Question of Palestine home
About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 May 1994
Volume XVII, Bulletin No. 5
Secretary-General says agreement signed by Israel and PLO on 4 May 1994 brings them closer to goal of lasting peace in the Middle East
Secretary-General appoints Terje Roed Larsen of Norway as Special Coordinator in the occupied territories
Special Committee on Israeli human rights practices completes field mission to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic
World Health Organization adopts resolution on health assistance to the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and PLO reach agreement on future operations of UNDP in the occupied territories
UNICEF Executive Board adopts draft decision on assistance to Palestinian women and children
Saudi Arabia gives $20 million for UNRWA projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Non-governmental organizations: activities and information
I. SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS AGREEMENT SIGNED BY ISRAEL
AND PLO ON 4 MAY 1994 BRINGS THEM CLOSER TO GOAL
OF LASTING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The following statement was released by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on 4 May 1994 (see SG/SM/5278):
"The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement signed this morning in Cairo by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). He congratulates the parties on this first and major step in implementing the Declaration of Principles, and encourages them to sustain the negotiations over which they have laboured so intensively in recent weeks. He pays tribute to those who have facilitated the Gaza-Jericho accord, in particular the United States and the Russian Federation as co-sponsors of the peace process, as well as Egypt and Norway.
"The Secretary-General notes that each move forward, such as today's achievement, brings Israelis and Palestinians closer to the goal of peace, for which both sides have yearned. It also sets an example to the region as a whole. As the parties have themselves agreed, peace in the Middle East must be comprehensive, just and lasting, based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
"On this historic occasion, the Secretary-General appeals to the international community to fulfil its commitments in support of the Declaration of Principles, in particular with respect to the financial assistance which will be an essential element as the Palestinians embark on self-rule. For his part, the Secretary-General reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to lend the widest possible support to this process."
II. SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS TERJE ROED LARSEN OF NORWAY
AS SPECIAL COORDINATOR IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
The following statement was made by the Secretary-General on 25 May 1994 (see SG/SM/5298):
"I have decided to appoint Ambassador Terje Roed Larsen to Norway as my Special Coordinator in the occupied territories, effective 1 June. As you may be aware, Ambassador Larsen has played an important role in facilitating the negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles last September and to the agreement on Gaza and Jericho signed earlier this month in Cairo. I am delighted that the United Nations will be represented by someone with a deep knowledge of the area, excellent contacts with the concerned parties, and expertise in the economic and social fields.
"In serving as Special Coordinator, Ambassador Larsen will be a focal point for all United Nations economic, social and other assistance to the Palestinians in the occupied territories. He will provide overall guidance to, and facilitate coordination among the United Nations programmes and the agencies operating in the territories -- namely, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) -- so as to ensure an integrated and unified approach to economic and social development. In addition to these coordinating functions, Ambassador Larsen will support the implementation of the Declaration of Principles, as requested by the parties."
III. SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES
COMPLETES FIELD MISSION TO EGYPT, JORDAN AND
THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
The following is a press release issued by the United Nations Information Service on 11 May 1994 (see HR/3993):
"The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories has completed a field mission to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. The Special Committee, established by the General Assembly in December 1968, is mandated to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights situation in the territories occupied by Israel, namely, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the occupied Syrian Arab Golan, and to report thereon through the Secretary-General to the General Assembly.
"The Special Committee met in Geneva on 25 April and the next day proceeded to the Middle East, holding hearings in Cairo, Amman and Damascus.
"In the three countries visited, the Special Committee received testimony from 37 witnesses with recent and first-hand knowledge of the situation of human rights in the occupied territories.
"The Committee focused its attention on the development of the human rights situation since the signing by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C., on 13 September last year, of the Declaration of Principles. Nearly all the witnesses said the majority of the population welcomed that historic event, hoping it would bring about improvements to their human rights situation.
"The Special Committee noted that, despite the signing of the Declaration of Principles and the expectations raised, the human rights situation in the occupied territories had deteriorated rather than improved.
"The Special Committee noted that more than 1,000 prisoners were reported to have been released since the signing of the Declaration of Principles. However, the number of administrative detentions and arrests has recently increased, resulting in a lack of clarity about the number of those still under detention.
"By the terms of its mandate, the Special Committee, which comprises representatives from Malaysia, Senegal and Sri Lanka, reports through the Secretary-General to the General Assembly."
