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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 July 1996


July 1996

Volume XIX, Bulletin No. 6




Contents

Page
I.
    Committee on Palestinian Rights hears reports on regional meetings and approves programme
    for International NGO Meeting/European NGO Symposium
1
II.
    Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions relating to the question of Palestine
1
III.
    Excerpts from communiqué and resolutions adopted by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers
    of the member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
2
IV.
    Excerpts from Chairman’s statement adopted by the G-7 Summit held at Lyon
11
V.
    Excerpts from communiqué adopted by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Damascus Declaration States
11
VI.
    UNRWA headquarters moves to Gaza
13
VII.
    World Bank approves $25 million credit drawn from the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank
14
VIII.
    UNESCO assistance to the Palestinian people strengthened by $7.4 million and by agreement
    signed with the League of Arab States
15
IX.
    Improved access to the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL)
    and Internet site established
16
X.
    Non-governmental organizations: activities and information
16
This bulletin, and back issues,
can be found in the Lotus Notes-based
United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) at:
http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf


I. COMMITTEE ON PALESTINIAN RIGHTS HEARS REPORTS ON REGIONAL MEETINGS AND APPROVES PROGRAMME FOR INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING/EUROPEAN NGO SYMPOSIUM

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 222nd meeting on 31 July 1996. The Chairman reported on the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held at Cairo from 21 to 23 May 1996, and the United Nations North American NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, held at United Nations Headquarters from 24 to 26 June 1996, both convened by the Committee. He also reported on the summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held in Yaoundé from 1 to 5 July 1996, which the Chairman attended representing the Committee.

At the 31 July meeting, the Committee approved the provisional programme for the combined International NGO Meeting/European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, to be held from 2 to 4 September at Geneva (see section X below).

With regard to recent political developments, the Chairman observed that the situation was of grave concern and stressed the need to do everything possible to support the continuation of the peace process (GA/PAL/727).


II. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS
RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE


At its substantive session of 1996, held at United Nations Headquarters from 24 June to 26 July 1996, the Economic and Social Council had before it two reports of the Secretary-General, on the economic and social repercussions of Israeli settlements (A/51/135-E/1996/51), prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/51/171-E/1996/75) as well as the report of the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held at Cairo from 21 to 23 May 1996 (A/51/166-E/1996/67). The Council adopted two resolutions, on Israeli settlements, reproduced below, and on Palestinian women.

1996/40. Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 50/129 of 20 December 1995,

Recalling also its resolution 1995/49 of 28 July 1995,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of people under foreign occupation over their national resources,

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

Recalling Security Council resolution 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and other resolutions in which the Security Council affirmed 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, in which, inter alia, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including, among others, 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,

Aware of the negative and grave economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan,

Welcoming the ongoing Middle East peace process started at Madrid, in particular the signing in Washington on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 2/ and the signing in Washington on 28 September 1995 of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip,

1. Takes note of the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; 3/

2. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

3. Recognizes the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the Syrian Golan to their natural and all other economic resources, and regards any infringement thereof as being illegal;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

With regard to Palestinian women, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1996/5, the text recommended to it earlier this year by the Commission on the Status of Women, entitled “Palestinian women”. The text of the resolution adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women is contained in the March 1996 issue of this bulletin.

________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
3/ A/51/135-E/1996/51.



III. EXCERPTS FROM COMMUNIQUÉ AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE MEMBER COUNTRIES OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE

Excerpts from the final communiqué and the text of two resolutions relating to the question of Palestine, which were adopted by the twenty-third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held at Conakry from 9 to 12 December 1995, are given below (A/50/953-S/1996/344).

28. The Conference reaffirmed that the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the prime cause of all Muslims, and expressed its solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization in its just struggle for removing the effects of the Israeli occupation and the building of Palestinian national institutions on the land of Palestine so as to achieve the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including their rights to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent State on the soil of their homeland with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

29. The Conference called upon member States to continue the consolidation of their solidarity with the Palestinian people and to continue supporting the position of the PLO in its negotiations for the complete withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all of the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

30. The Conference expressed its support for the peace process in the Middle East and welcomed the agreements concluded in its framework. It also welcomed the signing of the agreement on the implementation of the second phase of the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles and called for respect of all its components. It noted that the success of the peace process hinges on the implementation of resolutions of international legitimacy, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) of the Security Council, on the basis of Arab and international understanding of those resolutions, and the ‘land for peace’ formula and the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their national and political rights. It affirmed that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region can only be achieved through complete and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all of the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the Syrian Golan and the occupied Lebanese territories.

31. The Conference reaffirmed that the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and to it apply all the provisions applicable to the other occupied territories; and reiterated the necessity of its return to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine. It called upon all States to refrain from having any dealings with the Israeli occupation authorities which might be interpreted, in any way, by those authorities as an implicit recognition of the fait accompli imposed by the proclamation of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel. It reaffirmed that all legislative, administrative and settlement measures and arrangements that aim at changing the legal status of the Holy City are null and void and are in contradiction with the international agreements and conventions. It called upon all States to comply with Security Council resolution 478 (1980), which invites Member States not to transfer their diplomatic missions to the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif. It invited the international community, and in particular, the two co-sponsors of the Peace Conference, to compel Israel not to effect any geographical or demographic changes in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif during the transitional period that might affect the outcome of the negotiations on the final status of the city.

