The Ministers of the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Palestine, meeting on July 20, 2019, in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in the framework of the Ministerial Meeting of the Movement Coordination Bureau, taking into account the prevailing need to address the decisive events in the international arena and the continuing deterioration of the situation on the ground, which are dangerously undermining the inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people and the expectations for a peaceful and fair solution for the Palestinian issue.
- The Ministers, from the beginning, declared their firm commitment to the principles and positions concerning the Palestinian issue adopted in previous Declarations of the Committee, among others, the recent Ministerial Declarations adopted on April 5, 2018 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, in the framework of the XVIII Ministerial Meeting of the Movement corresponding to the middle of the period and on September 26, 2018, within the framework of the High Level segment of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, in which, among other things, the defiant decision made by the United States government was denounced on December 6, 2017, regarding Jerusalem, which violates international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. They also recalled the positions declared in previous ministerial meetings and summits of the Movement concerning the Palestine issue, and reaffirmed their permanent solidarity with the Palestinian people and unwavering support for their just cause.
- The Ministers emphasized that a fair and lasting solution to the Palestine situation in all its aspects must remain as a priority on the Movement’s agenda. Therefore, the Ministers called on the Members of the Movement to renew their commitment and strengthen and coordinate much more their efforts to promote the realization of justice and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, such as self-determination and independence. In this regard, the Ministers emphasized the importance and the need for action to be taken, in view of the sensitive situation of their plight and the extreme challenges they have faced during more than 52 years of the illegal Israeli occupation in Palestine and more than 71 years since the tragic Nakba of the Palestinian people in May 1948.
- The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of supporting the realization of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine to the status of independent and sovereign State, in accordance with international law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, to fulfill historical international responsibilities and commitments on the question of Palestine and preserve the international system based on rights and the international order based on standards, which are being threatened by serious difficulties and attempts to undermine them.
- The Ministers, in solidarity, reaffirmed their support for the initiatives of the State of Palestine in the United Nations, including resolutions on the Question of Palestine that are presented annually in the various Committees of the United Nations General Assembly and act immediately in coordinating positions in order to encourage and mobilize support to Member States. In this regard, they welcomed the fact that the State of Palestine assumed the Presidency of the Group of 77 and China for the year 2019 and reaffirmed their support for this important initiative.
- The Ministers also highlighted the importance of unity and support to the Member States of the NAM Caucus in the Security Council. They reiterated their peace proposal presented by HE. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas to the Security Council on February 20, 2018, and requested support for his call to hold an international peace conference based on the long-standing parameters and terms of the peace process, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Arab Peace Initiative, and called for active efforts to be made and work to promote this initiative to be coordinated.
- The Ministers highlighted the urgent need to carry out a mobilization and to make efforts to alleviate the hardships that the Palestinian people endure, to put an end to the serious violations of international law perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and promote a just and peaceful solution to the Question of Palestine on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. They expressed deep concern because the lack of accountability for violations has further increased Israel’s impunity, which has destabilized the situation on the territory and reduced the prospects for peace. They also deplored any support or cooperation with the illegal actions and impunity of Israel.
- The Ministers asked through well-established multilateral efforts, without delay, for the end of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 thus, reach a comprehensive, lasting and peaceful solution based on the relevant UN resolutions, the terms of reference from Madrid, such as the principle of land for peace, the Peace Initiative made by the Arabs and the Quartet Roadmap, stressing that a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine is essential to establish peace and stability in the Middle East and in the world.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their willingness to contribute to the achievement of a just and peaceful solution, and called for intensifying international and regional efforts to achieve this goal, as required by Security Council resolution 2334 (2016). They recalled, in particular, the responsibilities of the Security Council and the General Assembly, in accordance with the Charter and the relevant resolutions.
- The Ministers urgently requested political, economic and humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people and support their efforts to realize their inalienable rights, such as self-determination and freedom in their independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders and a just solution for Palestinian refugees, based on General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and to achieve genuine peace, security and coexistence. They reaffirmed their long-standing commitment and firm determination to guarantee support in that regard.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their deep concern about the current deterioration of the situation and underlined the need to take urgent measures to mobilize the international community, including the Security Council, in accordance with the obligations expressed in its Charter, to bind Israel, the Occupying power, to completely cease illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory and East Jerusalem, acts of violence, provocation and incitement, including in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the blockade perpetrated for more than a decade against the Gaza Strip, the arrest and abuse of Palestinian prisoners, collective punishment measures against the Palestinian civilian population and all other illegal practices and human rights violations.
