Mideast situation/Palestine question – NAM Twelfth Ministerial Conference document – Letter from South Africa (excerpts)

Letter dated 6 June 2000 from the Permanent Representative

of South Africa to the United Nations addressed to the


I have the honour, in my capacity as Chairman of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, to enclose herewith the final document of the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Cartagena, Colombia, on 8 and 9 April 2000 (see annex).*

I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 20, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 43, 44, 46, 49, 50, 53, 56, 57, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 122, 125, 151, 158 and 160, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Dumisani S. Kumalo

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Permanent Representative


*The annex is being circulated in the languages of submission only.

Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries

Annex to the letter dated 6 June 2000 from the

Permanent Representative of South Africa to the

United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

[Original: English, French and Spanish]

Final document of the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference

of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries




Disarmament and international security


75. We reiterate the support for the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. To this end, we reaffirm the need for the speedy establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East in accordance with Security Council resolutions 487 (1981) and 687 (1991) and the relevant General Assembly resolutions adopted by consensus. We call upon all parties concerned to take urgent and practical steps towards the establishment of such a zone and, pending its establishment, we call on Israel, the only country in the region that has not joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor declared its intention to do so, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to accede to the NPT without delay, to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards and to conduct its nuclear related activities in conformity with the non-proliferation regime. We express great concern over the acquisition of nuclear capability by Israel which poses a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighbouring and other States and we condemn Israel for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals. We are of the view that stability cannot be achieved in a region where massive imbalances in military capabilities are maintained particularly through the possession of nuclear weapons which allow one party to threaten its neighbours and the region. We further welcome the initiative by H.E. Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, on the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. We stress that necessary steps should be taken in different international fora for the establishment of this zone. We also call for the total and complete prohibition of the transfer of all nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources or devices and the extension of assistance in the nuclear related scientific or technological fields to Israel. In this regard, we express our serious concern over the recent development whereby Israeli scientists are provided access to the nuclear facilities of one Nuclear Weapon State. This development will have potentially serious negative implications on the regional security as well as the reliability of the global non-proliferation regime.

76. We, the Ministers of the States Parties to the NPT, reiterate our call and the firm commitment by all States parties to the Treaty for the full implementation at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, of the package agreed to at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference which comprises of the decision on "Strengthening the review process for the Treaty", the decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament", the decision on "Extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons", and the "Resolution on the Middle East". We note with appreciation that specific time was made available at the Third Preparatory session for the 2000 Review Conference for the discussion on and consideration of proposals on the provisions in Article VI of the NPT and in paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament", dealing with nuclear disarmament, as well as on the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. In this context, we reaffirm the importance of the implementation of the call by our Heads of State or Government for the Review Conference to establish a subsidiary body to Main Committee I to deliberate on practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, as well as a subsidiary body to Main Committee II to consider and recommend proposals on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the NPT.





109. We reaffirm the positions taken by the XII Summit in Durban on the Question of Palestine and the Situation in the Middle East. We unequivocally support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to return to their homeland and to have their own independent State with Jerusalem as its capital, and we reiterate our demand for the withdrawal of Israel, the occupying Power, from all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the other Arab territories occupied since 1967. We call for the implementation of all United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine, and reaffirm the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is effectively solved in all its aspects.

110. We reaffirm the Movement's position on Occupied East Jerusalem, including on illegal Israeli actions aimed at changing the legal status and demographic composition of the city, the illegal Israeli settlements and the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to all the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. We demand that Israel, the occupying Power, implement Security Council resolutions in this regard and abide by its legal obligations. We welcome the convening of the conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on Measures to Enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem on 15 July 1999, as recommended by the resolutions of the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly. We further welcome the important statement by the Conference, which reaffirms the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and we reiterate support for the reconvening of the Conference should the need arise. We reiterate that Israeli representation in the work of the General Assembly must be in conformity with international law, thus ensuring that Israeli credentials do not cover the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. We urge that meetings of international organisations shall not be convened in occupied Jerusalem. We reaffirm our support for the Bethlehem 2000 Project in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and express confidence that the increased assistance and engagement of the international community will ensure the successful commemoration of the event.

Syrian Golan

111. We reaffirm that all measures and actions taken, or to be taken by Israel, the occupying power, such as its illegal decision of 14 December 1981 that purports to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure, as well as the Israeli measures to apply its jurisdiction and administration there, are null and void. We also reaffirm that all such measures and actions constitute a flagrant violation of international law, international conventions, the Charter and decisions of the United Nations, particularly Security Council resolution 497 (1981), the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the protection of civilians in time of war, and the defiance of will of the international community. We demand that Israel comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan, to the lines of 4 June 1967, in implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and that Israel adheres to the Madrid terms of reference based on the principle of land for peace, which are in their entirety considered to be a primary and basic element in the negotiation process that should be adhered to, including the immediate 20 commencement of the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line.

112. We reaffirm our unwavering support and solidarity with the Syrian just demand and rights to restore the full Syrian sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan on the basis of the terms of reference of the Madrid peace process, the decisions of the international legitimacy, as well as the principle of land for peace. We demand that Israel respect all commitments and pledges it entered into with the aim of laying down the basis for a substantive progress on the Syrian-Israeli track.


113. While expressing our deep concern over the continued Israeli aggression against Lebanon, and the ensuing illegal detainment of Lebanese nationals, loss of civilian lives and extensive destruction of property and infrastructure, we call on Israel to withdraw immediately, completely and unconditionally from South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa to the internationally recognised boundaries in compliance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) and to fully and strictly respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon. We also maintain that any conditions put forward by Israel for the implementation of resolution 425 (1978) would alter its legal and political structure and are hence unacceptable.

The Peace Process

114. We reaffirm the need to achieve comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. We affirm our determination to actively strive towards the attainment of this objective. We reiterate our support for the Middle East Peace Process based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425 and the principle of land for peace. We further reiterate the need for compliance with and implementation of the agreements reached between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel as well as the fulfilment of the commitments and pledges made in accordance with the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the ensuing negotiations. We reiterate the need to fully respect and adhere to the September 2000 deadline set for the achievement of the final settlement. In this context we believe that the United Nations Millennium Summit should serve as an additional and natural deadline in which Palestine should participate as a UN Member State. We express our grave concern over the current state of affairs in the peace process, particularly the recent disruption of this process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. In this regard, we consider the attempts by the Israeli Government to change the terms of reference of the peace process and create a new reality on the ground, as well as its failure to give priority to the core questions, to be an obstacle on the way of realisation of peace.

115. In view of the urgency and seriousness of the situation, we request the Non-Aligned Movement Countries to increase pressure and use all available measures on regional and international level to ensure Israel's compliance with the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the principle of land for peace and Israel's full implementation of all agreements, undertakings, and commitments reached by the concerned parties on all tracks during the peace talks. We also affirm that the failure by the Israeli Government to respond positively would require the Non-Aligned Movement Members to take further appropriate measures.


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