Resolution No.1/23-P
on the Question of Palestine
and the Arab-Israeli conflict

The Twenty-third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Solidarity and Tolerance), held in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, from 17 to 20 Rajab, 1416H (9 to 12 December, 1995),

Having considered the report of the Secretary General on the cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict contained in document no. ICFM/23-95/PAL/D.1,

Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,

Pursuant to the resolutions of the Islamic conferences on the cause of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict,

Recalling all the resolutions issued by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of African Unity and the League of Arab States on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the other occupied Arab territories,

Reaffirming Security Council resolutions 681 (1990) and 904 (1994) on the carnage at the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif,

Recalling Security Council resolutions 465 (1980), 476 (1980) and 478 (1980) on the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Islamic resolutions emphasizing that the question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif constitutes the heart of the Palestine issue which is the prime cause of all Muslims and the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that a just and comprehensive peace will only be achieved with the return of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine,

Reaffirming the need for all States of the world, including their executive, legislative and other institutions, to abide by and respect the resolutions of the Security Council on the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif,

Reaffirming that the Palestine cause is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories, its annexation of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Syrian Golan, its continued denial of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and its disrespect for the human rights of the Palestinians constitute a flagrant violation of the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy and the principles of international law as well as the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Proceeding from Islamic and international resolutions which reaffirm the legitimacy of the struggle waged by the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative, for the re-establishment of their sovereignty over their land and the exercise of their inalienable national rights,

Expressing deep concern at Israel's continuing terrorist and repressive measures and practices, its continued policy of deportation and mass reprisals against Palestinian and Arab citizens in all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, its siege of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the desecration of the holy shrines,

Condemning the continuous Israeli aggression against southern Lebanon and western Beqa'a and emphasizing that the Israeli policies, practices and expansionist plans threaten not only the Arab States and the peace process but also the Islamic countries and endanger international peace and security;

Following with interest the peace efforts being exerted for the achievement of a just and comprehensive solution of the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and of the formula of “land for peace”, and the legitimate national and political rights of the Palestinian people,

Commending the efforts made by the Palestine Liberation Organization throughout the occupied Palestinian territories for the reconstruction of what had been destroyed by the Israeli occupation, as well as the efforts exerted by its National Authority for the rehabilitation of the Palestinian national economy and its consolidation, with a view to the establishment of the Palestinian State, and stressing the importance of supporting those efforts by all possible ways and means,

1. Reaffirms all the resolutions of the Islamic conferences relating to the Palestine cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict;

2. Reaffirms that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without a full and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the occupied Syrian Golan and the occupied Lebanese territories;

3. Reaffirms also that the Palestine cause is the prime cause of all Muslims, and expresses its solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization in its just struggle for removing the effects of Israeli occupation and building Palestinian national institutions on the land of Palestine, with a view to fulfilling the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of their independent State on their national soil, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital;

4. Calls on member States to further strengthen their solidarity with the Palestinian people, and support their just and legitimate struggle for ending Israeli occupation and achieving all their goals of freedom and independence, and to continue supporting the PLO in its negotiations for the full withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and for the guarantee of the transfer of all powers and responsibilities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to the Palestinian National Authority;

5. Welcomes the conclusion of the agreement for the implementation of the second stage of the Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles as an important step towards the achievement of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region, and calls for commitment to the speedy implementation of all its provisions, including the expansion of the Palestinian self-rule area, the release of the Palestinian detainees, the completion of the Palestinian election, honouring the chronological programme of the agreement;

6. Expresses its support and backing for the peace process in the Middle East, which is aimed at bringing about a just and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and welcomes the agreements concluded within the framework of the peace process. It believes that the success of the peace process in the Middle East hinges on the fulfilment of the following principles and basic premises:

First: That it is based on the resolutions of international legality, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and the obligation to implement them in accordance with the Arab and international understanding of those resolutions, which guarantee full Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Palestinian territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif, as well as from the occupied Syrian Golan, to the lines of 4 June 1967, and the occupied Lebanese territories, and on the basis of the formula “land for peace”; of the legitimate national and political rights of the Palestinian people, and of the need to enable them to exercise their right of return in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III);

Second: Applicability of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) to all Arab occupied territories, including the Palestinian territories;

Third: The fact that Al-Quds is the heart of the Palestine question which, in turn, is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Al-Quds is an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and to it apply all the provisions applicable to the other occupied territories under the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, and the necessity of its return to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine, as a guarantee for peace and security in the region;

Fourth: Dismantling the settlements already established in the occupied territories, as they are illegal under the international resolutions including resolution 465 (1980) of the Security Council, and cessation of the settling of Jews in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Syrian Golan, combined with the necessity of providing international guarantees to that effect;

