UNITED NATIONS EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Palais des Nations, Geneva
29-30 August 1988
OPENING SESSION ………………………………………………………………………………………………….
PANEL PRESENTATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………
I. Declaration adopted by the United Nations
European Regional NGO Symposium on the
Question of Palestine and workshop reports
II. Conclusion and recommendations of the
International Symposium on Practical ways
to Support the Palestinian Trade-Union
Movement, (Geneva, 28 August 1988)
III. Membership of the European Co-ordinating
Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, 1988-1990
IV. List of participants and observers
The United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, the second for the European region, was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 to 30 August 1988. The Symposium was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 42/66 A and B of 2 December 1987.
The Symposium was attended by 158 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 92 of whom as observers. It was also attended by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), chairman of the Committee, H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan), Vice-Chairman, H.E. Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), and Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization).
The programme for the Symposium was elaborated by the Committee in consultation with the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. Its main theme was "The Palestinian uprising and the European commitment to the International Peace Conference". A panel of the same title was held and presentations were made by the following experts: Prof. Ziad Abu-Amr (Palestinian); Mr. Robert Garai (Hungary); Ms. Luciana Castellina (Italy); and Mr. Ernie Ross (United Kingdom).
Four workshops were also held on the following topics: (a) Children under occupation; (b) Mobilization for a political solution of the question of Palestine; (c) Women for Palestine; (d) Actions to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
The symposium adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. It also elected a new European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine to co-ordinate the work of European NGOs from 1988 to 1990 (see annexes I and III).
Opening the meeting, H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, stressed that the Palestinian uprising had generated world-wide interest and activities aimed at contributing to a settlement of the question. Additional activities, however, were necessary in order to translate that growing awareness into concrete action at the non-governmental and governmental levels. It was urgently necessary to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian population under occupation. At the same time, efforts for a peaceful solution through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, must be strengthened. The Committee greatly appreciated the role played by NGOs in that regard and looked forward to increased co-operation with them.
Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi, Permanent Observer of the PLO to the United Nations in New York, pointed out that most of the regional conflicts were now being addressed through the good offices of the United Nations and under its auspices. The members of the Security Council had accordingly expressed their grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories and had reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, calling on the High Contracting Parties to ensure respect for its provisions. The Symposium had been convened to enable NGOs to consider effective and concrete ways and means to put an end to the underlying problem – the prolonged occupation – and in the meantime to demand, from the occupying Power, that it respect its obligations and from Governments that they act to ensure such respect.
Mr. Mikko Lohikoski, Chairman of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, also addressed the opening session and stressed that the changing political situation in the Middle East region and the uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories had created new challenges and new opportunities for solidarity action and for promoting a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.
Prof. Ziad Abu-Amr (Palestinian) stated that the 1967 war and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel had helped consolidate Palestinian nationalism. For the first time in twenty years the Palestinians, in the occupied territories and within Israel itself, were united. A gradual process of communication, interaction and integration had begun to strike roots and develop on economic, social and political levels in varying degrees.
Palestinians had begun to search for mechanisms through which to maintain their national existence on their own land. Hence their persistent endeavours to organize themselves and build their own institutions. As a result, it might be argued that a Palestinian nation-State had already come into existence. Besides land and population, many requirements for existence of a State had been met, such as international recognition, existence of governmental and State institutions and a society with social and economic infrastructures and a national culture and tradition.
Since its inception, the Palestinian State had been the target of a war by Israel. In the occupied territories, harsh policies had been adopted, designed actively to destroy and impede the development of Palestinian institutions. Outside the territories, Israel had tried to crush the PLO and destroy its image. However, the recent uprising clearly indicated that Israel's war had failed and that its repressive policies had only resulted in greater self-reliance and consolidation of statehood prerequisites by the Palestinians. The process of Palestinian nation- and State-building had reached an irreversible point. The establishment of such a State would be the best guarantee for a durable peace in the Middle East.
Ms. Luciana Castellina (Italy) observed that the intifadah and King Hussein's decision to renounce responsibility for the West Bank had transformed the territories into an embryonic State and the PLO from a liberation movement to a State institution to which it would be much harder to deny sovereignty. General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, long ignored, had again become the main guideline for international political action and for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.
Hopes for a comprehensive solution through that Conference were stronger. There were signs of unprecedented openness on the side of certain Israeli officials. The PLO had repeatedly declared its acceptance of all United Nations resolutions. The Security Council and Israel should now recognize the Arab State of Palestine in order to lay the basis for mutual recognition and the attainment of international legitimacy by both States.