IV. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON HEALTH ASSISTANCE
TO THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE
On 12 May 1994, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, adopted by consensus a resolution entitled "Health conditions of the Arab populations in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine", making it a first in the organization's history. The subject, which had appeared on the agenda of every session of the Assembly since 1975, had generally led to contentious debates and resolutions adopted by vote with strong opposition from some member States. The adopted resolution, which is presented below, was the outcome of lengthy negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations to the Assembly (see H/2848):
Health conditions of the Arab populations in the
occupied Arab territories, including Palestine
"The Forty-seventh World Health Assembly,
"Mindful of the basic principle established in the WHO Constitution, which affirms that the health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security,
"Recalling the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East at Madrid on 30 October 1991, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, and the subsequent bilateral negotiations,
"Expressing the hope that the peace talks among the parties concerned in the Middle East will lead to a just and comprehensive peace in the area,
"Noting the signing in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which provides for the transfer of authority to the Palestine people during the interim period and in particular the responsibility for health services,
"Recognizing the need for increased support and health assistance to the Arab populations in the occupied territories including the Palestinians as well as the Syrian Arab population,
"Recognizing that the Palestinian people will have to make strenuous efforts to improve their health infrastructure,
"Aware that health development is difficult under occupation and best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,
"Recognizing the need for providing support and health assistance to the Arab populations in the occupied territories including the occupied Golan,
"Having considered the report of the Director-General regarding this item,
"1. EXPRESSES the hope that the peace talks will lead to the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East so that the Palestinian people can be responsible for their health services and develop their health plans and projects in order to participate with the people of the world in the achievement of WHO's objective of health for all by the year 2000;
"2. AFFIRMS that the transfer of responsibility for health to the Palestinian people will lead to the development of their health system, thereby enabling them to meet their needs by managing their own affairs and supervising their health services;
"3. URGES Member States, international intergovernmental and non-governmental organi
zations and regional and interregional organizations to assist rapidly and generously in the health development of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza and to do so in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization;
"4. THANKS the Director-General for his efforts and requests him to:
"(1) provide the required technical assistance for facilitating the transfer of responsibility for health to the Palestinian people in the interim period, especially in the following:
"(a) the carrying out of a comprehensive survey in order to identify the basic health issues to be dealt with;
"(b) the development of an appropriate health system;
"(c) the establishment of a comprehensive health insurance scheme;
"(d) the development and strengthening of programmes for environmental health and practice;
"(2) take action and make the necessary contacts in order to provide the required funds from various existing and extrabudgetary sources of funding for meeting the urgent health needs of the Palestinian people during the transitional period;
"(3) continue his efforts to implement the special health assistance programme, gearing it to the requirements of meeting the health needs of the Palestinian people, taking into consideration the development of the comprehensive health plan for the Palestinian people;
"(4) strengthen the rule of the organizational unit at WHO headquarters on the health of the Palestinian people, and to follow up the provision of health assistance in order to improve the health conditions of the Palestinian people;
"(5) report to the Forty-eighth World Health Assembly on the topics of the health assistance to the populations covered by this resolution;
"5. EXPRESSES its gratitude to all Member States and to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and invites them to provide the necessary assistance to meet the health needs of the Palestinian people."
Fourteenth plenary meeting, 12 May 1994
V. UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP) AND PLO
REACH AGREEMENT ON FUTURE OPERATIONS OF UNDP
IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
The following statement was issued by the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations on 10 May 1994:
"An official agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was successfully concluded yesterday, the 9th of May 1994. The PLO-UNDP agreement was signed by Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi, Foreign Minister of Palestine, Head of the Political Department of PLO, and by Mr. James Gustave Speth, Administrator of UNDP.
"The agreement will govern the future operations of UNDP in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the basic conditions under which UNDP and its executing agencies shall assist the Palestinian Authority in carrying out its development projects and under which such UNDP-assisted projects shall be executed. In carrying out its activities, UNDP will seek to ensure the association, whenever relevant, of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, within the framework of the United Nations coordinating mechanism.
"The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations welcomes the PLO-UNDP agreement, and expresses the hope that it will initiate a new stage for the work of UNDP in the occupied Palestinian territory. It also expresses sincere appreciation to all those involved in the successful achievement of the agreement."
VI. UNICEF EXECUTIVE BOARD ADOPTS DRAFT DECISION
ON ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN
In concluding its work for the current one-week session that began 25 April, the Executive Board of UNICEF adopted a decision on assistance to Palestinian women and children (see ICEF/1799). The text of the decision is presented below:
Assistance to Palestinian children and women
The Executive Board
Taking into consideration
the new emerging situation in the Middle East, the need for an increase of assistance for Palestinian children and women, and the need to follow an integrated approach in this regard,
that UNICEF monitor closely the rapidly changing opportunities to support Palestinian children and women; that it present to one of the Board's 1995 sessions a review detailing UNICEF's programme needs and activities in the field of assistance for Palestinian children and women that might be indicated by changes in the situation, as well as measures that should be considered in response thereto; and that it make an in-depth presentation on the matter."