Fifth: The need to secure international protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, to implement the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Hague Treaty of 1907, to halt all of Israel's terrorist and repressive practices against the Palestinian people, to release all Palestinian detainees in the occupied territories, to halt the expropriation and attempted transformation of Islamic and Christian properties and waqfs, to halt the continuing violations of Islamic and Christian holy places and to halt the excavations which endanger those shrines;

7. Urges all States and concerned parties to extend their support to the international programme of economic, social and cultural development in the occupied Palestinian territories, to avail the Palestinian people of the necessary approved assistance for the reconstruction of its national economy and to back up its national institutions and enable it to establish its independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital;

8. Reaffirms the continued and constant responsibility of the United Nations vis-à-vis the Palestine question until a just and comprehensive solution to all its aspects is achieved, securing an end to occupation and the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable national rights, and calls for more effective participation of the United Nations in promoting the success of the peace process in the Middle East;

9. Urges the international community, and particularly the permanent members of the Security Council, to compel Israel to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy without delay or procrastination and to desist from violating the principles of international law and abide by the principles of international legitimacy;

10. Invites all States of the world to refrain from having any dealings with the Israeli occupation authorities which might in any way be interpreted by those authorities as an implicit recognition of the fait accompli they have imposed by the declaration of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel. In this context, it should be recalled that Security Council resolutions 465, 476 and 478 of 1980 rule that the Israeli measures relating to the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif are null and void and affirm that all the legislative, administrative and settlement measures aimed at changing the legal status of the Holy City are null and void, have no legal effects whatsoever and are a violation of international agreements, conventions and norms;

11. Strongly deplores the resolution of the United States Congress on the transfer of the United States Embassy to the city of Al-Quds, and considers it a provocation of the feelings of the Muslim world, a flagrant disregard of the Islamic and Christian sanctities, and a serious violation of all international resolutions on the city of Al-Quds, including Security Council resolution 478 (1980), as well as a threat to stray the peace process, and calls upon the United States Administration not to respond to this resolution of the Congress in conformity with its responsibilities as a sponsor of the peace process;

12. Calls for abiding by the provisions of the Islamic boycott against Israel and for considering the legislation, rules and provisions governing the boycott - ‘the general principles of the Boycott, Islamic law, the internal regulations and sessional meetings of the regional offices’ - as part of their own current national legislations, and setting up the necessary offices and mechanisms to serve that end;

13. Strongly condemns Israel's persistence in its aggressive scheme to partition the Ibrahimi Mosque enclosure in the occupied city of Al-Khalil, which aims at seizing and Judaizing most of it and establishing a Jewish synagogue on its site. It calls on the member States to continue their coordination and intensive efforts in the various international forums to prevent the implementation of this scheme and preserve the Ibrahimi enclosure as a mosque solely for Muslims, as it has been through the ages. It warns that any slackness in those efforts would encourage Israel to undermine the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic and Christian shrines, which would affect the peace process. It also invites them to endeavour to restore the old town in Al-Khalil and preserve the heritage and culture of that ancient city, as well as settle Palestinian families therein, in order to face Jewish settlement in the city. It further reaffirms that the redeployment of Israeli forces outside the occupied West Bank cities must apply to all cities and not exclude Al-Khalil;

14. Strongly condemns the Israeli repressive measures and practices against the Palestinian citizens. Also strongly condemns Israel's expansionist settlement policy and regards all settlements established or to be established by Israel in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and in all other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan as null and void, in accordance with international legitimacy, and appeals to all States to refrain from taking any steps that might facilitate the process of settlement in the occupied territories; invites the member States to request the United Nations Security Council to set up an international committee to supervise and monitor the prevention of the settlement process in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories;

15. Invites member States to work within the framework of the United Nations and in international institutions and forums to compel Israel to release the detainees, bring back the deportees, put an end to the method of collective punishment and desist from any works that would endanger life and the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories;

16. Strongly condemns Israel's continuing occupation of southern Lebanon and the western Beqa’a region, its arbitrary practices and military acts of aggression against the Lebanese citizens and against the Palestinian refugees in their camps in Lebanon, calls upon the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary measures to put an immediate end to those acts of aggression, and demands Israel's immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal from Lebanese territory. It affirms its resolve to maintain the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders. It stresses the necessity of implementing Security Council resolutions concerning Lebanon, in particular resolution 425 (1978), and expresses its appreciation for the achievements of the Supreme Tripartite Arab Committee. It also calls on the international community to contribute to the International Fund for the Reconstruction of Lebanon;

17. Strongly condemns the policy of Israel in refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and in imposing its jurisdiction, its laws and its administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, as well as Israel's policies of annexation, establishment of settlements, expropriation of lands, diversion of water resources and imposition of Israeli nationality on Syrian citizens. It considers that all those measures are null and void and constitute a violation of the rules and principles of international law relating to occupation and war, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. It demands the complete withdrawal of Israel from the entire occupied Syrian Golan to the lines of 4 June 1967;