NGOs, particularly in Europe, had an important role to play. They must persuade their Governments to recognize the Arab State of Palestine and a provisional PLO Government, and to request the United Nations to exercise interim responsibility in order to prevent Israeli repression. The European community must also commit itself to establish a special relation, economic and political, with both States, in order to facilitate peaceful coexistence between them and in the whole region. NGOs must also provide concrete, material and political support to the Palestinian people in building the bases of its new State. Finally, NGOs had the essential task of educating public opinion in Europe on the real nature of the Palestine question and of fostering a dialogue between Europeans, on the one hand, and Palestinians and Israelis, on the other.
Mr. Robert Garai (Hungary) expressed the view that conditions for a peaceful settlement had improved although important obstacles remained. The intifadah was a turning point in the conflict and had shown the unity and determination of the Palestinian people and the inability of the occupying forces to continue to rule.
The intifadah had also fundamentally affected attitudes in Western Europe and the United States, including in the Jewish communities there and in Israel itself. The Western European Governments had expressed their dissatisfaction and concern and the European Parliament had voted against trade and financial agreements with Israel. Despite criticism of Israel by the United States Government, however, the economic and military co-operation between those two States had been reaffirmed.
The occupied territories would be a central issue in the Israeli elections in November 1988. Regrettably, the forces of extremism appeared to be gaining strength. Both major parties refused to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination, to withdraw from all occupied territories, and to talk with the PLO. However, increasing sectors of Israeli public opinion had begun to see the territories as a liability and there was growing support for a United Nations-sponsored peace conference. All efforts must be made to ensure that such a conference be constructive and successful. The United States and the Soviet Union, as co-sponsors of Security Council resolution 338 (1973), should strive to create acceptable conditions for a lust, permanent and durable solution of the Middle East crisis.
Mr. Ernie Ross (United Kingdom) also pointed to the effects of the intifadah in exposing the injustice of the occupation and in bringing unprecedented international criticism of Israel. The Palestinians had achieved a renewed sense of national identity and purpose and the negative image attached to the Palestinian cause and to the PLO had been reversed. The urgent need for a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, had become evident and Western Europe had an important role to play in this respect.
The United Kingdom was now in a position to make a more useful contribution towards peace in the Middle East. For the first time in forty years, both major parties in the House of Commons were in agreement on convening an international peace conference. Such a conference should be held under the auspices of the Security Council, where the United Kingdom and France, as permanent members, could bring to bear the combined weight of the European community. The differences in positions between the super-Powers had narrowed somewhat recently on the convening of an international conference. Recent developments in the region and the failure of bilateral initiatives had made it clear that the PLO should be a full participant in the peace process.
Apart from the possibility of security guarantees and international aid, an international conference would help overcome the psychological and procedural problems arising from decades of hostility and violence. The progress toward settlement of other regional conflicts left the Middle East problem as the most outstanding regional conflict. In conclusion, Mr. Ross appealed to the Governments of Western Europe and the United States to recognize the need to talk directly to the PLO in order to pave the way for a just solution.
* * *
In her closing statement, H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee, pointed out that the international campaign in support of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East had now spread to many countries involving many sectors of society and many groups and individuals. The intifadah had led to a great intensification of activities-in support of the Palestinian people and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine. The Committee looked forward to strengthened co-operation with European NGOs through their newly elected co-ordinating committee in pursuit of that common objective.
DECLARATION ADOPTED BY THE UNITED NATIONS
EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE
QUESTION OF PALESTINE AND WORKSHOP REPORTS
1. We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we appreciate the presence of the members and observers of that body. We thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the NGO liaison officers and staff of the Division, and the Department of Conference Services, including the interpreters, for their assistance in this meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here. We deplore the fact that one distinguished expert was prevented from attending by the Israeli Government.
2. We salute the brave people of the occupied Palestinian territories for their courage, endurance and solidarity throughout the uprising and we note how strongly they have focused the attention of the entire world on the injustices suffered by all the Palestinian people. The uprising, by rejecting the occupation and affirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, exposes the true nature of the Israeli occupation. We extend all possible support to them in this historic process. We call upon the United Nations to exercise full responsibility for the Palestinian question. The United Nations should place observer teams in the West Bank and Gaza to help protect the people there from continuing human rights violations.
3. We reaffirm very strongly the urgent need for the International Peace Conference to be convened, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, as the only possible means to achieve a just and peaceful settlement.
