The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted under agenda item “Question of Palestine.”
The date of 29 November was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people. On that day in 1947, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. That resolution provided for the establishment in Palestine of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State”, with Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.
The Palestinian people, who now number more than eight million, live primarily in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem; in Israel; in neighbouring Arab States; and in refugee camps in the region.
The International Day of Solidarity has traditionally provided an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remained unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.
In response to the call of the United Nations, various activities are undertaken annually by Governments and civil society in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. These activities include, among other things, the issuance of special messages of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the organization of meetings, the dissemination of publications and other information material, and the screening of films.
At United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People each year holds a special meeting to observe the International Day of Solidarity. Speakers include the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Security Council, and representatives of relevant United Nations bodies, intergovernmental organizations and Palestine. A message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority is also read out at the meeting. Civil society organizations (CSOs) are invited to attend and a spokesperson for the international community of CSOs accredited to the Committee addresses the meeting.
A special bulletin containing the texts of the statements delivered and messages received on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity is published annually by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat.
Other activities organized in New York in connection with the observance include a Palestinian exhibit and/or a cultural event sponsored by the Committee and presented by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, as well as the screening of films.
Meetings in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People are also held at the United Nations offices at Geneva and Vienna.
The United Nations Information Centres and Services worldwide are available to assist Governments, NGOs and others wishing to organize special activities in connection with the observance by providing information and documentation.