United Nations Office at Vienna, 27 and 28 June 2006



1. The United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace was held at the United Nations Office at Vienna, on 27 and 28 June 2006, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people.  Participants in the Meeting included international experts, representatives of Governments, Palestine, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations entities, parliaments, civil society and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to demonstrate the unswerving commitment of the world community to resolving this decades-old conflict, to help search for ways to stabilize the volatile situation in the area and resume political negotiations leading to a permanent two-State solution to the conflict, based on the 1967 borders, in accordance with the Road Map and Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515.  The participants reviewed the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, discussed the state of the political process and challenges ahead, as well as international efforts in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace.  The Meeting was also held at a time of a major political transition for both Israelis and Palestinians and amidst a worsening political, economic and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

3. The participants agreed that there was an urgent need to resume a meaningful political dialogue between the parties and expressed concern at the intentions, repeatedly expressed by Israeli officials, to pursue unilateral measures.  The participants called on Israel to refrain from any unilateral steps that prejudiced final status issues and jeopardized a negotiated two-State solution.  In this regard, the participants noted the recent meeting between the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert and urged the two parties to resume negotiations as soon as possible, thereby reactivating the long-stalemated political process.  In discussing efforts at advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace, the participants also noted the important facilitating role played by the Quartet and key regional parties – Egypt and Jordan.

4. The participants expressed particular concern at the recent upsurge in violence and its destructive effect on the hopes for peace.  They condemned the intensified military strikes, incursions and extrajudicial assassinations by Israel, the occupying Power.  They called on Israel to halt its invasion of Gaza, withdraw from the Strip, and stop escalating the current crisis.  Alarmed at the large number of Palestinian civilians, including children, killed in the last few weeks and being of opinion that this escalation warranted an impartial international investigation, the participants supported a request to the Secretary-General to facilitate such an investigation. They also called for the cessation of rocket attacks on Israel carried out by Palestinian groups from the Gaza Strip.  These actions put civilians in serious danger and inflame and destabilize the already fragile situation.  The participants warned that the cycle of violence and counter-violence was getting out of control and had to be broken.  A comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire could be a first step in this direction.

5. The participants condemned the continuing construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, in defiance of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.  They noted the delay in establishing the Register of Damages with the goal of compensating those who had suffered any material damage as a result of the wall’s construction, and urged the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts in this direction.  The participants also denounced the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law and Israel’s obligations under the Road Map.  They expressed concern about the intensified settlement activities in and around East Jerusalem, including efforts to implement the so-called “E1 plan”, and the situation in the Jordan Valley where new settlements had recently been established.  In addition to being illegal and causing daily hardship for the Palestinian population, these physical obstacles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory prejudice the outcome of the permanent status negotiations and complicate efforts at establishing a contiguous and independent State of Palestine.

6. The participants welcomed the agreement on the National Conciliation Document (“Prisoners Document”), reached between Palestinian political groups on 26 June. They strongly supported efforts by the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that led to this agreement. They urged him to continue his work aimed at bringing together all political trends of the Palestinian society and convincing them to speak with one voice and to comply with existing understandings and obligations undertaken by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

7. The participants emphasized that the continuing occupation of the Palestinian territory, now in its fortieth year, remained the root cause of the conflict.  They expressed the view that this long-standing conflict could have no final solution without the achievement of the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights defined by the General Assembly in 1974 as the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property, from which they had been displaced and uprooted.

8. The participants stressed the critical importance of the international donor assistance.  At the same time, they expressed apprehension over the recent decision by some donors to suspend direct aid to the Palestinian Authority.  They noted efforts by the Quartet to resolve this situation, in particular its recent endorsement of an European Union’s proposal for the establishment of a temporary international mechanism to deliver assistance to the Palestinian people.  The participants were hopeful that these efforts would help alleviate the rapidly deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  They urged the Government of Israel to fulfil its obligations under international law towards the Palestinian civilian population and lift its restrictions on the freedom of movement and other measures stifling the economic and social life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to resume the transfer of collected Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in keeping with signed agreements.

9. The participants reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with respect to the question of Palestine, until it was resolved in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and norms of international law, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were fully realized in all aspects.

Vienna, 28 June 2006

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