07/16/2009 - Fifteenth NAM Summit - Declaration on Palestine
Letter dated 24 July 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the pleasure, in my capacity as Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, to enclose herewith the Non-Aligned Movement Heads of State and Government Declaration on Palestine adopted by the Fifteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 11 to 16 July 2009 (see annex).
I kindly request that the abovementioned Declaration be circulated as a document of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 12, 15, 16, 25, 29, 30, 38, 39, 58, 63 and 65 (c), and of the Security Council.
Annex to the letter dated 24 July 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Declaration on Palestine
1. The Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement considered the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the dramatic deterioration of the situation on all fronts. They stressed the importance of coordinated and principled approaches and strategies by the Movement to continue strongly supporting the Palestinian people and their leadership and underscored the need to provide both political and humanitarian support to assist the Palestinian people to overcome the current crisis and strengthen their ongoing efforts towards the realization of their inalienable human rights and freedom. In this regard, the Heads of State and Government stressed the imperative of urgent efforts to advance a peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008), the Madrid terms of reference and the principle of land for peace for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement and the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination in their independent and sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
2. The Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their adherence to the principled positions adopted in this regard, including in the Declarations on Palestine adopted by the Committee on Palestine in September 2006 at the Fourteenth Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government in Havana, in July 2008 at the Fifteenth Ministerial Conference in Tehran and in April 2009 at the Ministerial Meeting in Havana, and the clear positions concerning Palestine adopted by all other previous Summits and Ministerial Conferences of the Movement. They called for serious, active efforts to uphold these positions and the intensification of the collective efforts by the Movement towards achievement of a just, peaceful resolution of the question of Palestine in all its aspects.
3. The Heads of State and Government expressed their deep regret that the question of Palestine remains unresolved after the passage of more than sixty years since the 1948 Al-Nakba that befell the Palestinian people, by which they became a stateless and dispossessed people, dispersed and displaced from their homeland of Palestine, and that more than half of the Palestinian people continue to live in exile in refugee camps throughout the region and in the Diaspora.
4. The Heads of State and Government also expressed their deep regret that since 1967, for more than 42 years, the Palestinian people have continued to suffer under Israel’s brutal military occupation of their land and continue to be denied their fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination and the right of the Palestine refugees to return in accordance with international law, the United Nations Charter and relevant resolutions. They condemned Israel’s continuing unlawful military occupation and expressed their grave concern about the severe oppression, hardships and affronts to human dignity being endured by the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of the illegal and aggressive policies and practices being carried out by the occupying Power, including grave human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
5. The Heads of State and Government expressed their deep concern about the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the political, economic, social, security, and humanitarian levels. They strongly condemned Israel’s military aggressions against the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, by which the occupying Power has killed and injured thousands of Palestinian civilians by, inter alia, use of excessive, indiscriminate force and extrajudicial executions and has caused vast destruction of homes, properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. They also condemned the continuing illegal detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children and numerous elected officials, and called for their immediate release. They condemned all Israeli settlement activities by which the occupying Power has continued to colonize the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in grave breach of international law. They further condemned Israel’s imposition of collective punishment on the Palestinian people by numerous illegal means and measures, including military reprisals, destruction of homes and properties and severe restrictions on freedom of movement. The Heads of State and Government demanded once again that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately and completely cease all such violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, which are tantamount to grave breaches for which the occupying Power must be held accountable.
6. The Heads of State and Government condemned in the strongest terms the recent Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of children and women, and the injury of more than 5,500 Palestinians, including by use of lethal and prohibited weaponry. They condemned Israel’s wanton destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes; business properties; vital civilian infrastructure, including water, sanitation and electricity systems and roads; hospitals and ambulances; mosques; public institutions, including schools and national ministries; farms and agricultural land; and United Nations facilities in the Gaza Strip. They expressed their grave concern about the widespread devastation, trauma and despair caused by this military aggression among the civilian population. The Heads of State and Government demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, cease immediately its military aggression against the Palestinian people and called for respect of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). They underscored the importance of reaching a permanent, durable ceasefire starting in the Gaza Strip and extending to the West Bank, expressing support for Egyptian efforts in this regard, as well as the necessity of allowing unimpeded humanitarian access and movement of persons and goods to meet the humanitarian, economic and recovery needs of the Palestinian people.
7. In this context, the Heads of State and Government stressed the necessity of upholding justice and international law and called upon the international community, including the Security Council, to ensure that thorough investigations are conducted of all the crimes and violations committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip. They called for serious follow-up of such investigations, aimed at holding accountable the perpetrators of such crimes and bringing an end to Israel’s impunity and defiance of the law, including, inter alia, immediate action to follow-up the findings of the investigations by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry and the Human Right Council’s fact-finding mission. The Heads of State and Government reaffirmed in this regard the obligations of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities.
8. The Heads of State and Government also reiterated their condemnation of Israel’s inhumane and unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the virtual imprisonment of the entire Palestinian civilian population there by obstructing their freedom of movement, including movement of sick persons, students and humanitarian personnel; their access to aid and all essential goods, including food, medicines and fuel, construction materials and commercial flows. They expressed serious concern about the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis due to the severe impact of the blockade, which has caused grave deterioration of socio-economic conditions, including widespread poverty, unemployment, hardship, declining health conditions and decay of infrastructure and institutions in all sectors.
9. The Heads of State and Government stressed that, in addition to violating human rights law, such collective punishment measures are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law. They thus demanded that Israel cease such illegal practices against the Palestinian people and permanently end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip by allowing for the immediate and sustained opening of all of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, in accordance with international humanitarian law, United Nations resolutions and the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, necessary for alleviating the humanitarian crisis and for the urgent reconstruction and economic recovery needs of the Palestinian people.
10. The Heads of State and Government reiterated their strong condemnation of Israel’s continuing unlawful campaign of settler colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of escalating settler violence and terror against the Palestinian civilian population. They expressed their grave concern in this regard about intensifying illegal colonization activities, including vast land confiscations; construction and expansion of settlements, settlement “outposts” and infrastructure; transfer of more Israeli settlers; construction of the Wall; home demolitions; excavations and the imposition of arbitrary, racist residency and movement restrictions on the Palestinian civilian population via a permit regime and hundreds of checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in and around Occupied East Jerusalem