Sixth United Nations Asian Seminar
on the Question of Palestine
(Twenty-ninth United Nations Seminar)
Fourth United Nations Asian NGO Symposium
on the Question of Palestine
20-24 January 1992
REPORT OF THE SIXTH UNITED NATIONS ASIAN SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE (TWENTY-NINTH UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR)
1 – 49
1 – 5
Round table presentations
Conclusions and recommendations
6 – 12
13 – 34
36 – 49
REPORT OF THE FOURTH UNITED NATIONS ASIAN NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
50 – 53
Declaration adopted by the Fourth Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
Annex to the Declaration
Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
54 – 70
72 – 89
Motion of thanks
List of participants
THE SIXTH UNITED NATIONS ASIAN SEMINAR
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
(TWENTY-NINTH UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR)
20 – 24 JANUARY 1992
1. The sixth United Nations Asian Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Twenty-ninth United Nations Seminar) and the fourth United Nations Asian NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine were held at the Cyprus International Conference Centre, Nicosia, from 20 to 24 January 1992, in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 46/74 B of 11 December 1991. The Seminar and NGO Symposium took place for the most part as a combined event. The reports are presented separately herein.
2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, Chairman of the Seminar; H.E. Mr. Victor Camilleri (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee, Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur of the Seminar; H.E. Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis (Cyprus), Vice-Chairman of the Seminar; Mr. Dinesh Kumar Jain (India); Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa (Palestine).
3. A total of 9 plenary meetings were held and 20 experts presented papers on various aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 22 Governments, Palestine, 1 United Nations specialized agency, 3 United Nations organs, 1 intergovernmental organization, as well as 48 non-governmental organizations, attended the Seminar and NGO Symposium.
4. The Seminar adopted conclusions and recommendations as well as a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Cyprus.
5. At the opening meeting of the Seminar and NGO Symposium statements were made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of Palestinian People, the representative of Palestine, who read out a message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and by the representative of the Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
A. Opening statements
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus
6. The opening ceremony of the Seminar and NGO Symposium was addressed by H.E. Mr. George Iacovou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. He stressed that Cyprus' geographical proximity to the Middle East and its traditional friendly ties with the countries of the region made it an ideal venue for the current meeting, which was taking place at a time when world attention was focused on the current Middle East peace process. The United Nations had over the past 45 years, adopted a series of resolutions aimed at solving the question of Palestine, which was at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those resolutions, particularly Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), formed the cornerstone for the establishment of peace in the region.
He pointed out that the necessary elements for the solution of the question of Palestine were Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem as well as from all other Arab territories occupied since 1967, the attainment of Palestinian self-determination and establishment of an independent state, and political recognition and guarantee of all States in the region, including Israel, to live in peace within secure and recognized borders. Israel must fulfil its obligations under the 1949 Geneva Convention and unilaterally stop all illegal actions, including the establishment of new settlements and the recent decision to deport Palestinian civilians.
He emphasized that the role of the United Nations, the Secretary-General and the Security Council, in particular, its five permanent members, was of paramount importance for a successful outcome of the peace process. The readiness of the United States to act as an honest broker was another important factor. In the emerging new international order, the same principles and norms should be applied and binding United Nations resolutions implemented in all cases.
With regard to its own situation, he said, Cyprus was seeking, through the United Nations and the Secretary-General's good offices, a just solution based on the principles of the Charter, the universal declarations on human rights, and the United Nations resolutions on Cyprus.
He recalled that Cyprus had always supported the just cause of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and had repeatedly called for implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions. Cyprus strongly supported the current efforts for a just solution of the Middle East problem. He expressed confidence that the current Seminar and Symposium, which was about to address many crucial issues, would make a valuable contribution to the advancement of the peace process.
Statement by the representative of the Secretary-General
of the United Nations
7. The opening meeting was addressed by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Under-Secretary-General Ronald I. Spiers. He recalled at the outset, Cyprus' devotion to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and its commitment to resolving the question of Palestine. He stressed that the meeting aimed at helping to find answers to a conflict which had resulted in great loss of life and caused much misery and destruction. It demonstrated the concern with which the United Nations members viewed the stalemate in that conflict and the urgency they attached to a just and lasting settlement in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law and morality.
He emphasized that the Asian countries had actively contributed to ongoing United Nations efforts to bring a just peace to the Middle East. Their sustained participation in mobilizing pressure on the parties to the conflict would be an important factor in advancing towards a comprehensive solution.
He said that meetings such as the current Seminar and NGO Symposium provided an opportunity for constructive dialogue. It was fundamental that such regional seminars continue to include diverse points of view so that sincere people on all sides of this crucial question could come together to grapple with the problem of securing a just peace in the Middle East.
He pointed out that there was widespread international agreement that a just solution should be based on three conditions: the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Palestinian territory; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty of all States in the region and the right to live within secure borders; and recognition of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. The question of Jerusalem also remained of primary importance.
Citing the ongoing peace process that began with the Madrid Peace Conference he expressed the hope that it would constitute a significant step towards the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. It was in the overwhelming interest not only of the parties directly involved in the dispute but all nations and people of the world to take a great step forward in reaching mutually satisfactory arrangements for the troubled region of the Middle East. It was essential that the search for peace be maintained.
The United Nations should continue on its path to support a comprehensive solution that could provide the peoples of the area the possibility of a just and desirable peace, taking fully into account the legitimate aspirations and rights of the Palestinian people. At the same time, it was of critical importance to improve the conditions in the occupied territory. Israel must respect its obligations under the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. It was the responsibility of the international community and of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention in particular, to ensure respect for human rights in the occupied territory.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People should also be a forum for helping to advance the peace process and the prospect of a just peace in the Middle East and a lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. Meetings like the current one could become important opportunities for serious foreign policy practitioners, influential journalists and leading academicians to engage in a broad dialogue on practical means towards a Middle East peace. In conclusion, he urged the participants that all efforts be made to ensure that areas of common interest identified at the current meeting are progressively widened and multiplied so that future meetings could be marked by innovation, flexibility and constructive debate.
Statement by the Chairman of the Committee
8. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé, Chairman of the Committee and of the Seminar and NGO Symposium, emphasized at the outset that Cyprus had been a member of the Committee since its establishment and a committed supporter of its work. He recalled that for nearly 45 years the United Nations had sought unsuccessfully to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict. In 1975, the General Assembly had recognized that that was not possible without the realization of the Palestinian national rights.
He said the Committee had consistently stressed the necessity of the two-state solution decided upon by the General Assembly when it partitioned Palestine in 1947. It had also stressed the need to ensure the full exercise of Palestinian rights, particularly the right to self-determination. The achievement of that objective required the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, and the implementation of all the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had been established to help redress the imbalance resulting from the creation of only one of those States and the dispossession of the Palestinian people.
He expressed the hope that the Committee's objectives might have come a step closer through the current peace process. Though disappointed by the inability of the parties to address substantive issues as yet, owing primarily to Israel's intransigence, the parties' agreement to hold further talks offered hope that progress would be made. However, he said the road ahead was still extremely long and fraught with difficulties. The deep fears and mutual suspicions engendered by 44 years of conflict would not be easily overcome. He demanded urgent measures to defuse the continuing tension and violence in the region.
He called for an end to such practices as the confiscation of land and building of settlements; the use of firearms to deal with demonstrators, curfews and restrictions on freedom of movement and association; the continued detention of thousands of persons, the use of deportations and collective punishment, the separation of thousands of families, and fetters imposed on the occupied territory's economic development. The Committee also viewed with concern Israel's recent decision to resume deportation of Palestinian civilians from the occupied Palestinian territory.
He stressed the legal obligations of Israel, the occupying Power, under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The fact that talks might be in progress between the parties, and outside of the United Nations framework, did not detract in any way from Israel's obligations to respect the Convention and to abide by the Security Council's resolutions. He called on the Government of Israel to act with wisdom and foresight and to demonstrate its goodwill and readiness for peace.
Message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Palestine Liberation Organization
9. A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was read out by Mr. Samir Abu Ghazala, Representative of Palestine in Cyprus. In the message it was said that the Seminar and NGO Symposium was taking place at a time when the Palestinian cause was at a crucial historical crossroads, with the convening of the current peace process on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of land for peace and the guarantee of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.
The PLO continued to contribute to that process, despite the provocations and obstacles placed by Israel. The Israeli Government had escalated its aggressive and repressive policies and practices against the Palestinian people. It had taken decisions involving the allocation of $50 million to build new settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, to deport 12 Palestinians from their homeland, and to permit Jewish settlers in the occupied territory to establish their own armed militias, thus continuing and intensifying practices of repression and organized state terrorism.
Israel's recent decisions were in open defiance of the international community and of the co-sponsors of the peace conference, particularly the United States. They also represented a flagrant violation of international covenants and of the Fourth Geneva Convention. They were provocations that revealed the true intentions of Israel's rulers and their desire to frustrate the peace process and undermine its foundations.
The message stressed that, in view of its constant desire for a just peace in the region, the PLO would continue to participate vigorously in the ongoing peace negotiations. At the same time, the Palestinian people would continue its just struggle and the intifadah, which had been endorsed by numerous United Nations resolutions as a manifestation of its legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. He called on the meeting to support the urgent request for international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation. He demanded an end to the building of Israeli settlements in the occupied territory, the expropriation of Palestinian land and water, and the deportation of Palestinian civilians. The achievement of the foregoing would represent a genuine contribution to the advancing peace process.