4. The historic links between the countries and peoples of Europe and those of the Middle East, and the fact that Europe is also affected by the lack of peace and justice in the Middle East, gives it a special responsibility and a key role in the search for a peaceful and just solution of the conflict in the region. Noting especially the declarations of the European Economic Community (EEC) of February 1987 and February 1988 in support of the convening of an international conference, we call upon the Governments concerned to act to implement their declarations and to ensure the convening of the International Conference without delay.
5. We condemn the systematic destruction of the political, social and economic structure of Palestinian society and the attempts by the occupation forces to eliminate Palestinian society for the future. Even as we are meeting, the army of occupation closed down trade-union headquarters and charitable institutions. These actions are wholly and specifically contrary to articles 47, 49 and 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and they destroy the myth of the democratic nature of Israel. We call upon all European Governments to state categorically that their bilateral relations with Israel will be affected by these breaches of the Geneva Convention which will be reconsidered if these and similar practices are not ended, especially as the signatories of the Geneva Convention are responsible for its implementation.
6. We congratulate the Members of the European Parliament who have opposed the ratification of the Israeli trading protocols with EEC and uphold their example in practical action to demonstrate disapproval of Israeli actions which are wholly illegal in international law. On the same issue, we condemn the Israeli and Zionist demands addressed to the Soviet Government to establish special direct flights for emigrants to Israel.
7. We call upon all European Governments which have not yet fully recognized the PLO to do so, especially since the international consensus that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is greatly strengthened by the unequivocal support for the PLO by the people of the uprising. Accordingly, we call for the PLO's participation in the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, on an equal footing with all other parties in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D. We note that the Palestinians have completed the process of nation-building and are now ready to have their own nation-State. Accordingly, the Palestinians' right to self-determination, in accordance with United Nations principles, must be basic to the deliberations of the Peace Conference.
8. We express our strong support for the forces of peace in Israel which favour the principle of a Palestinian State. We especially express support for those who refuse military service in occupied Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories.
9. We express our great appreciation of the work of NGOs actively involved in the Middle East, in sending missions there and in all their other activities, in support of oppressed people and in working with Palestinian NGOs. We note that NGO workers in this field are subject to physical danger and kidnapping. We give them our strong support.
10. Our primary work in this Symposium was conducted in workshops and we affirm their conclusions as appended below. We congratulate the European Co-ordinating Committee on organizing a highly successful international symposium on 28 August on practical ways to support the Palestinian trade-union movement and we also append and affirm its conclusions (see annex II).
B. Workshop reports
1. Children under occupation
We would like to institute and carry out an international campaign called "Freedom for the children of Palestine". This campaign would bring to the world the plight of Palestinian children in prisons and of those who have been killed, beaten and injured by bullets from Israeli soldiers and settlers.
We request that a United Nations committee be organized to investigate injustice and maltreatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli settlers.
NGOs, in co-operation with local Palestinian NGOs, will engage in projects co-financed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) or EEC if the NGO is from an EEC member country. Services and aids which can be supplied are medical centres, fully equipped medical emergency vehicles, medical supplies, psychological services, educational material, kindergartens, playgrounds, youth centres, etc.
We condemn the closing of schools. We demand that schools be allowed to open and function normally without military intervention. Educational material should be given to aid the children in making up lost time due to Israeli closure of schools.
We condemn the closing of all Palestinian institutions and particularly those which provide for children. In cases where institutions and societies have been closed, NGOs should co-operate and co-ordinate activities to provide these services and supplies to Palestinians via UNRWA, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), etc.
2. Mobilization for a political solution of the question of Palestine
The improvement of relations between East and West in general provides a good framework for the solution of regional conflicts. For that reason, it is obvious that the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under United Nations auspices, is the goal to which we must focus all our efforts.
The situation of constant violation of human rights in all territories occupied by Israel, and in particular the violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, must be underlined. Such an approach would attract other organizations to work with us, e.g., trade unions, peace movements, churches, youth movements, even though they do not have a specific Middle East focus.
We must emphasize the worsening situation of the press in the occupied territories as well as in Israel: the closure of press and information offices, most recently the Palestine Press Service, the Alternative Information Center, the Arab Studies Society and the Ha-Nitzotz. We must get the support of the relevant professional organizations in mobilizing against the administrative detentions, arrests and tortures of Palestinian and Israeli journalists.
