Volume XXII, Bulletin No. 4
Secretary-General reports to the General Assembly on assistance to the Palestinian People
Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions on the question of Palestine
Excerpts from the final communiqué of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers,
held at Ouagadougou from 28 June to 1 July 1999
Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council issues press communiqué on the
Middle East peace process at its seventy-fifth regular session, held at Jeddah on 3 July 1999
This bulletin, and back issues,
can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL):
I. SECRETARY-GENERAL REPORTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
On 17 July 1999, the Secretary-General issued the report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/54/134-E/1999/85) under General Assembly resolution 53/89 of 7 December 1998.
According to the report, which covers the period from June 1997 to May 1998, the United Nations presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has increased from three organizations in 1993 to 13 in 1999. An additional 16 organizations of the United Nations system are providing the Palestinian Authority with technical assistance and expertise. On 30 November 1998, the Conference to Support Middle East Peace Development, held in Washington, D.C., provided a forum for the international community, including the United Nations, to reaffirm political commitment to the Middle East peace process and to continue the economic assistance required to give it momentum. Conference participants announced pledges totaling US$ 3.36 billion, to be disbursed over a two- to five -year period.
II. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
At its substantive meeting of 1999, held at Geneva from 5 to 30 July 1999, the Economic and Social Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Arab Golan (A/54/152-E/1999/92), and on assistance to the Palestinian people (see above). On 28 July, the Council adopted resolution 1999/1 5 on Palestinian women, recommended earlier by the Commission on the Status of Women (see the March/April 1999 issue of this bulletin). On 29 July, it adopted the resolution on settlements. The text of that resolution is reproduced below:
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the Occupied Syrian Golan
The Economic and Social Council,
Recalling General Assembly resolution 53/196 of 15 December 1998,
Recalling also its resolution 1998/32 of 29 July 1998,
Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,
Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,
Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, and the principle of land for peace as well as the full and timely implementation of the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,
Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,
Convinced that the Israeli occupation impedes efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,
Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan, and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,
Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people,
Conscious of the urgent need for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and for the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people as a key element of a lasting peace and stability,
1. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the occupied Palestinian territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the territory, including the removal of restrictions on going into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;
2. Also stresses the vital importance of the operation and construction of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;
3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, the destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem;
4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;
5. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;
6. Stresses the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations, and of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories under the auspices of the Secretary-General;
7. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job creation projects and social development, in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions;
8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;
9. Decides to include the item entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan’ in the agenda of its substantive session of 2000.
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
III. EXCERPTS FROM THE FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE
ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS,
HELD AT OUAGADOUGOU FROM
28 JUNE TO 1 JULY 1999
The following are excerpts from the final communiqué adopted at the twenty-sixth session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, which was held at Ouagadougou from 28 June to 1 July 1999 (see A/53/1044-S/1999/924):
The question of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
26. The Conference stressed that the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the paramount Islamic cause. It expressed its full solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Conference called for further support to the Palestinian National Authority to enable it to build its national institutions. It hailed the steadfastness and struggle of the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable national rights, including the right to return to their homeland, the right to self-determination and to establish their own independent sovereign state on national soil, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. The Conference called on Member States to make efforts within the international community to bring Israel to put an end to occupation, and withdraw its troops from all Arab and Palestinian territories to the front line of 4 June 1967, and first and foremost from Al-Quds Al-Sharif, in order to enable the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable national rights.
27. The Conference emphasized that Al-Quds Al-Sharif forms an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and whatever applies to the rest of the occupied territories also applies to it, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and United Nations General Assembly. The Conference called on the international community to take immediate action to put an end to Israeli colonization, and all the inhuman and illegal measures and practices of the Israeli occupation authorities in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif aimed at Judaizing it, namely confiscating land and property, demolishing houses and emptying the city of its Palestinian inhabitants, altering its demographic and geographical setup, obliterating cultural, civilizational and historical monuments and desecrating Holy Islamic and Christian sites. The Conference called for further joint efforts to be exerted to restore the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to Palestinian sovereignty as capital of the State of Palestine, to ensure that international peace and security prevail in the region.
28. The Conference called on the international community to avoid any dealings with the Israeli occupation authorities that might in any way be interpreted as an implicit recognition of the “de facto” situation imposed by Israel when it declared the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif its capital. The Conference emphasized that all legal, administrative and colonization measures aimed at modifying the legal status of the Holy City are null and void and contravene international treaties, conventions and norms, are contrary to the agreements signed by the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and must therefore be ended and their consequences canceled. It invited all Member States to attend the forthcoming conference of the High Contracting Parties on the steps to be taken in order to enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territory including the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and which is due to be held in Geneva on 15 July, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly in order to compel Israel to implement the Convention on Palestinian soil, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
29. The Conference affirmed its full support of the peace process in the Middle East and its commitment to the principles and parameters of the peace process. It called on Israel to respect and implement its commitments, pledges and agreements concluded through that process, in accordance with the principles upon which the Madrid Conference was based pursuant to United Nations resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 435 (1978), and the land-for-peace formula, all of which provide for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the occupied Syrian Golan to the front line of 4 June 1967, occupied Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa, and for the realization of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.
30. The Conference underlined that Israel’s violation of the principles and underpinnings of the peace process, reneging on the commitments, pledges and agreements concluded within this process, and procrastination and evasion at the implementation level, have seriously undermined the peace process. The Conference held the Israeli Government wholly responsible for that state of affairs.