Statement on behalf of the Asian non-governmental organizations
10. Mr. Syed Farid Alatas, reading out a statement by Mr. Ali Alattas, Chairman of the Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ACCP), emphasized that the Asian region had much to contribute to worldwide NGO endeavours with regard to the question of Palestine.
The occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories was more than just a political phenomenon, it also had economic and cultural dimensions. Israeli laws made Palestinians second-class citizens. Such laws granted to Israeli Jews nationality rights which were denied to the Arabs. At the same time, Israel benefited from Palestinian wage labour. Lack of economic development in the West Bank and Gaza pushed the Palestinian labour force to seek employment within Israel itself.
He said that Asian non-governmental organizations should oppose the frequent torture and sexual harassment of Palestinian women by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territory. They should make the world aware of the torture and imprisonment of children by Israeli authorities in the occupied territory, as well as of the tear-gas-induced, intra-uterine fetal deaths.
He outlined that Asian NGOs must play a role in getting the mass media to project true images of the Palestinians and their plight. Documentaries and films on life in Israel and the occupied territory must be made available in the Asian countries.
He said the Asian NGOs called for effective international economic and political sanctions on Israel to pressure the Israeli Administration into complying with the Fourth Geneva Convention and accepting all the relevant Security Council resolutions. He appealed to the Security Council to establish a United Nations presence in the occupied territory to protect the Palestinian people.
For its part, the ACCP would publish a bulletin containing news on Palestine and on the activities of various Asian NGOs, in order to counter insufficient or one-sided coverage of issues pertaining to the question of Palestine. He also suggested that the ACCP be divided into sub-regional committees, in order to plan more activities.
11. A statement was also made by H.E. Mr. Nabil Maarouf, Assistant Secretary-General, Organization of the Islamic Conference. He informed participants that the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference held at Dakar in January 1992 had stressed its support for Palestinian rights and for the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, under the leadership of the PLO, and had called for full implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and for an end to Israel's settlement policy. Dr. P. Pradier and Dr. Robert Cook, representatives of the World Health Organization, provided information on their organization's assistance programme for Palestinians living under occupation and for Palestinian refugees in the region as a whole.
12. The Seminar and NGO Symposium was also addressed by Mrs. Androula Vassiliou, wife of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. She stressed that the meeting was an important and timely event in the framework of United Nations efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. A prompt and just solution to the question of Palestine was central to achieving peace and security in the Middle East and would contribute greatly to solving problems of the Eastern Mediterranean, including that of Cyprus. Regional peace and stability would create a basis for enhanced cooperation between neighbouring States, which was a prerequisite for economic development and prosperity.
B. Round table presentations
13. Three round tables were established. The round tables and the experts were as follows:
14. Mr. Muhammad Hallaj (Palestinian), Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund, Washington, D.C., and Director of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, pointed out that the denial of self-government to the Palestinian people had nothing to do with their fitness for self-government. Such denial had resulted from subordinating their national rights to the needs and interests of others. Palestinian rights had been subsumed by the past tragedy of another people. He drew attention to the fact that the Palestinian society had been dismantled and displaced at the same time that was witnessing the implementation of the right to self-determination and the rebirth of nations. But the Palestinians were not prepared to accept the denial of their rights as a final reality. Their writers and poets had continued to affirm their peoples' rights. To survive, the Palestinians had turned to education and, within one generation, had become one of the most educated peoples in the world.
He said that the worldwide decolonization process had not only underlined the injustice of denying national rights to the Palestinian people, but, it had also made the community of States truly aware of the plight of that people. The United Nations rejected Israel's annexation of Jerusalem, affirmed the illegality of all measures aimed at the de facto annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, including the establishment of Jewish settlements.
He stressed that Palestinian national rights comprise the right to self-determination, including independent statehood in Palestine, the right of return of the displaced who choose it and compensation for those who did not. They included also protection accorded by international law and covenants to all peoples under occupation. The Palestinian people had accepted that international definition of Palestinian rights as a compromise.
However, Israel was stalling on the current peace process. Prospects for that peace process were not hopeful, as it was guided by the United States, the one nation apart from Israel which had demonstrated a limited view of Palestinian rights. On the contrary, Israel had been given an opportunity to continue grinding down the rights of the Palestinian people.
Speaking about the role of the international community, he emphasized that it was premature to set aside its responsibility towards the Palestinians and their national rights. The peace process that had been initiated was being used by Israel and the United States to marginalize and silence the international community in order to compromise Palestinian rights rather than to attain them. The world community had to be prepared to assume its responsibility for the exercise of Palestinian national rights, if Israel succeeded in its intent to subvert the present peace process by using it as a delaying tactic or as a tool to legitimize its usurpation of Palestinian rights.
He recommended that the United Nations take more meaningful and effective steps to prevent Israel from prejudicing the settlement of the conflict with more faits accomplis, and if necessary to use sanctions, to deter Israel's annexation and to stop its de facto annexation of occupied Palestinian territories through land confiscation and Jewish settlements. Also the United Nations should keep Israel from continuing with the undermining and the dismantlement of Palestinian society through expulsion, through the closure of social institutions and economic warfare.
The United Nations should make it clear that the international community would not tolerate the state of permanent or irreversible occupation. By a resolution, occupied Palestine should be placed under temporary United Nations protection and trusteeship and a practical mechanism should be put into effect to secure for the Palestinians their national rights as defined by the United Nations. The international community should give full recognition to the state of Palestine and resolve that the continuing presence of foreign troops on its soil should be considered an act of aggression against a member state. He concluded in saying that none of these measures either denied Israel's existence or infringed its sovereignty or security. But they were all necessary to prevent Israel from dooming the Middle East to perpetual conflict.
15. Mr. He Yafei (China), Chief of Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict not only had an impact on peace and tranquillity in the region, but also posed a serious threat to stability and development in the world. It was therefore imperative that the international community continued its efforts to settle that conflict through peaceful negotiations on the basis of United Nations resolutions, particularly, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
The occupied Arab territories should be returned, the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people restored, and the sovereignty and security of all countries in the region, including Israel, respected and guaranteed.
Referring to the Peace Conference held in Madrid he stressed that the "State of Palestine", overcoming many obstacles, had actively promoted the peace process in the region. He did not expect these negotiations to yield immediate results, but so long as all concerned parties were sincere in resolving problems and determined to overcome difficulties, peace would eventually come to the Middle East.
He urged all the parties in the forthcoming stage of the current peace talks, to be held in Moscow, to be sincere in their efforts to overcome difficulties and resolve problems. There could be no peace without the return of the territories occupied during the Arab-Israeli wars. It was also essential that the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people should be respected and that the sovereignty and security of all countries in the region be guaranteed.
In conclusion, he expressed his confidence that the United Nations would play an even greater role in that process.
16. Mr. Don Betz (United States), Professor of Political Science and Chairman of the International Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, gave an analysis of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Stressing that the Palestinians were a people and a nation, he emphasized that they had inalienable rights which included among others the right to life. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 had specifically and publicly affirmed that right for people under occupation. The right to liberty was the second inalienable right, which included individual freedom and national self-expression. The denial of that right deprived Palestinians from raising a family and providing the essentials of a decent life free from intimidation and coercion. The third inalienable right was the pursuit of happiness, which the Palestinians were unable to embrace in their native land. But the path to happiness for a nation lay in determining its own destiny without external dictation, domination or coercion. A just settlement of the question of Palestine must address that individual and collective pursuit of inalienable rights. He, then, pointed out that the intifadah had challenged the fixed stereotypes of Palestinians in public opinion. The intifadah was the struggle for the quintessence of national rights, the road to self-determination. Positive images of the Palestinians had been reinforced by the Madrid Peace Conference with a Palestinian delegation as legitimate negotiator of a just peace for a nation with an inalienable right to self-determination. He concluded by saying that for the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and the concerned public, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was the prerequisite for a just and lasting settlement and genuine peace.
17. Mr. Hashim Mahamid (Israel), member of the Knesset, stressed that the practices of the Government of Israel in the occupied territory aimed at tearing the Palestinian homeland to pieces. Curfews had turned the occupied territory into one big jail. He cited also the crimes of the settlers, which he described as militias armed by the Israeli Government. The armed settlers committed daily pogroms against a defenceless and exposed Palestinian civilian population. They did not realize that the greater the oppression and hostilities, the greater would be the will of the people to resist.
He referred to the fact that even during the current peace conference, construction of settlements in the occupied territories continued. The pace of construction was constantly being increased, with the avowed intention of doubling the settler population over the next two years. There were already some 130,000 Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem and some 100,000 in the occupied territory. The settlers were treated as a favoured part of Israel's population. All of that was carried out with the aim of creating a fait accompli, instead of responding to the legitimate demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied territory.
He emphasized that there was no solution to the conflict without establishing a free Palestinian State. Any regional arrangements between Israel and any of the Arab States which did not take into consideration the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people would not lead to any peace.
He recalled that the Israeli society was divided into two camps, the so-called "hawks" and "doves". However, both sides agreed on not retreating to the pre-1967 borders; rejected the PLO as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; and rejected the idea of an independent Palestinian State. Nevertheless, there had been a constantly growing acceptance of a Palestinian State as the only possible and realistic way to peace. During the intifadah, willingness to negotiate with the PLO had increased. There was also a wide consensus against continuing the status quo in the occupied territory.
In conclusion, he said that Israel would never live in peace without recognizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinians for self-determination in a free, independent State. The PLO must be recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. He called for the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
18. Mr. Ian S. Lustick (United States of America), Professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, described the Israeli settlements in the occupied territory as an unprecedented threat to the future of Palestinian political rights and resources, particularly land and water. Although the bulk of Israeli settlers had moved to the occupied territory to improve living standards, and although they must be induced by various incentives to accept the establishment of Palestinian jurisdiction over those areas, a substantial minority of the settlers, with strong ties to leading political echelons inside Israel was bound to oppose any substantial compromise by all means available, including violent provocation and armed resistance.