18. Calls on the international community and the Security Council to compel Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 487 (1981), to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to implement the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling for the subjection of all Israeli atomic facilities to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards System, and to obtain Israel's renunciation of nuclear armament and its submission of a full report on its stockpile of nuclear weapons and ammunition to the Security Council and the IAEA, as those steps are essential for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, primarily nuclear weapons, in the Middle East region, which is a fundamental factor for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region;

19. Calls on the member States to coordinate their positions in all international forums in order to preserve the principled position of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on all the resolutions on the issue of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict;

20. Commends the efforts exerted by the Al-Quds Committee, under the Chairmanship of His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco;

21. Reaffirms the continued responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to fulfil the tasks assigned to it for the benefit of all the Palestinian citizens wherever they may be living, and calls upon the member States to request the Secretary General of the United Nations to see to it that the Conciliation Committee undertakes, in collaboration with UNRWA and the concerned States, the preparation of a comprehensive inventory of Palestinian refugees and their property and the formulation of an integrated conception for the settlement of their problems on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III);

22. Requests the Secretary General to take necessary measures for continuing and strengthening contacts and coordination on the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict between the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the European Union, and the United Nations and the specialized agencies, and expresses its appreciation for all the latter's supportive stands and assistance for the just struggle of the Palestinian people;

23. Requests the Secretary General to follow up on the implementation of this resolution and to submit a report thereon to the next Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

Resolution No. 2/23-P
on the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif

The Twenty-third Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Solidarity and Tolerance), held in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, from 17 to 20 Rajab, 1416H (9 to 12 December, 1995),

Having considered the report of the Secretary General on the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, contained in document ICFM/23-95/PAL/D.2,

Proceeding from the principles and objectives of the Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,

Pursuant to the Islamic resolutions which reaffirm that the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif forms the core of the Palestinian issue, which is the foremost Islamic cause and the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that no comprehensive and just peace can be achieved without the return of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty as the capital of the State of Palestine,

Recalling the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, in particular the Council’s resolutions 465, 476 and 478 of 1980 on the city of Al-Quds, which consider as null and void the Israeli law annexing Al-Quds and claiming it as the unified capital of Israel,

Amazed by the decision taken by the Congress of the United States of America to transfer the United States Embassy to the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif; considering it to be a flagrant violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy; and reaffirming the need for all States of the world, including their executive, legislative and other institutions, to respect and abide by the resolutions of the Security Council on the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif,

Expressing its deep concern at the escalation of Israel's acts of aggression against the Holy Places in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and also over the deteriorating situation of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and all Islamic and Christian Holy Places, in particular the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as a result of the increasing Judaization and settlement,

Expressing its full solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO, so as to enable it to face up to the forthcoming stage and firmly establish its National Authority in all the occupied Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif,

Reiterating Security Council resolution 681 (1990), which provides for the applicability of all the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, concerning the protection of civilians in time of war, to the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif,

Following attentively the continued peace efforts for the achievement of a just and comprehensive settlement of the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national and political rights of the Palestinian people,

Commending the constant efforts made by the Al-Quds Committee under the chairmanship of His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco,

1. Reaffirms all the resolutions issued by the relevant Islamic conferences, including those adopted by the Third Islamic Summit Conference on Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the recommendations of the Al-Quds Committee at its former sessions, in particular the recommendations adopted by its fifteenth session;

2. Invites the Contact Group charged with the affairs of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and constituted pursuant to the recommendation of the fifteenth session of the Al-Quds Committee, which was held in Ifran, Morocco, on 16 and 17 January 1995 to do its very best to ensure that the resolution on Al-Quds Al-Sharif to be adopted by the current session of the United Nations General Assembly is commensurate with the nature of recent conditions and developments, as well as with the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the aspirations of the Muslim world and the developments facing this issue;

3. Invites the member States to continue extending their support to the Palestine Liberation Organization and to extend all forms of assistance to the Palestinian people for the transfer of all authorities and responsibilities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to the Palestinian National Authority;

4. Asserts that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East will not be realized unless Israel withdraws from all the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, at the forefront of which is the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, being an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, subject to whatever is applicable to all the occupied territories in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. It also underlines the need for the city to return to Palestinian sovereignty as the capital of the State of Palestine, as a guarantee for peace and security in the region;

5. Invites all States to refrain from having any dealings with the Israeli occupation authorities which might be interpreted in any way by those authorities as an implicit recognition of the fait accompli imposed by the proclamation of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel, and reaffirms that all legislative, administrative and settlements procedures and measures aimed at altering the legal status of the Holy City are null and void and constitute a violation of international agreements, conventions and norms, as proclaimed by international legitimacy resolutions, which include the Security Council resolutions 465, 476 and 478 of 1980, as well as those of the General Assembly, all of which invalidate the Israeli procedures in question;

6. Also invites the member States to face up to the serious developments ensuing from the continued Israeli expansionist policy in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to confront it with all possible means, to provide material resources for the preservation of the Islamic shrines, and to support the steadfastness of its citizens and institutions in facing up to the Israeli schemes aimed at annexing the city of Al-Quds and wiping out its Arabo-Islamic character;

