

1. Commends the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency;

2. Takes note with approval of the report of the Working Group;2/

3. Requests the Working Group to continue its efforts, in cooperation with the Secretary-General and the Commissioner-General, to find a solution to the financial situation of the Agency;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work.

Adopted without a vote
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002

____________
1/A/36/866 and Corr.1; see also A/37/591.
2/A/57/462.
3/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).



57/119. Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 56/54 of 10 December 2001,1/

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,2/

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 19933/ with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 19933/ on the return of displaced persons has not been effected, and stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continuing assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-eighth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 155 to 5, with 3 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002

____________
1/A/57/338.
2/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).
3/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



57/120. Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 212 (III) of 19 November 1948 on assistance to Palestine refugees,

Recalling also its resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including resolution 56/55 of 10 December 2001,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,2/

Expressing its appreciation to all Governments, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations that responded favourably to its resolutions on this question,

1. Reiterates its previous appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees, in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;

2. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students and to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

3. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and the United Nations University to contribute generously to the Palestinian universities in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including, in due course, the proposed University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 164 to none, with 1 abstention
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002

____________
1/A/57/282.
2/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).



57/121. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including resolution 56/56 of 10 December 2001,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,1/

Taking note of the letter dated 26 September 2002 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, 2/

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 3/

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 4/ to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Also aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the increased suffering of the Palestine refugees, including the loss of life, injury and destruction and damage to refugee shelters and properties, during the recent tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern about the recent events that have occurred in the Jenin refugee camp, including the loss of life, injury, destruction and displacement inflicted on many of its civilian inhabitants,

Gravely concerned about the safety of the staff and the damage to the facilities of the Agency as a result of Israeli military operations during the reporting period,

Expressing deep concern about the policies of closure and severe restrictions, including in particular the curfews, imposed on the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which have had a grave impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees and have greatly contributed to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Deeply concerned about the continuing restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, including the harassment of personnel, which adversely affect the ability of the Agency to provide its services, including its educational, health and relief and social services,

Deeply concerned also about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuing provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Recalling the signing, on 13 September 1993, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 5/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Aware also of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 6/

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the increasingly difficult conditions throughout the past year;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency;

4. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Takes note of the functioning of the headquarters of the Agency in Gaza City on the basis of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;

6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;4/

7. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations3/ with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

8. Urges the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side, particularly during the reporting period;

9. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement of the personnel, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges, which have a detrimental effect on the Agency’s operations;

10. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

11. Notes that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

12. Notes also the success of the Agency’s microfinance and enterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute towards the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees;

13. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency and to indicate the progress made in that regard in his report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session;

14. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the ongoing financial constraints, which have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground, and to support the Agency’s valuable work in providing assistance to the Palestine refugees.

Adopted by a vote of 155 to 5, with 4 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).
2/Ibid., p. viii.
3/General Assembly resolution 22 A (I).
4/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
5/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
6/Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.

57/122. Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 56/57 of 10 December 2001, 1/

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2001 to 31 August 2002,2/

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3/ and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report,4/ and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission and the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,5/ to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 159 to 5, with 2 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/A/57/455.
2/A/57/294, annex.
3/Resolution 217 A (III).
4/Official Records of the General Assembly,Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
5/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

57/123. University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds” for Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 36/146 G of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the issue, including resolution 56/58 of 10 December 2001,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, 2/

1. Emphasizes the need for strengthening the educational system in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 5 June 1967, including Jerusalem, and specifically the need for the establishment of the proposed university;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures for establishing the University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds”, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, giving due consideration to the recommendations consistent with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once again upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate in the implementation of the present resolution and to remove the hindrances that it has put in the way of establishing the University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds”;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 155 to 5, with 4 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/A/57/456.
2/Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/57/13).




On 11 December 2002, at its 73rd plenary meeting, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on agenda item 77, entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”. On the recommendations of the Fourth Committee, the General Assembly adopted five resolutions under the item (resolutions 57/124-128), four of which are reproduced below with an indication of the vote. The verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the item is contained in document A/57/PV.73, and voting details are given in a document prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights ( A/AC.183/L.2/Add. 24).


57/124. Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1/ as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2/ and the International Covenants on Human Rights, 3/

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 56/59 of 10 December 2001, and the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross and grave violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuation of the tragic events that have occurred since 28 September 2000, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories4/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 5/

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19936/ and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Expressing the hope that the Israeli occupation will be brought to an early end and that therefore the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the reports of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;

4. Expresses grave concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns the excessive and indiscriminate use of force since 28 September 2000, which has resulted in almost two thousand Palestinian deaths and tens of thousands of injuries;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session the item entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.


