MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT COORDINATING BUREAU
27-30 April 2009
1. The Ministers of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries,1 met on 29 and 30 April 20092 in Havana, Cuba, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, with the primary objective of reviewing the preparations for the forthcoming XV Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Movement, which would be held in Sharm – el Sheikh, Egypt on 15 and 16 July 2009. Towards this end, they deliberated in an extensive manner on the existing, new and emerging global issues of collective concern and interest to the Movement and updated the Final Document adopted at the 15th NAM Ministerial Conference held at Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 29 and 30 July 2008. Inter alia they reaffirmed and underscored the Movement’s abiding faith in and strong commitment to its Founding Principles, The ten Founding Principles of NAM appears in Annex II. ideals and purposes, particularly in establishing a peaceful and prosperous world, a just and equitable world order as well as to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
CHAPTER I: GLOBAL ISSUES
18.11 Continue to call for full respect of the ICJ advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 by Israel, the occupying Power, Member States and the United Nations and to consider the possibilities for requesting a further advisory opinion from the ICJ regarding the prolonged Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory since 1967;
Disarmament and International Security
145 The Ministers condemned the recent Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip and the occupying power’s indiscriminate shelling and bombing of Palestinian civilian areas, and expressed their grave concern over the reported use in civilian areas of harmful and potentially fatal incendiary weapons, such as white phosphorous. In this regard, they called for a thorough investigation of this serious matter by relevant bodies under the appropriate international conventions and agreements.
REGIONAL AND SUB-REGIONAL POLITICAL ISSUES
177 The Ministers stressed the need for urgent efforts to advance a Middle East peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 425, 1397, 1515 and 1850, the Madrid terms of reference and the principle of land for peace. They rejected attempts to alter the terms of reference of the peace process, including the imposition of unilateral measures and schemes by Israel, the occupying Power, aimed at forcibly and illegally imposing a unilateral solution. They affirmed that such illegal measures, including in particular the construction and expansion of settlements and the Wall, are totally contradictory to the peace process and must be ceased completely for any resumption of peace negotiations. In this regard, they stressed the need for intensified and coordinated efforts by the international community to promote a genuine peace process as well as to ensure respect for international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, the key to a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole.
178 On this basis, the Ministers stressed the need for the resumption, in a timely and appropriate manner, of substantial negotiations between the parties on all tracks of the peace process for the achievement of a comprehensive, just, lasting and peaceful settlement, based on the relevant U.N. resolutions and in accordance with the rules and principles of international law enshrined therein. In this regard, they reiterated the necessity and urgency of ending the prolonged and unlawful Israeli occupation of all of the Arab territories occupied since 1967. They further reaffirmed their long-standing position in support of the establishment of the independent State of Palestine in all of the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem as its capital.
179 The Ministers recalled the historic role to be played by and the obligations of the international community, including the Security Council, towards advancing a just and comprehensive peace settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as a whole, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and regional stability. They called upon the Quartet, in light of the responsibilities undertaken by its members, to exert serious efforts and actions to support and promote negotiations on all final status issues, including full implementation of the provisions of the Road Map for a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They also called upon the Security Council to engage the Quartet, considering the Council’s Charter authority and responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and called on the members of the NAM Caucus of the Council to remain active in this regard.
180 The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by the XIV Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002, and welcomed the resolutions of the XXI Arab Summit in Doha in March 2009 which reaffirmed the commitment by all Arab states to the Arab Peace Initiative and stressed that this peace initiative will not remain on the table for long, as stipulated in the documents adopted by the Doha Arab Summit in 2009.
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
181 The Ministers reaffirmed their adherence to the positions concerning Palestine adopted by the XIV Summit of Heads of State or Government held in Havana in September 2006, as well as by the recent NAM Ministerial Conferences and Meetings, including the XV Ministerial Conference held in Tehran in July 2008, which constitute the guidelines for the Non-Aligned Countries on the question of Palestine. In this regard, they further reaffirmed their adherence to the principled positions set forth in the Declarations on Palestine adopted by the NAM Committee on Palestine during the XIV Summit and the XV Ministerial Conference.
182 The Ministers expressed their deep regret that the question of Palestine remains unresolved after the passage of more than sixty years since the 1948 Al-Nakba This is the term commonly used to refer to the catastrophe and tragedy that befell the Palestinian people in 1948, by which they lost their homeland and by which the majority of Palestinians were forcibly uprooted from their homes and displaced, becoming refugees, whose plight continues until this day. that befell the Palestinian people, by which they became a stateless and dispossessed people, displaced and dispersed from their homeland of Palestine, and that more than half of the Palestinian people continue to live in exile in refugee camps throughout the region and in the Diaspora. The Ministers also expressed their deep regret that since 1967, for nearly forty-two years now, the Palestinian people have continuously suffered under the brutal Israeli military occupation of their land and continue to be denied their fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination and the right of the Palestine refugees to return.
183 The Ministers reiterated their regret at the lack of progress made, despite increased international efforts and a resumption of the peace process in late November 2007, to address the major issues and follow-up core positions regarding the question of Palestine. They also expressed their grave concern in particular about the serious deterioration of the situation and critical political, economic, social humanitarian and security conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of ongoing unlawful policies and practices by Israel, the occupying Power.
