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04/30/2009 - NAM Ministerial Conference (Havana, April 2009) - Final Document, Declaration on Palestine

Letter dated 8 May 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General


In my capacity as Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, I have the honour to enclose herewith the outcome documents of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement at its Ministerial Meeting, held in Havana from 27 to 30 April 2009, namely, the Final Document (annex I), the Statement on Zimbabwe (annex II), the Declaration of Solidarity with Mexico (annex III), the Special Declaration on the world economic and financial crisis (annex IV) and the Declaration on Palestine (annex V).

I kindly request that the present letter and its annexes be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 35, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 78, 79, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 107, 110, 111, 112, 117 and 132.

 

( Signed ) Abelardo Moreno
Ambassador
Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations
Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of
the Non-Aligned Movement

Annex I



MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
COORDINATING BUREAU

Havana, Cuba
27-30 April 2009


 



FINAL DOCUMENT








30 April 2009

INTRODUCTION

1. The Ministers of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, 1 met on 29 and 30 April 2009 2 in Havana, Cuba, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, with the primary objective of reviewing the preparations for the forthcoming XV Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Movement, which would be held in Sharm - el Sheikh, Egypt on 15 and 16 July 2009. Towards this end, they deliberated in an extensive manner on the existing, new and emerging global issues of collective concern and interest to the Movement and updated the Final Document adopted at the 15th NAM Ministerial Conference held at Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 29 and 30 July 2008. Inter alia they reaffirmed and underscored the Movement’s abiding faith in and strong commitment to its Founding Principles, 3 ideals and purposes, particularly in establishing a peaceful and prosperous world, a just and equitable world order as well as to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.


CHAPTER I: GLOBAL ISSUES


International Law

18. Recognising the serious danger and threats posed by the actions and measures which seek to undermine international law and international legal instruments, as well as consistent with and guided by the Movement’s principled positions thereof, the Ministers agreed to undertake the following measures, among others:  


18.11 Continue to call for full respect of the ICJ advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 by Israel, the occupying Power, Member States and the United Nations and to consider the possibilities for requesting a further advisory opinion from the ICJ regarding the prolonged Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory since 1967;

 

CHAPTER II:

REGIONAL AND SUB-REGIONAL POLITICAL ISSUES


Middle East

 

Peace Process

 

177. The Ministers stressed the need for urgent efforts to advance a Middle East peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 425, 1397, 1515 and 1850, the Madrid terms of reference and the principle of land for peace. They rejected attempts to alter the terms of reference of the peace process, including the imposition of unilateral measures and schemes by Israel, the occupying Power, aimed at forcibly and illegally imposing a unilateral solution. They affirmed that such illegal measures, including in particular the construction and expansion of settlements and the Wall, are totally contradictory to the peace process and must be ceased completely for any resumption of peace negotiations. In this regard, they stressed the need for intensified and coordinated efforts by the international community to promote a genuine peace process as well as to ensure respect for international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, the key to a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole.

178. On this basis, the Ministers stressed the need for the resumption, in a timely and appropriate manner, of substantial negotiations between the parties on all tracks of the peace process for the achievement of a comprehensive, just, lasting and peaceful settlement, based on the relevant U.N. resolutions and in accordance with the rules and principles of international law enshrined therein. In this regard, they reiterated the necessity and urgency of ending the prolonged and unlawful Israeli occupation of all of the Arab territories occupied since 1967. They further reaffirmed their long-standing position in support of the establishment of the independent State of Palestine in all of the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem as its capital.

179. The Ministers recalled the historic role to be played by and the obligations of the international community, including the Security Council, towards advancing a just and comprehensive peace settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as a whole, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict , and regional stability. They called upon the Quartet, in light of the responsibilities undertaken by its members, to exert serious efforts and actions to support and promote negotiations on all final status issues, including full implementation of the provisions of the Road Map for a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They also called upon the Security Council to engage the Quartet, considering the Council’s Charter authority and responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and called on the members of the NAM Caucus of the Council to remain active in this regard.

180. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by the XIV Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002, and welcomed the resolutions of the XXI Arab Summit in Doha in March 2009 which reaffirmed the commitment by all Arab states to the Arab Peace Initiative and stressed that this peace initiative will not remain on the table for long, as stipulated in the documents adopted by the Doha Arab Summit in 2009.

Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem


181. The Ministers reaffirmed their adherence to the positions concerning Palestine adopted by the XIV Summit of Heads of State or Government held in Havana in September 2006, as well as by the recent NAM Ministerial Conferences and Meetings, including the XV Ministerial Conference held in Tehran in July 2008, which constitute the guidelines for the Non-Aligned Countries on the question of Palestine. In this regard, they further reaffirmed their adherence to the principled positions set forth in the Declarations on Palestine adopted by the NAM Committee on Palestine during the XIV Summit and the XV Ministerial Conference.

