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FINAL ISSUED Dakar 2016  17-05093 E.pdfFINAL ISSUED Dakar 2016 17-05093 E.pdf
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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
4 May 2016


“Jerusalem at the heart of the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”

Dakar, 3 and 4 May 2016

Executive Summary

The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was organized in Dakar, Senegal by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Taking place at a time where the Committee commemorated its 40th anniversary, the Conference made an appeal to the international community to actively engage to restart the peace process and support the resilience of the Palestinian people, particularly those living in East Jerusalem.

Speakers detailed the evolution of the situation on the ground, as Israel’s policies seemingly aimed to change the demographic and geographic nature of Jerusalem and forcibly displace Palestinians. Various practices such as discriminatory urban planning, forced eviction, revocation of residency rights and settlement expansion led to an alarming rate of displacement among Palestinians. One speaker, a Palestinian Jerusalemite, also provided a powerful testimony of what life under occupation entails.

Experts also provided an overview of ways in which the question of Jerusalem had been discussed in the various cycles of negotiations with all agreeing that it was the most difficult among the final-status issues. While several proposals were made on how to share the city, Palestinians and Israelis differed on issues related to geographic definitions, scope, sovereignty and the status quo.

Concrete proposals were made to support resilience and development in East Jerusalem, under occupation. While East Jerusalem has been declared the capital of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian Government should allocate more funding to its development. The international community should implement its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and civil society could act in solidarity with the Palestinian Jerusalemites though the promotion of, inter alia, tourism, education and student exchanges so that East Jerusalem would again become the centre of the political, social and cultural life of Palestine.

I. Introduction

1. The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) in Dakar, Senegal on 3 and 4 May 2016, in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 70/12 and 70/13. The theme of the Conference was “Jerusalem at the heart of the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”.

2. The Conference consisted of an opening session, three plenary sessions and a closing session. The themes of the plenary sessions were: Life in East Jerusalem under Occupation; International Support for Resilience, Protection and Development; and Searching for Solutions: Scenarios for Jerusalem.

3. The entire diplomatic community in Dakar was invited to the Conference; representatives of 42 Member States and two non-member Observer States, three intergovernmental organizations, three United Nations bodies as well as 75 civil society organization representatives took part (Annex I).

4. The summary of the Chair on the outcomes of the Conference (Annex II) was published soon after its conclusion and is available from the website of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat as are the full texts of papers of the speakers who provided a copy for distribution at

II. Opening session

5. H.E. Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Senegal, representative of the Host Government and representative of the country holding the chairmanship of the Palestinian Rights Committee, chaired the opening session. In his statement, he emphasized that at the time when the Committee commemorated 40 years of existence, the Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was the first of its kind in Africa and the third worldwide following the conferences held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015 and Istanbul, Turkey in 2014. Referring to the geographic, demographic and cultural strategy being implemented in Jerusalem by Israel, he called on the Committee to redouble its efforts to contribute to a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could risk becoming a religious one with innumerable consequences for the whole Middle East. He called upon the international community to support Jerusalem through the latest international development instruments, such as the Climate Change Agreement and the Financing for Development Action Plan, and also during the upcoming Habitat III Conference to be held in Quito, Ecuador. He welcomed any initiative aiming to overcome the deadlock and promote a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations such as the French Initiative and the upcoming Quartet Report. Finally, the Minister renewed Senegal’s call to Palestinian political actors to form a national unity government, following the Cairo agreement and Doha negotiations.

6. A statement was delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon by his representative to the International Conference, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel. In recent weeks, a significant decline in attacks by Palestinians against Israelis had been witnessed; however, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. He condemned all such violence and attacks on civilians, which undermined prospects for a return to meaningful negotiations to end the occupation and called on all sides to de-escalate the tensions.

7. The Secretary-General renewed his calls on political, religious and community leaders to respect the sanctity of holy sites, and reminded all parties that the historical role of Jordan as custodian of the holy places should be respected. Only through a negotiated solution can Jerusalem emerge as a capital of two States, with arrangements acceptable to all for the holy sites. He acknowledged that support by partners such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the African Union was a strong asset to ensure the viability of an independent State of Palestine.

8. Mr. Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine Affairs at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reiterated the commitment of his organization and constant support for Palestine and Jerusalem, which had been the main reason for the establishment of the OIC after the fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. He stated that the city of Jerusalem was the capital of the State of Palestine and an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in addition to having a special status for Muslims, including a special religious one. He denounced the unprecedented increase in Israeli plans aiming at “Judaizing” Jerusalem by changing its Arab, Christian and Muslim demographic components, and trying to separate it from its Palestinian environment. He further denounced the recurrent Israeli attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

9. He further denounced the expansion and building of settlements, including in East Jerusalem, which showed that Israel had no wish for peace based on a two-State solution. The international community must provide international protection to the Palestinian people, he said, in light of the daily aggression by Israeli occupation forces and settlers. Mr. Bakr referred to the outcome of the 5th Extraordinary OIC Summit held in Jakarta on 7 March 2016, where it was decided to support the French initiative including the proposals for an international support group and a peace conference. He called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people’s rights and put pressure on Israel through legal and economic means.

10. The State of Palestine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Riad Malki, acknowledged Senegal’s enduring support to the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom and independence. He denounced the constant attacks by the occupying Power against an entire Palestinian nation, including the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza where 1.8 million Palestinians continued to suffer from the prolonged illegal siege. While Palestine had been on the agenda of the United Nations since its inception, the international community had been unable to take the necessary decisions to achieve a just and lasting solution to this conflict by ending the Israeli occupation. Although the solution to the conflict was clear and enjoyed universal support, and all countries considered the annexation of Jerusalem illegal, Israel opposed this consensus. He stated that those who believed Palestinians could wait for a change in Israel did not comprehend the reality on the ground and the violations that the Palestinian people endured, notably in Jerusalem.

11. He proclaimed support for the French initiative and called on the international community to also support it. He said Palestine was pursuing accountability for Israel’s violations through all avenues including the International Criminal Court, which was not only the Palestinian Government’s right, but also its duty to its people. He further condemned the 250 per cent increase in construction plans of settlement homes by Israel over the same period in 2015. Referring to the Human Rights Council resolution on settlements calling for the establishment of a database of companies involved in settlements and the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Wall, Mr. Malki called into question the value of Security Council, General Assembly, Human Rights Council and UNESCO resolutions, supported by European Union (EU) Member States, when these same States abstained whenever resolutions called for concrete steps. Third parties should uphold their responsibilities through the prohibition of any ties between their countries, companies and citizens with the occupation and notably with the settlement regime. He called on countries to take actions against settler organizations whose violence continued unchecked.

12. In Jerusalem, a war was being fought against the Palestinian presence and identity, which includes attempts to divide Al-Haram Al-Sharif, he asserted. Palestinians in Jerusalem were a target of extrajudicial killings, home demolitions, arbitrary arrests and revocation of residency cards, notably in the Old City. Israel used measures, illegal in international law to forcibly transfer directly or indirectly Palestinians out of the city and to create and expand illegal settlements. Palestinians living in Jerusalem should not be left alone to face this crime, he said, and it was time to deepen relations at every level between Governments, civil society worldwide, and citizens in East Jerusalem to bring about structured and lasting international coalitions for Jerusalem, such as Parliamentarians for Jerusalem, Mayors for Jerusalem or Lawyers for Jerusalem. He called on the countries attending the Conference to establish twin city arrangements between Jerusalem and their capitals.

13. H.E. Mr. Said Abu Ali, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Palestinian and other Arab Occupied Territories Sector at the League of Arab States, stated that the situation in East Jerusalem was increasingly difficult due to the actions and practices of the Israeli authorities to “Judaize” the city and obliterate its identity. He denounced the ongoing “Naqba” of Palestinians, which had been intensifying in Jerusalem since October 2015. Referring to statistics provided by human rights organizations and legal centres, he stressed that the occupying Power was committing unprecedented gross violations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, especially in East Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s inhabitants were being subjected to coercive measures to displace them and force them to vacate the Holy City in order to change its demographic nature, as part of a ”Judaization” plan called “Jerusalem 2020”. The Israeli Government should be held fully accountable for its crimes, and the Security Council should assume its responsibility to end the occupation and provide the necessary security to the Palestinian people. The League of Arab States was exerting all possible efforts to provide necessary protection to the Palestinian people and end the occupation. The Arab Peace Initiative, he said, was a top priority among all Arab States, notwithstanding the challenges they were facing.
14. The representative of Morocco stated that the question of Palestine and Al-Quds [Jerusalem] were the essence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a key to its political settlement and to peace and stability in the Middle East. Morocco had always called for giving peace a chance, and peace could only be achieved by putting an end to the settlement policy practised by the Israeli occupying power in the occupied Palestinian territory and by preserving the Arab and Islamic character of Al-Quds. Indeed, no peace could be negotiated if the two-State solution continued to be buried by continuing settlement activities and “Judaization”. Morocco accorded high priority to the question of Palestine, as demonstrated by the leadership role of the King of Morocco, who chaired the OIC Committee on Jerusalem. The Committee adopted a practical approach that combines a political stance with diplomatic endeavours to preserve the legal status of Al-Quds as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory and with tangible projects to help Jerusalemites persevere, which are funded by OIC Member States.

15. The defence of Jerusalem required all peace-loving people to mobilize their efforts to defend the city on political, legal, diplomatic and humanitarian levels, he said. Peace initiatives must have a genuine and tangible “added value” for Jerusalem and its people. Morocco supported the call by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to hold an international peace conference and supported the relevant French initiative to form an international support group of countries to follow up on the implementation agreements between the Palestinians and Israelis, with a clear timeline for the establishment of the State of Palestine.

