UN Intl. Conf. of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People, Geneva – Plan of Action





United Nations Office at Geneva

7 and 8 September 2006


Realizing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people


We meet again, civil society organizations committed to ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and to achieving the still unrealized rights, including the rights of self-determination and return of the Palestinian people. We anchor our work in human rights, international law, the United Nations Charter and resolutions, and a commitment to internationalism and a just peace and the belief that the UN remains central to ending the occupation.

We face a new crisis of war and occupation, a crisis in which Palestinians continue to suffer, even beyond the suffering imposed by decades of brutal occupation and apartheid.

The war against Lebanon and the continuing assault on Gaza have created new realities. Israel’s unilateralism has been exposed, and its Gaza “redeployment” has been shown false. The conditions of Palestinians living under occupation continue to deteriorate and Palestinian refugees continue to be denied their international rights, including their right of return. Palestinians in Jerusalem and elsewhere face ethnic cleansing.

The current crisis has undermined the United States’ effort to reorder the Middle East within a U.S. plan justified in the name of “democratization.”  If democracy had any meaning at all, the United Nations and, indeed, every member state, would accept the recent Palestinian election, and establish full relations with any democratically elected Authority in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – regardless of who the Palestinian people select. Instead, the international community, and the United Nations itself, have stood by, paralyzed in the face of the U.S.-orchestrated boycott of the Palestinian Authority, and of Israel’s blatantly illegal kidnapping of 41 democratically-elected parliamentarians and eight cabinet ministers of that government. It is a badge of shame for us all.

Thirty years ago, the United Nations recognized, condemned and committed itself to oppose the international crime of apartheid. Crucially, it defined the crime of apartheid as a general crime against humanity, not specific to the then-reality of South Africa. Today, 12 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, we are reminded that Israel continues to practice a system of apartheid and, further, perpetuates the longest occupation in recent history. We civil society organizations and activists from around the world join with the United Nations once again to identify, condemn and commit ourselves to opposing these heinous crimes. As we were in the past, we are again determined that the perpetrators of that crime be brought to justice.

Despite the two-year old Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice which held Israel’s Apartheid Wall to be illegal, the construction of the Wall is nearly complete. The Wall encircles Palestinian towns and cities in the most massive land-grab since 1967.  We call on the United Nations to implement the totality of the ICJ’s Opinion – especially the section calling for the illegal Wall to be dismantled. We, civil society organizations, take seriously our responsibility regarding the Wall. We have engaged with the issue of the illegal building of the Wall and will continue to do so in order to effect the implementation of all components of the ICJ Opinion and the General Assembly resolutions on enforcement.

Our meeting here in Geneva, at this time, takes place in a critical and historical moment. We can either shut our eyes to the urgent crisis facing the Palestinian people and the obligations of the international community to end it, or we can seize this moment to push for a real movement forward in order to achieve a just peace. We have decided to be part of those working towards creating a new reality, based on justice, human rights and international law – to end the occupation and realize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right to establish an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. We thus make the following call:

Call to Action

We call on the United Nations and its member states:

1) To provide international protection for the Palestinian people living under occupation.

2) To bring to justice in the International Criminal Court, or in another international or national forum – based on universal jurisdiction, those guilty of war crimes against the Palestinian people.

3) To encourage and impose sanctions, especially in the form of ending the murderous arms trade with Israel, and to end sanctions that have been imposed against the elected Palestinian Authority and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

As for civil society, we commit ourselves to the following:

1) To work in the coming months, with Palestinian civil society movements and NGOs to mark the 40 year anniversary of the occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. That commemoration will include a wide range of education and cultural campaigns, all culminating in a Global Day of Action on June 9, 2007, the 40th anniversary of that occupation, under the slogan “The World Says No to Israeli Occupation.”

2) To expand our global campaign of Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to ever broader sectors of our countries and regions, based on building a non-violent movement of opposition to Israeli apartheid and occupation, including an urgent campaign to end the sanctions against the democratically-elected Palestinian Authority.

3) To mobilize to demand that our governments urgently provide international protection to the Palestinian people living under occupation, including efforts to bring to justice those guilty of war crimes against the Palestinian people.  We will also support efforts to enforce the Geneva Conventions and all United Nations’ resolutions, and to convene a new international peace conference for the Middle East with the United Nations at its center.


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