182. The Ministers expressed their deep regret that the question of Palestine remains unresolved after the passage of more than sixty years since the 1948 Al-Nakba 4 that befell the Palestinian people, by which they became a stateless and dispossessed people, displaced and dispersed 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. The Ministers also expressed their deep regret that since 1967, for nearly forty-two years now, the Palestinian people have continuously suffered under the brutal Israeli 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.

183. The Ministers reiterated their regret at the lack of progress made, despite increased international efforts and a resumption of the peace process in late November 2007, to address the major issues and follow-up core positions regarding the question of Palestine. They also expressed their grave concern in particular about the serious deterioration of the situation and critical political, economic, social humanitarian and security conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of ongoing unlawful policies and practices by Israel, the occupying Power.

184. In this regard, the Ministers condemned Israel’s continuing military occupation of the Palestinian Territory in breach of international law and UN resolutions. They condemned the continuing brutal Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, by which the occupying Power has continued to commit grave human rights violations and reported war crimes, including by use of excessive and indiscriminate force that has killed and injured thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, and has caused vast destruction of properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. They condemned also Israel’s 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 also illegal 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 also condemned Israel’s continued imposition of collective punishment on the Palestinian people by various illegal means and measures. The Ministers reiterated their demand that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all such violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law.

185. The Ministers 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. They condemned also Israel’s wanton destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes; business properties; vital civilian infrastructure, including water, sanitation and electricity systems; hospitals and ambulances; mosques; public institutions, including schools and national ministries; farms; and several UN facilities. The Ministers called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military aggression against the Palestinian people and stressed the importance of reaching a permanent, durable ceasefire starting in the Gaza Strip and extending to the West Bank, and expressed support for Egyptian efforts in this regard.

186. The Ministers called upon the international community, including the Security Council, to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out of all the crimes and violations committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip and that serious follow-up efforts are undertaken to hold accountable the perpetrators of such crimes and bring an end to Israel’s impunity and defiance of the law. In this connection, they called for immediate action to follow-up the findings of the investigation by the UN Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry and by the fact-finding mission to be dispatched by the Human Rights Council.

187. The Ministers also condemned Israel’s inhumane, unlawful closure and 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 the movement of sick persons, students and humanitarian personnel; obstructed access to humanitarian aid and all essential goods, including food, medicines, fuel, electricity and construction materials; and obstructed all commercial flows. They expressed serious concern about the grave deterioration of socio-economic conditions and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis due to the blockade, which has caused widespread deprivation, poverty and hardship in addition to the vast trauma and suffering inflicted by the military aggression. The Ministers stressed that, in addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law, such collective punishment measures by Israel are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law, by which it is bound as the occupying Power and with which it must scrupulously comply . They demanded that Israel cease such illegal practices against the Palestinian people, end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and promptly and unconditionally open all its crossing points with the Strip in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and all United Nations resolutions, including relevant Security Council resolutions.

188. The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of Israel’s continuing intensive campaign of settler colonization, including vast land confiscations; the construction and expansion of illegal settlements, settlement “outposts” and settlement infrastructure; the transfer of more Israeli settlers; the construction of the Wall; home demolitions; excavations; and the imposition of arbitrary and racist residency and movement restrictions via a permit regime and hundreds of checkpoints throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in and around Occupied East Jerusalem. They reiterated that such policies and measures by Israel, the occupying Power, constitute grave breaches of international law and flagrant defiance of UN resolutions and the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. They stressed the incompatibility of peace process negotiations with such illegal colonization activities, which are clearly aimed at the illegal acquisition and de facto annexation of more Palestinian land and forcibly imposing a unilateral solution. In this connection, they expressed their deep concern about the extensive physical, economic and social devastation being caused by the Israeli settlements, Wall and network of checkpoints, which are severing the Palestinian Territory into separate areas, including several walled cantons; isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory; displacing thousands of Palestinians from their homes and completely destroying some communities. They stressed that this illegal Israeli colonization campaign in its entirety is gravely undermining the contiguity, integrity, viability and unity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and jeopardizing the prospects for physically achieving the two-State solution for peace.