Proposals for concrete actions:
(a) Study the possibility and prepare, together with the European Co-ordinating Committee, a peace march from Europe to Palestine in conjunction with the re-launch of the Palestinian Boat of Return (Al-Awda Peace Ship) in 1989;
(b) Campaign to abolish in all countries the tax exemption status of Zionist fund-raising organizations, in particular the Jewish National Fund, which are recognized as charities. This status must be changed;
(c) Appeal to all Governments, as contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to take all necessary measures to secure Israeli respect for this Convention. In particular we refer to the recommendations of the Secretary-General of the United Nations of 21 January 1988 concerning the protection of civilian populations in occupied territories and we stress the need for the Security Council to approve these recommendations;
(d) Mobilize urgently all our members to write personally to their representatives in the European Parliament to express their opposition in the present circumstances to the ratification of the new EEC-Israel trade protocols which are once again submitted to the vote on 12 October 1988. Further mobilize for the boycott of Israeli products so long as the Israeli authorities deny equal rights and facilities for the export of Palestinian products to Europe in conformity with the EEC legislation;
(e) Campaign for governmental recognition of the PLO by European countries;
(f) Urge all European NGOs to launch campaigns in defence of the rights of Palestinian NGOs which were closed by the Israeli authorities;
(g) Address a message of welcome to Chairman Yasser Arafat on the occasion of his visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 1988.
3. Women for Palestine
It has become clear to everybody that women are the bedrock of the intifada. The mothers, defending their children from arrests and soldiers' brutalities, lost fear and took their place alongside Palestinian men and when the men were arrested, they carried on.
Substantial part of their work is to take care of prisoners, to support financially the families of martyrs; to organize visits to see wounded people in hospitals; to work in women's home-economy projects, to organize day-care and schools for children and participate in the night-watch to warn when settlers try to attack; to work in popular committees in order to take care of the daily needs of the population.
Women in the occupied territories should be given full assistance by all, particularly women and their organizations.
The workshop, after active discussion, decided to make the following concrete proposals:
(a) Send more women fact-finding missions to the occupied territories – prominent women with different expertise and specialization;
(b) Organize tours for women from occupied territories to visit several countries in Europe;
(c) Organize special delegations of prominent women with Palestinian women to visit Government ministries, EEC, the European Parliament and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to give information about the situation of women in the occupied territories and present concrete proposals for assistance. We call on the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to assist in organizing these delegations;
(d) Organize campaigns calling for immediate release of all political prisoners and detainees, women and men;
(e) Organize campaigns against the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied territories;
(f) Organize women lawyers, specialists on international law, to visit the occupied territories and to collect legal facts about detainees and take their cases up internationally;
(g) Appeal to national and international women's organizations so that they react to and protest against Israeli violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949;
(h) Organize campaigns to protest the torture and intimidation of political prisoners and the assassination of prisoners by beating or tear gas;
(i) Organize protest campaigns in defence of the right to life. The deliberate and illegal firing of tear gas into enclosed areas, including hospitals, prisons, schools and maternity centres, has led to the death of the very young and very old, to miscarriages, and may lead to sterility;
(j) Appeal to national and regional women's organizations to protest against the demolition of houses, the burning and burying of Palestinians alive, the poisoning of drinking water;
(k) Urge organizations to campaign against the closure of charitable societies like In'Ash-El-Usra, Friends of Patients, Environment Protection Society, and others;
(l) Find donors to grant scholarships for kindergarten teachers from the occupied territories for further specialization;
(m) Collect and send financial aid and medical equipment for hospitals in the occupied territories;
(n) Contact governmental health agencies or hospitals in European countries for funds to finance the treatment of people wounded by Israeli soldiers during the intifadah;
(0) Call on women's organizations to provide assistance and/or to sponsor needy families in the occupied territories;
(p) Call on women's organizations to adopt women prisoners and detainees;
(q) Assist Palestinian women in refugee camps in Lebanon to rebuild their camps;
(r) Organize campaigns to boycott Israeli products;
(s) Have women NGOs co-ordinate to organize simultaneous demonstrations all over Europe in support of the Palestinian people;
(t) Ask the workshop on "Women and children" of the Fifth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, to be held from 31 August to 2 September 1988 at Geneva, to consider ways and means to implement some of these proposals and follow up with an international seminar on 8 March 1989 – the International Women's Day;
(u) Organize campaigns to support the demand of the Palestinian people for the establishment of its own independent State and for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine.
4. Action to improve economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people in the-occupied territories
We have to provide strategies to alleviate the strains imposed by the occupation and to develop the infrastructure for an independent Palestinian State. In the immediate situation, assistance strategy must be directed to benefit Palestinian labourers, farmers and craftsmen. To that end, funding organizations should work directly and only with Palestinians.