He said that established settlements now contained approximately 250,000 Jews, including settlements in expanded East Jerusalem. Their existence had made trade of land for peace, particularly in the West Bank, an order of magnitude more difficult to achieve than it would have been in their absence. However, Israeli withdrawal was not and would not soon become impossible as a result of the existing settlements or their expansion. The case of the French in Algeria showed that as long as the issue of what to do with the West Bank and Gaza Strip remained an open question on the Israeli and international agendas, settlement itself would not be enough to foreclose options for territorial compromise.
He expressed the view that in the absence of a settlement freeze it was virtually certain that the current round of negotiations would fail. Both the Government of Prime Minister Shamir and the Palestinians appeared to recognize the importance of the signals that a politically imposed settlement freeze would send in the context of the game both sides were playing, a game largely fought over whose expectations concerning the future of the areas were to be considered realistic and whose unrealistic. Both sides thus also understood the decisive significance of Palestinian participation in the regulation and use of land and water during the "transitional" period. However, if failure of the peace talks occurred as a result of the settlement issue, clarification of what was at stake for Israelis as a result of their investment in settlements might encourage political changes within Israel tending, after one or more subsequent elections, towards a more accommodating stance by Israeli governments.
19. Mr. Ron Macintyre (New Zealand), Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury, examined the Palestine refugee question within an historical framework (1948-1991) and pointed out that the refugee problem derived from an anti-colonial struggle for Palestine. He highlighted the importance of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) for a resolution of the refugee question, which stated among other things, that the refugees wishing to return to their homes to live in peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.
He examined the role of UNRWA, noting certain limitations in its mandate with regard to the establishment of national institutions for Palestinians, especially in the occupied territory, where the agency had been frequently harassed by the military administration and some of its staff had been imprisoned. UNRWA institutions while planned to meet specific or basic needs of registered refugees, lacked overall coordination and integration within the framework of a national authority in the occupied territory. He highlighted alarming statistics relating to Israel's violation of human rights in the occupied territory. He suggested that the concept of resettlement of refugees needed not to be negative if linked to the principle of self-determination in the occupied territory. He concluded with an appeal to the United States and other major powers to work for Middle East peace in the wake of the new world order.
20. Mr. Moshe Amirav (Israel), Co-Chairman of the Israeli-Palestinian Centre for Information, said at the outset that Jerusalem was a city where the pace of the living had always been dictated by the spirit of the dead, where the past had always been more important than the future. It was also a city where one could feel conflict and fear in the air. The city known in the Bible as the City of Peace, had known more wars than any other. He pointed out that, since 1967, Israel's policy aimed at enlarging the Jewish majority in the city and keeping the city united. But nowadays, Jerusalem was one of the most divided cities in the world and the Israeli Government had added to the pattern of segregation, an unofficial policy of discrimination through its distribution of resources and permission to build housing.
He stressed that he advocated a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital of both states and functional power-sharing. It was possible to bypass the problem of sovereignty by breaking it into its elements. The city borders could be expanded to triple the land area and even out the demographics, including some 10 municipalities, half Jewish and half Arab. Each municipality could be granted some components of sovereignty, while Israelis and Palestinans, as well as all Christians, Muslims and Jews would be able to keep their symbols. The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem and Ramallah could be added along with the Jewish towns of Ma'ale Adumim and Mevaseret. New economic opportunities would help equalize standards of living. He emphasized that there could be no solution to the conflict without a solution to Jerusalem and suggested to make Jerusalem the highest priority at the negotiating table. If a solution to the conflict was based on the ability of Jews and Arabs to live together, Jerusalem was the prototypical place which could serve as a model for this type of solution.
He, then, urged the Palestinians to participate more actively in the daily life of the city. By not boycotting the next elections, a Palestinian party could form a coalition with Labour and left-wing forces and decide the next mayor of Jerusalem. The United Nations should support specific development projects in Jerusalem. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that that concept could make a contribution as an example of successful conflict resolution for regions in turmoil around the world.
21. Mr. Albert Aghazarian (Palestinian), Director of Public Relations at Bir Zeit University, pointed out that, although it was titillating to probe into possible future solutions, it was the present and the immediate past that mattered.
He cited the case of a Palestinian who had been ousted from his home, even though it was recognized uncontestably that the house belonged to him. Israel's Supreme Court had ruled that his home undermined the character of the Jewish neighbourhood in which he lived. Thus, legally, a non-Jew was not allowed to live within the confines of the Jewish quarter.
The reverse, however, was not true. Through settler plans supported by the Government, many Palestinian houses were being taken. Absentee land laws made it possible for properties to be transferred to settler groups. The term "Muslim quarter" had been removed from Jerusalem. It was now called "the historic Jewish quarter". The term "hospice of St. John" had been renamed for the group which had taken it. Every house in areas marked for take-over was investigated. He said that in effect, the Government had declared war on the Palestinian population of Jerusalem.
He referred to the fact that many spoke of "the right of a Jew to live anywhere in the State of Israel", as a rationale for such actions. Yet it was a fact that many Jews would not be tolerated in neighbourhoods occupied by certain Jewish religious groups. The net result of Israel's occupation of Jerusalem was destructive, despite the genuine love many Israelis had for the city. He called for concrete measures to be taken by the international community to protect the status of Jerusalem.
22. Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel), Chairman of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, referred to the multilateral Arab-Israeli peace talks to be held in Moscow at the end of January, where arms limitations in the Middle East would also be discussed and emphasized that arms limitation was the cornerstone of any regional security arrangements. At the same time he expressed doubts as to any promising results, because some major countries in the region, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, had not been invited to the talks. No other country in the Middle East would undertake any restrictions which would not apply to those countries as well. He stressed that another factor which stood in the way of any kind of agreement on arms limitation was the deep interest of the arms-producing countries to sell their products. He quoted figures for recent increases in arms sales to the region and concluded that the Middle East was the most lucrative market for arms and that no arms-producing country was likely to give up easily its share of that market.
He then stressed that local conflicts in the Middle East embraced a much more extensive area than that of the Arab-Israeli conflict and should be taken into consideration in discussing regional security arrangements. It was only theoretical and illusory that the arms race in the region could be brought to a halt by the producing countries agreeing to stop selling their products. He emphasized, therefore, that an overall settlement of all conflicts in the region must precede any regional security arrangements. He expressed the hope that the parties to those conflicts would recognize the United Nations as a framework within which initial attempts to take up all their conflicts might be agreed to. He suggested two concrete measures to be accepted by all countries in the region which would help reduce suspicion without jeopardizing their national security. First, all countries in the region should open up all their nuclear activities to international inspection and sign the non-proliferation treaty. Secondly, they should limit their defence expenditure to a certain level which might allow each country to keep its national military establishment in a fairly reasonable state of readiness and yet let the other parties feel that no imminent danger needed to be feared. A reasonable level of such defence expenditure might be 5 percent of the Gross National Product in each country.
23. Mr. Yezid Sayigh (Palestinian), Research Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford, pointed out that the Arab-Israeli conflict posed special challenges to those engaged in conflict resolution and regional security. It was characterized in particular by its horizontal and vertical complexity: the large number of States and non-state actors that were directly or indirectly involved; and the gradation of military technology, from ordinary conventional weapons and munitions, through advanced conventional and ballistic systems, to the range of weapons of mass destruction – chemical, biological, and nuclear. The marked asymmetry of capabilities among the various parties tended to destabilize the strategic balance and encourage arms races.
To break out of the current stalemate, an alternative approach to conflict resolution and arms control was needed to reconcile three core issues: implementing Palestinian political rights, restoring Arab territory occupied by Israel, and guaranteeing Israeli security. The most useful approach would be to propose a package that addresses all three dimensions separately, but simultaneously, and that acknowledges the linkages between them. The key was to use those linkages constructively, in order to make trade-offs between the distinct tracks and so achieve substantial progress in each. Having disaggregated the elements of the conflict and strategic balance, they could then be reconstructed in a new, mutually agreed combination.
A wide range of confidence-building measures, verification procedures, and monitoring bodies would support any agreement reached, and external powers would have to commit themselves to restraints on arms transfers, in all of which the United Nations could play a major role.
He emphasized that mutual and reciprocal agreements and concessions, even if not equal in measure and kind, were a matter of principle, in order to maintain balance taking into account the inevitable asymmetry in capabilities and needs. At the same time, the success of the whole endeavour was contingent on attaining a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestine problem. No real arms control could be implemented until agreement was reached on the basic political and territorial disputes. Arms control could be achieved only if it formed an integral part of a political and territorial settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
24. Mr. Radwan Abu-Ayyash (Palestinian), Chairman of Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations in the occupied territory, Head of the Arab Media Centre, stressed at the outset that the Palestinian people was a victim of injustice and denial of its rights, of its existence as a nation with a history and a culture. He stressed that Israel should recognize the Palestinians as one people. He pointed out that Israel's ambition to have a greater Israel lay behind the current furious settlement policy in the occupied territory. Building settlements was not a negotiating tactic. It had been a main strategic policy of all the leaders of Israel since Israel was established. It aimed at confiscating Palestinian land and changing the demographic composition of the territories.