189. The Ministers demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all of its colonization activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They reaffirmed all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, including those relating to Jerusalem and confirming that it is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory; demanded their full implementation; and considered that all Israeli measures aimed at altering the legal, geographic and demographic character and status of Jerusalem and of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a whole are null and void and have no legal validity whatsoever. They further reaffirmed that these unlawful measures cannot alter the terms of reference of the peace process nor negate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In the face of continued Israeli defiance, the Ministers called for urgent action by the international community to compel the occupying Power to abide by all of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions, the Advisory Opinion and its obligations under the Road Map in this regard. They also reiterated their call for the expeditious operation of the “United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and the speedy fulfilment of its mandate.

190. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas and emphasized the importance of maintaining and protecting the national, democratic institutions of the Palestinian Authority, including the Palestinian Legislative Council which shall constitute a vital foundation for the future independent Palestinian State. The Ministers also reiterated their call for the speedy restoration of the situation in the Gaza Strip to that which existed prior to the events of June 2007 and stressed the importance and urgency of Palestinian reconciliation and unity, and requested the International Community to respect what the Palestinians agree upon . They expressed their support for Egyptian and regional efforts in this regard and their hope for speedy achievement of reconciliation, essential for the realization of the just, legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

191. The Ministers called for intensification of efforts by the entire international community, in particular the Security Council and the Quartet, to address the current political and humanitarian crisis, in order to ameliorate the situation on the ground and to help advance a peace process and settlement that guarantees an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that began in 1967, and the establishment of the sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine within a specified timeframe as well as a just solution for the Palestine refugee problem based on General Assembly resolution 194 (III). They stressed that such a settlement is essential for the promotion of comprehensive peace and security in the region. They called upon the Security Council, considering its Charter authority for the maintenance of international peace and security, to actively engage the Quartet for advancement of such a peace settlement. They stressed the continuing importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Road Map and called for its full and honest implementation. In this connection, they emphasized the importance of the timely convening of the proposed international conference in Moscow in follow-up of the Annapolis Conference.

192. The Ministers reaffirmed the necessity of upholding international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with regard to the question of Palestine under all circumstances. They also reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the UN towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects on the basis of international law and stressed the need for all relevant UN organs, committees and agencies to exert efforts to this end. They once more called upon the UN not to reward illegal actions and intransigence and to increase its efforts towards the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement, based on the two-State solution, and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination and sovereignty in their independent State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

193. Consistent with and guided by the afore-mentioned principled positions and affirming the need to defend, preserve and promote these positions, the Ministers agreed to undertake the following measures:

193.1 Continue holding meetings at the ministerial level of the NAM Committee on Palestine, within the framework of the Coordinating Bureau Ministerial Meetings that take place at the outset of UNGA ordinary sessions and during any other Ministerial Meetings of the Movement, whenever necessary and in accordance with the developments on this issue;

193.2 Maintain regular contacts and dialogue at the ministerial level between the NAM Ministerial Delegation on Palestine and the members of the Quartet and the Members of the UN Security Council, with a view to coordinating and enhancing the role played by NAM in the international efforts seeking a solution to the question of Palestine and lasting peace in the region;

193.3 Continue to actively participate in the UN Security Council, including via a proactive role of the NAM Caucus of the Council, and General Assembly meetings addressing the question of Palestine;

193.4 Convene a parallel forum of civil society in 2009, preferably within UN premises, intended to mobilize international public opinion on this issue and thus make a substantial contribution to attaining a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.


Occupied Syrian Golan

 

194. The Ministers reaffirmed that all measures and actions taken, or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, such as its illegal decision of 14 December 1981 that purports to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan and its institutional structure, as well as the Israeli measures to apply its jurisdiction and administration there, are null and void and have no legal effect. They further reaffirmed that all such measures and actions, including the illegality of Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities in the Occupied Syrian Golan since 1967, constitute a flagrant violation of international law, international conventions, the Charter and decisions of the UN, particularly Security Council Resolution 497 (1981), the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, and the defiance of will of the international community. They reiterated the Movement’s demand that Israel comply with Security Council Resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the lines of 4 June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and that Israel adheres to the Madrid terms of reference based on the principle of land for peace, which are in their entirety considered to be a primary and basic element in the negotiation process that should be adhered to, including the immediate commencement of the demarcation of the 4 June 1967 line.

195. The Ministers reaffirmed the Movement’s unwavering support and solidarity with the Syrian just demand and rights to restore the full Syrian sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan on the basis of the terms of reference of the Arab Peace Initiative, the Madrid Peace Process, as well as the principle of land for peace and in accordance with relevant Security Council Resolutions. They again demanded that Israel respect all its commitments and pledges.