SAUDI ARABIA GIVES $20 MILLION FOR UNRWA PROJECTS
IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP
The following is an UNRWA press release issued on 3 May 1994 (see PAL/1812):
"The Government of Saudi Arabia has contributed $20 million to support projects of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development and Minister for Finance and National Economy, Mohammad Abalkhail, and UNRWA Commissioner-General Ilter Türkmen formalized the agreement at a signing ceremony in Riyadh today.
"Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Abalkhail said `the long experience of the Agency and its sizeable staff on the ground would hopefully speed up the implementation of these development projects funded by the Government of Saudi Arabia in the interest of the Palestinian people and create urgently needed employment'. Expressing his gratitude for the generosity of the Saudi Government, Mr. Türkmen said theirs was the largest single contribution -- 25 per cent of the total received thus far by the Agency in support of projects under UNRWA's Peace Implementation Programme. The confidence of the Government of Saudi Arabia in the Agency's implementation capacity was very encouraging, he added.
"The contribution will be used to fund a number of projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the Agency's Peace Implementation Programme - a major effort launched by UNRWA to improve services and infrastructure of Palestine refugees in the Agency's area of operations, following the signing of the Declaration of Principles between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in September 1993.
"The projects supported by the Government of Saudi Arabia under this contribution include: the construction and equipping of five new schools in Gaza and five in the West Bank, where over 7,500 Palestinian children will have the opportunity to obtain better education, as well as the upgrading of a number of Agency schools in the West Bank; the construction and equipping of a school of nursing and allied health services, the first of its type in the Gaza Strip, and provision of equipment for Shifa hospital in Gaza; shelter rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip; construction and equipping of three health points and one health centre in the West Bank, in addition to other projects in the health and social sectors.
"The Government of Saudi Arabia is a major donor of UNRWA and has been contributing $1.2 million to the Agency's regular programmes on an annual basis."
VIII. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION
The information below was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights during the month of May:
News From Within
, newsletter of the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem. Volume X, No. 5, of May 1994 includes articles on issues surrounding the Gaza-Jericho agreement, the Palestinian police force, the Palestinian economy, and the Palestinian Democratic Project -Hopes and Dangers.
Middle East International
, a biweekly publication, is available from P.O. Box 53365, Temple Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States. Issue No. 475 of 13 May 1994 contains articles on the Cairo talks, Israel and North Korea, Hamas, Palestinians in Lebanon, World Bank assistance to the occupied territories, and on other countries in the Middle East. Issue No. 476 of 27 May includes articles on the Palestinian police in Gaza and Jericho, the Israeli public's acceptance, Fatah seeking a new role, Hamas debates on its next move, and articles on other countries in the Middle East.
Gaza Center for Rights and Law
, an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, issued its May 1994 report. The report examines the extent of redeployment of the Israeli forces, the status of the remaining Palestinian prisoners, and the effects of the continuing closure of the Gaza Strip. It also documents activities carried out by the Israeli army within Gaza since the hand-over to the Palestinian police force. Available from the Gaza Center for Rights and Law, Imam Building, Rimal, Gaza Strip, P.O. Box 1274. (Fax 07-866287.)
, a Palestinian monthly magazine, is available from its Distribution and Public Relations Sector, Riad Abdul Rahman, P.O. Box 5092, Damascus, the Syrian Arab Republic. The April 1994 issue includes articles on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Oslo Accord, American policy, the Arab League Council, and an article describing a traditional Palestinian home.
The Other Front
, a weekly bulletin on development in Israeli society, is available from the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem. (Fax 02-253151.) The No. 275 issue of 31 May 1944 contains articles on the resurrection of the "Alon Plan" in the Labour Party and on the occupied territories.
Workers' Hotline for the Protection of Workers' Rights
, a newsletter, is available from 78 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv, Israel. (Fax 03-5173081.) The May issue contains articles on Israeli-Palestinian labour relations, social security provisions of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, employment of Palestinians in the settlements, discrimination against East Jerusalem Palestinians in the civil administration, and minimum wage and its enforcement.
(Jewish Arab Dialogue in Europe) is available from 25 Elliot Square, London NW3 3SU, United Kingdom. (Fax 44-71-483-3876.) The April issue includes articles on settlements, the Hebron massacre, Jerusalem, the Cairo Agreement, the impact of prolonged occupation on the Palestinian environment, peace groups, and on Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha'i religions.
contains the news and opinions of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. It is available from 4201 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington D.C. 20008. (Fax (202) 244-3196.) The May issue contains an excerpt from Edward Said's comments on the Declaration of Principles as well as statements made by other prominent personalities on various issues of concern to Arab-Americans.
- - - - -