31. The Conference called on the Islamic States which had taken steps toward establishing relations with Israel within the framework of the peace process to reconsider such relations by closing missions and offices until such time as Israel completes its withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are guaranteed, including their right to establish their independent State on their national territory, Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
32. The Conference urged the international community, particularly the co-sponsors of the peace process, to exert pressure on Israel to comply with the resolutions of international legitimacy and to end its settlement policy. The Conference requested the Security Council to revive the International Committee for supervising and monitoring the ban on settlements in the City of Al-Quds and the other occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. It also urged the international community and the States which provide economic and financial assistance to stop such assistance, which Israel uses to carry out its colonization and settlement schemes in the occupied Arab territories, in occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan. The Conference called on the international community to refuse to consider Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories as Israeli places of origin, thus allowing Israel to export its products from there, and to take action to stop such Israeli exports.
33. The Conference called for action by the United Nations and other international organizations and forums to force Israel to release the detainees, return the deportees, put an end to collective punishments, confiscation of land and property and demolition of houses and to refrain from any act likely to endanger life and the environment in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
34. The Conference requested the international community and the Security Council to force Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 487 (1981), to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and implement the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
35. The Conference commended the efforts made by the Al-Quds Committee under the chairmanship of His Majesty Hassan II, King of Morocco, and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the “Bait-Mal Al-Quds” Agency had started its activities. The Conference called on member States, Islamic financing institutions, banks, funds, chambers of commerce and industry, companies, individuals and businessmen to extend generous support to “Bait-Mal Al-Quds” and to organize fund-raising campaigns on the popular level in favor of the Agency to enable it to implement the projects agreed upon in support of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the Holy City.
36. The Conference lauded the resistance of the Syrian Arab citizens of the Golan against occupation and strongly condemned Israel for not complying with Security Council resolution 497 (1981). It affirmed that Israel's decision to impose its laws, sovereignty and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was illegal, null and void, and with no legal effect whatsoever. The Conference condemned Israel for continuing to alter the legal and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure. It reaffirmed the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War to the occupied Syrian Golan and called for Israel’s total withdrawal from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the lines of 4 June
37. The Conference strongly condemned Israel for its continuing occupation of parts of Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa, and urged the international community to ensure the implementation of Security Council 425 (1978) stipulating Israel’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all occupied Lebanese territory to the internationally recognized borders. It called on the international community to take all measures to compel Israel to set free immediately all the prisoners, the Lebanese nationals who have been kidnapped, as well as those detained in Israeli prisons and in the camps controlled by the forces allied to Israel, and to endeavor to put an end to Israel’s aggression and inhuman practices against the defenseless inhabitants in the Lebanese territory. It reiterated its support for the efforts of the Republic of Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over its entire territory, including the area occupied by Israel in Southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa.
IV. MINISTERIAL COUNCIL OF THE GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
ISSUES PRESS COMMUNIQUE ON THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE
PROCESS AT ITS SEVENTY-FIFTH REGULAR SESSION,
HELD AT JEDDAH ON 3 JULY 1999
At the resumption of its seventy-first regular session, held at Jeddah on 3 July 1999, the Ministerial Council for the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a press communiqué, an excerpt of which is reproduced below (see A/53/1014-S/1999/761):
The peace process in the Middle East
The Council reviewed developments in the peace process in the Middle East in the light of the results of the Israeli elections. It considered the possible repercussions of the results for a process that had been faltering because of the policies of the Likud Government and its leader, Netanyahu, policies that had repudiated the relevant United Nations resolutions as well as the agreements concluded and the obligations to which they had given rise.
Renewing its total commitment to the principles established by the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, by virtue of which there had been a series of gains and achievements on the road to peace, the Council calls upon the newly elected Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, to take the steps necessary to relaunch the peace process and to return to serious and balanced negotiations with the Arab parties on all the various tracks.
The Council urged the new Israeli Government to take action to revive the peace process and to resume negotiations on all tracks. This may be conducive to the restoration of legitimate Arab rights in compliance with the principles of the Madrid Conference and in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978); to the attainment by the Palestinian people of all its legitimate national rights, including the right to establish an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital; and to full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, including withdrawal from the Syrian Golan heights to the boundary lines of 4 June 1967 and withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) and without restrictions or conditions.
The Council condemned and deplored the repeated Israeli aerial assaults that had sought to destroy civilian installations and the infrastructure of the Lebanese Republic, had left a number of innocent civilians dead and wounded and had undermined security and stability in the region. The Council calls upon the international community and the Secretary- General of the United Nations to intervene in order to require Israel to comply with the April 1996 understanding and put an end to bellicose practices that are to be regarded as a flagrant violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions.
The Council appreciates the efforts made by the co-sponsors of the peace process as well as the declaration adopted on 25 March 1999 by the European Union at the Berlin European Council affirming the unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the option of a State. It calls upon the countries concerned to play an ever more effective role and to urge the new Israeli Government to comply with the undertakings given to the Arab side by previous Israeli governments and to resume the negotiations on the Syrian track from the point at which they were suspended in 1996, as also on the Lebanese track, with a view to achieving a comprehensive and just peace and security and stability for the region and its peoples.
The Council values the positive and constructive efforts of the co-sponsors of the peace process in the Middle East and the continued endeavours of the United States Administration for the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace. It also appreciates the role being played by the member States of the European Union and commends their declaration of 25 March 1999. The Council calls on the international community and all the parties concerned to intensify their efforts during this important and critical phase to help revive the peace process and place it back on track, with a view to achieving peace and meeting the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the region.
Document Type: Bulletin, Monthly Bulletin, Publication
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), General Assembly, Gulf Cooperation Council, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Secretary-General
Subject: Assistance, Economic issues, Palestine question, Peace proposals and efforts, Refugees and displaced persons, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem
Publication Date: 31/07/1999