16. The representative of China said that tensions had recently been increasing between Palestine and Israel, and ongoing conflict had caused a significant loss of life. Expressing deep concern in this regard, the representative of China said that the conflict over Al-Aqsa Mosque had become all too frequent over the past years. Issues such as the status of Jerusalem and ownership of the holy sites were extremely complicated and sensitive. The parties should resolve the question of Jerusalem through negotiations based on appropriate United Nations resolutions. China supported the just cause of the people of Palestine in the restitution of their legal rights as well as the establishment of an independent State on the basis of 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as their capital, while respecting the legitimate security concerns of Israel. As peace negotiations long remained at an impasse, the representative of China called on the two parties to re-establish mutual trust and to bring to a halt Israel’s colonial settlements, as well as its continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip. He further expressed hope that Palestinian reconciliation would be achieved as soon as possible. Noting that Palestine had recently undertaken a series of diplomatic actions on the international stage, he expressed his country’s support for such activities to encourage the United Nations to offer international protection to the Palestinian people and for efforts to push the Security Council to adopt a resolution to halt Israeli settlements.

17. The representative of Zimbabwe said that the 49-year occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, continued in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. The killing of innocent civilians, illegal detention, construction of illegal settlements and the destruction of Palestinian property had been part of a deliberate policy to change the demographic character and status of the occupied Palestinian territory. The “wall of shame” remained in place and the blockade of Gaza continued. There were persistent attempts to change the historical character of East Jerusalem, he said. Despite numerous Security Council resolutions, the occupying Power had remained defiant because of the backing it received from certain powerful countries. The parameters for the resolution of the question of Palestine were known and outlined in United Nations resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Quartet’s Roadmap. The only basis for long-term peace was a two-State solution based on pre-June 1967 borders, he said, calling on the Security Council to hold Israel accountable for its crimes. The status quo was unsustainable and the basis for the two-State solution was slowly eroding, and with it, any chance of a lasting peace. It was apparent that Israel would not willingly surrender territory. The Security Council should therefore act in accordance with its own resolutions.

18. The representative of Cuba reaffirmed his country’s full support for the Palestinian people on the basis of the “clear and unequivocal” principle of self-determination. Cuba expressed support for the accession of Palestine as a full-fledged member of the United Nations bodies. The Palestinian people were still victims of aggression by Israel, he said, adding that the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip had led to terror, death and massive destruction. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory required urgent action to ensure the full respect of international law and international humanitarian law. Israeli crimes would continue as long as some States provided weapons to Israel and threatened to use their veto power in the Security Council, he stressed, adding that impunity for Israel should end. It was critical that the Security Council lived up to its responsibility in accordance with the United Nations Charter; it should compel Israel to stop its aggression and genocide committed against the Palestinian people.

19. Strongly condemning Israel’s settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as well as the continuation of the occupation, aggression, extra-judicial killings, the use of force and the confiscation of Palestinian land through “massive colonization”, he said that arbitrary detention, imprisonment, torture and other internationally forbidden practices against civilians also continued. Only action to end such policies, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people would help to bring about peace in the region.

20. The representative of Indonesia stated that Israel’s policies continued to defy the will of the international community as well as international law. Drawing attention to recent examples of the international community’s support for the Palestinian people, including the raising of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations in New York, he underscored the need for Palestine’s supporters to avoid fragmentation of efforts. Last month, the OIC Extraordinary Summit convened in Jakarta reaffirmed the unity of the Organization committed to ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to protecting religious sites in Jerusalem. He then highlighted several important elements of any strategy to support the Palestinian people: strengthening and expanding civil society networks involving youth organizations from both communities, with a view to support the establishment of a common narrative for a sustained peace process; expanding the formal recognition of the State of Palestine among the community of nations; promoting inter-faith and inter-religious dialogue as part of a comprehensive peace process and as a means of protecting religious sites; and enhancing capacity-building for the State of Palestine in particular to promote its governance capacity. Highlighting regional initiatives in the framework of the new Asia-Africa strategy partnership for capacity building, he said that his country was committed to extending further support to the Palestinian people. In addition, the Security Council should be pushed to fulfil its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter and to support the existing and emerging initiatives.

21. The representative of Malaysia reaffirmed her country’s support for a solution that recognized the legitimate rights of Palestinians to an independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital. Malaysia was gravely concerned by Israeli attempts to “Judaize” Jerusalem by altering its character and legal status, including through the building of the “apartheid” wall and settlements, and provocations and encroachments at the city’s holy sites. These actions threatened the viability and prospects of the two-State solution on the basis of 1967 borders, she warned. The international community should step up efforts to ensure accountability for Israel and apply diplomatic, political and economic pressures on Israel to halt its illegal measures in line with international law including the Fourth Geneva Convention. Expressing hope that the peace talks would soon resume, she emphasized that the question of Jerusalem must not be treated separately from the peace process.

22. H.E. Ms. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, reviewed the bases of her organization’s positions on decolonization, national liberation and solidarity in support of national and international struggles against all forms of human rights violations and other forms of oppression across the globe. Through the African Union, formerly the Organization of African Unity, the continent had been successful in eradicating colonialism, apartheid and other forms of human rights violations. The African Union had given prominent attention to the social, political and economic situation of Palestine, focusing particularly on the issue of human rights. Through its Department of Political Affairs and other relevant departments, the organization had conducted monitoring and prepared periodic reports on the situation in Palestine and the Middle East, she said, noting that the reports covered several thematic areas, including the political developments and the peace process, the situation of the city of Jerusalem, the apartheid wall and colonial settlements, Palestinian prisoners, and the general conditions in the occupied Territories.

23. These reports were presented to the African Union policy-making organs for consideration, deliberation and decision-making, culminating in the African Union Declaration on Palestine and Middle East. In addition, the organization engaged in advocacy in defence of human rights in Palestine and the Middle East, with the goal that such rights be promoted and protected in line with African Union and United Nations shared values. On behalf of the African Union, she called for the immediate resumption of peace calls between Israel and Palestine, with a focus on the establishment of an independent Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

24. South Africa’s representative said that in the previous week, the city of Johannesburg had donated a statue of Nelson Mandela to the city of Ramallah in order to inspire the Palestinians to continue their pursuit of freedom. He quoted Nelson Mandela: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” His country had continued its unwavering support for the Palestinian people and believed that the only way to bring about lasting peace to the Middle East was a comprehensive negotiated settlement and the establishment of a Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel, on the basis of 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. Indeed, a solution should be reached on the question of Jerusalem in line with Security Council resolutions; Israel should not “change the facts on the ground” by unilateral action and should abide by international resolutions on the matter. Until a final agreement was reached on the question of the holy sites, both parties should maintain the status quo. South Africa supported the agreement between Israel and Jordan in this regard. He called for urgent action and practical steps on the part of the international community – and the Security Council in particular – to compel Israel to cease its settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to abide by international law. Expressing disappointment that the Council had been unable to act in a timely manner to avert an escalation of violence, he condemned all forms of violence regardless of their perpetrators. He expressed hope that the Conference would send a very clear message that any attempt to establish Jerusalem as a de facto capital of Israel was a violation of international law and an attempt to pre-empt final status issues that should be the subject of a negotiated settlement.

III. Plenary sessions
A. Plenary session I
Life in East Jerusalem under Occupation

25. The plenary session entitled “Life in East Jerusalem under Occupation” was chaired by Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.

26. Mr. Khalil Tafakji, Director of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department at the Arab Studies Society based in Jerusalem, described the geopolitical situation of Jerusalem, noting that the city was not only important because of its holy sites, but also because of the people living there. The “Judaization” of the city had begun long before 1967, he said, showing a map of the city before 1948. Jerusalem boundaries, during the British mandate, were extended to the west for demographic reasons, to incorporate more of the Jewish population, he claimed. He explained that today, when the Israeli claim that they were the majority in Jerusalem, it was due to the delimitation of boundaries of the municipality. Indeed, all the settlements in East Jerusalem were inside the boundaries, whereas the Arab villages were outside of them.

27. Recalling United Nations resolution 181, which granted a special status to Jerusalem, he declared that to this day, no country in the world recognized the city as the capital of Israel. After 1967, Israel significantly expanded the boundaries of the Jerusalem municipality, from 6.5 km to 72 km; the reasons given were for the construction of the airport, security concerns and demography. The Israeli policy of confiscation of land had begun shortly thereafter for public interest such as the expansion of green areas and the building of roads linking the settlements — but in fact it was for building Israeli settlements.

28. Additionally, Israel began withdrawing identification cards and demolishing Palestinian homes. An “apartheid wall” was also built to get rid of Palestinian inhabitants, he said. He explained that, as a Palestinian in Jerusalem, he carried an Israeli ID, which is a residence permit, and had a Jordanian travel document but was not a Jordanian citizen. In accordance with the Oslo agreements, Palestinians in Jerusalem were not allowed to have Palestinian nationality; otherwise, their property would become absentee property in accordance with the law.

29. Describing a number of rights that were denied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, he said that the Palestinians today held only 13 per cent of land they occupied in 1967. Showing Jerusalem’s demographic changes since that date in charts, he said that there were Israeli settlement outposts in the old city and “every millimetre was a cause of conflict”. Palestinians remained in Jerusalem despite all those obstacles, he said, expressing his hope that the international community would continue to support them.

30. Mr. Daniel Seidemann, Lawyer and Founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, said that “Jerusalem today [was] divided” by walls of fear and hatred that had become more intense than in any other time since 1967. During the entire second Intifada, Israel had arrested 270 East Jerusalem Palestinians in security-related offenses over a seven-year period (2001-2008); in contrast, between 13 September 2015 and 31 October 2015, 797 Palestinians had been arrested. During the popular uprising of the last year and a half, the Israeli authorities had arrested more than 950 Palestinian boys – in excess of 1.5 per cent of all Palestinian youths under the age of 18 in East Jerusalem.