It is urgently necessary to create employment opportunities in production for local consumption, to strengthen the Palestinian boycott of Israeli products. Cottage industries should be encouraged. Technical expertise should be provided in administration, marketing, manufacture, irrigation, food production and processing. All European Governments are urged to help in these fields and to combat Israeli restrictions on such help. Israeli products should be boycotted and trade unionists encouraged not to handle Israeli products.
NGOs should encourage volunteers to maintain a presence in camps and in villages as observers and witnesses. We note that, in Italy, families have been successfully twinned with families in the West Bank and Gaza. This should be extended.
The aim of all operations is to create the infrastructure for the production base to sustain the future economy of a Palestinian State disengaged from dependence on the Israeli economy and from reliance on Jordan.
In all our decisions we have to remember that actions must serve the aims of the Palestinian people.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON PRACTICAL WAYS
TO SUPPORT THE PALESTINIAN TRADE-UNION MOVEMENT
(GENEVA, 28 AUGUST 1988)
1. The European Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs on the Question of Palestine, in co-operation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP) and the Palestinian Trade Union Federation, convened an international symposium on "Practical ways to support the Palestinian trade-union movement". The symposium was held at Geneva on 28 August 1988.
2. The aims of the symposium were to increase awareness about the role of the Palestinian trade-union movement in the struggle for workers' rights and the right to organize; to support the economic, social and national rights of the Palestinian people; and to exchange experiences and develop proposals concerning practical support for Palestinian unions and workers.
3. Since the beginning of the occupation, Israel has followed a systematic policy of aggression against the local economy. Through the confiscation and expropriation of Palestinian land, combined with heavy restrictions on the growth of new industries, the dumping of Israeli industrial and agricultural products on the local market and other measures, the Israeli authorities have forced thousands of people to seek work in Israel where they are confined to the hardest tasks and the lowest paid jobs. These workers suffer many forms of exploitation, including in wages, benefits and social security payments.
4. The Israeli military authorities have placed severe restrictions on Palestinian trade unions and harassed their leaders and members. Immediately prior to the uprising, at least 16 trade-union leaders were under town-arrest and seven others were being held in administrative detention. Since the uprising, the situation of the unions has worsened considerably.
5. In the past week alone the Israeli military has closed two key trade-union centres. On Friday, 26 August, the authorities closed the Professional Unions' Centre in Beit Hanina. The Centre housed the headquarters of several professional groups, including associations for doctors, dentists, veterinarians, agricultural engineers and lawyers. On Thursday, 25 August, the authorities announced the closure of the offices of the General Federation of unions in Nablus for a period of two years.
6. Since the beginning of the uprising which began in December 1987, the authorities have issued deportation orders against five trade-union leaders, closed almost 30 trade-union offices, and placed dozens of trade-union leaders in administrative detention. Dozens of trade-union leaders and workers are currently imprisoned without trial, including at least 18 members of the executive committee of the three trade-union federations, over two dozen general secretaries of local trade unions, and uncounted members of local trade-union executive councils. All of these measures are carried out without charges or trial, in blatant violation of the International Labour Organisation Freedom of Association Convention (No. 87).
7. The Israeli trade-union federation, Histadrut, has never expressed any support for or solidarity with the Palestinian unions suffering from persecution and harassment. On the contrary, Histadrut has defended the Government's actions and justified them in the face of international and local protests.
8. Histadrut arbitrarily deducts one per cent of the wages of the workers from the occupied territories for the so-called organization tax. The workers receive no benefit from this deduction because Histadrut does not permit them to be members and does not even monitor labour contracts to see that correct wages are being paid to Palestinian workers. This tax is designed only to bind workers to the Histadrut. Palestinian workers reject this measure as they see their legitimate representative as their own unions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
9. Further, as an employer, Histadrut has actively discriminated against Palestinian workers. We refer in particular to the Solel Boneh construction company, where Palestinian workers are paid lower wages than their Jewish co-workers, as well as to other Histadrut-owned industries where these workers are confined to the hardest and dirtiest jobs.
10. Palestinian workers who work in Israel are further exploited by having many deductions and taxes taken from their wages, for which they receive almost no benefit. These deductions have totalled many millions of dollars over the past twenty years that have accumulated in the Israeli treasury.
11. Trade unions and other NGOs participating in this international symposium, after hearing the reports of Palestinian unionists and representatives of the European Trade Union, express their deep appreciation for all the concrete actions taken by trade unions in support of the Palestinian workers, note with satisfaction the statement of the Security Council condemning Israel for the deportation of Palestinians, urge the Security Council, pursuant to the report of the Secretary-General (S/19443), to give the Secretary-General the necessary ways and means to insure the protection of the Palestinian population and their economic survival, urge the Security Council to step up negotiations for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.