He said that the rights of the Palestinian people were being violated, as were United Nations resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international treaties. Israel was being allowed to continue such violations. It had never been forced by the United Nations, Arabs, Europeans or Americans to stop that. It was only the Palestinians who were struggling to see international law implemented. Unfortunately, Israel had not shown a sign of goodwill or a desire to engage in genuine peace talks. On the contrary, it sought only to torpedo the current historic peace process. Attacks by armed settlers had increased, while the process of settlement continued unabated.
A just solution of the Palestine question should be based on international law, and the relevant Security Council resolutions in particular. There must be respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention. Peace talks should immediately address such crucial matters as a transitional period, settlements, transference of authority, Jerusalem, security questions and Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territory. The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization was indispensable. Peace could only come through actions aimed at securing justice.
25. Ms. Yael Dayan (Israel), journalist and author, expressed the view that the current Government of Israel should be replaced by the Israeli population. She rejected the correlation of the Israeli Government with Israel or Israelis. The peace camp represented a great majority in the polls and would hopefully prevail in the Israeli elections. A majority of Israelis opposed the policies of the current Government. If that were not so, there would be no point in holding the Seminar and Symposium. Polls showed that 70 per cent of the Israeli population favoured the exchange of land for peace. She challenged statistics which seemed to indicate otherwise.
She said the Likud Government did not have a mandate for the extreme actions it was taking. Israel as a whole saw the need for a territorial compromise and for support for the rights of the Palestinians. While there was still fear of an independent Palestinian state, there was acceptance of the idea of some kind of confederated state. While she supported the idea of an independent Palestinian state, it was necessary to deal with what was feasible at present. The Likud Government could never provide the guarantees that were needed; such guarantees would have to come from the 70 per cent of the Israeli population that supported peace.
She said that it was necessary at present to work towards an interim status, as a step towards a more acceptable solution. The Gulf war had made the concept of keeping the territories as essential for peace irrelevant to most Israelis. She had found that students were not attached to the West Bank and Gaza. They were concerned at the PLO's Covenant which they viewed as aimed at destroying Israel. They wanted to know how giving up land could ensure peace, in view of that covenant and the continuing terrorism, even among Palestinians. Civilians had a right to be free of terror. Both sides had to work against terror attacks on civilians.
With reference to the Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union, she pointed out that those who denied Israel's right to absorb Soviet immigrants, denied Israel's very reason for existence and gave strength to the right-wing. The immigrants did not settle in the occupied territories. All settlements should be opposed, but Soviet immigrants must be permitted to come to live in other areas.
26. Dr. Ahmad Yaziji (Palestinian), medical doctor in Gaza recalled at the outset that the population density in the Gaza Strip was the highest in the world, amounting to more than 1,800 persons per square kilometre and emphasized that the demographic problems in conjunction with the deplorable economic conditions and unemployment, had led to a severe deterioration in public health and countless health problems. As a result, clinics received more than 8,000 patients per day, for whom proper health services could not be provided owing to the overcrowding in the doctor's surgeries and the lack of diagnostic facilities and medicines.
He cited the negligence and indifference of the Israeli authorities to public health in the territories, in addition to the acute shortage of water in many parts of the Strip. The level of salinity and organic matter in the water supply of the occupied territory was increasing. Studies had shown that there would no longer be any suitable drinkable water in five years. Outside of refugee camps, sewers leaked into the streets, giving residential areas the appearance of sewerage swamps and posing threats of typhoid and intestinal problems. Waste was left to accumulate in residential areas, around houses and in public squares where it caused countless health problems. Severe environmental pollution was caused by many primitive industries which had been banned in Israel as well as by antiquated vehicles and by the lack of trees.
As a consequence the residents of the Gaza Strip were suffering from such problems as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as from contagious diseases. Diseases caused by parasites were widespread and some 80 per cent of the children were afflicted by worms. Gum and tooth disease was widespread among children. The incidence of asthma was increasing both quantitatively and qualitatively, owing to the frequent exposure to tear gas. Various degrees of malnutrition were also widespread, affecting about 50 per cent of children under five years of age.
He pointed out that hospital facilities also differed markedly. For example, in the Gaza Strip, there was one hospital bed for each 867 persons, while in Israel, there was one bed for each 172 persons. The health insurance scheme was costly and the population lacked the means for enrolment. Hospital equipment and buildings were poorly maintained. Most clinics had only a limited number of rooms, and those were poorly equipped. There was no school medicine except for some basic vaccinations at the beginning of each year. There were no programmes for the elderly or the chronically ill. There were no public mental health programmes. Repeated raids by the military forces on hospitals and health units in which they arrested sick and injured persons, had caused the public to lose faith in the integrity of health services.
He went on to say that the Israeli military practices had become more violent and deadly during the intifadah. It was estimated that 70 percent of the persons injured by the army in the Gaza Strip were shot, in violation of international standards, by live ammunition, the kind that exploded in the body. The use of gas grenades against women and children had left babies dead, children blind and had caused many miscarriages. In addition, the conditions in the detention camps had left thousands of Palestinians with deteriorating physical and psychological problems.
He said that the only solution to that health hardship was the end of the occupation and the transfer of authority to the Palestinian people in a Palestinian State.
27. At the outset the Chairman made a statement in which he protested the arbitrary decision of the Israeli authorities who had prevented Mr. Omar Abdel-Razeq from taking part in the meeting. Such a decision not only represented a violation of the right to movement and association of the Palestinians in the occupied territory, but was also contrary to the obligation of every State Member of the United Nations to permit persons under its jurisdiction to participate in a meeting organized under the auspices of the United Nations.
28. Mr. A. H. Rizavi (India), Vice-President of the Indo-Arab Society, said India had a long and special association with the Palestinian cause. In his own country, leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawarhalal Nehru had always believed that a country should not be split on the basis of religion. History showed that artificial partitions only led to untold miseries and heightened mutual mistrust. India played an active role in support of the Palestinian people and recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
He said that, without a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian problem, there could be no hope for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East. Such a solution should ensure the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and an independent state in their own homeland. It should also include Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which called for the exchange of land for peace, as well as guarantees for the security of all States in the region.
The Madrid Peace Conference was the start of a process which should lead to a mutually acceptable settlement of the Middle East problem. The Arab parties, and the Palestinians in particular, had shown a constructive approach to those talks. Unfortunately, Israel had not. Israel continued to reject the principle of land for peace. At the same time it continued building settlements in the occupied territory and formalizing its control of occupied Arab land in other ways. He emphasized that the current historic opportunity for peace should not be lost. The international community should strive to create an atmosphere of cooperation, in which the conflicting parties might come to an agreement.
29. Mr. Omran El-Shafie (Egypt), Ambassador and former Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that the management of arms control was still accorded high priority in the new international dialogue. While the global stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were being identified, information about such weapons in the Middle East was deliberately shrouded in mystery, thus increasing the scope for mutual suspicion, and promoting mutual misunderstanding among the countries of the region and inducing them to embark on a further proliferation of such weapons. Military activities of the countries of the region had become the focal point of national endeavours in each of those countries.
Approximately $70 billion was spent annually on such weapons, representing some 16 per cent of the entire region's gross national product and some 20 per cent of its overall government spending. That phenomenon had placed a heavy economic burden on the region, which would become even heavier in the future.
He pointed out that the countries and peoples of the Middle East were faced with a potential nuclear threat through Israel's possession of that weapon, leading to an unbalanced state of affairs.
He recalled that since 1974, the United Nations had been urging the countries of the region to turn it into a nuclear-weapon-free zone. It now appeared that it might be possible to overcome the difficulties in that task and to separate it from other problems besetting the region. The Gulf war had highlighted the need for effective safeguards against the use of chemical weapons, with sanctions being applied to those who used them. The threat of use of biological weapons was also apparent during the Gulf war.
He referred to the proposal by the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to turn the Middle East into a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and said that its implementation should be linked to the security arrangements being formulated during the multilateral negotiations within the framework of the peace conference. These three types of weapons of mass destruction must be dealt with in a balanced and parallel manner. The implementation of the proposal should be initially focused on a number of parties directly concerned with the Arab-Israeli conflict and only subsequently be expanded to include the other countries of the region. Close attention should be paid to the legitimate security requirements of each State, including Israel and also the security of the Palestinian peoples.
He said the countries of the region should carefully study the arms control agreements reached in Eastern and Western Europe and their use of confidence-building measures.
With regard to conventional arms control in the region he highlighted the role of the United Nations and referred to the French proposal to reduce the level of armament in each region of the world to the minimum consistent with the need of each State as well as to the established register of arms exports.
In conclusion he emphasized that in view of the positive developments on the international scene, the best way to safeguard peace and security in the Middle East was to enter into serious negotiations to end the arms race. However, attempts to control the conventional arms race or to eliminate weapons of mass destruction would not be effective until political solutions to the region's problems were found. That applied, in particular, to the Palestinian problem. It was also important to approach arms reduction in a balanced and parallel manner.
30. Mr. Ryoji Tateyama (Japan), Deputy Chief Economist at the Institute of Middle Eastern Economies, referred to the ongoing peace conference and pointed out that at this crucial stage, economic assistance to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by the international community was twofold in its importance. First, it had a significant role to play in preventing the further deterioration of the economy in the Palestinian community which would form a future Palestinian entity. Second, efforts to revitalize the economies of the occupied territory would accelerate the pace of the peace process itself.
The main task of international economic aid was to assist the Palestinian community to develop economic and social infrastructure, particularly to establish local institutions relating to economic development planning, banking and finance and to improve competitiveness in the agricultural and industrial sectors. In this context, major attention should be paid not only to financial aid but also to technological transfer, including transfer of "soft resource" technology, various types of information, know-how and tools for economic policy planning, banking and finance, research and development, management, production and quality control, and many other fields. He called for a better coordination in the assistance between the international community and Palestinians in the occupied territory.