Adopted by a vote of 86 to 6, with 66 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
4/See A/57/207 and A/57/421.
5/A/57/314-318.
6/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.


57/125. Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories1/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Noting the convening of the meeting of experts of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ at Geneva from 27 to 29 October 1998, at the initiative of the Government of Switzerland in its capacity as the depositary of the Convention, concerning general problems of application of the Convention in general and, in particular, in occupied territories,

Noting also the convening for the first time, on 15 July 1999, of a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure respect therefore in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions,4/ and aware of the statement adopted by the Conference,

Welcoming the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention at Geneva on 5 December 2001, stressing the importance of the Declaration adopted by the Conference, and underlining the need for the parties to follow up the implementation of the Declaration,

Welcoming and encouraging the initiatives by States parties to the Convention, both individually and collectively, according to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions,4/ aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,3/ is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions,4/ to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the relevant recommendations contained in the resolutions adopted at its tenth emergency special session with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 155 to 6, with 3 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/See A/57/207 and A/57/421.
2/A/57/314-318.
3/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4/Ibid., Nos. 970-973.

57/126. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19932/ and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Aware that Israeli settlement activities have involved, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the exploitation of natural resources and other illegal actions against the Palestinian civilian population,

Bearing in mind the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties, including the ongoing construction of the settlements in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and Ras Al-Amud in and around Occupied East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated in the recent period and earlier by the massacre of Palestinian worshippers by an illegal Israeli settler in Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994, and during the past year,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General, 3/

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, including the construction of the settlement in Jabal Abu-Ghneim;

4. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

5. Reiterates its calls for the prevention of all acts of violence by Israeli settlers, particularly in the light of recent developments;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 154 to 6, with 3 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
3/A/57/316.

57/127. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories1/ and the reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

Taking note of the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established by the Commission on Human Rights3/ and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, 4/

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,5/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Reaffirming further the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention5/ under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process,

Concerned about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including the use of collective punishment, reoccupation and closure of areas, confiscation of land, establishment and expansion of settlements, destruction of property and all other actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned by the tragic events that have occurred since 28 September 2000 and that have led to thousands of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians,

Expressing deep concern about the destruction caused by the Israeli occupying forces, including the destruction of homes and properties, of religious, cultural and historical sites, of vital infrastructure and institutions of the Palestinian Authority, and of agricultural land throughout Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps,

Also expressing deep concern about the Israeli policy of closure and the severe restrictions, including curfews, imposed on the movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian personnel and goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the consequent impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people, which has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis,

Expressing concern that thousands of Palestinians continue to be held in Israeli prisons or detention centres, and also expressing concern about their ill-treatment and harassment and reports of torture,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to contribute to ending the violence and protecting Palestinian civilians and to help the parties to implement agreements reached, and, in this regard, recalling the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,

Stressing the necessity for the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions,

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,5/ and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 19495/ and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation of the Convention, including extrajudiciary executions;

3. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction;

4. Also condemns the recent events that have occurred in the Jenin refugee camp, including the loss of life, injury, destruction and displacement inflicted on many of its civilian inhabitants;

5. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people;

6. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by a vote of 148 to 6, with 6 abstentions
73rd plenary meeting
11 December 2002
__________
1/See A/57/207 and A/57/421.
2/A/57/314-318.
3/E/CN.4/2001/121.
4/E/CN.4/2002/32.
5/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.




XVIII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE
TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
The General Assembly considered the question of assistance to the Palestinian people under agenda item 21(c), entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance: assistance to the Palestinian people”, at its 56th, 59th and 75th plenary meetings. The Assembly had before it the report of the Secretary General entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian People” of 5 June 2002 (A/57/130-E/2002/79). For the verbatim records of the consideration of the item in the plenary, see documents A/57/PV.58, 59 and 75.

On 16 December 2002, at its 75th plenary meeting the General Assembly adopted resolution 57/147, entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people,” without a vote. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:



57/147. Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 56/111 of 14 December 2001, as well as previous resolutions on the question,

Recalling also the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1/ and the subsequent implementation agreements concluded by the two sides,

Gravely concerned at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Noting the convening of the United Nations seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people, held in Vienna on 20 and 21 February 2001, to review the state of the Palestinian economy, 2/

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, and welcoming in this regard the establishment by the Quartet of the Task Force on Palestinian Reform,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat and the establishment of the Consultative Group, as well as all follow-up meetings and international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Welcoming also the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Stressing the continued importance of the work of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in the coordination of assistance to the Palestinian people,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 3/

Expressing grave concern at the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 3/

2. Also takes note of the report of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people; 4/

3. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

5. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

6. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

7. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority;

8. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

9. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

10. Stresses in this context the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

11. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people to counter the impact of the current crisis;

12. Stresses the need to implement the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,5/ in particular with regard to the full and prompt clearance of Palestinian indirect tax revenues;

13. Suggests the convening in 2003 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session the sub-item entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.