12. Furthermore, participants made the following recommendations:
(a) Circulate specific, factual information among national and local unions on the present situation in the occupied territories, so as to stimulate grass-roots initiatives and mobilization. A feedback to the occupied territories of international actions in their support is highly appreciated by the Palestinians;
(b) Suggest to local and national trade unions to demand that the Israeli Government put an immediate end to the harassment and persecution of trade unions in the occupied territories and to the unjust working conditions of Palestinian workers from the occupied territories in Israel;
(c) Call on national Governments to use every opportunity at regional and international forums to denounce the violation of the right to organize in the occupied territories and the unjust working conditions of Palestinian workers from the occupied territories working in Israel;
(d) Call on local and national trade unions to establish relations of co-operation with Palestinian trade unions in the occupied territories and to give them every possible assistance. The latter includes collection of funds, days of solidarity, publications, posters, petitions of signatures, appeals, etc.;
(e) Suggest to local and national trade unions that they send fact-finding missions to the occupied territories and circulate their results among their members, other unions, NGOs, different groups of interest, governments, regional and international organizations, such as the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, regional economic commissions, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, etc.;
(f) Suggest to local and national trade unions that they invite trade unionists from the occupied territories to visit different countries in order to report on their situation;
(g) The symposium calls for the immediate closure of the "Ansar III" detention centre in the Negev Desert. The conditions in the camp, highlighted by the recent demonstrations in the camp which led to the deaths of two prisoners, and the fact that it is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention to move prisoners from the occupied territory to the territory of the occupier are more than enough justification for the camp to be closed;
(h) We encourage the European Parliament and the member States to actively promote the import of Palestinian agricultural products;
(i) We urge that special rehabilitation centres be established to help those people who have been injured during the intifadah;
(j) We strongly deplore the order by Defense Minister Rabin which banned the local popular committees in the occupied territories. These committees are active in providing alternative education, distributing and growing food, providing medical services and meeting other needs of the population;
(k) Call for assistance for the creation of a social assurance fund for retired people, a solidarity fund for the families of deported and imprisoned people, medical allowances for injured and sick people, and a care system for working women;
(1) Support the creation of production co-operatives to provide jobs for Palestinian workers;
(m) Give scholarships in their respective countries for Palestinian workers and their families;
(n) Encourage those trade unions having relations with Histadrut to put pressure on it to recognize and implement the rights of the Palestinian workers;
(o) See to it that foreign labourers are not used by the Israelis as strike-breakers to replace Palestinian workers;
(p) Boycott Israeli products as an effective way to protest against the Israeli policy of occupation; such boycotts should be organized whenever possible.
13. We call upon all trade unions and other NGOs to organize campaigns in support and for the protection of the people in the occupied territories. We encourage them to co-ordinate these activities with the International and regional co-ordinating committees, the ICCP office and the Palestinian National Committee to Support the Palestinian People in the Occupied Territories. The role of the trade unions in the matter is crucial, particularly in providing concrete aid.
14. The present situation requires the strengthening of solidarity with the Palestinian people. We therefore express our sincere hope that the international trade-union movement as a whole will find ways and means to develop practical actions, to be carried out in co-ordination and concurrently, to support the Palestinian people and their trade unions, on the national, regional and international levels. An international trade union conference on Palestine could be useful in that respect.
15. The Palestinian cause is our case. Let us work together until the Palestinian people can live in peace with their neighbours, in their own sovereign State, in Palestine.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE 1988-1990
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
Bulevardi 13 A 3
00120 Helsinki 12, Finland
Representative: Mikko Lohikoski
London Friends of Palestine
21 Collingham Road
London SW5, Great Britain
Representative: Liz Rolfs
Centro Internazionale Crocevia
247 Via Merulana
00185 Rome, Italy
Representative: Stefano Fedeli
Solidarity Committee of the
German Democratic Republic
Otto Grotewohl – Strasse 19 D
German Democratic Republic
Representative: Willi Sommerfeld
Parliamentary Association for
Ave. d'Auderghem 33-35
B-1040 Bruxelles, Belgium
Representative: Hans Peter Kotthaus
Alternate: Jean-Michel Dumont
Greek Committee for International
4, Solomou Street
10683 Athens, Greece
Representative: Maria Gazi (provisional)
Paris 75160 Cedex 04
Representative: Isabelle Auran (provisional)
Asociacibn Pro Derechos
Humanos de Espana
Ortega Y Gasset 77, 2.A 28006
Representative: Jesus Corral Fuentes
z.H. Jan Muntinga
Berlin Platz 1
5300 Bonn 1
Federal Republic of Germany
Representative: Jurgen Reentz
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
ARAB LAWYERS' UNION/UNION DES AVOCATS ARABES
ASOCIACION PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE ESPAÑA
ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONALE DES JURISTES DEMOCRATES
ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONALE POUR LA DEFENSE DE LA LIBERTL RELIGIEUSE
ASSOCIATION MEDICALE FRANCO-PALESTINIENNE
ASSOCIATION PARLEMENTAIRE POUR LA COOPERATION EURO-ARABE
CENTRE INTERNATIONAL D'INFORMATION SUN LES PRISONNIERS,
DEPORTES ET DISPARUS PALESTINIENS ET LIBANAIS
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE CROCEVIA (C .I.C.)