31. Mr. Seidemann said that there was no Mayor or Prime Minister in the world more “utterly detached from the reality of the city they purport to run” than Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem. He clarified that there were two uprisings, one on the streets led by children and coordinated through Facebook and Twitter, and another on Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount, primarily led by women. Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem felt themselves adrift, cut off from the Palestinian hinterland in the West Bank and not part of Israel either, he continued. Living in a society that denied them the right to any significant political expression and one that increasingly resorted to arbitrary enforcement and collective punishment, these youth witnessed adult Palestinian males incapable of fulfilling the basic obligation toward their children: giving them a future that can be lived in dignity. The ensuing loss of respect for adult authority had a devastating impact and was one of the major causes of the current uprising.

32. He stated that East Jerusalem was in the grips of a popular uprising unseen since 1967. The “horrendous and savage” murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014 that triggered it was far more significant than the isolated event it appeared to be. Noting that Israel demolished the homes of the innocent families of Palestinian terrorists, but not those of the Jewish terrorists who murdered Mohammed Abu Khdeir, he said that Palestinian youths heard the following message: “In the eyes of official Israel, Israeli blood is blood; Palestinian blood is water.” Twenty-three years after Oslo, Palestinians were in a state of “clinical despair” because they were not any closer to the end of occupation. The Israeli society was in a state of “clinical denial” about their occupation. He identified three responses today in Israel: Netanyahu’s position of imposing systematic collective punishment; the “forces of moderation” position represented by [Zionist Union leader] Herzog’s proposal to build a wall and deny access to 200,000 people; and the only genuine way to end occupation: with a border. He strongly regretted that no one was telling that to the Israeli public.

33. He specified that, in 2007, Israel would have had to relocate 116,000 settlers to create a border that Palestinians could agree with. Today, the number was approaching 160,000 and was growing by 5,000 to 10,000 a year. He warned that the situation was close to the tipping point where no possible Israeli Government will be able to relocate the number of settlers required to create a border that reasonable Israelis and reasonable Palestinians could live with. Today, there were three very clear threats to establishing an occupation-ending, “reasonable” border in Jerusalem: illegal Israeli settlements; growing claims from different Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders to exclusive ownership of the city; and growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the city, making a “catastrophic event” involving violence inevitable. “There is no greater threat to the Israeli people than continued occupation,” he concluded. Reiterating that many Israelis lived in denial of the occupation, he said that a “process of mutual humanization [was] critical” but was not taking place. The forces of moderation had been destroyed in both societies, he said, calling for an injection of reason on both sides. This was part of the campaign he hoped would be emerging from the United Nations and from friends of Israel.

34. Ms. Brona Higgins, International Component Coordinator at the Norwegian Refugee Council office in Jerusalem, said that her organization was extremely concerned by the alarming rates of displacement in the occupied Palestinian territory. The number of those affected was estimated at 263,000 in 2015, prior to the escalation of tensions in 2016. “The trajectory is extremely depressing”, she said, highlighting the “push” factors of displacement such as the implementation of a discriminatory planning, zoning and permit regime, wanton destruction of civilian property, forced evictions, land expropriation and the effects of the “absentee property law”, obstruction of humanitarian assistance, settlement expansion, settler violence, the construction of the wall, restriction of movement, revocation of residency rights and other factors. An Israeli bill was currently being brought forward, which would greatly restrict residency rights in Jerusalem. She said it was Israel’s explicit and stated aim to minimize the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and to attain a 70 per cent Israeli to 30 per cent Palestinian presence, as outlined explicitly in the Jerusalem outline plan 2000.

35. Ms. Higgins recalled that in 1967, Israel conducted a census of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem and granted permanent residency only to those who were physically present at the time. Such permanent residency was typically granted to immigrants into Israel. Israelis living in Jerusalem, by contrast, enjoyed citizenship. Permanent residency status bestowed “significantly inferior” rights than citizenship and could be easily revoked; Palestinians were in effect treated as “second-class citizens in their own home”. This system of residency revocation was referred to as a “silent transfer” or “quiet deportation”. The system had evolved in a number of ways, including a policy that required Palestinians to prove that their “centre of life” had remained in East Jerusalem for at least seven years. Between 1967 and 2014, more than 14,400 residents of East Jerusalem had had their permanent residency revoked, she said.

36. While there were certain similarities between permanent residency and citizenship, under Israeli law, there were significant differences: permanent residents were granted a laissez-passer travel document but not a passport; they could vote in local elections but not in the Knesset elections; their status was not automatically transferrable to spouses or children and could be revoked after seven years abroad; and it would be revoked if residency or citizenship were acquired in a “foreign country”. Israel includes the West Bank and Gaza in its categorization of a “foreign country” so that Palestinians holding West Bank or Gaza residency can lose their East Jerusalem permanent resident status. This state of affairs infringes upon numerous provisions of international human rights law, she said. Finally, she warned that the 100,000 Palestinians residing between the Wall and the Jerusalem municipality boundaries feared that their residency status could be revoked.

37. Furthermore, on 21 January 2016, the Israeli Minister of Interior had revoked the residency of four Palestinian youths suspected of having carried out attacks against Israelis, despite the fact that criminal proceedings were still ongoing and no guilt had yet been legally established. Such revocations rendered Palestinians who did not have another citizenship to fall back on, stateless, in contravention of international law. In addition, Palestinians, seeking Israeli citizenship, were being asked to swear allegiance to their occupying Power, in contravention of international law. Third party States were obliged to take positive and negative measures Negative obligations include restrictions on aiding and abetting other States or non-state actors in violations of the Geneva Conventions. Common Article 1 of the Conventions also includes a positive obligation to bring ongoing violations to an end and to prevent violations before they take place (ICRC). to counter Israel’s grave breaches of international law, she added.

38. Mr. Nabil Al-Kurd, Chairman of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood committee in Jerusalem, said that, like any other Palestinian in East Jerusalem, he suffered from the Israeli occupation, supported by the Government. In 2009, there had been an increase in attacks of settlers against Palestinian residents of the city; three of the houses in his neighbourhood had been taken, including half of his own home. Pressure on his neighbourhood continued, noting that there were currently two families being displaced and nine others under imminent threat of expulsion in Sheikh Jarrar. Palestinians could not invoke the same laws being used by settlers to claim their houses and were therefore pushed out of Jerusalem. He had fought for ten years to get his residency “to live on my own land”, whereas Israelis had immediate citizenship. The occupied piece of his home had been converted into barracks, and Israeli settlers frequently beat his family, including the women and elderly members.

39. Forced displacement was on the rise in Sheikh Jarrar, with increasing threats against families. It culminated in 2008 with 12 families evacuated, encompassing over 70 people including over 25 children. This threat of expulsion and displacement was expanding in all of East Jerusalem. Processes to obtain authorizations to build houses were lengthy and expensive, and permits ultimately were not granted. While the settlers under Israeli law can claim properties they owned and occupied before 1948 in East Jerusalem, this is not possible for the Palestinians who were forced to flee and leave properties behind in 1948. Palestinians were also pushed by Israeli authorities to leave Jerusalem and eventually lost their residency rights.

40. Any Palestinian who complained of the above abuses was arrested and taken to the police, he continued. Children suffered psychological trauma and many dropped out of school. He called on the international community to ensure the implementation of United Nations resolutions on the ground and to put pressure on the United Nations to implement “one single resolution under Chapter VII so that Palestinians may live”. Settlers were an arm of the Israeli occupation and received a salary for taking over Palestinian homes, he claimed, adding that other methods used to push out Palestinians included fines, taxes, expropriations and document searches.

41. Mr. Al-Kurd said that Palestinians had been forced out of their own territory while Jews were migrating from all over the world to live in Israel. Palestinians were treated like foreigners in their own land, he said, calling on the international community to better understand the historical dimension of the conflict. He concluded by saying that Jews in Palestine had once coexisted peacefully with Palestinian Muslims until Zionism had taken hold, an ideology that wanted to obliterate Palestinians and all their supporters. He called on States to neither import products from the settlement nor to provide the Israeli Government with arms and funds used against Palestinians.

42. In the ensuing discussion, a number of intergovernmental, non-governmental and civil society representatives made comments relating to the panellists’ presentations. Several participants noted that in addition to the Palestinians, there were many others around the world who were impacted by the Israeli occupation. For example, said one journalist, Senegalese religious leaders were no longer able to perform their pilgrimages to Palestine, while journalists in the occupied Palestinian territory were imprisoned and unable to transmit information to the rest of the world.

43. A lecturer from Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar said that there was an education and awareness challenge on both the Palestinian and the Israeli side. He asked if the Israeli and Palestinian populations were fully informed through education for peace programmes, and whether there was a way forward through the current impasse. A civil society representative noted that the Palestinian people demonstrated courage and determination to acquire their freedom. Moreover, a Senegalese filmmaker said that the Israeli State had forgotten that the “whole world had risen as one to liberate it from Hitler’s forces”. “We have to do something,” he said, stressing that the United Nations was just standing by as the Israeli forces continued to oppress Palestinians. He proposed that each State close its embassy in Tel Aviv until the Palestinians were given back their State.

44. In the second round of comments, the representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation agreed with Mr. Seidemann that many Israelis were wilfully myopic in their treatment of Palestinians. They believed that they were the chosen people and that they could “do whatever they liked”. It was the only occupation in history that portrayed itself as a victim and dehumanized the Palestinian people. He asked the panellists if an agreement could be reached between the parties when such barriers continued to exist. Other speakers, affirming their support for the State of Palestine, asked how the United Nations could better enforce its resolutions on the matter and whether Arab States were genuinely working to support the Palestinian cause. Another civil society representative added that civil society organizations needed to carry out an offensive non-State diplomacy to obtain stronger resolutions at the United Nations.

45. Finally, a representative of the Palestine Committee of Senegal said that Africa owed a debt to Palestine. Nelson Mandela had said that the freedom of Africa would not be complete until Palestinians were also free; he emphasized that there could be no peace in the Middle East until Palestinians had their own State and that the inalienable rights of the Palestinians were respected.