184 In this regard, the Ministers condemned Israel’s continuing military occupation of the Palestinian Territory in breach of international law and UN resolutions. They condemned the continuing brutal Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, by which the occupying Power has continued to commit grave human rights violations and reported war crimes, including by use of excessive and indiscriminate force that has killed and injured thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, and has caused vast destruction of properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. They condemned also Israel’s detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children and numerous elected officials, and called for their immediate release. They condemned also illegal Israeli settlement activities by which the occupying Power has continued to colonize the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in grave breach of international law. They also condemned Israel’s continued imposition of collective punishment on the Palestinian people by various illegal means and measures. The Ministers reiterated their demand that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all such violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law.
185 The Ministers condemned in the strongest terms the recent Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of children and women, and the injury of more than 5,500 Palestinians. They condemned also Israel’s wanton destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes; business properties; vital civilian infrastructure, including water, sanitation and electricity systems; hospitals and ambulances; mosques; public institutions, including schools and national ministries; farms; and several UN facilities. The Ministers called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military aggression against the Palestinian people and stressed the importance of reaching a permanent, durable ceasefire starting in the Gaza Strip and extending to the West Bank, and expressed support for Egyptian efforts in this regard.
186 The Ministers called upon the international community, including the Security Council, to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out of all the crimes and violations committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip and that serious follow-up efforts are undertaken to hold accountable the perpetrators of such crimes and bring an end to Israel’s impunity and defiance of the law. In this connection, they called for immediate action to follow-up the findings of the investigation by the UN Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry and by the fact-finding mission to be dispatched by the Human Rights Council.
187 The Ministers also condemned Israel’s inhumane, unlawful closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the virtual imprisonment of the entire Palestinian civilian population there by obstructing their freedom of movement, including the movement of sick persons, students and humanitarian personnel; obstructed access to humanitarian aid and all essential goods, including food, medicines, fuel, electricity and construction materials; and obstructed all commercial flows. They expressed serious concern about the grave deterioration of socio-economic conditions and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis due to the blockade, which has caused widespread deprivation, poverty and hardship in addition to the vast trauma and suffering inflicted by the military aggression. The Ministers stressed that, in addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law, such collective punishment measures by Israel are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law, by which it is bound as the occupying Power and with which it must scrupulously comply. They demanded that Israel cease such illegal practices against the Palestinian people, end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and promptly and unconditionally open all its crossing points with the Strip in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and all United Nations resolutions, including relevant Security Council resolutions.
188 The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of Israel’s continuing intensive campaign of settler colonization, including vast land confiscations; the construction and expansion of illegal settlements, settlement “outposts” and settlement infrastructure; the transfer of more Israeli settlers; the construction of the Wall; home demolitions; excavations; and the imposition of arbitrary and racist residency and movement restrictions via a permit regime and hundreds of checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in and around Occupied East Jerusalem. They reiterated that such policies and measures by Israel, the occupying Power, constitute grave breaches of international law and flagrant defiance of UN resolutions and the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. They stressed the incompatibility of peace process negotiations with such illegal colonization activities, which are clearly aimed at the illegal acquisition and de facto annexation of more Palestinian land and forcibly imposing a unilateral solution. In this connection, they expressed their deep concern about the extensive physical, economic and social devastation being caused by the Israeli settlements, Wall and network of checkpoints, which are severing the Palestinian Territory into separate areas, including several walled cantons; isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory; displacing thousands of Palestinians from their homes and completely destroying some communities. They stressed that this illegal Israeli colonization campaign in its entirety is gravely undermining the contiguity, integrity, viability and unity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and jeopardizing the prospects for physically achieving the two-State solution for peace.
189 The Ministers demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all of its colonization activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They reaffirmed all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, including those relating to Jerusalem and confirming that it is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory; demanded their full implementation; and considered that all Israeli measures aimed at altering the legal, geographic and demographic character and status of Jerusalem and of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a whole are null and void and have no legal validity whatsoever. They further reaffirmed that these unlawful measures cannot alter the terms of reference of the peace process nor negate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In the face of continued Israeli defiance, the Ministers called for urgent action by the international community to compel the occupying Power to abide by all of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions, the Advisory Opinion and its obligations under the Road Map in this regard. They also reiterated their call for the expeditious operation of the “United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and the speedy fulfilment of its mandate.
190 The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas and emphasized the importance of maintaining and protecting the national, democratic institutions of the Palestinian Authority, including the Palestinian Legislative Council which shall constitute a vital foundation for the future independent Palestinian State. The Ministers also reiterated their call for the speedy restoration of the situation in the Gaza Strip to that which existed prior to the events of June 2007 and stressed the importance and urgency of Palestinian reconciliation and unity, and requested the International Community to respect what the Palestinians agree upon. They expressed their support for Egyptian and regional efforts in this regard and their hope for speedy achievement of reconciliation, essential for the realization of the just, legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.