CHRISTIAN PEACE MOVEMENT
CIRCOLO CULTURALE MONTESACRO-ROMA
COMITE CATHOLIQUE CONTRE LA FAIM ET POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT
COMITE PALESTINE ET ISRAEL VIVRONT
COMITE SUISSE ROMAND DE SOUTIEN A NAJDEH
COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL AND MEDICAL RELIEF FOR PALESTINIANS
COMMITTEE OF YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS OF THE USSR
COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARAB-BRITISH UNDERSTANDING
DUTCH PALESTINE COMMITTEE
FINNISH-ARAB FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY
FRIENDS WORLD COMMITTEE FOR CONSULTATION
GREEK COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC SOLIDARITY
GRUPPO DI RICERCA SUL MEDIO ORIENTS CONTEMPORANEO-GRMOC
HUNGARIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HUMANITARIAN LAW
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF JOURNALISTS
INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS ORGANIZATION
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH AND STUDENT MOVEMENT FOR THE UNITED NATIONS
ISLAMIC COUNCIL OF EUROPE
LABOUR MIDDLE EAST COUNCIL
LIGUE INTERNATIONALE POUR LES DROITS ET LA LIBERATION DES PEUPLES
LONDON FRIENDS OF PALESTINE
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINIANS
MIDDLE EAST COUNCIL OF CHURCHES – INTERNATIONAL LIAISON OFFICE
MIDDLE EAST RESOURCE CENTRE
MOVEMENT AGAINST RACISM AND FOR FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLES
MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE
PALESTINAROMITEEN 1 NORGE
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
PALESTINE STUDIES PROGRAMME, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION FOR EURO-ARAB CO-OPERATION
POLISH COMMITTEE FOR SOLIDARITY. WITH THE PEOPLES OF ASIA, AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA
PORTUGUESE COUNCIL FOR PEACE AND COOPERATION
SERVICE OECUMENIQUE D'ENTRAIDE (CIMADE)
SOCIETY FOR AUSTRO-ARAB RELATIONS
SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE OF THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC SOVIET AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
SOVIET WOMEN'S COMMITTEE
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
WORLD CONFERENCE ON RELIGION AND PEACE
WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
WORLD FEDERATION OF UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION
WORLD MUSLIM CONGRESS
WORLD PEACE COUNCIL
AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (AAPSO)
ANTI IMPERIALISTISCHES SOLIDARITATSKOMITTEE FOR AFRICA,
ASIEN UND LATINEAMERICA (ASK) ARAB COORDINATING COMMITTEE
ARAB ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ARAB WOMEN'S COUNCIL
ASSOCIATION DE DEFENSE DU PATRIMOINE CULTUREL PALESTINIEN
ASSOCIATION IRAKIENNE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE POUR LE SOUTIEN A LA LUTTE DU PEUPLE PALESTINIEN
ASSOCIATION MEDICALE ITALO-PALESTINIENNE
ASSOCIATION POUR RECONSTRUIRE EMMAUS ASSOCIATION SUISSE POUR LA DEFENSE DES LIBERTES ET PRISONNIERS POLITIQUE SYRIENS
BEIT ATFAL AL-SUMOUD
BZU TEACHER AND EMPLOYEES UNION
CENTRE D'ETUDES ANTI-IMPERIALISTES (CEDETIM) CENTRALE GENERALE DES SERVICE PUBLICS
CENTRO REGIONALE D'INTERVENTO PER LA COOPERAZIONE
CHURCH OF HUMANISM
COMITATO DI SOLIDARITA CON IL POPOLO PALESTINESE
COMITE ESPAGNOL DES ONG SUR LA QUESTION DE LA PALESTINE
COMITE HELLENIQUE POUR LA DETENTE INTERNATIONALE ET LA PAIX
COMITE SOCIAL DE LA FEMME
COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OF PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS
COMMITTEE OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH ARAB PEOPLE OF PALESTINE CONFEDERATION DEMOCRATIQUE DU TRAVAIL MAROC
CONFEDERATION GENERALS ITALIENNE DE TRAVAIL
CONFEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES SYNDICATS ARABES
CYPRUS PEACE COUNCIL
CZECHOSLOVAK COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES
OF AFRICA, ASIA AND LATIN AMERICA
DANISH PALESTINIAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
DATA BASE PROJECT ON PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS
DEMOCRATIC FRONT FOR PEACE AND EQUALITY
DEVELOPMENT AND ADVANCEMENTASSOCIATION
