10 December 2013
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Chair Says Nelson Mandela Will Be ‘In Our Hearts and Minds’ as Palestinian Rights

Committee Mobilizes Support for Lasting Solution to Question of Palestine


The following statement was issued today by Abdou Salam Diallo ( Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, on the passing of Nelson Mandela:

In my capacity as the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I would like to express our great sadness on behalf of the Committee over the death of Nelson Mandela.  Our sincere condolences go out to his family and the people of South Africa.

The long struggle against apartheid led by Mr. Mandela and its defeat in 1994 have been an inspiration for all those struggling for justice around the globe.  After having achieved this victory over discrimination in his own country, Mr. Mandela refused to indulge and turn a blind eye to injustice faced by others around the world.  This humble and selfless fighter told his fellow South Africans that it was now their turn to be among those contributing to the cause of freedom and justice.  “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people,” he declared in 1997.

Many South African activists who fought against apartheid have joined the movements against injustices in other parts of the world, including Palestine.  Their voices of support, endowed with moral strength, have always empowered the oppressed and their supporters.

Initiatives based on the anti-apartheid experience employed by civil society organizations struggling against the Israeli occupation have been producing some tangible results.  However, segregation, dispossession, humiliation and denial of basic human rights are still part of the daily life of the Palestinian people.

Mr. Mandela emphasized that peace and prosperity, tranquillity and security are only possible if these are enjoyed by all without discrimination.  Lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and Palestine can be achieved when the occupation is brought to an end and when the Palestinian people can exercise their inalienable rights, including their right to an independent, sovereign and viable State.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is determined to keep the flames of solidarity with the Palestinian people burning until freedom and justice is brought to Palestine.  The Committee will draw on Mr. Mandela’s legacy during the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People throughout 2014.

Nelson Mandela will be in our hearts and minds while mobilizing support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine.

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For information media • not an official record