2014-0310

 FINAL

JOINT MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF

THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

WITH THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

LAS Headquarters, Cairo, 10 March 2014

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The Cairo Declaration in Solidarity with

the Palestinian People

Joint Declaration

of the League of Arab States and

the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights

of the Palestinian People of the United Nations

10 March, 2014

We, the Members of the League of Arab States and the Members and Observers of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, gathered in Cairo to commemorate the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people at a time when they face unprecedented challenges, and reiterate our longstanding call for a just, lasting and peaceful solution.  We solemnly declare the following:

1. In this Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we reaffirm our unconditional support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and a just solution to the Palestine refugee question in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (III).We also reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative, first endorsed in 2002 by the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level at its 14th Ordinary Session in Beirut, and reaffirmed repeatedly thereafter.

2. We support the resumed negotiations between the parties towards the conclusion of a just, comprehensive and permanent peace agreement.  We are encouraged by the unprecedented level of diplomatic engagement demonstrated by the international community, in particular by the United States of America, supported by the other Quartet members of the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations, as well as the League of Arab States.  We are mindful at the same time of the risks of escalation should the current round of negotiations prove unsuccessful and we call on all parties, particularly Israel, the occupying Power, to act responsibly to create an appropriate climate to advance peace. We call for good-faith, productive and time-bound negotiations to resolve all final status issues including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security, and water, respecting previous agreements and understandings in line with international law, the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, bringing about an end to the Israeli occupation, a total Israeli military withdrawal from the Palestinian Territory occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the realization of the inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

3. We welcome the admission of the State of Palestine as a non-Member Observer State by the United Nations General Assembly and its admission as a Member State by the UNESCO General Conference.  We encourage the United Nations Security Council to resume consideration of the State of Palestine's application for full membership in the Organization, when appropriate, and to make a positive recommendation to the General Assembly.  We acknowledge that heightened worldwide solidarity manifests itself in the growing number of States formally recognizing the State of Palestine. In this regard, we appreciate the catalytic role played by Arab States, strongly illustrated by this initiative of the League of Arab States and member governments to convene a joint meeting with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People of the United Nations.

4. We recognize that by virtue of its admission to the United Nations as a non-Member Observer State, Palestine has been vested with additional rights, as well as obligations as set forth in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter. We welcome in this regard the declaration of 23 September 2011 by President Mahmoud Abbas that the State of Palestine is a peace-loving nation and that it accepts the obligations contained in the Charter of the United Nations and solemnly undertakes to fulfil them.

5. We support any action by the State of Palestine to avail itself of accrued privileges at the United Nations, including the right to participate fully and effectively in all relevant international conferences convened under the auspices of the United Nations.  The State of Palestine should seriously consider signing, when appropriate, and ratifying multilateral treaties open to it, such as, inter alia, the Geneva and the Hague Conventions, the Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We also encourage the State of Palestine to continue to make a constructive contribution to the work of United Nations specialised agencies.

6. We seriously condemn the violations by Israel of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people due to its nearly 47-year military occupation.  These measures include, but are not limited to, continued settlement expansion, the construction of the Wall on Palestinian land, confiscation of land and property, arbitrary arrests, torture and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees, including children, demolitions of homes and agricultural and livelihood structures, and expulsions, particularly in East Jerusalem, forced displacement of civilians, settler violence and vandalism, as well as incitement and provocative actions, particularly around the holy sites in Jerusalem.  We also remain deeply concerned about the critical situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip, and call upon Israel to lift the blockade and all other movement restrictions and cease all forms of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.

7. We strongly condemn the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitute grave breaches of international law and undermine the peace process aimed at realizing the two-State solution, and we call for their immediate and complete cessation. We note the conclusions of the Fact-finding Mission on Settlements, dispatched by the Human Rights Council, and urge the international community to demonstrate active solidarity and resolve by implementing its recommendations, which are based on relevant provisions of international law, United Nations resolutions and the July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.

8. We call on Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease all of its illegal actions and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. We recall that the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has estimated the damage caused by the occupation at over 7 billion dollars per year. Noting the extensive losses inflicted and the severe constraints on the Palestinian economy, we reiterate our call upon all States, including the donor community, to continue to stand by the Palestinian people by providing timely development, humanitarian and budgetary assistance to support both the Palestinian people and their institutions.

9. While welcoming the recent phased release of prisoners, we reiterate our solidarity with those remaining Palestinian political prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails and detention centres. We express serious concern at the abuse of prisoners by Israel, including allegations of torture, and the practice of administrative detention without trial, which has provoked prolonged hunger strikes in protest of this measure and has resulted in deaths. We call for the immediate release of Palestinian political prisoners, among them children, women, elected officials, remaining pre-Oslo detainees, and infirm prisoners, as well as those Palestinians held by Israel under administrative detention without charges,. We urge a global solidarity campaign to address this important issue.

10. We call on the Security Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to uphold their responsibilities. We support actions and initiatives that promote accountability for violations of international law, including actions by third parties that contribute to or facilitate grave Israeli breaches of international law.

11. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. We call on the Palestinian factions to implement reconciliation agreements in good faith, and for the international community to support Palestinian unity unequivocally, stressing its importance for the realization of national aspirations.

12. We recall the historical ties between the liberation movements of many now independent countries and Palestine and the crucial importance of the support by the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean for Palestine’s independence. We pledge to apply that experience in engaging all strata of the international community, including governments, parliamentarians, civil society and youth, in support of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine.

13. We also recall the significant political and financial contributions made by governments, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions and civil society around the world in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in support of a political solution of the conflict and economic development.  In this regard, we welcome the renewed engagement of members of the League of Arab States to achieve and sustain the 7.8 per cent target for Arab Government contributions to UNRWA’s core budget as set out in numerous resolutions of the Council of the League of Arab States since 1987 and as reiterated at the UN-LAS September Special Meeting of a Group of Supporters of UNRWA (ref. A/C.4/68/8).

14. We solemnly commit ourselves to intensify our efforts in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine at all the organs and institutions of the League of Arab States and the United Nations. We pledge to engage with the United Nations Secretary-General, the Arab League Secretary-General, the Quartet, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, regional organizations, national Governments, and parliamentarians towards a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian and broader Israeli-Arab conflict. We also pledge, wherever possible, to contribute to the Trust Fund for the International Year in order to strengthen its programme of activities to ensure maximum global awareness, support and impact.

15. We will reach out to civil society, including youth and women, academic institutions, think tanks, mainstream media, expand social media efforts, and partner with all other relevant constituencies. We commend worldwide solidarity initiatives with the Palestinian people, and we undertake to do our utmost to support them.

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