B. Plenary session II
International Support for Resilience, Protection and Development

46. The plenary session entitled “International support for resilience, protection and development” was chaired by Ambassador Fodé Seck, Chairman of the Palestinian Rights Committee and Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations.

47. Mr. Ahmad Rwaidy, Former Chief of the Jerusalem Unit of the Palestinian Presidency, first provided an overview of the geographic nature of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the people of the city had to follow Israeli law in all matters related to their lives. Israel’s legal statute on the “unified capital” made Jerusalem the centre of political decision-making, with the Knesset based there. Palestinians were not the owners of the land, since there were regulations in place aiming at their removal; the city was also being besieged by the separation wall and by Israeli settlements.

48. He stated that until 1991, Jerusalem was the centre of Palestinian political, cultural and media life. However, years of restrictions had created a new reality. He noted that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza could not reach areas of worship in Jerusalem and that only 12 per cent of the Jerusalem area was accessible to Palestinians. Settlers could apply very easily for construction permits and their requests were granted very easily, unlike the Palestinians, who could wait for years to obtain a permit to build. As a result, the majority of Palestinians had built without a licence; about 20,000 buildings were constructed without a licence and under the threat of demolition. Each month, seven to ten Palestinian houses in the city were demolished by the Israeli authorities.

49. He said that the “siege” on East Jerusalem had increased rates of poverty and unemployment. In addition, the recent popular uprising had led to the laying off of a number of Palestinian workers. Twenty-four Palestinian institutions such as the Beit Al-Sharq [former PLO headquarters also known as “Orient House”] and the Arab Studies Association had been closed by virtue of Israeli decisions, renewed every six months. Even sports clubs in East Jerusalem were closed by Israeli orders, in contradiction with the Oslo Accords, which provided for maintaining sports and cultural activities in the city.

50. Israel still refused to hand over to the families the bodies of 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces, he continued. “What we need in Jerusalem is a scheme to support resilience,” he said, describing a multi-sectoral plan, prepared by the Jerusalem Unit of the Palestinian Presidency with support from the European Union and other partners, which would take into account the occupation. Some of the sectors addressed by that plan included the Palestinian education, which was under attack by Israel by trying to impose the Israeli curriculum in order to obliterate the Palestinian identity and prevent the establishment of any additional Palestinian schools. Nine thousand Palestinian children were in need of school enrolment.
51. He also described Palestinian efforts to boost the tourism sector, particularly tourism to the holy sites in the historic city of Jerusalem, which faced many challenges. A series of Israeli hotels were given permits to be established but the Palestinians were denied the same opportunities. Calling for official support to the Palestinian cause in the city, he invited States to contribute concrete support for building the resilience of the city.

52. He informed the participants that support was offered to Jerusalem by the Palestinian Government but it was not enough. First, the official support from the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs helped the victims of house demolitions and property confiscations, but this only covered 15-20 per cent of the need. Some Arab and Islamic organizations provided support but it only covered 10 per cent of the need. The European Union and international organizations provided additional support but it may have only covered 5 per cent of the needs of the victims of demolitions in the city. He said that the discussion at the Conference should address practical steps to support human resilience. In this regard, civil society organizations from Senegal could help Jerusalem. Responding to comments, he further underscored the links between Palestinians and Africans. Inviting greater practical interactions between the two peoples, including educational exchanges, he also noted that there was an African community in the city of Jerusalem. He welcomed Africans to come to study at the University of Jerusalem, give lectures, or study or work in the Jerusalem hospitals.

53. Ms. Nur Arafeh, Policy Fellow at Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, posing the question whether the current developmental approach should be reconsidered in the context of the Israeli occupation, noted that East Jerusalem had historically been the commercial, touristic and cultural centre of Palestinian life. It had been separated from the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and become increasingly dependent on the Israeli economy in terms of employment, trade and finance. This marginalization of East Jerusalem’s economy was caused by Israel’s policy of annexation, subjecting it to the occupying Power’s legal, economic and political systems, isolation from the Arab and Palestinian hinterland, and disintegration in terms of community, economic and social structure, combined with an absence of a representative body, which had left the Palestinian part of the city in a “development limbo”. Recent statistics indicated a 75 per cent poverty rate in East Jerusalem, with almost 80 per cent of the Palestinian children in East Jerusalem living below the poverty line. By contrast, only 21 per cent of residents in Israel and 30 per cent of their children lived below the poverty line. Female labour force participation in East Jerusalem was also extremely low.

54. Most sectors were functioning well below their potential. East Jerusalem was practically absent from the Palestinian Authority’s development plan for 2014-2016. Although East Jerusalem was officially presented as the capital of the State of Palestine, in a clear divergence from its rhetoric, the Palestinian Authority planned to allocate in 2015 only 0.44 per cent of its budget to the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and to the Jerusalem Governorate. The development approach embodied in the Palestinian Authority plan took the Israeli occupation as a “given”. This lack of a genuine official interest in the city, the emergence of Ramallah as the de facto capital and the absence of a Palestinian political leadership in Jerusalem had left Palestinians there feeling abandoned and resentful of the Palestinian Authority.

55. New Israeli plans for Jerusalem used urban planning as a geopolitical tool to constrain the urban expansion of Palestinians and “Judaize” the city. The basis for the Israeli 2020 and 2050 visions for Jerusalem included building Jerusalem as a Jewish city with a marginal presence of Palestinians. These plans focused on the areas of tourism, biotechnology and academia, she said. In this context, the current Palestinian uprising should be seen as acts of resistance and desperation against ethnic cleansing, forced displacement and economic marginalization, as well as frustration with the regional and international community’s abandonment, and growing disenchantment with the Palestinian leadership. The root causes of the original violence by Israel and the reactive violence by Palestinians are Israel’s system of injustice and discrimination, and the complicity of the international community and corporations in sustaining it. Palestinian youth were protesting because they were humiliated on a daily basis and had to endure the unrelenting violence of Israel’s military occupation.

56. She emphasized that development plans in Jerusalem were usually disconnected from the political realities of Jerusalem and did not address the root cause of the problems. She held that the development approach should be re-thought and embedded in the larger Palestinian liberation struggle against Israel’s occupation and the settler colonial regime. Palestinians needed a proactive leadership that would propel the question of Jerusalem to the forefront of the government agenda and to the heart of the national struggle, and project a clear vision and an operational strategy for Jerusalem.

57. She recommended that steps should be taken to strengthen the economic links between East Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine which should include: promoting domestic and international tourism; the creation of an employment strategy, especially for youth; reinforcing the role of the Chamber of Commerce; creating a development bank to provide incentives to invest in East Jerusalem; developing a coordinated media strategy to challenge Israel’s authority; and preparing creative solutions that are proactive rather than reactive.

58. Noting that the international community had a responsibility to turn its rhetoric into concrete actions, she said that the Security Council and the Human Rights Council could be used as platforms for advocacy to remind the international community of its legal obligations. The United Nations could also be asked to establish a register of Israeli violations of human rights and the damage incurred by Palestinians as a result of Israel’s “Judaization” policies and settlement expansion. The European Union should be lobbied to ensure full compliance with the principle of non-recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem. Greater coordination with the Palestinian diaspora and countries that had shown solidarity should be promoted. She agreed that it was necessary to put pressure on governments to assume their responsibility to combat the Israeli occupation. Boycotts of products, in addition to being a deterrent for Israel, would help the Palestinian economy build its productive capacity, she said. More efforts should also be made to reach out to Latin American countries and the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa), as well as countries that have shown solidarity with Palestinians, such as Sweden. She advised that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which was a means not an end, would increase the Palestinian economy and build its productive capacity. She stressed that the situation was not a conflict but an occupation by a settler colonial regime.

59. Ms. Lubna Shaheen, Senior Urban Planner at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), presenting an overview of the urban planning challenges facing East Jerusalem, said that all planning-related activities were regulated and managed by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. Palestinians faced restrictive construction policies and demolition threats for building without permits. Palestinian neighbourhoods were overcrowded and their houses were in need of repair. Over one-third of East Jerusalem had been expropriated for the building of Israeli settlements. Moreover, around 50 per cent of East Jerusalem was allocated for green spaces and public infrastructure, where Palestinians were not permitted to build. Israeli policies also aimed to control the demographic balance of the city, including by confiscating Palestinian land and limiting the possible expansion of Palestinian neighbourhoods. Since 1967, one could see how demography was shaping the geography of East Jerusalem. She added that settlements were limiting the possible expansion of Palestinian neighbourhoods. There was also clear discrimination in basic infrastructure and services in the city.

60. Within this context, United Nations agencies working in East Jerusalem had developed a plan focusing on three strategies: the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection of the vulnerable population of East Jerusalem; support for increased Palestinian physical presence in East Jerusalem to safeguard its status as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory; and advocacy to preserve the Palestinian character of the city. Based on these three strategies, the United Nations agencies had identified five key areas for intervention: protecting the rights of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law; revitalizing the economy in East Jerusalem; ensuring access to essential services; restoring the Palestinian planning process; and focusing on advocacy.

61. Turning to UN-Habitat’s specific programmes, she said that the agency was working to freeze the demolition of more than 750 Palestinian homes. In addition, rehabilitation projects were underway to support vulnerable Palestinian families and to protect Palestinian culture and civic identity. A new programme was providing support to four Palestinian neighbourhoods separated by the Wall. Although they were located within the municipal Jerusalem boundaries, they did not receive any services. Among other plans, UN-Habitat was working through small-scale interventions to create public spaces that helped to improve the urban environment and living conditions in general. It also worked to advocate for the right of Palestinians to develop in East Jerusalem. Urban planning was highly complex and politicized in East Jerusalem.

