Agenda items 38 and 40
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Letter dated 1 December 1994 from the Permanent Representative of
Germany to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of a statement by the European Union on aid to the Palestinians issued on 28 November 1994.
I should be grateful if you could have the text of the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under items 38 and 40 of the agenda.
(Signed) Detlev GRAF ZU RANTZAU
[Original: English and French]
Statement of 28 November 1994 by the European Union
on aid to the Palestinians
The European Union considers that the Middle East peace process has reached a crucial stage in which it is necessary for all sides to do their utmost to bring it to a successful conclusion. In this context, the further development of the Palestinian territories is of paramount importance.
The European Union has on numerous occasions, e.g., in the joint action adopted on 19 April 1994, confirmed its readiness to support the Middle East peace process in general and the development in the Palestinian territories in particular through both political and material assistance.
While the ad hoc Liaison Committee is meeting at Brussels to examine once more the issue of aid to the Palestinian territories, the European Union wishes to stress the great importance of this meeting under the current circumstances.
As the largest contributor of aid to the Palestinians, the European Union reaffirms its determination to continue its economic and financial efforts and its willingness to examine ways and means of meeting the needs of the Palestinians more effectively.
The European Union is convinced that, during the particular phase in which autonomy is being created and Palestinian institutions set up, it is vital for the inhabitants of the territories to see concrete evidence in their daily lives of the positive effects of the political changes which took place over a year ago. This objective requires efforts to be made on all sides, whether it be the donor community as a whole or the regional parties.
The European Union has undertaken important measures to this end. Not only was the sum of ECU 87.38 million in grants committed from the community budget in 1994, but a very large part of that sum has already reached the Palestinian territories: the autonomous territories and the occupied territories received payments totalling ECU 71.89 million in 1994 (by 24 November 1994). By February 1995 they will have received ECU 24.30 million more. They will, therefore, have received ECU 96.16 million over 14 months, to which should be added Member States' contributions.
While the European Union reiterates its readiness and resolve to continue to contribute to the success of the peace process, it calls upon other donors, and especially those from the region itself, to carry their share of the international burden. International aid can only be complementary to the efforts of the parties directly concerned. Therefore Palestinians and Israelis can also make a contribution, each for the aspects which concern them, by endeavouring to improve the operation of the bodies in charge of aid administration, by facilitating the entry of equipment financed by international aid and by implementing forthwith the clauses of the Israeli-Palestinian Economic Agreement of 29 April 1994 concerning access of Palestinian workers and products to Israel.
The European Union is also convinced that donors' efforts to help the civilian population must be accompanied by a reactivation of the peace process, particularly with regard to the full implementation of the Declaration of Principles of 13 September 1993. a/ Indeed, the tragic events in Gaza demonstrate the overriding need to consolidate and speed up the process begun by the historic Declaration of September 1993.
In this context, the European Union welcomes the decision of Israel and the PLO to resume their negotiations on the implementation of the autonomy agreement. It is essential that these discussions open the way as soon as possible to new progress on the issues outstanding, in particular those of the elections and the extension of autonomy to the West Bank.
a/ Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and Agreed Minutes (A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560).