Declaration of the Non-Aligned Movement Committee on Palestine

(Durban, South Africa, 27 April 2002)

  1. The Committee on Palestine of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) met at the ministerial level in Durban South Africa, on 27 April 2002. The NAM Members of the Security Council (NAM Caucus) were invited and participated in the meeting. The meeting was convened to consider the grave and deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to consider appropriate action in support of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority and in support of all efforts to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to establish peace in the region.

  2. The Ministers decided to intensify the efforts of the Committee in light of these difficult circumstances in coordination with the valuable efforts that have been undertaken by the Chairman of the Movement, H.E. President Thabo Mbeki. The Ministers took guidance from the positions adopted by the Durban NAM Summit.

  3. The Ministers expressed outrage and condemned the willful killing, vast destruction and other atrocities committed by the Israeli occupying forces against the Palestinian people, especially since the start of the Israeli military assault on Palestinian cities and the Palestinian Authority on 29 March 2002. They expressed, in particular, grave concern about reports on war crimes and massacre committed in the Jenin refugee camp and in other Palestinian cities. In this regard, the Ministers rejected what has become an Israeli culture of acting with impunity and with disregard for resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. The Ministers stressed the need for full accountability and an end to the application of double standards.

  4. The Ministers expressed grave concern as well about Israeli military attacks on Holy Sites, including mosques and churches, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and expressed profound concern about the Israeli military siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

  5. The Ministers called for the immediate and full withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian cities in implementation of Security Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) as a first step for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land occupied since 1967.

  6. The Ministers expressed full solidarity with and support for the elected President of the Palestinian Authority and the leader of the Palestinian people, H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat. The Ministers demanded the immediate end of the Israeli military siege imposed on President Arafat in Ramallah and called for international efforts and assistance to rebuild the Palestinian Authority and its capabilities.

  7. The Ministers welcomed Security Council resolution 1405 (2002) on the dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population and the fact-finding team dispatched by the Secretary-General. The Ministers expressed support for the fact-finding team and expressed confidence that a detailed, substantial report would be presented by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the atrocities committed in the Jenin refugee camp and in other cities.

  8. The Ministers called for the implementation of the Declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on 5 December 2001 and called for concrete action on the national, regional and international levels to ensure respect by the occupying Power of the provisions of the Convention.

  9. The Ministers recalled the international liability regarding grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and called for actions against the perpetrators by the United Nations system, including the Security Council or alternatively the General Assembly. The Ministers also reiterated the need to ensure that Israeli credentials to the General Assembly and international conferences do not cover the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

  10. The Ministers welcomed the proposals of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the establishment of a robust and credible multinational force under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers called on the members of the Security Council to quickly consider the proposal of the Secretary-General and to take the necessary measures in this regard. The Ministers agreed that the presence of such a force could make an important, positive contribution towards the rapid achievement of a final settlement between the two parties.

  11. The Ministers called for an immediate end to the violence, killing and destruction and the speedy resumption of peace negotiations on a final settlement, one which would end the Israeli occupation, including the colonial settlements, and lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers took positive note of the vision affirmed by the Security Council in resolution 1397 (2002).

  12. The Ministers stressed the need for a comprehensive approach in dealing with the situation, with a complete road map, including the final goal, mechanism and international presence on the ground. The Ministers called for an increased international role, including that of the Security Council and the Secretary-General. The Ministers expressed appreciation for the role played by the members of NAM in the Security Council and invited them to continue making such a positive contribution.

  13. The Ministers agreed to organize, through the Chair of the Movement, a delegation to visit Palestine and to meet with President Arafat, in expression of solidarity with the President and people of Palestine.