He said that Japan had a history of assistance to the Palestinians, going back to 1953. Since 1973, Japan's contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had increased substantially. It was expected that, in the near future, further grass-roots relations would be established between local and Japanese non-governmental organizations.
He said the agricultural and industrial sectors in the occupied territory were deteriorating as a result of restrictions imposed by the occupying Power on daily activities and on the use of water resources. Israel had levied high taxes, confiscated properties, closed financial institutions and limited access to outside markets. The prolonged occupation had created a vicious circle: decreased investment had resulted in decreased competitiveness, which led to further declines in productivity. The international community should extend financial aid and technological assistance to the Palestinians in order to develop the economic and social infrastructure in the occupied territories.
He said that vocational and technical training had been conducted by UNRWA and other organizations. Along with such pre-employment programmes, training should also focus on in-service training in such areas as production, quality control, accounting and market research. Economic development in the occupied territories would depend on the progress of the peace process. Ultimately, only the end of the occupation could end the present abnormal situation in the territories. However, increased international assistance could help promote a political solution.
31. Mr. Vassos Lyssarides (Cyprus), Member of Parliament and President of the Socialist Party EDEK, emphasized that the economic situation of the Palestinians could only take off under conditions of freedom in their own independent State. The current peace talks represented an encouraging development; unfortunately, Israel's stand left little hope for their success. The emergence of a peace movement in Israel was encouraging.
He said that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had appealed for assistance to promote the social and economic development of the territories, including Jerusalem, in close cooperation with the PLO. That appeal stated that the chief factor affecting the Palestinian economy was the effect of Israeli policies over 24 years of military occupation. In addition to long-standing causes, the Gulf crisis had placed greater pressure on the labour market. A total of 17,000 new housing units were planned for Israeli settlements in metropolitan Jerusalem over the next two years, including 15,000 to be built on confiscated land in the old city.
He described the situation in the occupied territory as a real and gradual genocide. He opposed the selective application of international law in accordance with the prevailing interests of the powerful. He drew a parallel between the situation in Cyprus and that in the occupied territory and said that a new world order should be based on a global implementation of international law and justice. He said that while economic assistance was necessary for the biological survival of the Palestinians in less inhuman conditions, a final solution could only be achieved through the restoration of the Palestinians' national rights. The situations in Palestine and Cyprus were test cases for the process that humanity would choose to follow.
32. Mr. Mohamad Amerah (Jordan), Chief of Division for Economic and Social Studies at the Royal Scientific Society, stressed that international economic assistance to the occupied territory had been provided for humanitarian socio-economic and political reasons, i.e. to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and to address their immediate developmental and humanitarian requirements in their homeland under the Israeli occupation. This was in order to counteract the prolonged Israeli strategy of dominating the Palestinian land. External aid had covered part of the financial requirements to facilitate the development process in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Therefore, international aid in the occupied territory had never been intended to support the Israeli occupation but to assist the Palestinians pending the restoration of their legitimate rights. The main source of aid had been the United Nations, through UNRWA and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Arab countries had been the second major sources of aid. Much of that aid, however, had been terminated since 1989 due to the Gulf crisis. Jordan's assistance had ranked third relative to other sources of aid. However, all direct Jordanian governmental aid had been terminated in 1988.
He recalled that the imposition of heavy taxes on the Palestinians under occupation had been an Israeli policy since 1967. In comparison with Israelis, Palestinians had been subject to direct and indirect tax discrimination, in clear violation of international law, which required the occupier not to collect taxes from the occupied territories or, in case of tax collection, asked the occupier to spend tax revenues in these occupied territories to the benefit of their people. During 1979-1990, taxes from the occupied territory had amounted to US$1.3 billion, whereas the Israeli Government had transferred only US$150 million back to the occupied territory. The net transfer flow to Israel has accounted for 54% of total international assistance to the occupied territory. Thus, Israel has been absorbing a considerable part of the international aid provided to the occupied territory.
Highlighting the asymmetry of international aid to the region, he said that Israel had the highest share of such assistance, amounting to $63.8 billion from 1979 to 1990. It also received the highest average annual assistance, amounting to $5.3 billion per year, as well as the highest ratio of aid to gross national product. The occupied territory, however, had the lowest share of international assistance to the region.
He continued by saying that compared to its neighbours, Israel was a relatively wealthy country, but received the bulk of assistance. As a consequence, international assistance had, in fact, facilitated the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and had enabled Israel to maintain its colonization policy there. Had there been a lower level of aid to Israel, the momentum of building settlements would have been slower. He urged that international assistance to Israel be used as a catalyst for peace rather than as support for the occupation. In particular, there was a good opportunity for the United States of America to link its approval on the Israeli request for loan guarantees to the termination of settlement activities in the occupied territory and progress in the peace process. At the same time, international economic assistance to the Palestinians should be increased and provided on a regular basis.
33. Mr. Muhammad Hallaj, (Palestinian), Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund, Washington, D.C., and Director of the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, said that the question of Jewish immigration was often seen in terms of the right of the immigrants to build a new life for themselves. However, like the moon, which only revealed one of its sides to the earth, the side of the immigrants was constantly presented to the world, while the effect of Jewish immigration on Palestinian life remained hidden. Jewish colonization had been described as an act of secondary genocide which made it impossible for the people to survive in their natural habitat. There was a cruelty behind the numbers. Real people had been affected and their lives had been destabilized.
He stressed that Jewish settlers in Palestine constituted an armed militia, a second army of occupation that was less disciplined and more dangerous than the first. They were more ideologicaly motivated and saw no legitimacy for an Arab presence in Palestine. As a result, they were more ruthless in their treatment of the Palestinians. They had instituted a system of apartheid in Palestine, in the sense that there was a privileged community and a victim community living side by side. Land was confiscated from one segment and made available for the exclusive enjoyment of the Jewish settlers. Thus, 70 per cent of the West Bank and about half of the Gaza Strip had become off limits to all but Jewish settlers.
He pointed out that it was not possible to talk Israel out of those policies which were inherent in the nature of the occupation. The demographic changes were the raison d'etre for that occupation. Without sanctions, without pressure, there was no way to induce Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territory. The aim of demographic changes was to close the file on Palestine nationhood. However, the net result would only be to prevent a peaceful resolution of the conflict. That was how dangerous the situation had become.
34. Mr. Ian S. Lustick (United States of America), Professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, said that if there were no solution of the Palestinian problem over time, the slogans would be identical to those advanced by the Zionists 80 years ago.
He referred to the earlier presentation of Ms. Yael Dayan (Israel) in which she declared that, in an independent Palestinian state, there would be freedom of immigration just as there would be free Jewish immigration into Israel. In his view, without peace and opportunities for both Jews and Palestinians to migrate into the country, mass immigration of Jews into Israel was an important source of Palestinian distrust.
He pointed out that for many Israelis, the value of the Russian immigration was that they were not Arabs or Sephardic. It was an outrage that many Western countries refused to open their doors to Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union, particularly if that was a result of Israeli pressure. If immigrants did not go to settlements in the occupied territories immediately upon arriving in Israel, they were not considered to be settlers, even if they subsequently moved to those territories.
Settlers who went to the territories for economic purposes or because they had nowhere else to go would be willing to move elsewhere for the same reasons when the time came. A powerful argument in Israel today for withdrawing from the territories stated that Israel should get out of the territories so that it could absorb the immigration without international interference. He said that unless one envisaged a military conquest of Israel, it was necessary to filter demands for change through the Israeli system.
C. Closing meeting
35. At the closing meeting, the conclusions and recommendations reproduced below were introduced by the Rapporteur and subsequently adopted by the Seminar participants. The closing meeting was addressed by H.E. Mr. Tasos Panayides, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, by Mr. Farid Alatas, Chairman of the Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, and by Rev. Ibrahim Ayyad, President of the Palestine Committee for NGOs. H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé, Chairman of the Committee and the Seminar and NGO Symposium, made a closing statement.
D. Conclusions and recommendations
36. The participants welcomed the convening of the Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium as an important contribution to continuing efforts to bring about a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. They emphasized the significance of the role that the Asian region had to play, and could continue to play, towards this objective. They particularly welcomed the holding of the meeting in Cyprus because of its traditional friendly ties with the peoples in the region and its geographical proximity to the Middle East.
37. The participants noted that the fundamental changes in the international political scene created fresh opportunities for renewed efforts to resolve outstanding problems. In this connection they stressed the importance of equal applicability of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the norms of international law.
38. The participants expressed their appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights for having once again provided a forum for an in-depth exchange of views on key aspects of the Palestine question. They reaffirmed their determination to continue to work for a just and peaceful settlement. They felt that their discussions had been useful and constructive and had covered a wide range of topics, thereby contributing to better understanding of the positions of the parties to the conflict, and helping to identify important issues for further discussion.
39. The participants reiterated the essential elements of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine which include: withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territory occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories; respect for the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; and the recognition and exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination, in accordance with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.
40. The participants welcomed the convening of the Peace Conference on the Middle East in Madrid on 30 October 1991 and the subsequent bilateral talks between the parties in Washington, D.C., and expressed their earnest hope that the talks would be successful in establishing a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. They noted in this connection that this process had the support of the parties concerned and had as its basis Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which had long been recognized as the cornerstone of a comprehensive settlement. They stressed the essential need for an active role by the United Nations, the Secretary-General and the Security Council, for a successful outcome of the peace process.
