XIV MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
Durban, South Africa, 17-19 August 2004
CHAPTER II: ANALYSIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION
PALESTINE AND THE MIDDLE EAST
124. The Ministers reaffirmed their adherence to the positions on Palestine adopted by the XIII NAM Summit, detailed in its main document, as the guidelines for the Members of the Movement as well as their adherence to the positions set forth in the Summit statement on Palestine.
125. The Ministers reiterated their grave concern at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, as a result of the destruction and devastation inflicted by Israel, the occupying Power, on the Palestinian society and the Palestinian Authority. They strongly condemned the continuing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, including the systematic human rights violations and the reported war crimes. They condemned in particular the wilful killing of Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial killings; the excessive and indiscriminate use of force; the wanton destruction of homes, infrastructure and agricultural lands; the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians; and the imposition of collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population, including severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, resulting in the grave socio-economic debilitation of the Palestinian people.
126. The Ministers also strongly condemned Israel’s ongoing intensive campaign of settler colonialism, including the continuing illegal land confiscations and the construction and expansion of illegal settlements, as well as its continuing unlawful construction of the expansionist Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Ministers expressed their grave concern at the devastation being caused by the construction of the Wall and stressed that, if completed, the Wall would render the two-State solution practically impossible to achieve. In this connection, the Ministers strongly welcomed the Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, which represents an historic opportunity for return to the rule of law in all efforts to peacefully address the question of Palestine and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Ministers further welcomed the adoption of resolution ES-10/15, on 20 July 2004, by the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, and stressed the importance of respect for and compliance with both the Advisory Opinion and resolution ES-10/15 by Israel, the Occupying Power, and by Member States.
127. The Ministers expressed their concern at the failure of repeated efforts to revive the peace process and expressed their deep regret in particular that the Road Map had yet to be implemented. They noted with concern that the Israeli government has never formally accepted the Road Map, has failed to take the necessary first step in adherence with its obligations therein, and has repeatedly attempted to evade the Road Map and substitute it with different steps. In this regard, they noted that the situation has been aggravated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s “unilateral disengagement plan” as well as the Israeli-American exchange of letters of 14 April 2004. The Ministers reaffirmed that the plan as well as several passages within the letters violate international law, relevant Security Council resolutions, and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the Palestine refugees, and are in departure from the Road Map. The Ministers reaffirmed that the plan and the letters are unacceptable and cannot alter the terms of reference of the peace process nor alter the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Ministers called for the intensification of efforts by the Quartet and for the full and honest implementation of the Road Map. The Ministers further called on the Quartet to engage the Security Council, considering the Council’s Charter authority and its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security.
128. The Ministers expressed the necessity of upholding international law, international humanitarian law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine. In this regard, the Ministers reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations, including the General Assembly and Security Council, towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects on the basis of international law. They called upon the United Nations not to reward illegal positions and intransigence and to increase its efforts towards the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement and the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. They urged Member States to instruct their representatives to continuously follow up with such issues related to the United Nations and called for the continued support of the Committees and UN bodies relevant to the question of Palestine. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination and to sovereignty in their State, Palestine, with East Jerusalem, as its capital. In this regard, they welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 58/292 on the “Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, and stressed the need for follow-up in ensuring that Israeli credentials to the United Nations do not cover the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East
129. The Ministers reaffirmed that all measures and actions taken, or to be taken by Israel, the occupying power, such as its illegal decision of 14 December 1981 that purports to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure, as well as the Israeli measures to apply its jurisdiction and administration there, are null and void and have no legal effect. They also reaffirmed that all such measures and actions, including the illegality of Israeli settlement construction activities in the Occupied Syrian Golan since 1967 constitute a flagrant violation of international law, international conventions, the Charter and decisions of the United Nations, particularly Security Council resolution 497 (1981), the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, and the defiance of will of the international community. They reiterated the Movement’s demand that Israel comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan, to the lines of 4 June 1967, in implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and that Israel adheres to the Madrid terms of reference based on the principle of land for peace, which are in their entirety considered to be a primary and basic element in the negotiation process that should be adhered to, including the immediate commencement of the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line.
130. The Ministers reaffirmed the NAM’s unwavering support and solidarity with the Syrian just demand and rights to restore the full Syrian sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan on the basis of the terms of reference of the Arab peace initiative, the Madrid peace process, the UN Security Council resolutions, as well as the principle of land for peace. They again demanded that Israel respects all commitments and pledges it entered into with the aim of laying down the basis for a substantive progress on the Syrian-Israeli track.
131. The Ministers reaffirmed Lebanon’s legitimate right to defend its territories and to liberate the remaining parts under Israeli occupation and demanded that Israel puts an end to its continuous: threats, aggression and violations of the Lebanese territories, air space and territorial waters. They reiterated their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and its right on its natural resources and for Lebanon’s demand to maintain the peacekeeping mission deployed in Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) without any further reduction in the number of its troops and without any change in the nature of its mandate in accordance with Resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). They encouraged and supported all international efforts aimed at expediting the removal of landmines planted by Israel during its occupation of Southern Lebanon, and called for an end to the continuing Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and for the release of all Lebanese detained in Israel, in defiance of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its relevant protocols.
The Peace Process
132. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Middle East peace process based on Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 425, 1397 and 1515 and the principle of land for peace. They reiterated the need for ending the Israeli occupation of all occupied territories since 1967 and the establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers welcomed and supported the Arab peace initiative adopted by the 14th Arab Summit in Beirut. They urged the Security Council to act upon that initiative towards achieving just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.