- The Ministers expressed their deep concern about the impact of the continued absence of a credible political horizon to resolve the conflict fairly and realize the rights of the Palestinian people. They deeply deplored Israel’s continued intransigence, the obstruction of peace efforts and the entrenchment of its military occupation for more than fifty-two years, through various illegal plans and measures in the occupied Palestinian territory and East Jerusalem, the territory that constitutes the State of Palestine, and they expressed grave concern about the consequent human rights crisis and the crisis of protection that was deliberately inflicted against the Palestinian people, the growing insecurity, humanitarian and socio-economic suffering, especially in Gaza, where Conditions are extremely serious.
- The Ministers strongly condemned Israel’s military attacks against the civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip, in serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law, human rights standards and the relevant provisions on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. The Ministers condemned the crimes committed by the occupying Power against innocent Palestinian civilians during the “Great March of the Return”, a protest against the illegal occupation, oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people by Israel and called for the lifting of the Israeli blockade thus, ensure the exercise the right of Palestinian to return. They deplored the murder committed by Israeli occupation forces of more than 300 Palestinians, including children, more than 30,000 people injured, many of them seriously injured and permanently disabled and more than 120 amputations.
- The Ministers deeply regretted that the continuing lack of protection for the Palestinian people in accordance with international humanitarian law and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, including General Assembly resolution ES-10/20, and taking proper account to the proposals made by the Secretary General in his recent report (A / ES-10/794) to provide international protection, as well as the important recommendations made by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council in the report on protests in the Palestinian Occupied Territory (A / HRC / 40/74). They reiterated their call to protection to deter violence against civilians and ensure the security, welfare and protection of the Palestinian civilian population, and pledged to support Palestine in all its efforts to follow up on these important reports.
- The Ministers called on States to, individually and collectively, by all political, diplomatic and legal means, generate urgent efforts to make Israel, the occupying Power, assume responsibility for all its violations against the Palestinian Occupied Territory and East Jerusalem, including illegal colonization measures and serious human rights violations. They stressed the need to point out the consequences of continued violations by Israel and the blatant disregard by the Security Council and the General Assembly and the relevant resolutions. The Member States of the Committee which are Parts of the Rome Statute also affirmed the importance that the International Criminal Court (ICC) addresses war crimes as well as crimes against humanity committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, and stressed the importance of applying the justice to end these crimes and impunity.
- The Ministers reiterated their call for those countries that have not recognized the State of Palestine to do so immediately, as an expression of their sincere commitment to peace based on the solution of two States and their respect for international law and legality. They expressed their support for the efforts made by the State of Palestine to publicize this fact and highlighted the importance of achieving greater recognition in the current period, to contribute to the preservation of the two-States solution at the borders before 1967 and the recovery of peace prospects.
- The Ministers urged countries that have recognized the State of Palestine to publicly reaffirm that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine and also to clarify explicitly that their recognition of diplomatic relations with Israel is also based on previous borders to 1967 and that no Israeli sovereignty is recognized over the 1967 line (Armistice Line of 1949) as well as in East Jerusalem. They stressed that this action would also be in line with their obligations under resolution 2334 (2016), in particular, the operative paragraphs 3 and 5 concerning the non-recognition of any change in the 1967 lines, even with respect to Jerusalem. In that regard, they urged States to make that distinction in their relations with Israel, the occupying Power. They urged that serious measures be taken, individually and collectively, to respect and fulfill this obligation.
- The Ministers recalled the Communiqué issued on December 6, 2017 by the Movement Coordination Bureau in which they strongly denounced the provocative and unilateral decision of the United States Government upon Jerusalem by officially transfer the Embassy of the United States of Israel to the city of Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, as a violation of international law, the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and to the Charter of the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force. They denounced similar decisions taken by other States and called for an end to these illegal and provocative actions and for the respect of the Charter and relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
- In this regard, the Ministers also recalled the adoption of General Assembly resolution ES-10/19 on December 21, 2017, in which the relevant resolutions were reaffirmed, the call was reiterated to all States to abstain from establishing diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, in accordance with Security Council resolution 478 (1980) and stressed that the problem of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations in line with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. The Ministers also recognized and welcomed the decision of the Government of Paraguay to revoke its decision to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
- The Ministers expressed their deep anguish due to the actions of the United States to encourage Israel to continue its illegal policies and practices to subsequently consolidate their control and illegal de facto annexation to the city. On the other hand, the Ministers categorically denounced that such actions will have wide scope, negative and destabilizing repercussions. In this regard, the Ministers strongly deplored the continuing activities of colonization, in all its manifestations, including announcements and decisions to intensify the expansion and construction of settlements and the Wall, the forced displacement of thousands of Palestinians, including Bedouin families, particularly in the areas of Occupied East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, including the delicate area known as “E-1”; the confiscation of large areas of Palestinian land, the exploitation and theft of natural resources, the destruction of another hundred Palestinian houses and properties and the revocation of Palestinian residence in Occupied East Jerusalem.
