Hanoi Declaration 

            The United Nations Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held at Hanoi, Viet Nam from 1 to 3 March 2000.  The meeting was organized by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and was convened under the following theme: Achieving the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People A Key to Peace in the Middle East.  The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Hanoi Declaration, which proclaimed the participants broad and determined commitment to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. 

            The meeting enjoyed the support and participation of officials of the Government of Viet Nam.  The Vietnamese Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, H.E. Mr. Chu Tuan Nha, inaugurated the meeting, while the Foreign Minister of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien, held a reception in honor of the participants.  Further, the Vietnamese Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Phan Van Khai, received the CEIRPP delegation to the meeting, which was headed by H.E. Ambassador Ibra Deguene Ka, Chairman of the Committee and Permanent Representative of Senegal to the U.N. 

The participants in the meeting consisted of members of the diplomatic corps in Viet Nam, representing their respective governments, as well as representatives of some Asian NGOs working on behalf of Palestinian rights and issues.  Several representatives from U.N. agencies and bodies, as well as from intergovernmental organizations and the media also attended the meeting.  Included among the many distinguished panelists that participated in the sessions of the meeting were the following: Mr. Chinmaya Gharekhan, former U.N. Under-Secretary-General and Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories; Ms. Judith Kipper, Director of the Middle East Forum of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.; Mr. Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem; Dr. Humayun Rasheed Choudhury, Speaker of the Bangladesh parliament, who led the panel on the role of parliaments, and various other Middle East experts. 

            The results of the meeting, embodied in the Hanoi Declaration, were illustrative of the strong support among the participants for the national rights of the Palestinian people and for the need to bring an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, for the realization of those rights and peaceful coexistence in the region.  The Declaration also made reference to other pressing issues in light of current circumstances, calling for concrete and practical measures to bring about change.  The following are a few excerpted paragraphs from the text of the Hanoi Declaration, declaring: 

that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which embody the principle of land for peace and form the legal basis for the Middle East peace process, must be adhered to 

that in view of the continued settlement activities, the United Nations and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention should play an effective role to reconvene the Conference of the High Contracting Parties 

that the deadline of September 2000 to achieve a permanent status agreement in accordance with the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum and the international consensus which was developed at the end of the five-year transition last May, should be observed 

that the United Nations should grant full membership to Palestine to enable it to participate fully in the United Nations Millennium Summit to be held on 6 September 2000.  The Summit marks an opportunity for a moral recommitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter and new political momentum for international cooperation 

            The full text of the Hanoi Declaration can be accessed on the U.N. web site at www.un.org through the UNISPAL database under the Question of Palestine.