7. Further invites the international community, and in particular the two co-sponsors of the Peace Conference, to compel Israel not to effect any geographical or demographic alteration in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif during the transitional period and to refrain from any action or measure which might affect the outcome of the negotiations on the final status of the city;

8. Emphasizes the need for the dismantling of the existing settlements in the occupied territories and for the reversal of the Jewish settlement movement, particularly in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, together with the provision of international guarantees to ensure the above;

9. Calls upon all States to adhere to Security Council resolution 478 (1980), which invites the Member States to uphold the provisions of that resolution and refrain from transferring their diplomatic missions to the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif; takes note of the general response of the States of the world to this resolution and their abidance by it, and strongly condemns the resolutions of the United States Congress on the transfer of the United States Embassy to the city of Al-Quds, and considers it a provocation of the feelings of the Muslim world, a flagrant disregard of the Islamic and Christian sanctities, and a serious violation of all international resolutions on the city of Al-Quds, including Security Council resolution 478, as well as a threat to destroy the peace process, and calls upon the United States Administration not to respond to that resolution of the Congress, in conformity with its responsibilities as a sponsor of the peace process;

10. Strongly condemns Israel for the orders it has issued for closing the Palestinian institutions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and preventing them from operating freely, and considers such measures a violation of the agreements concluded between the Palestinian and Israeli parties within the framework of the peace process, as well as a blatant violation of international conventions and agreements, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949;

11. Strongly condemns the Israeli occupation authorities for the festivities organized in commemoration of the so-called Third Millennium of the construction of Al-Quds City, which represents a disorientation campaign aimed at distorting historical facts concerning the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and invites the States of the world to boycott those festivities;

12. Invites the member States to extend all forms of support and assistance to the citizens of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to establish developmental, economic, cultural, social and architectural projects, to construct housing units for the citizens of Al-Quds, to restore their existing houses, to consolidate their steadfastness, and to save institutions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif from destruction and loss;

13. Affirms the commitment of member States to pursue and coordinate their action with regional and international organizations for the implementation of the international resolutions adopted by United Nations and its specialized agencies, in particular UNESCO, to stop the hostile measures and aggressive practices and the excavation work in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and to safeguard its cultural and historical heritage;

14. Reaffirms the resolutions of earlier Islamic conferences which call for the extension of support to the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the consolidation of the steadfastness of its citizens, through the implementation of the following activities:

(a) Inviting all Islamic States that have not yet signed the twinning of their capitals with the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the capital of the State of Palestine, to take early action to that effect and to sponsor projects inside the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif in support of it and of its steadfast citizens;

(b) Issuing the postage stamp of Palestine;

(c) Organizing charity fairs in favour of the Al-Quds Fund of the Organization of the Islamic Conference;

(d) Undertaking contacts, symposia and festivals to counteract the acts of truth distortion and disorientation of public opinion carried out by Israel through the organization of the so-called Third Millennium of the City of Al-Quds, and to expose those false allegations;

(e) Sustained coordination on the topic of Al-Quds Al-Sharif with all international and regional forums and organizations and the holding of international symposia on Al-Quds in different countries, in particular in the current circumstances, so as to expose to international public opinion the dangers facing Al-Quds Al-Sharif and to exert more efforts to safeguard the Holy City;

(f) Sustained coordination with non-governmental organizations and the holding of a symposium on Al-Quds Al-Sharif jointly with them;

(g) Extending support to educational institutions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, both schools and universities, and enabling them to fulfil their mission against the Judaization of the Holy City;

(h) Extending financial support for the restoration of historical buildings and derelict houses in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and for the construction of houses for Arab citizens so as to bolster their steadfast resistance and thwart the plans for the Judaization of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif;

(i) Issuing the postage stamp of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif;

15. Condemns Israel's persistence in the confiscation of Palestinian land in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the establishment of settlements there with the purpose of cutting off the Arab city of Al-Quds from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as its undertaking of excavation works around the Holy Mosque of Al-Quds and tunnel digging in its surrounding area; calls upon the international community to force Israel to discontinue such practices, which may compromise the peace process, and reaffirms the need to preserve the Arab entity and Islamic character of Al-Quds Al-Sharif;

16. Strongly condemns the Israeli Supreme Court's decision, issued on 23 September 1993, claiming the Blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa as part of the territory of the State of Israel, and considers it as a premediated provocation aimed at opening the way for Zionist extremist gangs to continue their violations against the sanctity of the Blessed Mosque of Al-Aqsa, to establish their presence in its precincts, and to continue looting the religious, historical and cultural relics in Al-Quds and the occupied territories;

17. Requests the Secretary General to follow up on the implementation of this resolution and to submit a report thereon to the next Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.


IV. EXCERPTS FROM CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT ADOPTED BY THE G-7 SUMMIT HELD AT LYON

At the Lyon Summit held from 27 to 29 June 1996, the Heads of State and Government of seven major industrialized nations and others, including the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General as observers, met and issued several documents, including the Chairman’s statement. The following excerpt concludes the Middle East section of the Chairman’s statement, item 3, under “II. Regional situations” (A/51/208-S/1996/543):

At a time when the Middle East Peace Process requires a renewed impetus, we urge all the parties to fulfil their obligations, including agreements already signed, and to continue their efforts in favour of a comprehensive peace on the basis of the Madrid process, the principle of land for peace and other principles enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.


