Volume XV, Bulletin No. 7
I. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS THREE RESOLUTIONS
CONCERNING THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
At its substantive session of 1992 held from 29 June to 31 July in New York, the Economic and Social Council adopted the following resolutions relating to the question of Palestine.
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 Syrian Golan
II. EXCERPT FROM JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE TWENTY-FIFTH
MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH-EAST ASIAN
NATIONS (ASEAN), HELD AT MANILA ON 21 AND 22 JULY 1992
“The Foreign Ministers reiterated their support for the continuation of the Middle East peace process under the auspices of the United Nations to address the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and other relevant resolutions. On the situation in Lebanon, the Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their support for the full implementation of the 1989 Taif Agreement and Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
“The Foreign Ministers welcomed the initiative taken by the United States of American and the Russian Federation in co-sponsoring a regional peace conference for direct negotiations on the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, which constitute the main source of instability and tension in the region.” (see A/47/351, paras. 26 and 27).
III. SEVENTH UNITED NATIONS EUROPEAN SEMINAR ON THE
QUESTION OF PALESTINE IS HELD IN MALTA
FROM 27 TO 29 JULY 1992
The Seventh United Nations European Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine was held in Malta from 27 to 29 July 1992, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 46/74 B of 11 December 1991.
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising: H.E. Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee and head of delegation; H.E. Mr. Victor Camilleri (Malta) and H.E. Mr. Victor Batiouk (Ukraine), Vice-Chairmen of the Seminar, and Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations.
A total of six meetings were held and 15 parre1±stspresented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine.
Representatives of 10 Governments, Palestine, 1 United Nations organ, 1 United Nations specialized agency, 1 intergovernmental organization, as well as 9 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as observers, attended the Seminar.
The event was opened by Prof. Guido de Marco, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta. At the opening meeting, statements were also made by Mr. Cissé and Mr. Abdulatif Abu Hejia, Director-General of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.
Following the opening ceremony, Mr. Joseph Hazbun, of the World Health Organization, and Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church of Jerusalem, addressed the Seminar. A message from Mr. Hamid Algabid, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was read out.
Two round tables that were established and their panelists were as follows:
The expert members of the panels agreed on summaries of the presentations and the discussion of the two topics. The full text of the proceedings will be published in due course as a publication of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.
For its part, the Seminar adopted a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Malta.
Closing statements were made by Mr. Carmel Aquilina, Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta, Mr. Abdulatif Abu Hejla, Director-General of the Political Department of the PLO, and Mr. Kéba Birane Cissé.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. The participants of the Seventh United Nations European Seminar on the Question of Palestine welcomed the convening of the Seminar as an important contribution to continuing efforts to bring about a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. They emphasized that the European countries had played, and could continue to play, a constructive and active role towards that objective. They particularly welcomed the holding of the meeting in Malta, whose steadfast and consistent support for the Palestinian national struggle and whose geographical location and active involvement in Mediterranean and European affairs made it an ideal venue for deliberations on how Europe could further contribute to the ongoing peace efforts.
2. The participants noted that the fundamental changes in the international political scene, the shift from confrontation towards cooperation in international affairs, had brought the possibility of meaningful interaction of the international community in the search for efficient ways of resolving the Middle East conflict. They stressed that those opportunities should not be missed owing to lack of goodwill or inaction and warned of the persistent dangers of continued instability and of the resulting unabated arms race in the region, which threatened not only the peoples of the Middle East but also neighbouring Europe.
3. The participants reiterated that there was a European as well as international consensus concerning the essential elements of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, which include: withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territory occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories; respect for the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; and the recognition and exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination, in accordance with the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.
4. The participants, noting that the Peace Conference on the Middle East convened at Madrid on 30 October 1991 was entering into a particularly significant stage, expressed their earnest hope that the talks soon to be resumed would be serious and productive and would be crucial for establishing a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. They noted in that connection that the process had the support of the parties concerned and had as its basis Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which had long been recognized as the cornerstone of a comprehensive settlement. The participants stressed the essential need for an active role by the United Nations, the Security Council and the Secretary-General for a successful outcome of the peace process. They were of the opinion that a more active European contribution to the peace conference on the Middle East was welcomed.
5. The participants considered that, in the recent elections, a majority of the Israeli public had voted for peace and had expressed the earnest hope that the new Israeli Government would institute radical changes in Israel’s policies in favour of peace. The participants called upon the new Israeli Government to declare its agreement with the principle of “land for peace”, to comply with the United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and to acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. They also called upon the Government to take immediate measures for the restoration of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Palestinians living in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, in accordance with Israel’s obligations under international law.
