NAM Ministerial Meeting Adopts Special Declaration on Palestine

The annual meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was convened at U.N. headquarters on 14 November 2001. During that meeting, in addition to the adoption of a comprehensive Final Communique and Special Declaration on 40th Anniversary of NAM, a "Special Declaration on Palestine" was adopted by the Ministers. In that Declaration, the Ministers, inter alia, reaffirmed the Movementís traditional positions in support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and for a peaceful resolution of the question of Palestine. In this connection, they reaffirmed their support for the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis, including Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace.

The Ministers also addressed the severe deterioration of the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the serious damage inflicted on the peace process as a result. In this regard, the Ministers conveyed a new position stressing the need for fresh and qualitative efforts to bring the peace process back to life and bring it to a speedy and successful conclusion. They further called for concerted international input, based on international legitimacy, regarding the final outcome of the process, including the establishment of the Palestinian State. This call by NAM was congruous with the repeated calls made by Member States throughout the general debate for intensified efforts to revive the peace process towards a just and final settlement, including the establishment of the State of Palestine.

The following is the complete text of the Non-Aligned Movementís Special Declaration on Palestine, adopted on 14 November 2001:

  1. We, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and heads of delegations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), meeting in the context of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, reaffirm the unwavering support of the Movement for the Palestinian people and the realization of their inalienable rights, including the establishment of their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

  2. We reaffirm our traditional support for a peaceful solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the Middle East conflict, and the establishment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region. We reaffirm our support for the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and, 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace. We reaffirm our determination to actively strive for the attainment of this objective.

  3. We express grave concern at the severe and dangerous deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, which began on 28 September 2000. We are also concerned about the damage caused to the Middle East peace process and about the existing danger in the region, which acquire additional and urgent dimensions in light of the present international circumstances.

  4. We condemn the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces leading to extensive loss of life and injury, the widespread destruction of Palestinian homes and property, the imposition of external and internal closures, the extra-judicial killings, the suffocation of the Palestinian economy, the reoccupation of the Orient House, the incursions into and reoccupation of areas under full Palestinian control and other forms of collective punishment. We note that all such measures and practices come against the background of continuous occupation and colonial activities in the form of building and expanding illegal settlements.

  5. We call for an immediate end to all violence and we call on the parties to take all the necessary measures towards that end, including the immediate and comprehensive implementation of the recommendations made by the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (Mitchell Report). In this regard, we stress the importance of an international presence or a monitoring mechanism in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

  6. We stress the need for fresh and qualitative efforts to bring the Middle East peace process back to life and to bring it to its successful conclusion. In this regard, we call for international concerted input, based on international legitimacy, regarding the final outcome of the peace process, including the establishment of the Palestinian State. We take note of the positive signals in that regard and we urge more concrete steps by the cosponsors of the peace process and other interested parties in that direction.

  7. We stress the permanent responsibilities of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine and, we stress the responsibility of the Security Council in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. In this regard, we express appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

  8. We stress the importance for Israel, the occupying Power, to fulfill its obligations under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949), and we urge the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with common article 1 of the Geneva Conventions, to respect and ensure respect for the Convention. In this regard, we fully support the reconvening, on 5 December 2001, of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem.

  9. We endorse the Communique of the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Committee on Palestine, which was addressed by President Mbeki and President Arafat in Pretoria, South Africa on 3 May 2001, and which was also attended by members of the NAM caucus of the Security Council. We express appreciation to the Chairman of the Movement for his continuous efforts in support of the Palestinian cause and in helping the Middle East peace process.