30 April 2013
Statement by the Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement
Before the “United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine”
Addis Ababa, 29-30 April 2013
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Excellency, distinguished delegates,
It is a great honour for me to address this meeting on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and to your fellow members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for your tireless efforts aimed at the implementation of United Nations resolutions regarding the question of Palestine. Allow me also to express our gratitude to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for hosting this important meeting. We believe that this meeting would provide a unique opportunity for governments, non-government organizations and civil society, particularly in Africa to reaffirm their solidarity with the people of Palestine.
The Non-Aligned Movement has historically raised its voice in numerous international forums to support the Palestinian people in their just claim for the realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to freedom in their sovereign and independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. In this context, the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement at the 16th Summit of the Movement, held in Tehran, in August 2012, again reviewed the serious situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and reiterated their grave concern regarding the suffering of Palestinian people under the prolonged and brutal Israeli military occupation. Likewise, they rejected the ongoing deprivation of their inalienable human rights, including the right to self-determination and the return of the Palestine refugees, as well as the full enjoyment of their sovereign and independent State.
Following the historic adoption by the UN General Assembly of resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012 that accorded to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, Israel, the occupying Power, has blatantly intensified its illegal settlement activities along with many other unlawful policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The situation continues to be most severe in the Jordan Valley, where thousands of Palestinians have been displaced and thousands more are at risk of displacement due to Israel’s illegal colonization, as well as in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, where the occupying Power continues pursuing measures aimed at the “quiet transfer” or de-population of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants and at ensuring a Jewish majority in the City. In this regard, NAM calls for a complete end to all settlement activities, the construction of the Wall, home demolitions, residency revocations, excavations, including near Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and closure of Palestinian institutions in the City. We condemn also Israel’s detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, as well as the ongoing terror, violence and provocations by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and properties, including homes, agricultural lands, and Muslim and Christian holy sites, and caution that such actions are fueling religious sensitivities that risk further destabilization and must be brought to an immediate end by the occupying Power.
The Non-Aligned Movement strongly condemns these illegal policies and practices and calls for urgent action and practical measures by the international community, in particular by the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibility and take all necessary measures to ensure that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately terminates all these illegal actions, and abides by all of its obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, UN resolutions, the ICJ Advisory Opinion and its obligations under the Road Map.
The Movement reiterates its condemnation of Israel’s inhumane, unlawful closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip in collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population there, particularly by the continued obstruction of the freedom of movement of persons and goods and obstruction of the reconstruction and recovery of the Gaza Strip. NAM underlines that, in addition to violating countless provisions of human rights law, such punitive measures by Israel constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, by which it is bound as the occupying Power and with which it must scrupulously comply. In this regard, we call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to promptly and unconditionally end its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and open all its crossing points in accordance with international humanitarian law and all UN resolutions, including relevant Security Council resolutions.
NAM condemns Israel’s continuing unlawful campaign of arrest, detention, and forced interrogation of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, women and numerous elected officials, who continue to be held under harsh, inhumane conditions and subject to physical and mental ill-treatment. In this regard, the Movement condemns, inter alia, Israel’s use of torture and all other forms of physical and psychological mistreatment and deprivation of Palestinian prisoners, including denial of family visits, denial of access to education and adequate medical care, and the use of solitary confinement. The Movement is also gravely concerned about the plight of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners and calls for their release and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.
NAM expresses its serious concern regarding the dangerous impasse in the Middle East peace process due to ongoing Israeli intransigence and illegal policies, which continue to undermine the resumption of credible negotiations and to obstruct the achievement of a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such persistent illegal behavior and refusal to commit to the internationally endorsed parameters for the two-State solution cast a dark shadow of doubt over Israel’s professed intentions for peace and instead underscore the belief that Israel’s insistence on the negotiation path is merely for the sake of managing the crisis, entrenching its illegitimate military occupation, and not to actually reach any comprehensive peace settlement.
We stress the need for intensified and coordinated efforts by the international community to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its illegal policies and genuinely commit to the peace process on the basis of United Nations resolutions and longstanding agreed terms of reference. The international community must act to prevent a total collapse of the prospects for peace after so many years of efforts and support for a peaceful solution on the basis of a clear foundation rooted in international law, UN resolutions and a just and comprehensive solution for the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Movement reaffirms its unwavering commitment to a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab Israeli conflict, with the question of Palestine at its core, and to the immediate restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to exercise its self-determination and sovereignty in its independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Thank you Mr. Chairman