41. The participants expressed the utmost concern at the continuing settlement activity and land confiscation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, which had come to pose an existential threat to the Palestinian community never experienced by previous generations. They stressed the illegal nature of those settlements and the imperative need for the immediate halt of settlement activity for the success of the peace process. Furthermore, they expressed concern at the provocative actions of Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians. They underlined the obligation of Israel to respect fully the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions. They urged the peace forces in Israel to strengthen their activities in opposition to further settlements and in favour of withdrawal. The participants expressed the view that economic assistance to Israel should be made conditional upon the termination of the settlement policy.
42. The participants condemned the settlement of immigrants and Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and urged the Security Council and other relevant international bodies to take appropriate measures to address this serious problem.
43. The participants stressed the fundamental linkage between an overall political settlement based on the principle of Palestinian self-determination and a solution of the continuing plight of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular General Assembly resolution 194 (III). They pointed out that such a solution would greatly contribute to the achievement of peace and stability and economic development in the region. They expressed deep appreciation to UNRWA for its work carried out under difficult circumstances, and called on all Governments to contribute generously to its activities and to the activities of other United Nations agencies active in the region.
44. The participants expressed the most serious concern at the continued threat of a wider conflict in the region, which was aggravated by the increasing arms race. They stressed that arms control measures in both conventional arms and weapons of mass-destruction can only be effective if they are structured as an integral part of a political and territorial settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They also emphasized the necessity for the Governments in the region to consider seriously the establishment of a nuclear-arms free zone in the region as requested by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its various resolutions.
45. The participants recognized that the intifadah is the expression of the national will of the Palestinian people and of its determination to remain on its land and to attain its inalienable national rights. They reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to choose its own leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization. They voiced deep concern that in its efforts to repress the intifadah, Israel continued to violate the fundamental human rights of Palestinians, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and generally recognized norms of international law, as well as numerous United Nations resolutions. The Security Council, in resolution 681 (1990) had urged once again the Government of Israel to accept the de jure applicability of that convention and had asked the High Contracting Parties to ensure that Israel fulfilled its obligations as the occupying Power. The participants stressed that Israel be required to abide fully with international law in its treatment of tens of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. Participants appealed to the Security Council to persevere in its responsibility to ensure the physical protection and to guarantee the safety and security of all Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation by, inter alia, strengthening the United Nations presence in the occupied territory. They noted that the Security Council in resolution 726 (1992) of 6 January 1992 had strongly condemned Israel's deportation of Palestinians, and called for an end to that policy and the return of all those deported.
46. The participants expressed great concern at the negligence and indifference of the Israeli authorities to public health in the occupied territory, particularly with regard to water supply and quality, sanitation, and the provision of medical care. They condemned reported abuses by Israeli forces of Palestinian patients. They called on the international community as a whole to intensify their assistance to meet the health needs in the occupied territory as well as to cease measures of shutting down educational institutions as a form of collective punishment. They also emphasized the need for protection of Palestinian trade union organizations and their activities.
47. The participants noted with great concern that the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory was characterized by economic collapse and massive and dangerous levels of poverty. The participants strongly deplored the continued constraints imposed by Israel on Palestinian economic development and recognized the important interconnections between economic advancement and the promotion of peace. They called for long-term developmental measures to liberate the Palestinian economy from its subordination to, and dependence on the Israeli economy, as well as for short-term immediate humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. They stressed that the international community has a duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the social and economic development of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory in preparation for the full exercise of national sovereignty, and called on all United Nations agencies concerned to intensify their efforts in this regard.
48. The participants expressed their appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his constant efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and for his support for the programme of work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights. They expressed the confidence that the Committee and the Division would continue and increase their activities to promote a constructive debate and a concrete and action-oriented analysis of the most important issues relating to the question of Palestine.
49. The participants expressed their warm appreciation to the Government and the people of Cyprus for providing a venue for the Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine and for the excellent facilities, courtesies and warm hospitality extended to them.
REPORT OF THE FOURTH UNITED NATIONS
ASIAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
20-24 January 1992
50 – 53
Declaration adopted by the Fourth Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
54 – 70
Annex to the Declaration
71 – 76
Physical health workers, health services
Educational institutions, students
72 – 76
77 – 85
86 – 89
Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
50. The Fourth United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held in accordance with the provision of General Assembly resolution 46/74B of 11 December 1991, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Symposium was held from 20 to 24 January 1992 in part together with the Twenty-Ninth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth Asian Regional Seminar). (See Part I above).
51. A total of 48 non-governmental organizations participated in the Symposium. The other Seminar participants and the delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People attended as observers.
52. Following the panel presentations described in Part I, which the Symposium shared with the Seminar, three workshops specifically related to NGO activities were established to consider the following topic:
53. The NGOs participating in the Symposium adopted a Declaration and elected an Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
A. Declaration adopted by the Fourth Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
54. We, the non-governmental organizations gathered at the United Nations Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, representing millions of people concerned with a peaceful solution of that question, believe that the situation has acquired great urgency following the Gulf war. We totally uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We recognize and uphold the historic proclamation of the State of Palestine made on 15 November 1988. We recognize the proclamation as the expression of the continuous struggle of the heroic Palestinian people culminating in the intifadah. We unconditionally affirm the rights of self-determination, statehood and return of the Palestinian people as guaranteed by the Charter of the United Nations and all relevant United Nations resolutions. We call on all Governments of Asia and the Pacific region which have not already done so, to recognize the State of Palestine in unequivocal terms and without delay.
55. We are motivated by the genuine desire to establish a durable and just peace in the Middle East on the basis of international legitimacy as provided by all relevant United Nations resolutions, and mutual recognition of the right of both the Palestinian and Israeli people, to self-determination and the right to live in sovereign independent States along side each other.
56. We draw attention to the peace process initiated by the Palestine National Council (PNC) in compliance with all relevant United Nations resolutions. We note and welcome the resolutions of the PNC to the effect that any international peace conference be based on the implementation of all United Nations resolutions and the right of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We fully support the objectives of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the peace process, and therefore urge all Governments to follow suit.
57. We note with utmost concern the continuous systematic policy of violating the rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories conducted by the Israeli occupation authorities. We deplore and denounce the continuation of the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab territories including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, and Israel's brutal measures against the Palestinians, including the current policy designed to dismember the West Bank by restricting movement of Palestinian individuals and goods through the City of Jerusalem. We condemn the conditions of Palestinian prisoners in the administrative detention camps and the use of torture and brutality during their interrogation, including women and children. Furthermore, we condemn the Israeli Government's policy of the systematic expulsion of Palestinians from the national homeland as a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and affirm the United Nations Security Council's adoption of resolution 726 (1992) which strongly condemns the decision of Israel to resume the deportation of Palestinians.
Therefore, we call upon all Israeli authorities to permit the return of all deportees to their homeland.
58. We observe with great concern the illegal colonization by Israel of the occupied Palestinian territory. We demand the immediate cessation of the construction and expansion of all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine, which undermine the current peace process.
59. We draw attention to the fact that Jewish immigration poses a great threat to the Palestinian survival on their land and is an obstacle to the resolution of the Palestinian problem due to the ensuing demographic changes. This is especially true while Palestinians continue to be denied their right of return. We call upon new immigrants to Israel and all Israeli to refuse to settle in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also call upon the international community to mobilize in all ways for the return of the Palestinians to their homeland, thus contributing to the efforts for a just settlement of the question of Palestine.
60. We call upon the United States to recognize the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people as they have done in the case of Israel. We also call upon the United States to apply pressure upon Israel to comply with all relevant United Nations resolutions.
61. We oppose the massive and unconditional aid to Israel provided by the United States and other States which underwrite the continuing occupation. We call upon all Governments to condition all aid, loans and guarantees to Israel on the cessation of Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. We call on all Governments and the United Nations Security Council to institute sanctions against Israeli occupation.
62. We unanimously recognize and support the intifadah as a national liberation struggle for the achievement of the State of Palestine and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
63. We condemn the American and Israeli endeavours to by-pass the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in the current peace talks. We call upon the American administration to re-establish dialogue with the PLO. We insist that Palestinians, as do all other peoples, have full right to choose their own political representatives in any peace process. We call for direct participation of the PLO and the effective participation of the United Nations in the peace process.
64. The issue of the status of Jerusalem should not be excluded from negotiations, nor should Palestinian residents of that city be excluded from participation in the negotiations currently under way.
65. We consider it most urgent that the United Nations provide immediate and sustained protection for the Palestinians under occupation, and that the Security Council establish in East Jerusalem an authority responsible for the monitoring of human rights violations in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We urge the Security Council to take all necessary measures to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their inalienable rights. We call for the establishment of a United Nations force to protect the Palestinian people and to stop Israel's attempts at uprooting and destroying it.
66. We observe that Palestinians in Israel are subjected to a policy of legal and political discrimination and demand that Israel apply the principles of justice and equality to Israeli Palestinians in accordance with their status as a national minority in Israel. We condemn the Israeli policy of continued confiscations of Palestinian lands and destruction of Palestinian homes for the purpose of settlements of immigrants inside Israel.
67. We express our strongest protest against the action of the Israeli Government in preventing the distinguished experts, Mr. Omar Abdel-Razeq of Al-Najah University from attending this Seminar and Symposium.
68. We call upon all NGOs to establish contacts with and extend support to fellow NGOs in occupied Palestine, especially those related to human rights, women, health, labour, children and education. Furthermore, we call upon all Asian NGOs to monitor the relationships among Asian governmental and private institutions and Israeli governmental and private institutions. We urge NGOs to publicize these linkages and to take collective action against them including organizing boycotts of Israeli products regardless of the exporting or intermediary country.
