Middle East situation/Palestine question – Communiqué of NAM Ministerial meeting of Cttee of Nine on Palestine – Letter from Yugoslavia

Letter dated 13 March 1990 from the Permanent Representative of Yugoslavia

to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to transmit herewith the text of the Final Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the Committee of Nine on Palestine of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held on 11 March 1990 at Tunis.

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under items 23 and 35 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Dragoslav PEJIC





Final Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the Committee of Nine on Palestine

of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries held at Tunis on 11 March 1990

1. The Non-Aligned Movement's Committee of Nine on Palestine met at the ministerial level at Tunis, on 11 March 1990, to review the latest developments in the Middle East, in particular the intifadah of the Palestinian people and the settlement of Jewish emigrants from the Soviet Union in the occupied territories, as well as the forthcoming activities in the United Nations concerning the Middle East crisis and the endeavours to establish peace through the international peace conference on the Middle East, including efforts to establish a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue.

2. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Cuba, India, Senegal and Yugoslavia, the Minister of Information of the State of Palestine, the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh and Representatives of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

3. The Ministers highly appreciated the important statement made by the President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, on the positive and constructive role of the Movement in its support for the liberation struggle of the peoples of Namibia, South Africa and Palestine. He stressed the intifadah of the Palestinian people against the occupation by Israel, gave details on the repressive practices of Israel, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the high number of victims, martyrs and injured, demolitions of property, and of abortions resulting from the use of internationally prohibited chemical weapons. He drew the attention of participants to the dangers resulting from the daily increasing numbers of Jewish immigrants and to the decision of the Government of Israel to settle them in Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem and Nablus. He stated that, in addition to being illegal and a violation of human rights, immigration had grave demographic effects, particularly as it was aimed at realizing the "Greater Israel" plan. He warned that such action undermined peace efforts and the peace process. He proposed that the Movement should avail itself of the opportunity afforded by the convening of the Security Council to participate actively in its deliberations. He referred also to the PLO-USA dialogue and mentioned that the United States had not as yet raised the level of the dialogue. He also stated that the PLO had accepted US Secretary of State Baker's initiative and that Israel was avoiding it, as it had rejected all other peace initiatives.

4. The Ministers considered that the Co-ordinating Bureau and the Non-Aligned Countries had made a positive contribution to the consideration of the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East at the forty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly. They welcomed the activities undertaken by the Chairman of the Movement and the Committee of Nine in permanent co-ordination with the leadership of the State of Palestine to formulate the most effective action of the Movement aimed at promoting the Middle East peace process.  In this context, consultations had bad been held with influential factors in the Middle East crisis, such as China, the United States, the Soviet Union and the European Community, which reflected a growing readiness to contribute to the efforts aimed at reaching a durable, comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian question and the Middle East crisis, and strengthened the role of the Movement and its more immediate influence as an important factor in achieving such a solution.

5. They expressed concern that the situation in the Middle East continued to be very serious owing to Israeli intransigence, that threat to peace and security in the region persisted, and that there had been an escalation of repressive measures, such as confiscation of property, forced eviction of Palestinians and the establishment of settlements by the Israeli occupation authorities.

6. The declared policy of Israel to settle Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, was of grave consequence.  Such organized, mass actions undermined the peace process, jeopardizing all efforts undertaken so far, and they were in a flagrant violation of the norms of law, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.  Supporting the right of every individual to leave any country, including his own, the Ministers stressed that the exercise of this right should not be imposed or to the detriment of others, in this particular case of the Palestinians.  The Non-Aligned Countries should call upon the international community and the United Nations Security Council to take resolute action to prevent such attempts and declare them illegal, null and void.  In this context they called upon the Security Council to consider measures for the impartial protection of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation and to call upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in the occupied territories. The member countries of the Committee of Nine will express this view in the Security Council and will endeavour to have it endorsed in the Council's decisions.

7. The Ministers observed that there were nevertheless certain developments creating more favourable conditions for the search for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict, at the core of which is the question of Palestine.

8. They emphasized that the intifadah of the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel had contributed significantly to these endeavours, as well as the constructive approach on the part of the PLO, the Palestinian peace

initiative approved by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988 and proclaimed by the Chairman of the PLO at the General Assembly on 13 December 1988.  The readiness of the PLO for dialogue on all relevant issues showed the PLO's sincerity and genuine response to the requirements of peace in the Middle East.

9. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that these developments had received broad international support, particularly by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly, and had had a positive impact on those factors in Israel favouring a peaceful and just solution, as well as on the Jewish communities throughout the world, thus contributing to the creation of better conditions for a successful joint action of the Movement and the international community as a whole.

10. The Ministers stressed that a comprehensive, durable and just solution was possible only on the basis of full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the establishment of their own State, withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, the right of all peoples in the region to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, and the right of Palestinian refugees to return. They reiterated that the solution was possible only with the participation on an equal footing of the Palestinian people, led by the PLO, its sole and legitimate representative, in all negotiations and phases of the peace process as an integral part of the international peace conference.

11. They pointed out, in this context, that the Middle East peace process had entered an important and critical stage in creating conditions for the establishment of a fruitful Palestinian-Israeli dialogue, which should focus on all the substantive issues.  In this respect they rejected all unjustified Israeli demands putting pre-conditions on the opening of such a dialogue and considered that such demands were aimed at circumventing the real issues and also at gaining time in an attempt to suppress the intifadah of the Palestinian people.

12. The Ministers noted the statement of President Arafat, who, as well as other speakers, referred to the efforts undertaken through Egypt, the United States and other international and regional forces towards initiating a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue as soon as possible. They stressed, in this context, the importance of the dialogue between the United States and the PLO and expressed the expectation that the United States, in order to ensure progress of the peace process, would continue to exert influence on the Israeli attitude, bearing in mind the importance of its existing support for and good relations with Israel, which takes advantage of this support to persist in its policy and practices.

13. They underlined the importance of, and the need for, an adequate contribution of international factors to the peace process, and in that context, welcomed the significant contribution, understanding and support of the Soviet Union, the European Community, China, Japan, the Nordic countries, as well as of Canada and Australia and an increasing number of other countries, regarding the full exercise of the right of the Palestinian people of self-determination.

14. The Ministers invited the Security Council to proceed, as a matter of urgency, to preparations for convening the international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination, with the participation, on an equal footing, of all the parties directly concerned, including the PLO. They expressed great appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his endeavours in this regard and called upon him to continue with his efforts.

15. The Committee of Nine will work actively towards convening the international peace conference through its ad hoc groups, to be set up according to the decision taken at the last Committee Meeting held at the summit level at Belgrade, and will use its influence with the permanent members of the Security Council and the Secretary-General towards that end.



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