62. Among conclusions and lessons learned from this work was the need for sufficient land planned and zoned for Palestinian construction to fulfil the natural growth needs of the Palestinians and the need for a comprehensive “master plan” for East Jerusalem that linked the Palestinian neighbourhoods and promoted economic development opportunities. There was also a need to establish a monitoring and coordination unit that documents planning initiatives and tracks their progress in the Israeli planning system, because there was no complete picture of the situation. Most importantly, there was a need for a Palestinian vision for the urban future and contiguity of the city with the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory. All Israeli plans were aiming to disconnect East Jerusalem with the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory; reversing this should be a priority of the international community. Replying to comments, Ms. Shaheen said that any support, including tourist visits to East Jerusalem and boycotts of Israeli goods, was welcome.
63. Mr. John Ikubaje, Senior Political Officer at the African Union Commission, said that the fact that Senegal was hosting the International Conference was a demonstration of Africa’s commitment to the Palestinian cause. The issue of Palestine had been on the African Union’s agenda for decades, and the President of Palestine had addressed African Union Summits several times. In addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Union had an African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, whose provisions concern prevention and combatting human rights violations and international partnerships for the promotion of rights. It is one approach that African Union partners with Palestine use to ensure protection and protection of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory. African Union members have espoused an ideology of mobilization among themselves to combat colonialism and apartheid. One of the foreign policy objectives of the African Union is solidarity for socio-economic and political justice in the Continent, which would also extend beyond the continent; hence, the question of Palestine was a matter of international concern. One of the objectives of the Charter of the then Organization of African Unity, which came into force in 1963, was to eradicate colonialism and foreign domination. At that time, there had been a paradigm shift to include the issues of good governance, economic development, and the protection and promotion of human rights, which were added to the African Union Charter in 2000.

64. The Department of Political Affairs of the African Union was responsible for studying the issues of the Middle East and Palestine, and issuing an annual report. These reports tackled the themes of political and peace processes particularly in Palestine, the situation of the city of Jerusalem, the apartheid wall and colonial settlements, the situation of Palestinian prisoners, and conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory. The decision-making organs of the African Union annually deliberated on these reports and issued declarations on the issue of Palestine. There was a follow-up to these declarations to ensure international advocacy on human rights in Palestine in different fora. He added that the African Union’s aim was to ensure that Africa as a continent spoke with one voice. He also called on the CEIRPP to engage meaningfully with the African Union and other regional bodies so there could be a coalition of different organizations to speak with one voice in support of Palestinian rights.

65. Mr. Babacar Diop, Professor of History and Member of the Senegal-Palestine Solidarity Association, noting that Senegal had been the first African country to host a representative office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, provided an overview of the history of the country’s support for the Palestinian people under occupation. Africans had supported the struggles of many peoples under foreign domination, including Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and other nations, and there were especially strong links between Africans and Middle East peoples. “We will never insist enough on the support of Africa to Arab struggles,” he said in this regard and stressed that Africans and Palestinians were united by demography, history and blood. Eighty per cent of the people who spoke Arabic were from Africa. Africans could not separate Palestine from Africa, he said, referring to the book of Genesis in the Bible. He stated that Africans and Palestinians were united by history, geography and blood.

66. In conclusion, he made a number of proposals, including: to remove checkpoints and barriers for Palestinians, allowing for a free movement of people and goods; to provide education that promoted respect for diversity; to improve employment opportunities for Palestinians; and to recognize the importance of preserving and enhancing Palestinian culture. Finally, he underscored the need for a civil society boycott of Israel, which would lead to an international boycott. He proposed that Senegalese leaders meet with the Ambassador of Palestine in order to coordinate ways to move forward.

67. During the ensuing interactive dialogue, a number of speakers echoed the theme of close links between Africa and the Middle East, with some citing Egypt’s geographic location as an example of this relationship. Many noted that while there was much rhetoric by African States in support of Palestinians, it was time for governments to turn their words into action.

68. In this regard, a representative of the Democratic League, noting Israel’s “disgraceful attempts” to “exterminate the people of Palestine”, said that the time had come to “take things up a notch” in Africa’s support for the Palestinians. She added that if international law had been applied, the participants would not be here today talking about the question of Palestine. She called on civil society to refuse scholarships and internships offered by Israel and instead organize sit-ins in front of the Israeli Embassy.

69. A Member of Parliament suggested that, after the closure of the International Conference, all Senegalese participants should meet to discuss how Senegal could better support the Palestinian cause through a platform for action. In addition, a Professor of Arabic, recalling that the United States was a strong backer of the Israeli occupation, called on Arab organizations – including the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – to “go beyond words” in combatting the occupation.

70. Speakers also stressed that it was up to individual Africans to take action to compel their governments to act and not to enter in cooperation agreements with Israel. Among particular proposals made were calls for effective coordination of boycotts of Israeli products and for the closure of all African embassies in the Israeli capital until the occupation ended. A representative of the Solidarity Action Commission focused on the issue of awareness-raising. “You have to have the masses behind you,” he said in that regard.

C. Plenary session III
Searching for Solutions: Scenarios for Jerusalem

71. The plenary session entitled “Searching for Solutions: Scenarios for Jerusalem” was chaired by Ambassador Wilfried Emvula, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations.

72. Ms. Hiba Husseini, legal advisor to peace negotiations and founder of the Al-Mustakbal Foundation, said that the issue of negotiations had been intractable and that Jerusalem lay at its heart. This city had not received the attention it deserved because a host of ancillary issues had arisen. From the beginning, negotiations had been based on a territorial exchange, or “land for peace”, she said, noting that holy sites remained at the core of the question of Jerusalem to this day. Briefly describing past negotiations on this question, she said that the issue had frequently been sidelined, most recently by Netanyahu. Camp David (2000) was the first substantive discussion on Jerusalem. The Clinton Parameters, with respect to dividing East Jerusalem, had proposed Jewish neighbourhoods under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighbourhoods under Palestinian sovereignty; however, she said that this proposal was not viable due to the city’s geographic layout and disputes over what constitutes Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods. It would not work because it isolates the neighbourhoods within East Jerusalem, as indicated by the maps. She gave the example of a settlement that cuts through East Jerusalem. The Annapolis negotiating process launched in 2007 featured the only coherent discussion on Jerusalem, but no text was agreed upon.

73. Turning to the Old City, which comprised four quarters – Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Armenian – she said that Israel wished to bring the Armenian quarter under its sovereignty. Moreover, Palestinians and Israelis differed on issues related to geographic definitions, scope, sovereignty and the status quo. From a Palestinian perspective, the core is Al-Ahram Al-Sharif which is a Muslim holy sacred site; it cannot be divided, nor shared nor altered in terms of its status. From an Israeli perspective, it is seen differently. While these complex issues made negotiations difficult, Palestinians had nonetheless been eager to engage in talks. Israel had not taken the question of Jerusalem seriously and had made excuses for its non-involvement in peace talks. What Palestinians wanted was to have Jerusalem as a core issue. She said that any compromise must be entertained within the context of the entire negotiation framework, and added that “we cannot agree to a piecemeal approach” to the question of Jerusalem.

74. Ms. Husseini, noting that although Israel presented the final status issues as political ones that should be dealt with at the bilateral level, international law should become the basis of negotiations. Although Zionist aspiration to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates was well-known, Israel realized that the two-State solution would not go in this direction.

75. Mr. Rami Nasrallah, Head of the Board of Directors at the International Peace and Cooperation Centre in Jerusalem, said that there had been an informal track of diplomacy between Israelis and Palestinians prior to 2000, predominantly in an academic context under the umbrella of the Orient House. Prior to 2000, a shared city was being discussed. After 2000, there had been a shift towards an Israeli discourse of “full separation”, calling for a physical border between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem. Israelis considered how policies on Jerusalem could better serve Israel, he said, describing the evolution of negotiations over recent decades. In Camp David, Israelis suggested keeping the Palestinian neighbourhoods within the Old City under full Israeli sovereignty and giving Palestinian neighbourhoods in the north and in the south functional autonomy but not sovereignty.

76. As an urban planner, he raised the issue of the functionality of Jerusalem, asking how the city could better serve its people. Political agreements alone could not provide stability at the urban level. The more the parties talked about national aspirations, the more they moved towards separation; however, the more they talked about their interests map, environmental issues, and functions of the city, the more they moved towards cooperation. There was a huge gap between East and West Jerusalem, and this asymmetric structure needed to be addressed, he said, adding that there was also a need to establish an equality-based dual urban system. To upgrade infrastructure in East Jerusalem to the level in West Jerusalem, there was a need for US$700 million. West Jerusalem is the poorest city in Israel. Before 2000, dialogue focused on creating an open city under peace conditions. Subsequently, negotiations envisioned a peace under a divided city, entailing physical separation.

77. He stated that the geopolitical solution for the future of Jerusalem should not be based on the current Israeli demographics and settlements creating “facts on the ground”. The division should be based on a distinct border between a contiguous East Jerusalem – a Palestinian capital city – and West Jerusalem. The territorial contiguity, urban functions and expansions of Palestinian East Jerusalem must be prioritized; a “functional city” would be impossible otherwise. Turning to the “worst case scenario”, he said that Jerusalem could either be a centre for humanity and a link in a network of global cities, or a “cauldron of clashing civilizations, religions and people” that would lead to an all-encompassing conflict and inconceivable loss.

78. Mr. Gershon Baskin, Co-Chairman of Israel-Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives, said that Jerusalem was a microcosm of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict. Conventional wisdom throughout the years of the peace process had been to leave Jerusalem “until the end”; in fact, it should have been the first issue on the agenda, he asserted. Jerusalem was where the second Intifada erupted and where the latest round of violence started. Mr. Baskin had launched a working group on the issue in 1989, he recalled, noting that in 1992 his organization had published its first plan for Jerusalem. Stressing that the plan spoke of “sharing” the city, not dividing it, he said what they called “dispersed sovereignty” in Jerusalem could be assigned to different neighbourhoods based on demography. The plan had also proposed that the city remain an open and united one without walls or fences.