69. We request all Asian Governments to support the important role of NGOs in Asia in mobilizing public opinion and to extend financial and other assistance to these organizations so that they can more effectively support the struggle of the Palestinian people.
70. We warmly thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine. We greatly appreciate the presence of the Committee delegation and its guidance at this meeting. We wish to convey our deep appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Boutrós Boutrós-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations for his message which was read by Mr. Ronald I. Spiers, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services, whose presence in our meeting was most highly appreciated. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all others of the United Nations Secretariat including the interpreters who so valuably contributed to our deliberations. We express our heartfelt appreciation to the Government of Cyprus for being our gracious host and for all the excellent facilities so generously provided. We particularly wish to express our gratitude to the Acting President of the Republic of Cyprus, His Excellency Dr. Vassos Lyssarides for his presence in our meeting. We extend similar appreciation to Her Excellency Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou, the First Lady of the Republic of Cyprus, for her highly inspiring message. In addition, we extend our appreciation to His Excellency Mr. George Iacovou, the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cyprus for addressing the Opening Session of the meeting. We also wish to express our appreciation to His Excellency President Yasser Arafat for his message.
B. Annex to the Declaration
71. We, the undersigned NGOs from Israel, participating in the Fourth United Nations Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Nicosia, Cyprus, 20-24 January 1992, while placing great value in the presentations of the panelists in the round tables and the views expressed by other participants, would like, however, to stress the following aspects regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
(1) We, Palestinians, who have lived in Israel since 1948, numbering about 750,000 people, are legally considered as Israeli citizens. In practice, we have been a national minority in our fatherland for many generations and have no desire to substitute this homeland for another.
(2) We consider ourselves as an integral part of the Palestinian people and an inseparable part of the Arab nation. We are, therefore, an integral part of the struggle for the Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. Our struggle is carried out within a legal and legitimate framework together with the Peace and Democratic Jewish Forces.
(3) We are on one hand at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli problem, and of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the other. The peace process should start from within Israel in a real, just and democratic manner. Israel should cease its policies of discrimination against its Israeli-Palestinian citizens; end land expropriations; the demolitions of houses and should agree to the demands for municipal budgets and planning to accommodate the urgent needs of the Israeli Palestinian municipalities and village councils; practice equal opportunities for work and livelihood and find humane solutions to the problems of Israeli Palestinian refugees inside Israel.
The following NGOs signed the annex to the Declaration:
The Human Rights Association
Prisoners Friends in Israel
Prisoners and Detainees Friends Association
El Nahda Movement
Democratic Arab Organization
Progressive Movement for Peace
In Defense of Children under Occupation
Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue
Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Defense League for Arab lands
I. Developing Solidarity Activities by Israeli and other Organizations with Palestinian Women
Ms. Soheer Mahmoud and Ms. Hanna Knaz
72. Pressure should be brought to bear on the Government of Israel to comply fully with the principles of international law and, in particular, to apply the international legal provisions concerning armed conflicts and the situation of peoples subjected to occupation and which call for the protection of women and children, such as the Geneva Convention, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 1949.
73. The requisite measures should be taken to prevent the occupation authorities from imposing collective punishments, such as curfews, suspension of water and electricity supplies, the demolition of houses and the closure of schools, universities, hospitals and socio-cultural institutions, since these are highly detrimental to women and children.
74. The ability of women to achieve self-reliance, improve their social situation and increase their participation in economic activity should be developed through support from governmental, non-governmental and international organizations for the development programmes and activities in which Palestinian women are engaged.
75. Assistance should be extended to Palestinian women in order to help them to establish women's development centres that will cater for the welfare of children and provide the education and vocational training needed for the implementation of production projects.
76. Palestinian women should be given an opportunity to attend seminars and training courses on matters concerning equality of rights, political participation and decision-making.
II. Developing solidarity activities by Israeli
and other organizations with Palestinian
physicians and health workers
Dr. Ahmad Yaziji
77. The basic idea is to establish a general hospital for the Gaza Strip, the urgent need for which arises because of the great shortage of health care and hard infrastructure in the Strip and because of deteriorating health conditions in Gaza and the Strip. If we compare it with neighbouring areas, we see that it is insufficient and cannot meet the growing need for health care.
78. The objective is to achieve the minimum level of health services in the Strip, and it is for that reason that we put forward our previous proposal to establish a general hospital. The reasons are as follows:
Dr. Ruchama Marton
79. Dr. Marton thanked the participants and the Chairman for both inviting her and making the Conference successful. She said that the level of medicine in the areas under occupation was equivalent to that which prevailed in Israel in 1950. There was a great shortage of treatment for many diseases such as cancer, surgery, etc.
80. The General Union of Israeli-Palestinian Doctors was convinced that the population of the areas under occupation was entitled to establish its own health institutions in complete freedom. The occupation was the only reason for the poor conditions in the Strip. The association represented by the General Union of Israeli-Palestinian Doctors was founded in 1981 and consisted of Israeli and Palestinian doctors who conducted activities in the fields of information, education and medicine in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The doctors of the Union distributed medicines to patients in villages and camps where there are no doctors or clinics. The Union had published dozens of reports on the medical situation in the areas under occupation. In 1990, it treated 62 citizens and prisoners, and a higher number in 1991.
81. Visits to and treatment of prisoners were extremely difficult to arrange, as they required the military officer's permission. The Union had also helped to secure the release of some prisoners.
82. There were other ways in which the Union demonstrated its devotion to Palestinian citizens, e.g. by demonstrating against the closure of clinics, etc.
83. Dr. Marton reported that she was about to establish a fund for the treatment of children whose families were unable to pay for treatment such as heart operations or rehabilitation. The Union had carried out a study on rehabilitation in the areas under occupation, but the occupation authorities were not interested in supporting such a project.
84. In conclusion, Dr. Marton said that she wished to share something which she always said to herself: namely there were people who paid dearly because of their attendance – such as Dr. Ahmad al-Yaziji – so solidarity is not equal.
Mr. Ibrahim al-Hafi
85. A look at different aspects of the Palestinian people's suffering showed how difficult the issue was and how difficult it was to solve. However, that did not mean we should not begin to solve some aspects of the issue in the hope eventually of achieving a complete solution. The workers' movement suffered more than others from the imposition of the occupation. We call on non-governmental organizations to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli Government and to support the peace process.
– The unemployment rate in the occupied territories is as high as 40 per cent.
– With their green identity cards, Palestinian workers cannot enter Israel.
– The work permits issued by the Military Governor are another of the many forms of discrimination against the workers' and trade union movement.
– Mass arrests of workers' cadres and imprisonment in the Ansar 3 camp.
– Prevention of the establishment of production projects.
– High and exorbitant taxes on production projects.
– Suppression and persecution of trade union work.
III. Developing solidarity activities by Israeli and other organizations with Palestinian students
Mr. Albert Aghazarian
86. Education is an integral part of human development. Human beings should not be deprived of their right to education. According to the speaker, Birzeit University was closed down 14 times by the Israeli authorities for security reasons. So far, 6 Palestinian universities and 12 colleges with 22,000 students have been closed.
87. Some of the colleges in the outskirts have been opened since 1989 and Al Najah University is open on a month-to-month basis.
88. The authorities have also disrupted classes and educational activities outside University's campuses. The Israeli authorities use of terms like "cells of illegal education" gives a true picture of their hostile reaction towards giving education to the Palestinians. We are also informed that student leaders have been expelled and some are under consideration for expulsion.
89. The workshop took a position to express the strongest protest and to condemn the action of the Israeli Government in preventing a scholar from Al Najah University, Mr. Omar Razeq, from attending this Asian Seminar and Symposium.
D. Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
90. The participants in the Symposium elected the Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine until the next Asian NGO Symposium. Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari was elected its Chairman. It consisted of the following organizations:
1. ASIAN COMMITTEE FOR SOLIDARITY WITH
THE ARAB PEOPLE
H. No. 20 Street 25 F-8-2
2. UMNO YOUTH MALAYSIA
75-2 Jalan Thambapillay
50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. INDO-ARAB SOCIETY
4 Akbar Road
New Delhi 110011, India
4. PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN IN NEW ZEALAND
P.O. Box 29-168
Christchurch, New Zealand
5. NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR SOCIAL CARE AND
P.O. Box 135-621
6. CHINESE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES INSTITUTE
7. UNIVERSITY GRADUATES UNION OF HEBRON
P.O. Box 2347
8. COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARAB PEOPLE
Akamas Street 8
Another three seats were reserved to be filled by the Asian Coordinating Committee at a later stage.