196. The Ministers reiterated their demand for Israel to comply immediately and unconditionally with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Times of War, dated 12 August 1949, and to apply them to the Syrian detainees in the occupied Syrian Golan. They strongly condemned the Israeli brutal practices in Israeli occupation prisons, and expressed their grave concern at the inhuman conditions of the Syrian detainees in the occupied Syrian Golan which have led to the deterioration of their physical health and put their lives at risk, in a blatant violation of international humanitarian law .

197. The Ministers called upon Israel, the occupying power, to reopen the Quneitra entry point, to facilitate the visits of the Syrian citizens under Israeli occupation to their motherland, Syria.

CHAPTER III:

DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 5

405. The Ministers reaffirmed the validity and relevance of the Movement’s principled positions concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms, as follows:

405.12 The Ministers underlined their growing concern and dismay at the flagrant disregard for life and the accompanying wanton destruction of property, as recently evidenced in Occupied Palestinian Territory and other occupied Arab territories, including the occupied Syrian Golan and Lebanon. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, whereby it decided to include the “Human Rights Situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory and other occupied Arab territories” as a permanent agenda item in the Council;

405.13 The Ministers also welcomed the recent resolutions adopted at the Special session of the Human Rights Council and the Resumed Tenth Emergency Special session of the General Assembly on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory particularly in the Gaza Strip.



__________
1 The list of NAM Member Countries appears in Annex I.
2 The Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Coordinating Bureau was preceded by the Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting, in Havana on 27 and 28 April 2009 .
3 The ten Founding Principles of NAM appears in Annex II.
4 This is the term commonly used to refer to the catastrophe and tragedy that befell the Palestinian people in 1948, by which they lost their homeland and by which the majority of Palestinians were forcibly uprooted from their homes and displaced, becoming refugees, whose plight continues until this day.
5 This section should be read in conjunction with the section on Democracy under Chapter I of the document.

ANNEX V

 

 

MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT
COORDINATING BUREAU

Havana, Cuba
27-30 April 2009



Declaration on Palestine



1. The Ministers 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 Ministers stressed the imperative of urgent efforts to advance a peace process based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 425, 1397, 1515 and 1850, 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 Ministers 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 XIV Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government in Havana and in July 2008 at the XV Ministerial Conference in Tehran, and the clear positions concerning Palestine adopted by all other previous Summits and Ministerial Conferences of the Movement. The Ministers 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 Ministers 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 Ministers also expressed their deep regret that since 1967, for more than forty-two 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. The Ministers 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 Ministers expressed their deep concern about the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the political, economic, social, security, and humanitarian levels. The Ministers 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. The Ministers 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 Ministers 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 Ministers 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 UN 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 Ministers demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, cease immediately its military aggression against the Palestinian people and called for respect of Security Council resolution 1860. 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 Ministers 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 immediate action to follow-up the findings of the investigations by the UN Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry and the Human Right Council’s fact-finding commission. The Ministers 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 Ministers 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 Ministers stressed that, in addition to violating human rights law, such collective punishment measures are tantamount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law. The Ministers thus demanded that Israel cease such illegal practices against the Palestinian people and permanent 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, UN 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 Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of Israel’s continuing unlawful campaign of settler colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of escalating setter violence and terror against the Palestinian civilian population. They expressed 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.

11. The Ministers reiterated their deep concern about the extensive physical, economic and social devastation being caused by the Israeli settlements, Wall and checkpoints, which are severing the Palestinian Territory into separate areas, including several walled cantons; isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory; displacing thousands of Palestinians from their homes; causing severe damage to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the Palestinian society; and destroying some communities in their entirety. They cautioned that this illegal colonization campaign is gravely undermining the contiguity, integrity, viability and unity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and jeopardizing the prospects for achieving the two-State solution for peace on the basis of the pre-1967 borders with the establishment of the sovereign, independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

12. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their grave concern in particular about the situation in and around East Jerusalem, where Israel’s colonization campaign is most intense and clearly aimed at illegally altering the city’s demographic composition, physical character and legal status. They condemned Israel’s settlement and Wall construction, transfer of more settlers, home demolitions and excavations in and around the city, including in the area of Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in the Old City, its continued closure of Palestinian institutions, and other measures aimed at de-populating the city of its Palestinian inhabitants and entrenching the occupying Power’s unlawful control of the city. They called for urgent action to halt all Israeli colonization measures to illegally and unilaterally determine the fate of East Jerusalem, capital of the future Palestinian State.

13. The Ministers reiterated their complete rejection of and their demand that Israel completely cease forthwith all such colonization policies and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Ministers reiterated that such aggressive, destructive and provocative policies and measures by the occupying Power constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law and flagrant defiance of UN resolutions and the 9 July 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. They stressed the incompatibility of peace process negotiations with such colonization activities deliberately aimed at the illegal acquisition and de facto annexation of more Palestinian land and forcibly imposing a unilateral solution. In this regard, they further reaffirmed the many UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions demanding the cessation of these illegal policies and practices, which deemed them to be null and void and with no legal validity whatsoever, and called for full respect and implementation of those resolutions to bring an end to Israel’s illegal settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to salvage the two-State solution for peace.