V. EXCERPTS FROM COMMUNIQUÉ ADOPTED BY THE MINISTERS FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE DAMASCUS DECLARATION STATES

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Damascus Declaration States held their thirteenth meeting at Muscat, on 13 and 14 July 1996, and adopted a final communiqué (document A/51/216-S/1996/563), excerpts from which are reproduced below:

The Ministers affirmed their full commitment to upholding and acting in accordance with the substance of the final communiqué adopted by the Arab Summit Conference held in Cairo from 21 to 23 June 1996 and the firm positions of principle adopted by the consensus of the Arab leaders with a view to strengthening Arab solidarity and establishing a just peace in response to the hopes and aspirations of the Arab nation, so as to advance the interests and restore the impugned rights of that nation and in order to monitor the formulation of effective Arab action for the next stage.

The Ministers stressed the firm positions of principle of their countries with respect to the requirements of the peace process and the need to adhere to the principles on which it has been based since the Madrid Conference. This requires: complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan to the line of 4 June 1967; complete and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa to the internationally recognized boundaries; the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian territories, including Arab Jerusalem; and recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to exercise self-determination and establish an independent State on its own soil.

The Ministers commended the broad international consensus in support of the Arab position on the peace process, as embodied in the statements adopted by the Florence Summit of the European Union, the Lyon Summit of the group of seven industrialized countries and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity held in Cameroon, as well as in the statements adopted earlier by the Casablanca Islamic Summit Conference and the Cartagena Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. In this context, the Ministers affirmed that the continuation of the peace process and the resumption of negotiations require commitment to the principles and norms on which the peace process is based, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), the principle of land for peace and the assurances given to the parties.

The Ministers expressed deep concern at the statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister during his recent visit to the United States, particularly those relating to his insistence on perpetuating Israel's occupation of Arab territories and on retaining Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty as the capital of Israel on the pretext of safeguarding Israel's security. This is an attempt to impose a fait accompli that undermines the viability of the negotiations and is a departure from the principle of land for peace and a violation of the enduring principle on which the peace process is based, namely the achievement of balanced and equal security for all the States of the region without discrimination or exception and not merely for Israel alone. The same is true of his statements calling for a resumption of peace negotiations without preconditions, which is a denial and evasion of commitment to the principles derived from the relevant United Nations resolutions on which the peace process is based. Likewise, his call for reciprocity, when measured against the positions he has taken rejecting the principles and foundations of the peacemaking process, is an invitation for the region to return to a climate of confrontation and tension. The Ministers expressed surprise and astonishment that the Israeli Prime Minister should speak of democracy and human rights while Israel is pursuing a policy of occupation and of violating rights that are guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions to Arab citizens languishing under Israeli occupation and while it is being evasive and dilatory in discharging the obligations that it took upon itself within the framework of the peace process. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed the conclusion of the Arab Summit Conference to the effect that the insistence of the Israeli Government on such positions is likely to cause a collapse of the peace process, bringing with it such dangers and consequences as will once more plunge the region into a maelstrom of tension and force all the Arab States to reconsider the steps taken vis-à-vis Israel in the framework of that process. The Israeli Government alone would bear the entire responsibility for such a situation.

The Ministers further reaffirm their commitment to the United Nations resolutions requiring the non-recognition and non-acceptance of any situation resulting from Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories, inasmuch as such activities create no rights and no obligations. They consider that the establishment of settlements and the introduction of settlers violate the Geneva Conventions and the Madrid framework and represent an impediment to the peace process.

Recalling the assurances recently given by the United States of America, as one of the co-sponsors of the peace process, that that process must be based on the foundations established at the time it began at the Madrid Conference and on the principle of land for peace, that the Israeli Government must comply with all the undertakings given and all the obligations assumed, and that security cannot be attained without the achievement of peace, the Ministers call upon the co-sponsors of the peace process, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, on the European Union, China, Japan, the States members of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and other concerned States and on the United Nations and other international institutions to give practical effect to those assurances and to ensure that Israel does not violate the principles on which the peace process is based, supported as they are by United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), or the principle of land for peace, or the assurances provided to the parties, and that it fulfils all the commitments made in the framework of the peace process.


VI. UNRWA HEADQUARTERS MOVES TO GAZA

Following the move of the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to Gaza City on 15 July 1996, the following press release was issued (PAL/1832):

Gaza, 16 July (UNRWA). The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Peter Hansen, and his headquarters staff moved into their new offices in Gaza City on Monday, 15 July, after closing the Vienna headquarters which UNRWA has maintained for the past 18 years.

Mr. Hansen said UNRWA's move to the area of operations is taking place in difficult times when it is important ‘to ensure much closer coordination between headquarters and field operations and better contact between UNRWA and the beneficiaries of its services, the Palestine refugees’.