MOTION OF THANKS
The participants in the United Nations Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, being held from 20 to 24 January 1992 in Nicosia, Republic of Cyprus, express their profound thanks to the Government and people of Cyprus for generously providing a venue for this meeting and for the excellent arrangements made, which greatly contributed to its success. The participants wish also to convey their sincere gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Mr. George Iacovou, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, for his statement of warm support for the Palestinian cause and our Seminar and NGO Symposium. The participants wish to express their appreciation also to H.E. Mr. Tasos Panayides, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for their contribution to the Seminar and the NGO Symposium. The meeting was honoured to be addressed by Madam Androula Vasiliou, wife of the President of the Republic of Cyprus. The participants take this opportunity to convey their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Cyprus, for their consistent support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the active role they have played in advancing the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East on the basis of the Charter and the resolutions of the United Nations.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Mr. Radwan ABU-AYYASH (Palestinian)
Mr. Albert AGHAZARIAN (Palestinian)
Mr. Muhammad AMERAH (Jordan)
Mr. Moshe AMIRAV (Israel)
Mr. Don BETZ (United States)
Ms. Yael DAYAN (Israel)
Mr. Omran EL-SHAFIE (Egypt)
Mr. Muhammad HALLAJ (Palestinian)
Mr. HE Yafei (China)
Dr. Vassos LYSSARIDES (Cyprus)
Mr. Ian S. LUSTICK (United States)
Mr. Ron MACINTYRE (New Zealand)
Mr. Hashim MAHAMEED (Israel)
Mr. Mattityahu PELED (Israel)
Mr. A.H. RIZAVI (India)
Mr. Yezid SAYIGH (Palestinian)
Mr. Ryoji TATEYAMA (Japan)
Dr. Ahmad YASIJI (Palestinian)
Mr. Albert AGHAZARIAN (Palestinian)
Ms. Hanna KNAZ (Israel)
Ms. Soheer MAHMOUD (Palestinian)
Dr. Ruchama MARTON (Israel)
Dr. Ahmad YAZIJI (Palestinian)
Delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé
Chairman of the Seminar
Permanent Representative of Senegal
to the United Nations, New York
Chairman of the Committee
H.E. Mr. Victor Camilleri
Vice-Chairman, Rapporteur of the Seminar
Permanent Representative of Malta
to the United Nations, New York
Rapporteur of the Committee
H.E. Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis
Vice-Chairman of the Seminar
Permanent Representative of Cyprus
to the United Nations, New York
Mr. Dinesh Kumar Jain
Permanent Mission of India
to the United Nations, New York
Dr. M. Nasser Al-Kidwa
Permanent Observer for Palestine
to the United Nations, New York
Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mr. Ronald I. Spiers
Under-Secretary-General for Political
and General Assembly Affairs and
United Nations, New York
Mr. Garo M.H. Keheyan
Mr. Tsvetko I. Stamenov
H.E. Mr. Jorge R. Grillo
H.E. Mr. Tasos Panayides
H.E. Mr. Elias Ipsarides
Head of the Delegation
Mrs. Athena Mavronicola
Mr. James Droushiotis
Mr. Andreas Kakouris
Mr. Charie Panayides
Ms. Frances-Galatia Williams
Mr. Panayiotis Kyriakou
Ms. Maria Symeou
Press and Information Officer
Mr. George Papakiriacou
Press and Information Officer
Czech and Slovak Federal Republic
H.E. Mr. Emil Keblusek
Dr. Jaroslav Roman
H.E. Mr. Nasr M. Mahdy
Mr. Taher Osman Dinana
Mr. Nihad Mohamed Kamal
H.E. Mr. Paul Apostolides
Mr. Demetrios Anninos
Mr. S. Theotharopoulos
Ms. Anna Corka
H.E. Mr. Imre Uranovicz
H.E. Mr. G. Parthasarathy
Mr. Mohtadi Mahmod
Mr. Sabahi Farhad
Mr. Masoud Kazami
Mr. Cipriano Sebastiano
Republic of Korea
Mr. Ki Chull HO
to the United Arab Emirates)
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Mr. Ali A. Hamed Alsghair
Mr. Mostafa Khalifa
Mr. Filali Mostafa
Mr. Evangelos Philippou
Mr. John Erotocritou
Mr. Walter S. Salmingo
H.E. Mr. Boris G. Zenkov
Mr. Boris G. Uronov
Mr. Igor E. Karavaev
Mr. Jorge de Lucas y Cadenas
Deputy Head of Mission
(Embassy in Syria and Cyprus)
Mr. Abdul Fattah Ammourah
Mr. Mohamed Ali Ben Abdallah
(Embassy in Lebanon)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mr. Richard Potter
British High Commission
Dr. Abdul Ghani Thabet
Minister Counsellor and First Deputy General
Secretary of the Yemeni Council for Peace and Solidarity
Mr. Shafeh Omar Ali
Deputy Chairman of the Yemeni Council for Peace and Solidarity
H.E. Petar Boskovic
United Nations specialized agencies and bodies
World Health Organization (WHO)
Dr. P. Pradier,
Relief Programme, Division for Emergency Relief Operations
Dr. Robert Cook
Director of Health
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East (UNRWA)
Mr. Douglas Ross
Assistant Chef de Cabinet
Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Ms. Dolores Lassan
Charge de Mission in Cyprus
Mr. T. Ouanes
Senior Legal Adviser
Ms. Lana Sheikh El Ard
Associate Program Officer
United Nations Development Programme
Mr. Jan Swietering
Organization of the Islamic Conference
H.E. Mr. Nabil Maarouf
Other organizations having received
a standing invitation to participate in the sessions
and the work of the General Assembly as observers and
maintaining permanent offices at Headquarters
Mr. Samir Abu Ghazala
Mr. Malath M. Abdo
Mr. Fayez Younes
Mr. M. Fawzi Suleiman
Mr. Raslan Merie
Mr. Ghazi Zumurad
Mr. Khaled Al-Nahas
Mr. Saleh Zakout
Mr. Samih Khader
Mr. Rami Abdul Magid
AFRO ASIAN PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY
AL NAHDA MOVEMENT
Uwayda El A'bid
ARAB RESOURCE COLLECTIVE (ARC)
ASIAN COMMITTEE FOR SOLIDARITY WITH THE ARAB PEOPLE
Souheil El Natour
ASSOCIATION OF ANTIFASCISTS AND VICTIMS OF NAZISM IN ISRAEL
BEIT HANINA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
BISAN PRESS AND PUBLICATION INSTITUTE
COMMITTEE FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE, Baqa el Garbiah
CYPRUS COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARAB PEOPLE (EPAAL)
CYPRUS PALESTINE ACTIVE SOLIDARITY
CYPRUS PEACE COUNCIL
CYPRUS RED CROSS SOCIETY
DEMOCRATIC ARAB ORGANIZATION
Fahid Ali Hussein
Mohammed Abu Gosh
GENERAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNION
IN THE WEST BANK, CHAPTER TULKARM
M.O. Muhammad Amara
I.S. Mustafa Al-Hafi
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE STUDENTS
Magid S. Hassan
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE WOMEN
HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL
Anis Al Qaq
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
IN DEFENSE OF CHILDREN UNDER OCCUPATION
– Care and Learning
INDO ARAB SOCIETY
A. H. Rizvi
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MOVEMENT FOR THE UNITED NATIONS (ISMUN)
MALAYSIA-PALESTINE SOLIDARITY AND FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
Syed Farid Alatas
N. D. Haji Mohamad
MIDDLE EAST CENTER OF STRATEGIC AND ECONOMIC STUDIES
Mohammad Reza Barmakl
MIDDLE EAST COUNCIL OF CHURCHES Salpy Eskidjian Aynedjian
Harry BV Hagopian
NADI AL TIFL AL FALASTINI IN ISRAEL
NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR SOCIAL
CARE AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Yacoub Kh. Amash
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN IN NEW ZEALAND
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY
Moen El Said
PALESTINE RESEARCH CENTER
Rabhi Al Madhon
PRISONERS FRIENDS ASSOCIATION IN ISRAEL
PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT FOR PEACE
UNION OF CHARITABLE SOCIETIES IN HEBRON AREA
Abo Khalae Haron
UNION OF CYPRUS JOURNALISTS
UMNO YOUTH MALAYSIA
Sen. Mohamed Nazri
Bin Abdul Aziz
Haji Mustapha Yaakub
N.D. Haji Mohamad
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF CYPRUS
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF EGYPT
UNIVERSITY GRADUATES UNION OF HEBRON
Aziz Ismaiel Amro
GAZA COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH
Eyad El Sarraj
GENERAL UNION OF FARMERS
Salim M. Atyea
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE TEACHERS
PALESTINE ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Khalil Al Zaben
WYNDAN PEACE INITIATIVES
Dr. Eileen R. Borris
Coordinating Committees for NGOs
on the Question of Palestine
AFRICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR
NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
ASIAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Syed Ali Alattas
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE
FOR NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE (ICCP)
Don Betz, Chairman
PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGOS
Rev. Ibrahim Ayad,
LOCAL NGO COMMITTEE (WEST BANK AND GAZA)
AL MOUFIK AL ARABI
Ahmed Ali Bagadi
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORP.
ABC NEWS INTERNATIONAL
John K. Cooley
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Amal El Khouri
Maher El Chemeitelli
ARAB MEDIA CENTRE
Dr. Ramzi Khouri
Alex M. Efthyvoulos
CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
DANISH TELEVISION NEWS
Abdel Khaled El-Hemdi
INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE FOR PALESTINIAN STUDIES
Samir S. Sarras
IRAQ NEWS AGENCY
THE IRISH TIMES – DUBLIN
Kristian Nystrom Madsen
MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIC SURVEY
THE MIDDLE EAST NEWSLETTER
O LOGOS BROADCASTING COMPANY
PALESTINE – Press
Al Madhan Raseni
PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE
Kyriakides Takis Dinos
RUSSIAN INFORMATION AGENCY NOVOSTI
SAWT AL WATAN
Kasem M. Khaled
SHARQ PRESS LTD
SYRIAN NEWS AGENCY
Mouzdad Al Mala
THE TIMES OF LONDON
Theodoulou Nicholas Michael
XINUA NEWS AGENCY
* * * *
Document Type: French text, Meeting report, Publication, Report
Document Source: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Subject: Arms control and regional security issues, Assistance, Jerusalem, NGOs/Civil Society, Palestine question, Refugees and displaced persons, Settlements
Publication Date: 24/01/1992