International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People (New York, Sept. 2002) – NGO Plan of Action






United Nations Headquarters, New York

23 and 24 September 2002


Theme:   End the Occupation!


We, non-governmental and civil society organizations gathered in this international forum, commit to joining our efforts and resources to uphold international law, end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.  

· We will work with our governments and parliaments to ensure that the UN Security Council and/or General Assembly authorize an international interposition (buffer) and protection force as a first step to ending the occupation and implementing outstanding UN resolutions regarding a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Such a force, with a well-defined mandate and within a clear timeline for an end to occupation, will spare Palestinian civilians further death and destruction at the hands of the occupying Israeli military forces and the illegal acts of successive Israeli governments in the occupied Palestinian territory.  It will also protect Israeli civilians from acts of violence which are a consequence of the brutal 35-year-old occupation.  At the same time, we will continue to support and participate in the important work of the international citizens movement to provide protection for and solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.

· We will use all means at our disposal to educate the public in our countries about the realities of life under occupation and the daily violations of Palestinian human rights – including rights to life, liberty, freedom of movement and association, shelter, food, education, health, and self-determination – and about the actions they can take to uphold international law and to oppose such violation of human rights, including boycotts, divestment, and suspension of aid and trade until occupation is ended. This includes pressure on governments to implement such sanctions.

· We call on the General Assembly to request from the International Court of Justice an advisory opinion regarding the illegality of Israel’s occupation including issues of settlements, violation of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of UN resolutions on the question of Palestine.

· We commit ourselves to help establish an International Citizens’ Commission to investigate violations of international law, the UN Charter, UN resolutions, and the Geneva Convention.

· We call on the signatories of the 1949 Geneva Conventions to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, many of which constitute war crimes under the Convention. We will ring the alarm about the consequences of a US war against Iraq for the region.  We will work to ensure that the “transfer” – or ethnic cleansing – of Palestinians that has happened twice over the past century never happens again, and that past wrongs are righted in accordance with international law.  

· We endorse the efforts of all organizations represented here today that are working to uphold Palestinian human rights, in particular those responding to the call by Palestinian NGOs to provide civilian international protection for the Palestinians, helping farmers with their olive harvest, organizing a peaceful circle of hands around Jerusalem, rebuilding demolished Palestinian homes, and other initiatives. We will reinforce our support for the Israeli anti-occupation movements.

· We call for a world-wide day to End the Israeli Occupation and Support International Protection and a Just Peace in coordination with the plans of Grassroots International Protection for Palestinians.

· We will coordinate our work, using among others the tools that technology makes available to us (a website for our organizations, list serves, and conference calls).  We call on the UN and other inter-governmental organizations as well as NGOs to contribute to fund an international coordinator, office, travel, and meetings, to further support the coordination of our work.  

· We thank the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights for convening this conference in response to the Plan of Action adopted at the UN NGO Meeting in Solidarity with the Palestinian People in Madrid in 2001, and for ongoing support of our work. We call on the UN to host regional NGO meetings, and to host an international conference in 2003 so that we can assess progress and commit to further steps in support of just peace.

New York, 24 September 2002


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