In addition to the Commissioner-General's office, the departments of finance and administration, human resources, legal affairs, and external relations and public information are now located in Gaza City. The departments for education, health, and relief and social services programmes, which relocated to Amman earlier, remained there.

This is the second major move of UNRWA headquarters during the Agency's 46-year history. In 1978, because of the difficult security situation in Lebanon, the headquarters moved from Beirut to Vienna.

Some 80 UNRWA staff members are moving to Gaza from Vienna and a number of others will be hired locally in the Gaza Strip. The majority of the staff moving are Palestinians, many of whom are now taking up international staff posts.

The UNRWA Gaza headquarters is located in a new 4,300 square metre building adjacent to the Agency's field office. An official opening ceremony will be held in August.

The move to Gaza is being financed through special donations from Governments, including the following major contributors: Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

UNRWA provides education, health, relief and social services to more than 3.2 million registered Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


VII. WORLD BANK APPROVES $25 MILLION CREDIT DRAWN FROM THE TRUST FUND FOR GAZA AND THE WEST BANK

Drawing on the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank, the World Bank approved a $25 million equivalent credit benefiting the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to provide adequate water and sanitation services to the Gaza Strip. The following press release was issued on 2 July (World Bank News Release 96/33/MENA):

Washington, 2 July 1996. The World Bank approved a $25 million equivalent credit drawn from the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank to support the Palestinian Executive Authority’s efforts to provide adequate water and sanitation services to the Gaza Strip. World Bank studies show that about half of the water flowing through the Gaza Strip’s distribution systems is lost, three out of every four households are not connected to a sewerage system, and no municipal well in Gaza meets World Health Organization guidelines of drinking water quality.

The Palestinian Executive Authority’s $28 million Water and Sanitation Services Project in Gaza is aimed at improving the quality, quantity and management of water, and wastewater services in Gaza. The project is aimed at improving the efficiency of the water distribution system, disinfecting water supplies and boosting the efficiency of revenues collection. It is part of a broader program to upgrade and extend municipal water supply networks as well as rehabilitate and construct municipal storm-water and sewerage networks and improve village water distribution.

‘The Water and Sanitation Services Project in Gaza will build on efforts launched under the Bank-supported Emergency Rehabilitation Project,’ World Bank Task Manager Jamal Saghir said. ‘Those efforts are also in line with the priority needs identified for the water sector in the West Bank and Gaza, under the three-year $1.2 billion Emergency Assistance Program,’ Mr. Saghir added.

The four-year project consists of a performance-based management contract with an international private operator to improve water and sanitation service delivery of local, municipal, and village council water departments which will be achieved through a service improvement programme. In a second phase, the private operator will assist in the creation of a water and wastewater company for Gaza that would consolidate the water and wastewater services of village councils and municipalities.

Operating investment funds are a second component of the project and are deemed essential to ensure the financing of goods, works and services by the private operator. The third project component will finance technical assistance and institutional capacity development initiatives. It will cover the provision of auditors, among others, to monitor the operator’s performance. Assisting in strengthening the newly-created Palestinian Water Authority also falls under this component.

The $25 million World Bank credit is on standard International Development Association terms with 40 years’ maturity, including a 10-year grace period. The remaining $3 million of the total project cost will be contributed by the Palestinian Executive Authority.

‘Improving the quality, quantity, and management of water and wastewater services in Gaza is essential for the development of the sector and for improving the quality of life for the population in general,’ Mr. Saghir said.


VIII. UNESCO ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE STRENGTHENED BY $7.4 MILLION AND BY AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

UNESCO’s assistance to the Palestinian people will be strengthened by donations of $7.4 million by Italy, Norway and Saudi Arabia as well as an agreement signed by UNESCO and the League of Arab States, prepared in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. The following two press releases were issued by UNESCO on 12 and 22 July (OPI/NYO/96-7A and OPI/NYO/96-7D):

Paris, 12 July. Implementation of UNESCO's Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) will be accelerated by donations of $7.4 million recently granted by Saudi Arabia, Italy and Norway.

The Joint UNESCO/Palestine Committee, meeting here for two days at headquarters, today finished allocating the donations - $4 million from Italy, $2.5 million from Saudi Arabia and $450,000 from Norway - to specific projects being executed in the framework of the PAPP.

‘This sum of $7.4 million will enable us to pursue development of the PAPP, by which UNESCO intends to show the Palestinian people that it will continue to give them its support in the organization's fields of competence,’ UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor said yesterday when receiving the Palestinian delegation.

The PAPP comprises 27 projects decided upon jointly by UNESCO and the Palestinian Authority in 1995. Amounting to an estimated value of $37 million, the projects centre on developing Palestinian institutions in UNESCO's fields of competence, as well as in the use of human resources and job creation, consolidating the Middle East peace process and building a modern democratic society in the autonomous territories.

At this third meeting of the Joint Committee, the Palestinian representatives recommended setting up new projects or enlarging certain ones already begun, according to the priorities that they themselves set in accord with the donors. In particular, these include assistance to the new Ministry of Palestinian Higher Education and completing restoration and enhancement of the country's cultural and natural heritage.

