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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
21 April 2016

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Mandate and activities

In November 1975, the United Nations General Assembly, recognizing that the unresolved problem of Palestine continued to endanger international peace and security, established the Committee and requested it to recommend a programme to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty, and to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced. The first report of the Committee was submitted in June 1976 to the Security Council, where its specific recommendations were vetoed by one permanent member. Subsequently, they were endorsed by the General Assembly, which considers annually the Committee’s reports and reaffirms its mandate, most recently in November 2015.

The General Assembly requested the Committee to monitor the situation relating to the question of Palestine and make recommendations to the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Secretary-General. Through its activities, the Committee continues to advocate the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, promote a just and peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and mobilize assistance to the Palestinians. In order to promote international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, as well as heightened international awareness of the question of Palestine, the Committee convenes international meetings and conferences in various regions of the world, bringing together representatives of Governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations, United Nations system entities, academics, the media and others. Each year on or around 29 November the Committee holds a special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, commemorating the adoption by the General Assembly in 1947 of resolution 181 (II), deciding to partition Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. The Committee also conducts a publications programme and information activities.

The Committee welcomed the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference that launched the Middle East peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of “land for peace”. It strongly supports the objective of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders, as endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003). The Committee welcomed the Quartet’s Road Map and has called on the parties to implement it. The Committee strongly supports the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and pledged to work towards creating a climate conducive to the advancement of the permanent status negotiations.

The Committee is composed of 26 Members:

Afghanistan, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

A total of 24 Observers participate in the work of the Committee:

Algeria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, Yemen, State of Palestine, African Union, League of Arab States, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The following Members were elected to the Bureau, which conducts the day-to-day work of the Committee: Senegal (Chair); Afghanistan, Cuba, Indonesia, Namibia and Nicaragua (Vice-Chairs); and Malta (Rapporteur). The State of Palestine participates in the work of the Bureau as an observer.

Division for Palestinian Rights

The Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat assists the Committee in the delivery of its mandate. This includes the planning and organization of international meetings and conferences, maintaining liaison with civil society organizations, organization of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and the preparation of various information material. The Division also maintains the “Question of Palestine” website, including the Web-based United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL), and conducts an annual training programme for staff of the Government of the State of Palestine.

Additional information about the Committee and the Division can be obtained from:

United Nations Secretariat
Division for Palestinian Rights
Room DC2-2220
New York, New York 10017

Tel: +1-917-367-4185; Fax: +1-212-963-4199


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