79. There were some 360,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem today, the overwhelming majority of whom were not Israeli citizens but residents of the city, he continued. Most Palestinians in Jerusalem demanded to be part of the Palestinian State with the city as its capital. No Palestinian Jerusalemites agreed to a physically divided Jerusalem nor to be second-class citizen in Israel; meanwhile, Israel claimed the city as an eternal, united and undivided capital of the Jewish people. But Jerusalem was in fact very divided – the most divided city in the world, he believed, and there was not one country in the world that recognized the whole of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli State.

80. Before the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem had been the centre of Palestinian life, but today Palestinians have been cut off from Jerusalem, and Jerusalem has been cut off from the Palestinians. Palestinians had no official role in the city, he said, noting that there was a void of local leadership, which had been systematically undermined by Israel.

81. The Palestinian position was that the entirety of the Old City would be under Palestinian control in any peace agreement. It was relatively easier to assign sovereignty to the rest of the city’s neighbourhoods, he said, due to their highly segregated nature with a few problematic areas, noting that Jerusalem was a unique place that required unique solutions. Israel would be sovereign in the Jewish neighbourhoods, and Palestine would be sovereign in the Palestinian neighbourhoods. Municipal governments could either be completely separate municipalities with coordination between them or one municipal council representing both cities. There must be cooperation from both sides on issues such as infrastructure, sewage, transportation, electricity, tourism, zoning and planning. The Clinton Parameters and Prime Minister Olmert’s 2008 proposal – that Jerusalem be governed by an international body composed of Israel, Palestine, the United States, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – should be considered.

82. Finally, he said, the recent decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ignore the Jewish history and presence in Jerusalem was neither scientific nor educated, and should be reversed. For Jerusalem to be an open and undivided city, people should live and work in security, and three main components should be in place: each side’s police forces would have to take full responsibility for order in their territory; robust and active cooperation including joint patrols between Israeli and Palestinian police forces; and a third party monitoring component ensuring that parties were fully implementing their missions and ensuring trust. If the Jerusalem issue cannot be resolved, he said, there can never be peace.

83. Mr. Baskin said that the result of a failed peace process and violence was that both sides had lost confidence that peace was possible or that there was a peace partner. Nevertheless, a large majority on both sides wanted the two-State solution. While individuals could go anywhere they wanted in Jerusalem, the groups did not mix, and stayed within their ethnic neighbourhoods, because there was a clear “geography of fear”. Turning to the issue of “normalization”, he opposed blanket condemnations of all joint Israeli-Palestinian projects.

84. Ms. Catherine Cissé van den Muijsenbergh, Expert Consultant on Transitional Justice, Vice-President of the Centre for Long-Term Strategic Studies and Board Member of the Schumann Institute, describing her experience working on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said the question of the legal status of Jerusalem was central to that conflict. This complex question was far from being resolved. “The dead end we find ourselves in leads to despair” and to violence, she said, asking how the world could tolerate that increasingly more young Palestinians were being unfairly jailed by Israel in contravention of international law. Moving forward required looking at the past, no matter how heavy and difficult it was. The shattered identities of the past must give way to new identities based on knowledge, truth and empathy. She asked how Jerusalem could be transformed in a place for shared memory for Israelis and Palestinians. Recalling that 1948 was known as the Nakba or “catastrophe” by Palestinians and as the date of independence by Israelis, she said that these opposing interpretations demonstrated the long-standing differences between Israelis and Palestinians.

85. Today, it was important for historians to work together in a peaceful environment, she said. Moderators of any peace talks should preferably be impartial foreigners, and human beings should be placed at the heart of the issue. She said that there was a need to get the youth of Jerusalem involved in an archaeological exploration of the city’s heritage. Educating the youth on this complex history would reinvigorate their links of belonging to that city, she said, calling for the creation of an “encyclopaedia of Jerusalem” by a joint group of Israeli and Palestinian historians. There should be a watchdog monitoring the dissemination of hatred on social media. The international community could also facilitate the creation of an interactive website for the youth on Jerusalem’s history, neighbourhoods and holy sites, and should promote relevant documentaries and other related art products that would underline the multifaceted aspects of Jerusalem. It should facilitate the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on cultural rights in the city.
86. In the ensuing interactive discussion, speakers raised questions about whether it would be possible, given the current impasse, to bring to life the dream of Jerusalem as a peaceful, multicultural and multi-ethnic city. In this regard, some said that Israel was not ready for peace, with one speaker saying that shared Israeli-Palestinian projects were problematic because they were based on a “false symmetry” and did not address the root cause of the conflict – the Israeli occupation. Instead, she called for projects of “co-resistance” to combat discrimination against Palestinians.

87. The representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said that the total disconnection of Israeli society from the reality of the occupation meant that Israel had lost interest in finding a resolution to the conflict. Outside interventions were needed instead of waiting for a change from the Israeli side. He asked the panellists if Palestinian claims to property in West Jerusalem had ever been addressed in any international forum.

88. A number of civil society representatives also questioned the commitment of States – in particular, Arab States and western powers – to the Palestinian cause, pointing to the empty seats in the conference hall.

IV. Closing session

89. Mr. Fodé Seck, Chairman of the CEIRPP, said that discussions had demonstrated the participant’s commitment to the Palestinian cause. In particular, Senegalese civil society had been well-represented at the International Conference. He invited these representatives to become accredited with the Committee in order to continue their involvement in the future.

90. Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, acknowledged Senegal’s good work in chairing the Committee over the past 40 years. Thanking the speakers, in particular those who had had the courage to come to the International Conference from Israel, he said that the Palestinian people were conveying their narrative “in the most effective way possible”. The Conference had heard a sampling of the tens of thousands of stories of Palestinians suffering on the ground, as well as the insights of a number of brilliant academic thinkers. All these voices were telling the story of injustice, heroism and the Palestinian determination to end the occupation.

91. In addition, he said, he had heard “tremendous anger” emerge in the discussions, noting that this frustration was justified since Palestinians were “fed up” with empty promises from the international community. He was proud of the steadfastness of the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people, he added, calling on civil society representatives in particular to continue pressuring government representatives to act. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory today was worse than it had been 23 years ago, when negotiations had begun. “We need to shift gears and do something different,” he said in this respect. Since the international community was not assuming its responsibility to provide justice to the Palestinians, it was their destiny to take the torch and show the way forward. Colonial occupation had not worked in Africa, and it would not work in Palestine, he stressed, noting that without ending the occupation, the cycle of frustration would continue.
92. Complex issues could not be resolved by the two parties alone. Third parties from around the world must take part in ending the occupation and granting independence to the State of Palestine. “We cannot wait any longer,” he said, calling on the Security Council to put an end to the illegal occupation and to allow the French initiative to stand on its feet. The sooner these collective processes were unleashed, the sooner it would no longer be up to the Israeli leaders to deny Palestinians their liberty. He announced that the Palestinians had succeeded, together with a group of friendly States, in initiating an “Arria formula meeting” in the Security Council to discuss international protection for the Palestinians. This Conference was the most successful of the three events on Jerusalem to date, he concluded.

93. Mr. Coly Seck, Cabinet Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, recalling that the International Conference had been the first of its kind in Africa, thanked the organizers as well as participants from civil society. The Conference had illustrated the critical nature of the question of Jerusalem in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, adding that many speakers had strongly condemned violence against civilians. In the opening session, speakers had issued calls for the Security Council to take action to end the occupation and to allow for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State. The presenters had made practical proposals to end the occupation and to resolve the question of Jerusalem. Reiterating his country’s full support for the Palestinian people, he called on all States to defend this just cause.
Annex I

Summary of the Chair

1. The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was convened in Dakar, Senegal, on 3 and 4 May 2016, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Government of Senegal. The Conference provided up-to-date information on the current security, socio-economic and human rights situation in East Jerusalem under occupation. It identified opportunities to intensify international support for the resilience, protection and development of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. It further provided a platform for an open exchange on possible solutions and scenarios for a just and lasting settlement of the question of Jerusalem, taking stock of approaches to the question of Jerusalem in previous rounds of negotiations and other proposals.

2. The Conference was attended by 42 Member States, two Observer States, three intergovernmental organizations, three United Nations system entities, and 34 local and international civil society organizations. Thirteen expert speakers addressed the Conference and 28 media entities/outlets covered the Conference proceedings. The Conference was open to the public. During the course of the interactive discussions with the panellists at the end of each plenary, a large number of participants made remarks or raised issues.

3. At the opening session, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his message to the Conference delivered by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), underscored that the historic and holy city of Jerusalem remained at the heart of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine. Only through a negotiated solution could Jerusalem emerge as a capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. The Secretary-General called on political, religious and community leaders to de-escalate tensions and respect the sanctity of holy sites. He condemned all violence as well as the continued Israeli settlement enterprise and surge in demolitions that constituted a significant obstacle to achieving peace. Expressing grave concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, he called for strengthening collective international efforts aimed at preserving the two-State solution, including those of the Quartet as well as the French Initiative, in cooperation with regional partners.

4. The Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), H.E. Mr. Samir Bakr, recalled that Jerusalem was the core of the conflict and foremost among the priorities and political actions of the OIC. Israel’s plans to “Judaize” the city had recently seen a major increase and included recurrent attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites as well as the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Warning against provocations that would take the conflict to a “religious dimension”, he said that the continuation of Israeli settlement construction in spite of international condemnation constituted a flagrant violation of international norms. Referring to the outcome of the Fifth Extraordinary Summit of the OIC on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 7 March 2016, he said that, among other things, participants had expressed support for the French Initiative to establish an international support group and to hold an international peace conference as a basis for the political process.

5. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, H.E. Mr. Riad Al Malki, observed that Palestine had been a standing item on the United Nations agenda since its inception – a signal of the international community’s inability to take the necessary action to bring about a solution. He added that a humanitarian crisis was unfolding in the Gaza Strip as civilians continued to suffer from a prolonged and unjustified siege. The solution to the question of Palestine was crystal clear and enjoyed universal support and could be found in numerous Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions. The Minister insisted that any peace initiative must have as its basis United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, and must be based on 1967 borders and aimed at ending the occupation of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. The two-State solution was the hope for peace in the region. Expressing support for the French Initiative, he particularly called on the Security Council to assume its responsibilities by addressing the settlements issue. Calling on States to deepen relations with the city and calling for the creation of an “international coalition for Jerusalem”, he noted that there was no two-State solution possible without East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

6. The Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Palestinian and the Arab Occupied Territories Sector of the League of Arab States, H.E. Mr. Said Abu Ali, said that the situation in Jerusalem was becoming more complicated due to Israel’s “Judaization” scheme known as “Jerusalem 2020”. The settlement policy throughout the occupied territories threatened prospects for peace and represented a violation of relevant international decisions. The League of Arab States was exerting all possible efforts to provide protection to the Palestinian people and their holy sites, and to help establish an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. Moreover, the Security Council should carry out its responsibility effectively to put an end to the settlement policy and to provide the necessary security for civilians, while working in earnest to put an end to the occupation.

7. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, observed that his country was hosting the International Conference against the backdrop of continuing Israeli settlement activity, which had increased by 250 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and the absence of any clear political horizons. He warned that the upsurge in violence could jeopardize the efficacy of a number of new tools adopted by the international community—the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on development financing. He hailed the fact that the themes of the present Conference dealt with resilience and development that could be addressed from the angle of sustainable development. He further welcomed the activities of the Committee’s Working Group on non-governmental organizations and invited African civil society to serve the Palestinian cause. Finally, he invited the Committee to continue its watchdog functions and its sensitization work.

8. In the ensuing sessions, participants discussed the situation in divided Jerusalem and described a reality in which Israel implemented discriminatory policies to weaken the Palestinian presence and identity. It was noted that the “Judaization” of the city had begun long before 1967. It was amplified following the occupation as Israel expanded the boundaries of Jerusalem municipality, including through the policy of land confiscations, residency revocations and demolition of Palestinian homes, with few building permits issued to Palestinians compared to those given to Israeli illegal settlements. In today’s Jerusalem, Palestinian residents held only 13 per cent of the land they had access to in 1967. The existence of this “state of acute disequilibrium”, one that denied the right to any significant political expression and permitted collective punishment, was at the root of the current uprising involving Palestinian youth. There was no greater threat to the Israeli people than occupation, and the two-State solution offered the only way to liberate not only Palestine, but also Israel from the disaster confronting it.

9. Exploring concrete opportunities to intensify international support for resilience, protection and development in East Jerusalem, speakers focused on living conditions in East Jerusalem, the subjection of Palestinians to Israeli laws in all areas of their life, and the increased rates of poverty and unemployment in Jerusalem as a result of the “Israeli siege”. While some participants explored ways that development could be used to reverse the negative impact of the Israeli occupation, others pointed to the absence of the city in the Palestinian Government development plans for 2014-2016 since the prevailing approach took the Israeli occupation as a ‘given’. A strong case was made to rethink the development approach and embed it in the larger Palestinian liberation struggle against Israel’s occupation. The international community had an important role to play in the development of East Jerusalem and in promoting economic and employment opportunities for Palestinians. It should also sever cooperation with Israel, ban settlement products and impose sanctions, given Israel’s human rights record towards Palestinians, a participant stated.

10. The Conference then considered old and new approaches to end the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian stalemate on the question of Jerusalem within the larger context of preserving the two-State solution, with East Jerusalem as the future capital of the Palestinian State. It was pointed out that Jerusalem was a microcosm of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict and had to be addressed first and not last in negotiations. Furthermore, the holy sites remained at the core of the question of Jerusalem to this day, and previous approaches had failed because they had side-lined the issue. Similarly, the Clinton Parameters that had proposed Jewish neighbourhoods under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighbourhoods under Palestinian sovereignty were not viable due to the city’s geographic layout and disputes over what constituted Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods. Any compromise on the question of Jerusalem had to be entertained only within the context of the entire negotiation framework, and not on the basis of a piecemeal approach. Failing to resolve the status of Jerusalem, however, would continue to fuel the despair and violence, particularly among Palestinian youth.

11. In closing remarks, the Chairman of the CEIRPP, Ambassador Fodé Seck, said that discussions had demonstrated the commitment of the participants to the Palestinian cause. In particular, Senegalese civil society had been well represented at the Conference. He invited the representatives to become accredited with the Committee in order to continue their involvement in the future.

12. The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, recognized the contribution of Senegal in chairing the Committee over the past 40 years and efforts of the participants to highlight the struggle and determination of Palestinians to end the Israeli occupation. Noting that the occupied Palestinian territory was worse off than it had been 23 years ago when negotiations began, he said that the Palestinians were fed up with empty promises from the international community and saw the need to ‘shift gears’. He called on the Security Council to put an end to the illegal occupation and to allow the French Initiative to stand on its feet.

13. The Cabinet Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Coly Seck, thanking the organizers as well as participants from civil society, observed that the International Conference had been the first of its kind in Africa. The Conference had illustrated the critical nature of the question of Jerusalem in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He hailed the quality of the presentations and testimonies as well as the subsequent discussions that offered practical proposals to end the occupation and resolve the question of Jerusalem. Reiterating his country’s full support for the Palestinian people, he called on all States to defend the ‘fair’ Palestinian cause and on the Security Council to take action to end the occupation and to allow for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.

Annex II

List of participants


Mr. Nabil al-Kurd Member of the Sheikh Jarrah Committee Jerusalem

Ms. Nur Arafeh Policy Fellow
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network

Mr. Gershon Baskin Co-Chairman
Israel-Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives

Mr. Babacar Diop Professor of History
Member of the Senegal Palestine Solidarity Association

Ms. Brona Higgins International Component Coordinator
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) – Palestine

Ms. Hiba Husseini Legal advisor to peace negotiations
Al-Mustakbal Foundation

Mr. Ikubaje John Senior Political Officer
African Union Commission
Addis Ababa

Mr. Rami Nasrallah Head of the Board of Directors
International Peace and Cooperation Center

Mr. Khalil Tafakji Director, Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department
Arab Studies Society

Mr. Ahmad Rwaidy Former Chief of the Jerusalem Unit of the Palestinian Presidency

Mr. Daniel Seidemann Lawyer, Founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem
Tel Aviv

Ms. Lubna Shaheen Senior Urban Planner
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Ms. Catherine Cissé Expert Consultant on Transitional Justice; Lecturer,
van den Muijsenbergh Vice-President for Peace, Centre for Long-Term Strategic Study
and Board Member of the Institute Schumann

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

H.E. Mr. Fodé Seck Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations Chair of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Saikal Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Vice-Chair of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Wilfried I. Emvula Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations
Vice-Chair of the Committee

H.E. Mr. Riyad Mansour Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

Representative of the Secretary-General

Mr. Mohamed Ibn Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Chambas Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa
and the Sahel


Algeria Mr. Ali Boukeha, First Counsellor
Embassy in Dakar Belgium Mr. Guy Hambrouck, Attaché à la Cooperation Burkina Faso Mr. Amidou Coulibaly, Second Counsellor Cameroon H.E. Mr. Jean Kue, Ambassador Cape Verde Ms. Fátima Helena Handem, First Secretary
Embassy in Dakar Chad Mr. Salah Mahmoud Ousmane, Consul China H.E. Mr. Xun Zhang, Ambassador Côte d’Ivoire H.E. Mr. Tiapé Edouard Kassarate, Ambassador Mr. François-Xavier Zabavy, Counsellor Cuba H.E. Mr. Jorge P. León Cruz Egypt H.E. Mr. Moutapha Mahmoud Elkouny, Ambassador
Equatorial Guinea Ms. Veneranda Nzang Ndong Abegue, Vice Consul France Ms. Sophie Bel, Second Counsellor/Press Officer Gambia Ms. Ndey Alima Ceesay, Chargé d’affaires, a.i. Ghana Mr. Mintah Agyemang, First Secretary Guinea Bissau Mr. Manuel Correia, Consul India Mr. T. Baskaran, First Secretary
Indonesia H.E. Mr. Muhammad Anshor H.E. Mr. Mansyur Pangeran, Ambassador
Mr. Nurdin Boyke, Counsellor
Embassy in Dakar

Iran H.E. Mr. Einollah Ghashghavi Kuwait Mr. Mohammad Al Qattan, Third Secretary Liberia Mr. Philip F. Johnson, Second Secretary/Vice Consul Libya H.E. Mr. Hassan Alsghayr, Ambassador Madagascar H.E. Mr. Richard Auguste Paraina, Ambassador Malaysia H.E. Ms. Sharrina Abdullah, Ambassador Mr. Amadou Bamba Wele, Translator/Interpreter
Embassy in Dakar

Mali Mr. Mohamed Pathé Diarra, Chargé d’affaires, a.i.
Embassy in Dakar

Mauritania H.E. Mr. Cheikhna Nenni Moulaye Zeine, Ambassador
Embassy in Dakar

Morocco H.E. Mr. Taleb Barrada, Ambassador Namibia H.E. Ms. Tshiwa Trudie Amulungu, Ambassador Niger H.E. Mr. Hassane Kounou, Ambassador
Oman H.E. Mr. Mohammed Al Jazmi, Ambassador Portugal Mr. João Manso Preto, Deputy Chief of Mission Qatar Mr. Jassim Al-Khaldi, Second Secretary Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Kotsur, Counsellor Saudi Arabia Mr. Abdulrahman Mohammed Al Otaibi, Chargé d’affaires, a.i. Senegal H.E. Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad
Mr. Cheikh Camara, Head of Europe Bureau
Mr. Babacar Bakhour
South Africa H.E. Mr. Abel Mxolisi Shilubane, Ambassador Sudan H.E. Mr. Adil Yousif Bannaga, Ambassador Syria Ms. Sawsan Al Ani, Chargé d’affaires, a.i. Tunisia H.E. Mr. Skander Denguezli, Ambassador Turkey H.E. Ms. Nilgün Erdem Ari, Ambassador Ukraine H.E. Mr. Oleksandr Ovcharov, Ambassador United Arab Emirates Mr. Ali Al Marzouqu, Head of Delegation Zimbabwe H.E. Mr. Trudy Stevenson, Ambassador
Non-member States having received a standing invitation to participate as observers
in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and maintaining
permanent observer missions at Headquarters

Holy See Rev. Sebastiano Sanna, Chargé d’affaires, a.i.