The Committee also decided to organize, probably in November 1996, a UNESCO Week in the Palestinian Territories, including activities in Gaza, Jericho, Nablus and Ramallah. The Director-General has indicated his intention to visit Palestine before the end of this year in response to an invitation from the Palestinian Authority.

UNESCO will celebrate with particular importance the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November with various cultural events.

The Joint UNESCO/Palestine Committee, created in December 1993 by an agreement between Messrs. Yasser Arafat and Mayor, comprises representatives of the Palestinian Authority and each of UNESCO's sectors. The Palestinian delegation at this meeting included, among others, the Vice-Minister of Culture, Yahya Yaklev, the Vice-Minister of Sports and Youth, Jamal Muheisen, Hail Al-Fahoum, special counsellor for economic affairs to Mr. Arafat, and Jihad Qarasholi, Secretary- General of the Palestinian Committee for UNESCO.
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Paris, 22 July. UNESCO and the League of Arab States today began a new phase of cooperation by agreeing to strengthen their joint efforts for reconstruction and development in the West Bank and Gaza and, in particular, rehabilitation of the Palestinian educational sector.

UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor and Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, signed the agreement at the organization's headquarters, formalizing cooperation between the two organizations in all matters relating to the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and the Palestinian people.

The accord calls for both parties to work together, in their fields of competence, in such areas as Palestinian education; culture, heritage and identity; communications and information; and science. They will examine their programmes in these areas to determine which may be executed jointly.

‘It is an absolute priority for UNESCO to assist the Palestinian people, who have been through such tumult,’ Mr. Mayor said, emphasizing that the accord demonstrates that the organization stands beside them and the Palestinian Authority.

‘Education is the basis for a solution, for if there is no development without peace, there is also no peace without education that inspires human beings to live together and settle their differences in a peaceful way,’ he said.

Mr. Meguid said that he was ‘proud and honoured’ to sign the agreement with UNESCO that concerns education, culture and civilization, subjects of great importance in the Arab world. ‘This accord will crown our relationship with UNESCO and put it on a sound basis,’ he said.

The agreement, prepared in cooperation with both the League of Arab States and the Palestinian Authority, is also expected to enable UNESCO to better promote fund-raising for the organization's ongoing Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.


IX. IMPROVED ACCESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION SYSTEM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE (UNISPAL) AND INTERNET SITE ESTABLISHED

The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) was established and is being developed by the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR) in response to a request by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, endorsed by General Assembly resolutions 46/74B and 47/64B and subsequent resolutions. At present, UNISPAL contains well over 1,400 United Nations documents, both historical and current, relating to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.

Recently, a replica of this Lotus Notes-based information system has been established at United Nations Headquarters to facilitate access to the collection (at 212-963-7197, server DPA4). Also, a first selection of documents has been placed on the Internet, including, for example, document A/AC.183/L.2/Add.16, intended to bring DPR’s chronological compilation of resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council relating to the question of Palestine up to date for 1995 (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/dpr/).


X. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION

International NGO Meeting/European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine to be held at Geneva from 2 to 4 September 1996

At the 222nd meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Chairman informed the Committee of correspondence exchanged with the Palestinian Authority and Israel regarding the possibility of holding its annual NGO meeting in Gaza. The Chairman also stated that the Bureau of the Committee had reviewed recent developments in the region and concluded that the prevailing situation in the Palestinian territory as a result of Israeli measures in violation of the agreement between the two sides would seriously hamper the successful holding of the event in Gaza, as originally envisaged. The Bureau had therefore decided, on 12 July, to hold the meeting at Geneva, from 2 to 4 September 1996 (GA/PAL/727).

The Committee also decided on the programme for the event, with plenary sessions on “recent political developments”, “key issues of a just and comprehensive settlement” and “building NGO partnerships for a just and comprehensive settlement”, as well as NGO workshops on Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, promoting NGO coordination and action, and cooperation between the United Nations and other international bodies and the NGO community. Members of the Knesset, Palestinian Council, European Parliament and academic experts will address the meeting. A brief report of the meeting will be included in the September issue of this bulletin.

Publications received from NGOs

1. News from Within is a newsletter of the Alternative Information Center (P.O. Box 31417, Jerusalem; Fax 972 225 3151). Issue No. 7, of July 1996, contains articles on the Palestinian Authority and the new Israeli Government; the future of Jerusalem; the Palestinian economy ; and Hebron.

2. Al-Haq, in its press release No. 113, of 22 July 1996, has an article on increased settler violence against the Palestinians in the district of Nablus (P.O. Box 1413, Ramallah, West Bank; Fax 972 2 995 4903).

3. Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, in its July 1996 issue, has articles on “Sharon continues settlement plans” and United States policy statements on settlements.

4. Family Reunification Project Newsletter Update, in its issue No. 9 of 1996, highlights the confiscation of identity cards from Palestinian Jerusalem residents by Israeli officials, as well as the denial of applications for family reunion by the Israeli authorities (Fax 312 427 4171).


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