Adopted without a vote
75th plenary meeting
16 December 2002
__________
1/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
2/See A/56/89-E/2001/89, annex..
3/A/57/130-E/2002/79.
4/Available on the Internet at http://domino.un.org/bertini_rpt.htm.
5/A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex.



XIX. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
REPORTS ON THE QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES,
INCLUDING PALESTINE

On 17 December 2002, the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, John Dugard, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, was submitted in accordance with Commission resolutions 1993/2 A and 2002/8. The report is entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied territories, including Palestine”. The executive summary and the conclusions of the report (E/CN.4/2003/30) are reproduced below:


Executive summary

In the past year the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) has deteriorated substantially from the perspective of human rights. In large measure this is the result of repeated military operations carried out by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the West Bank and Gaza.

The IDF has justified its actions as self-defence and anti-terrorism measures. That Israel has legitimate security concerns cannot be denied. That it is entitled to take strong action to prevent suicide bombings and other acts of terror is not disputed. On the other hand, there must be some limits on the extent to which human rights may be violated in the name of anti-terrorism. A balance must be struck between respect for basic human rights and the interests of security. The principal balancing factor - proportionality - is the main focus of this report.

Neither party to the conflict in the region has paid proper respect to civilian life and the death toll has continued to rise. Since the start of the second intifada in September 2000, over 2,000 Palestinians and over 700 Israelis have been killed. Most have been civilians.

The IDF military incursion of March to May, code-named Operation Defensive Shield, caused material devastation in many cities - particularly Jenin and Nablus. This was followed by Operation Determined Path in June which resulted in the reoccupation of seven of the eight major cities in the West Bank. Curfews imposed on Jenin, Qalquiliya, Bethlehem, Nablus, Tulkarem, Ramallah and Hebron have subjected over 700,000 persons to a regime similar to house arrest. The curfews are complemented by a system of roadblocks and checkpoints which have effectively divided the West Bank into some 50 separate “cantons”, between which movement is difficult and dangerous. The reoccupation has affected every feature of Palestinian life. There have been shortages of basic foodstuffs; interference with medical services by the denial of access to doctors and hospitals; interruption of family contacts; and stoppages of education. Unemployment has now reached over 50 per cent and 70 per cent of the population lives in poverty. In this situation there is a desperate need for humanitarian assistance. It has, however, been suggested that such assistance in effect means that the international donor community funds the military occupation.

Military operations have led to widespread arrests and detentions.

Children have probably suffered most from the present conflict. Both Palestinian and Israeli children have been exposed to threats to personal safety, while Palestinian children have, in addition, felt the breakdown of family life, health care and education.

Israeli territorial expansion has accelerated in the past year as a result of the seizure of Palestinian land to build a security wall and for the continued growth of settlements.

The report concludes that it is difficult to characterize the Israeli response to Palestinian violence as proportional when it results in an excessive use of force that disregards the distinction between civilians and combatants, a humanitarian crisis that threatens the livelihood of a whole people, the killing and inhuman treatment of children, the widespread destruction of property and territorial expansion.



CONCLUSION: PROPORTIONALITY REVISITED

45. It is not the function of the Special Rapporteur to pronounce judgments on the proportionality of measures taken by Israel in response to Palestine violence. This is a matter for the Commission on Human Rights or the Security Council to decide. The task of the Special Rapporteur is simply to raise the issues that should be considered on this subject.

46. As has already been said, Israel has legitimate security concerns. Its right to respond to terror attacks and to prevent further attacks cannot be disputed. When this response takes the form of life-threatening military action against militants and their bases, few will question the military necessity of such action or the link between attack and response. But when this action results in an excessive use of force that disregards the distinction between civilians and combatants, a humanitarian crisis that threatens the livelihood of a whole people, the killing and inhuman treatment of children, the widespread destruction of property and territorial expansion, serious questions must be asked about the proportionality of Israel’s response and the boundaries of military necessity.