State of Palestine H.E. Mr. Riad Malki, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ramallah
H.E. Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer to the
United Nations, New York

Intergovernmental organizations

African Union Commission H.E. Ms. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for
Political Affairs
H.E. Mr. Salah S. Hammad, Technical Assistant
Mr. Ikubaje John, Senior Political Officer, Addis Ababa

League of Arab States H.E. Mr. Said Abu Ali, Assistant Secretary-General
Head of the Palestinian and the Arab Occupied Territories Sector
Ms. Nuha Abu Samra

Organization of Islamic H.E. Mr. Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary-General for
Cooperation Palestine Affairs
Mr. Shaher Awawdeh, Minister Counsellor,
Deputy Permanent Observer, New York

United Nations organs, agencies and bodies

Office of High Commissioner Mr. Andrea Ori, Regional Representative
for Human Rights (OHCHR)

United Nations Information Ms. Minielle Baro, National Information Officer
Centre (UNIC), Dakar Ms. Mame Ndella Dione
Ms. Marion Piccio

United Nations Office for Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Head
West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS) Ms. Falmata Liman, Assistant to the Special Representative
Dakar of the Secretary-General

Civil society organizations

Association Culturelle d’Auto Mr. Bassirou Diallo
Promotion Éducative et Sociale
Dakar Al-Ahmadiya Chiekh el Hadji Abdoulahi Diop, Khalifa Al Hamadiya
Rufisque Mr. Hadji Amadou Barro Diop, In-charge of Mission Association d’Amitié et de Mr. Daouda Faye
Solidarité entre les peuples President of the Commission Solidarity Actions
du Sénègal et de Cuba

Association des Elèves Mr. Abdourahmane Sall Ba
et Etudiants Président of AEEMS/ (Section Universitaire
Musulmans du Sénègal de Dakar (SECUD)
Dakar (AEEMS) Association Entraide Mr. Marcelle Bakhazi, President

Association Femme Islam Ms. Mariama Ndiaye Sy
et Développement
Dakar Association Nationale Mr. Ousmane Diadhiou
pour l’Alphabétisation In-charge of monitoring, evaluation and logistics
et la Formation des Adultes
Dakar Africaine de recherche et de Mr. Demba Moussa Dembele, Président
coopération pour l’appui Mr. Seyni Cissé
au développement endogène Ms. Henriette Faye
Dakar Mr. Mamadou Diagne Biaye Association des retraités Mr. Salif Fall, Chancellor
Dakar Association Al-Hoda Ms. Dalale Derwiche, Professor
Dakar Ms. Safaa Kamal Centre Culturel de la République Mr. Boubacar Fall, Administrative Officer
Islamique d’Iran Mr. Cherif Hassan Esmati, Director of Cultural Centre
of Iran Centre des hautes études Mr. Babacar Diouf, Director of Research and Publications
de défense et de sécurité

Club Shalom Mr. Babacar Sene

Collectif Solidarité Mr. Mbodj Madieye, Coordinator
Senegal-Palestine Mr. Raif Assad
Dakar Ms. Marie Assad Comité Palestine-Senegal Mr. Chérif Mballo
Dakar Ms. Arouna Mballo Confrérie Mouride Mr. Abdou Khadir Mbacke
Dakar Mr. Mourtalla Bousso Famille Omalienne H.E. Mr. Amadou Tidiane Hane, Ambassador

Forum Social Senegalais Mr. Mamadou Diouf, Coordinator
Dakar Grand Croix de l’ordre de Mérite Mr. Mohamad Baroud Sy, Society Administrator Groupe de Recherche d’action Mr. Saer Diop
et d’Appui à la Base pour
le Développement
Dakar Institut Islamique Sociale Mr. Cheikh Mohamad Kanso

Institut Panafricain de Stratégies Mr. Elhaji Abou
Dakar Ms. Mairam Wane Ly, Associate Member IRCICA Dr. Halit Eren, Director-General
La communauté des Layennes Mr. Cheikh Djibril Diop
Dakar Mr. Mame Dial Diop Ligue Démocratique (LD) Mr. Ousmane Badiane, National Secretary in-charge of
Dakar Elections Ligue des Imams du Senegal Mr. Ismaila Ndiaye

Ligue Islamique Mondiale Mr. Ismaila Deme, Director General
Dakar Medina Baye Niass Mr. Ibrahima Mouhameth Mamoune Niass
Koalack Religious Chief, Member of Economic, Social and
Pikine Environmental Council Ordre Liban Maronite Mr. Père Bassam Eid, Superior, Lebanese Mission
Notre Dame College of Lebanon
Dakar Pan African Arts Mr. Pape Badara Seck, Producer

Sénégal Mr. Abdoul Aziz Kebe
Thierno Amadou Ba Khalif Mr. Thierno Amadou Ba, Khalif du Bambilor
de Bambilor Mr. Ibrahima Mbengue, Executive Director, Fawzi Wanadiaty
Dakar Mr. Mamadou Niane, Project Director, Fawzi Wanadiaty
Union de la Jeunesse Musulmane Mr. Cheikh Ahmed Salam Dieng, President

Unité Palestine Mr. Abou Diop


Afrique 7 Mr. Amadou Sabar Ba, Journalist
Dakar Mr. Sanoussi Sane, Camera man

Agence marocaine de presse Mr. Abdelatif Abilkassem, Journalist
Dakar Mr. Hassan Aourach, Journalist
Mr. Mohamed Nassiri, Journalist

Allo Dakar Magazine Mr. Fatou Kama, Journalist

Anadolu Ms. Anar Siegwald, Journalist
Mr. Assane Guèye, Photographer

APA News Mr. Ngagne Diouf, Journalist
Mr. Edouard Touré, Press Agent
Ms. Bella Diassé, Journalist

Control Info Mr. Samb Moctar, Journalist

Dakar Express Mr. Mohamed Ndiaye, Journalist

Diaspora magazine Mr. Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Photographer

Freedom newspaper Mr. Katim Touray, Reporter

Foulbé FM 102.6 Mr. Penda Niang, Journalist

Le Lendemain (en ligne) Mr. Mamadou Touré, Journalist

Media 7 Mr. Moustapha Sow, Journalist

Ngaye FM Mr. Saliou Ndiaye, Journalist

Nouvelle économie de la vallée Mr. Mohammed Belmir, Journalist
Mr. Mohammed Gueye, Journalist
Mr. Ibrahima Diagne, Journalist
PANAPRESS Ms. Akossuwa Kpegli, Journalist

Radio convergence FM Mr. Abdou Thiam, Journalist

Radio FM Sénégal Mr. Kémo Daffé, Journalist

Reporter Info 24 Mr. Pape Guéye, Reporter
Réseau des Journalistes Mr. Mouhamadou Abdoulaye Barro, Coordinator
pour l’Information Religieuse

Reuters Ms. Makini Brice, Journalist

RFM Mr. Mané Touré, Reporter

RTS/RTS Radio Mr. Moussa Ba, Cameraman
Mr. Ousseynou Niasse
Mr. Jean Baptiste Sané, Journalist
Mr. Oumou Baldé

Sen Info Mr. Mame Martine, Journalist

Sud FM Mr. Habsa Elimane Wane, Journalist

Sunn News Mr. Ousmane Ndiaye, Editor-in-chief

Teranga FM Mr. Arona Niang, Journalist

WALFADJIRI TV Mr. Omar Kaire, Journalist

WALF TV Mr. Papa Mamdou Faye, Cameraman
Mr. Seck Ndong, Journalist

Special guests

Former Permanent Representatives H.E. Ms. Absa Claude Diallo
of Senegal to the United Nations H.E. Mr. Keba Birane Cisse

Commission des affaires étrangères, Mr. Djibril War
de l’Union Africaine et des Sénégalais Mr. Mbengue Lam
de l’exterieur Ms. Mariama Diallo
Mr. Oulimata Mane
Mr. Madti Guene Fall


Mr. Joseph Gaston Apikit Sacré-Coeur College Dakar
Ms. Marie Ange Bampoky Manager, Communication Agency
Mr. Ibrahim Barro
Mr. Diome Diamare
Mr. Papa Diom

Mr. Nathan Fallou Fuhr Conductor, Music Cultural Diplomacy

Ms. Sandrine Mwiliriza Communication and Information Officer

Mr. Oumar Ndiaye Student

Chiekh Anta Diop University Mr. Dame Sall, Research professor,
International Relations and Geopolitics,
Institute of Human Rights and Peace
Mr. Darryl Obama Prevost, Executive Director
Ms. Anna Mari Diagne
Mr. Abdoulaye Fall, Student
Mr. Ibrahima Faye, Student
Mr. Ibrahima Gueye
Mr. Kane Sahnoune
Mr. Moustapha Kebe
Ms. Saidina Mouhamadoul Amine
Mr. Nadim Sader

Mr. Hamidou Sagna Journalist

Mr. Ouman Seck

Yavuz Selim University Mr. Muhammed Isameilor
Mr. Yoro Diouma Ba

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