6. The participants stressed that while the peace process was taking place, it was of the utmost importance to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people living under occupation; and that measures in that regard would help to create an environment more conducive to peace and coexistence between Israeli and Palestinian people. In particular, they called for the immediate cessation of all settlement activity, land and water confiscation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, which posed a threat to the very existence of the Palestinian community and which were in clear violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and were detrimental to the peace process under way.
7. The participants recognized that the intifadah was an expression of the national will of the Palestinian people for liberation, of its resistance to the occupation and of its determination to remain on its land and to attain its inalienable national rights. They reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and national independence. They also reaffirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. They welcomed free democratic elections in the Palestinian occupied territories under effective international supervision. They voiced deep concern that the military occupation had now lasted for over 25 years and that Israel had continued to reject the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied territory and to violate its provisions. They called for appropriate measures to be taken to implement Security Council resolutions 672 (1990) and 681 (1990), which asked for action by the High Contracting Parties and by the Secretary-General to ensure observance of the Convention. The participants considered that the fact that a peace process was under way did not detract in any way from Israel’s obligations to respect the Fourth Geneva Convention and to abide by the relevant Security Council resolutions. They called upon the High Contracting Parties to the Convention, the Security Council and the United Nations system as a whole to take all necessary measures to ensure that Israel abide by its obligations as the occupying Power.
8. The participants noted in that connection that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had given priority to the promotion of measures for the protection of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation. The participants also recalled that the European Community had taken measures which had been successful in ensuring the reopening of Palestinian schools and the export of Palestinian agricultural commodities, and called upon the Community and European NGOs to continue to devise means of applying pressure on Israel in order to restore respect for Palestinian human rights, including tying all agreements to human rights considerations. They also called upon the Community and European NGOs to insist that Israel abide by its duty to ensure fair and equal treatment for Palestinian workers. They urged the Israeli Government to terminate all military and administrative obstacles obstructing the employment of Palestinians as well as their efforts to develop an independent economy of their own.
9. The participants further recommended that the European and international NGO communities continue and intensify their activities to ensure protection, such as public education, health and information, campaigns on specific issues, visiting missions to the occupied territory and others. They called upon NGOs to continue to press upon their respective Governments their duty to secure the compliance of the Israeli Government with the provision of the Convention. They recommended that NGOs present in the occupied territory as witnesses to the behaviour of the occupying Power should report infringements to their embassies and consulates-general, thus drawing their Government’s attention to the situation in a very real way. Participants also recommended that European NGOs should seek to support, strengthen and coordinate the work of NGOs to promote the independent development of the occupied territory.
10. The participants expressed their appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for their constant efforts in promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestine question. They expressed confidence that the Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights would adapt their programme to meet the current situation and to continue to increase their activities to promote a constructive debate and a concrete and action-oriented analysis of the most important issues relating to the question of Palestine.
11. The participants expressed their warm appreciation to the Government and the people of Malta for providing a venue for the European Seminar on the Question of Palestine and for the excellent facilities, courtesies and generous hospitality extended to them.
IV. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS:
ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION
During the course of July, the following information was received by the Division for Palestinian Rights:
1. News from Within, independent newsletter, available from: Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.
2. AJME News, journal of Americans for Justice in the Middle East, available from: P.O. Box 113-5581, Beirut, Lebanon.
3. The Other Front, available from: the Alternative Information Centre, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem.
4. Targeting to Kill: Israeli Undercover Units, publication of Palestine Human Rights Information Center. Available from: PHRIC International, 4753 N. Broadway, Suite 930, Chicago, IL 60640, United States of America.
5. Middle East Labor Bulletin, official publication of the Labor Committee on the Middle East, available from: P.O. Box 421546, San Francisco, CA 94142-1546, United States of America.
6. Israel and Palestine Political Report, available from: Magelan, Boite Postale 130, 75463 Paris CEDEX 10, France.
7. Middle East International, biweekly publication, available from: P.O. Box 5336, Temple Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009, United States of America.
8. NECF Report, publication of the Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation of Canada. Available from: 106 Duplex Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5P 2A7.
9. Palestine Solidarité, bimonthly bulletin of l’Association Medicale Franco-Palestinienne. Available from: 14, rue de Nanteuil, 75015 Paris, France.
10. Oriente Medio, publication of the Asociación “Amigos de Palestina”. Available from Apdo. No. 2102, 37080 Salamanca, Spain.
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Document Type: Bulletin, Monthly Bulletin, Publication
Document Sources: ASEAN, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Subject: Assistance, Human rights and international humanitarian law, NGOs/Civil Society, Palestine question, Peace process, Settlements, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem, Women
Publication Date: 31/07/1992