XX. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE SITUATION
OF AND ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN CHILDREN


On 18 December 2002, the General Assembly at its 77th plenary meeting, adopted under agenda item 105 resolution A/57/188, entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”. For the verbatim record, see document A/57/PV.77, and for voting details, see the Division of Palestinian Rights publication A/AC./183/L.2/Add.24. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:


57/188. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1/

Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990, 2/

Recalling further the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session,3/

Concerned that the Palestinian children under Israeli occupation remain deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,

Concerned also about the recent grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of the continuing Israeli assaults and sieges on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, resulting in the dire humanitarian crisis,

Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among Palestinian children,

Deeply concerned about the consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions on the present and future well-being of Palestinian children,

1. Stresses the urgent need for Palestinian children to live a normal life free from foreign occupation, destruction and fear in their own State;

2. Demands, in the meantime, that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child1/ and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 19494/ in order to ensure the well-being and protection of Palestinian children and their families;

3. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions.


Adopted by 108 votes to 5, with 60 abstentions
77th plenary meeting
18 December 2002

__________
1/Resolution 44/25, annex.
2/A/45/625, annex..
3/Resolution S-27/2, annex.
4/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.




XXI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT OF
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION


On 18 December 2002, at its 77th plenary meeting, the General Assembly adopted under agenda item 108 resolution A/57/198, entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”. For the verbatim record, see document A/57/PV.77, and for voting details, see the Division of Palestinian Rights publication A/AC.1183/L.2/Add.24. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:

57/198. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling the International Covenants on Human Rights,1/ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,2/ the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples3/ and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 4/

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, 5/

Recalling further the United Nations Millennium Declaration, 6/

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

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.



Adopted by 172 votes to 4, with 3 abstentions
77th plenary meeting
18 December 2002
__________
1/Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/Resolution 1514 (XV).
4/A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
5/See resolution 50/6.
6/See resolution 55/2.




XXII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON PERMANENT SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE OVER THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES


On 20 December 2002, on the recommendation of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee), the General Assembly adopted a resolution under agenda item 91, entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”. For the verbatim record of the consideration of the item in the plenary, see document A/57/PV.78. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:


57/269. Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 56/204 of 21 December 2001, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2002/31 of 25 July 2002,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Also expressing its concern at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory during the recent period,

Aware of the additional detrimental economic and social impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources,

Reaffirming the need for the immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the principle of land for peace, and for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

Taking note of the note by the Secretary-General on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan, 2/

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, cause loss or depletion of or endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session an item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”.


Adopted by 155 votes to 4, with 4 abstentions
78th plenary meeting
20 December 2002
__________
1/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/A/57/63-E/2002/21.



XXIII. SECRETARY-GENERAL REPORTS ON SITUATION OF AND ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN WOMEN


On 27 December 2002, the Secretary-General issued a report (E/CN.6/2003/3) on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, as requested by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 2002/25. The report summarizes the situation of Palestinian women between September 2001 and September 2002. The conclusions and recommendations of the report are reproduced below:


IV. Conclusions and recommendations

44. The situation of Palestinian women is inextricably linked to overall developments in the region and to progress in the peace process. There are, however, important and significant differences in how women and men respectively are affected by the socio-economic and political situation. These effects are apparent in such areas as basic social services, including education and health, economic opportunities and means of livelihood, and require particular attention in terms of data collection and analysis as well as remedial action. As the international community seeks ways to end the conflict, it is important that gender perspectives are highlighted and that women are fully involved in the conflict resolution and peace-building initiatives, as called for in the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

45. While the reports by relevant bodies and individuals provided valuable information on the overall situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in some instances also referred to the particular situation of women, further opportunities should be sought to highlight fully the specific ways in which the crisis impacts on women as compared with men so that targeted action can be taken to mitigate negative gender-specific impact. The collection of data disaggregated by sex, which is currently insufficient, and specific studies on the impact of the crisis on women in particular areas should be encouraged.

46. The entities of the United Nations system, and especially the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, continued to provide assistance to Palestinian women through humanitarian assistance, as well as projects to enhance women’s capacity to provide for themselves and their families and to maintain women’s access to education and health. United Nations entities, however, also encountered difficulties in their work as a result of the crisis.

47. Continuing support by the entities of the United Nations system is critical for the benefit of Palestinian women in the occupied territories and refugee camps. As the conflict exacerbates existing hardships and creates new difficulties, continued assistance should focus in particular on such areas as women’s employment and economic empowerment, education, health, social welfare and violence against women. Further efforts should be undertaken to explicitly identify and address gender perspectives in all international assistance programmes, in addition to implementing projects specifically targeted to women.

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