FINNISH PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE SYNDICALE DE L'ENSEIGNEMENT (FISE)
FOBB SYNDICAT DU BATIMENT ET DU BOIS
FONDATION INTERNATIONALS LELTO BOSSO POUR LE DROIT ET LA LIBERATION DES PEOPLES FREUNDINNEN DES PALESTINENSISCHEN
FRIENDS OF THE ARAB COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, JERUSALEM
GENERAL FEDERATION OF PALESTINIAN WORKERS
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
HIGHER PALESTINIAN COUNCIL FOR YOUTH AND SPORT
INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS POLITICOS PARR AMERICA LATINA Y AFRICA
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
INTERNATIONAL FORUM/PALESTINE GROUP
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS WAR RESISTERS, SECTION IN ISRAEL ISRAEL-PALESTINE DIALOGUE
ISRAELI RESEARCH SOCIETY
ISRAEL SECULAR HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
JERUSALEM AND PEACE SERVICE
JEWISH PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE GROUP
LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
MEDECINE POUR LE TIERS-MONDE/BELGIQUE
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ARAB-AMERICANS
NEAR EAST CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF CANADA
NEDERLANDS PALESTINA KOMITEE
NETHERLANDS ORGANIZATION FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION (NOVIB)
NORWEGIAN AID COMMITTEE (NORWAC)
PALESTINA SOLIDARITATSKOMITEE WEST BERLIN PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGO's
PALESTINE RED CRESCENT
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE/USA
PALESTINENSICHES INFORMATIONS UND KULTUR ZENTRUM IN WEST BERLIN
PALESTINIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY
PANCYPRIAN FEDERATION OF LABOUR
PARTIE SUISSE DU TRAVAIL
SERVICE SOCIAL ETRANGER
SOCIETY FOR TAE CARE OF THE HANDICAPPED IN THE GAZA STRIP
SOCIETY OF FRIENDSHIP AND CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH ARAB COUNTRIES
SOVIET SOCIETY FOR FRIENDSHIP AND CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH ARAB COUNTRIES
TERRE DES HOMMES
UNION GENERALE DES TRAVAILLEURS TUNISIENS
UNION OF ARAB JURISTS
UNION OF PALESTINIAN MEDICAL RELIEF COMMITTEES
UNION OF THE SOVIET SOCIETIES FOR FRIENDSHIP
AND CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
WORLD MUSLIM LEAGUE
NGO co-ordinating committees
INTERNATIONAL CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mr. Ziad Abu-Amr (Palestinian), Assistant Professor of Political Science, Bir Zeit University
Mr. Robert Garai (Hungary), former Deputy Foreign Minister of Hungary and Deputy Chairman of the Hungarian Solidarity Committee
Ms. Luciana Castellina (Italy), Member of the European Parliament
Mr. Ernie Ross (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament
Ms. Cairo Arafat, specialist in children's situation in Ramallah
Mr. Ziad Abu-Amr
Mr. Robert Garai
Ms. Edith Ballantyne, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Mr. Carlos Jeryes Touma, trade unionist, member of the General Federation of Trade Unions, Nablus, and the Arab Trade Unions Confederation
Members and observers of the Committee on the Exercise
of the-Inalienable-Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York and Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dolt, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York and Vice-Chairman of the Committee
H.E. Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko, Permanent Representative of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to the United Nations in New York
Mr. Zehdi Labib Terzi, Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York
States Members-of-the United-Nations represented by Observers
Democratic Republic Ghana
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Syrian Arab Republic
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Yemen
League of Arab States
* *** *
Download Document Files: 88-29718.pdf
Document Type: Meeting report, Publication, Report
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Subject: Children, Economic issues, Intifadah I, NGOs/Civil Society, PLO/Palestine, Palestine question, Peace conference, Social issues, Statehood-related, Women
Publication Date: 30/08/1988