191 The Ministers called for intensification of efforts by the entire international community, in particular the Security Council and the Quartet, to address the current political and humanitarian crisis, in order to ameliorate the situation on the ground and to help advance a peace process and settlement that guarantees an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that began in 1967, and the establishment of the sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine within a specified timeframe as well as a just solution for the Palestine refugee problem based on General Assembly resolution 194 (III). They stressed that such a settlement is essential for the promotion of comprehensive peace and security in the region. They called upon the Security Council, considering its Charter authority for the maintenance of international peace and security, to actively engage the Quartet for advancement of such a peace settlement. They stressed the continuing importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Road Map and called for its full and honest implementation. In this connection, they emphasized the importance of the timely convening of the proposed international conference in Moscow in follow-up of the Annapolis Conference.
192 The Ministers reaffirmed the necessity of upholding international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with regard to the question of Palestine under all circumstances. They also reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the UN towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects on the basis of international law and stressed the need for all relevant UN organs, committees and agencies to exert efforts to this end. They once more called upon the UN not to reward illegal actions and intransigence and to increase its efforts towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement, based on the two-State solution, and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination and sovereignty in their independent State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
193 Consistent with and guided by the afore-mentioned principled positions and affirming the need to defend, preserve and promote these positions, the Ministers agreed to undertake the following measures:
193.1. Continue holding meetings at the ministerial level of the NAM Committee on Palestine, within the framework of the Coordinating Bureau Ministerial Meetings that take place at the outset of UNGA ordinary sessions and during any other Ministerial Meetings of the Movement, whenever necessary and in accordance with the developments on this issue.
193.2. Maintain regular contacts and dialogue at the ministerial level between the NAM Ministerial Delegation on Palestine and the members of the Quartet and the Members of the UN Security Council, with a view to coordinating and enhancing the role played by NAM in the international efforts seeking a solution to the question of Palestine and lasting peace in the region.
193.3. Continue to actively participate in the UN Security Council, including via a proactive role of the NAM Caucus of the Council, and General Assembly meetings addressing the question of Palestine.
193.4. Convene a parallel forum of civil society in 2009, preferably within UN premises, intended to mobilize international public opinion on this issue and thus make a substantial contribution to attaining a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Occupied Syrian Golan
194 The Ministers reaffirmed 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 and have no legal effect. They further reaffirmed that all such measures and actions, including the illegality of Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities in the Occupied Syrian Golan since 1967, constitute a flagrant violation of international law, international conventions, the Charter and decisions of the UN, 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. They reiterated the Movement’s 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 commencement of the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line.
195 The Ministers reaffirmed the Movement’s 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 Arab Peace Initiative, the Madrid Peace Process, as well as the principle of land for peace and in accordance with relevant Security Council Resolutions. They again demanded that Israel respect all its commitments and pledges.
196 The Ministers reiterated their demand for Israel to comply immediately and unconditionally with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Times of War, dated 12 August 1949, and to apply them to the Syrian detainees in the occupied Syrian Golan. They strongly condemned the Israeli brutal practices in Israeli occupation prisons, and expressed their grave concern at the inhuman conditions of the Syrian detainees in the occupied Syrian Golan which have led to the deterioration of their physical health and put their lives at risk, in a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.
197 The Ministers called upon Israel, the occupying power, to reopen the Quneitra entry point, to facilitate the visits of the Syrian citizens under Israeli occupation to their motherland, Syria.
DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms … .
405 The Ministers reaffirmed the validity and relevance of the Movement's principled positions concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms, as follows:
International Humanitarian Law
422 The Ministers urged that due priority should continue to be given to promoting knowledge of, respect for and observance of States Parties’ obligations assumed under International Humanitarian Law, in particular those of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Protocols, and they encouraged States to consider ratifying or acceding to the two 1977 Additional Protocols. In this regard, while taking into account the magnitude and persistence of the violations and breaches of International Law, including International Humanitarian Law, being committed by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian territory, the Ministers called for the Government of Switzerland, as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, to speedily arrange for a Conference for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to adopt legal measures to ensure respect for and compliance with the Conventions in this situation;
437 The Ministers call upon UN Member States, in this regard, to comply fully with the provisions of the international humanitarian law, in particular as provided in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of victims of war, in order to protect and assist civilians in occupied territories, and urges the international community and the relevant organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen humanitarian and other assistance to civilians under foreign occupation.
30 April 2009
Annex I: Member Countries of the Non – Aligned Movement
(As of 30 April 2009)
Antigua and Barbuda
Central African Republic
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dominica, Commonwealth of
Iran(Islamic Republic of)
Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Syrian Arab Republic
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Republic of Tanzania
1The list of NAM Member Countries appears in Annex I.
2The Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Coordinating Bureau was preceded by the Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting, in Havana on 27 and 28 April 2009.
Document Type: Final document
Document Sources: Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)(See also - Committee on Palestine)
Subject: Fence, Golan Heights, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Humanitarian relief, Palestine question, Peace process, Road Map, Separation barrier, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem, Wall
Publication Date: 30/04/2009