14. In the face of continued Israeli defiance, the Ministers called for urgent action by the international community to compel the occupying Power to abide by all of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions, the Advisory Opinion and the Road Map. The Minister called on the High Contracting Parties to uphold their obligations in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention to respect and ensure respect of the Convention in all circumstances. Moreover, they reiterated their call upon Member States and the UN to uphold their obligations in accordance with the Advisory Opinion and the demands made in resolution ES-10/15, including the obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the Wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction. They called upon the UN Security Council and General Assembly to consider further action to bring an end to the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In this regard, they called again for the expeditious operation of the “United Nations Register of Damage” and the speedy fulfillment of its mandate. The Ministers also reiterated their call for specific actions to be taken including by legislative measures, collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets, consistent with obligations under international treaties, to decline entry to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions on companies and entities involved in construction of the Wall and other illegal colonization activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

15. Further, in this regard, the Ministers called for application of all appropriate and available legal remedies to end the human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law being committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to hold it accountable. They reiterated their firm conviction that respect for and compliance with international law and UN resolutions and decisions will positively influence and are necessary to advance the efforts for achieving a just, peaceful, political settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, and emphasized the importance of maintaining and protecting the national and democratic institutions of the Palestinian Authority, including the Palestinian Legislative Council , which shall constitute a vital foundation for the future independent Palestinian State. They called for urgent efforts to rehabilitate and develop Palestinian institutions and stressed the need for mobilization of Palestinian capabilities to preserve the territorial unity and integrity of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, to end the occupation and to achieve the independence of the State of Palestine. The Ministers reiterated their call for restoration of the situation in the Gaza Strip to that which existed prior to the events of June 2007 and stressed the importance and urgency of Palestinian reconciliation and unity. They expressed their support for Egyptian and regional efforts in this regard and their hope for speedy achievement of reconciliation, essential for the realization of the just, legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

17. The Ministers called for intensified efforts by the international community, in particular the Security Council and the Quartet, to address the current political and humanitarian crisis, to ameliorate the situation on the ground and to help advance a peace process and a two-State settlement that guarantees an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that began in 1967, and the establishment of the sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine within a specified timeframe as well as a just solution for the Palestine refugee problem on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III). They stressed that such a settlement is essential for the promotion of comprehensive peace and security in the region. They called upon the Security Council, considering its Charter authority for maintenance of international peace and security, to actively engage the Quartet for advancement of such a peace settlement. They stressed in this regard the continuing relevance of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map and called for its full and honest implementation. In this connection, they emphasized the importance of the timely convening of the proposed international conference in Moscow in follow-up of the Annapolis Conference.

18. The Ministers reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the UN towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all aspects on the basis of international law. In this context, reaffirming the imperative of upholding international law and the UN Charter, the Ministers reiterated their call upon the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and to act on the basis of its own resolutions to compel Israel to respect international law and to bring an end to all of its illegal practices and its occupation. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the members of the NAM Caucus of the Security Council for their efforts concerning Palestine and called upon them to continue coordination on the issue and to remain actively involved, with a view to enhancing the role played by the Movement in the international drive to achieve a just solution to the question of Palestine and lasting peace in the region as a whole.

19. The Ministers thus reaffirmed their conviction that a vital role should continue to be played by the Movement vis-à-vis the question of Palestine and entrusted the Chair, assisted by the Committee on Palestine, to lead the efforts of the Movement with regard to the pursuit of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. They stressed the importance of active contacts and dialogue by the Movement at the Ministerial level with the members of the Quartet, the members of the Security Council and other relevant parties in the peace process in order to convey the Movement’s principled positions and advance efforts aimed at promoting the peace process and at ensuring respect for international law and UN resolutions, the keys to a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole.

20. The Ministers underscored the importance of the work of non-governmental organizations, civil society and peace groups, particularly on the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and encouraged them to continue their positive work.

21. In conclusion, the Ministers reaffirmed their long-standing, principled political support and solidarity with the just cause of Palestine, reaffirming their strong commitment to continue supporting the Palestinian people and their leadership, including by provision of assistance during this time of crisis, in contribution to the overall efforts to bring an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and to hasten the realization of a just, peaceful and permanent solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and of the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination and sovereignty in their independent State of Palestine, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.