- The Ministers deplored and called for an end to the violations, provocations and instigations by Israeli officials and extremists regarding AL-Haram Al-Sharif. They urged to respect the historical status quo of the sacred place and the historical custody of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the Christian and Muslim holy places in the city and for the protection of the sanctity of those places.
- The Ministers condemned the plans for illegal annexation by Israel. They call on states to reject such provocative statements and demanded vigorous actions to defend international law, protect the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and recover the opportunities for a just peace. They highlighted the urgent need to fully apply relevant solutions, such as the accountability for all violations committed by the occupying Power. The Ministers condemned and rejected the adoption of the so-called “State of Nation and Law” by the occupying Power, which is explicitly related to apartheid and ethnic discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, but also seeks to intensify the colonization of Israel, the segregation and discrimination of the regime in the Occupied Palestinian territory and East Jerusalem.
- The Ministers reiterated the urgency of supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), following the punitive and unjustified decision of the United States Government to end its financing and its ongoing negative campaign against the Agency. They denounced this decision, which not only addresses the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people by undermining the provision of humanitarian and development assistance to more than 5.4 million refugees, but also threatens the stability of the entire region. They urged all States to give greater support to the mission and work of the UNRWA and its renewal through the General Assembly this year. They also called for the funds of the Agencyan to be increased in order to guarantee uninterrupted assistance to Palestine refugees and to ensure a dignified life for themselves and their families, pending a fair solution to their plight, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III), the Arab Peace Initiative and with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. They reaffirmed that UNRWA assistance is crucial for the protection, welfare and social resilience of refugees and for the stability of these communities and host countries, which is equally essential for preserving the prospects for peace and fostering its realization.
- The Ministers reiterated their recognition of the support provided by several NAM Member States in support of UNRWA, and urged to continue, as far as possible, support for these efforts, the Agency in view of the serious financing crisis that UNRWA continues to suffer and the urgent calls made by the Commissioner General at the Conference on Promises of Contributions held on June 25, 2019. They stressed that this mobilization is a critical component of efforts to provide the Palestinian people with humanitarian, development and socio-economic assistance necessary to alleviate the serious humanitarian situation that they continue to suffer under Israeli occupation, particularly in the Gaza Strip and to strengthen their national capacity.
- The Ministers urged continued assistance in the economic recovery and development of the Palestinians, such as the strengthening of State institutions and infrastructure, in line with the national priorities and development plans of the Palestinian people. They called on Israel to cease its obstructive and illegal practices that damage the recovery and socio-economic development of the Palestinians and called in particular for the immediate lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the end of the punitive withholding of Palestinians tax revenues. They pledged to support efforts to face the Palestinian economic crisis and asked members of the Movement to do everything possible to provide assistance. They commended the numerous initiatives of humanitarian support and development of Members in this regard, and urged their continued generosity, including the framework of South-South cooperation.
- The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the personal and unconditional commitment of His Excellency, Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as President of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), by supporting and fostering the positions of the Movement regarding Palestine.
- The Ministers called for redoubled international efforts, at the governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental levels, to achieve these noble objectives as quickly as possible, stressing that a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine is essential to establish peace and stability in the Middle East. They requested the follow-up and implementation of all the proposed measures adopted in previous ministerial declarations, ministerial meetings and summits of the Movement regarding the question of Palestine, with a view to counteract the recent negative and dangerous events, increasing solidarity with the Palestinian people and its leadership at this critical moment, and recovering the prospects for a just and peaceful solution.
- The Ministers pledged to remain in constant contact and coordination to defend the principles and positions declared today in support of a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the question of Palestine and its achievement without delay and in solidarity with the Palestinian people in this critical moment.
Caracas, July 20, 2019