Members of the Arab American community and its supporters gathered at the 20th Annual Convention of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab-American membership organization, held in Arlington, VA from the 12th to the 15th of June, 2003. At the Convention, the ADC Board of Directors adopted and committed the organization to the following resolutions:
1) Whereas ADC is a grassroots American civil rights organization, dedicated to protecting the civil rights and liberties of people of Arab descent, and promoting their interests and concerns; and whereas the ADC membership strongly believes that the erosion of civil rights and liberties drastically undermines the foundations of American democracy; be it resolved that ADC will intensify its struggle to defend civil rights and liberties and seek every opportunity to strengthen existing alliances and forge new ones with all others who share ADC’s commitment to the promotion and protection of civil rights.
2) Whereas ADC believes that in a democracy citizens should take an active part in the political life of their nation; and whereas ADC aims at the empowerment and mobilization of the Arab-American community which it believes has a great potential that has not been fully mobilized; and whereas it believes in working at both local and national levels to secure such empowerment; be it resolved that ADC will do its utmost to organize and mobilize the Arab-American community, its friends and supporters, and will strongly encourage Arab-Americans to run for office, engage in voter registration drives, and contribute to and volunteer for political campaigns at local, state and federal levels.
3) Whereas widening the membership base of ADC, further mobilizing its membership and improving the effectiveness of ADC are central to meeting the challenge facing the Arab-American community; and whereas ADC is committed to democratic principles, the ideals of inclusion and the benefits of diversity of views; be it resolved that the ADC will continue to pursue ambitious plans of growth by developing new chapters and offices, improving fund raising and holding membership drives; be it further resolved that ADC will seek to establish innovations to improve transparency, communication and participation in ADC’S decision making process and all aspects of organizational efforts.
4) Whereas ADC is committed to a just and lasting peace between Arabs and Israelis; and whereas any peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict should include ending the occupation of all occupied Arab lands, the creation of a fully independent sovereign Palestinian state and upholding the principle of the right of return based on international law and all relevant United Nations Resolutions; be it resolved that ADC will continue to advocate the right of the Palestinian people to freedom and self-determination in a fully independent state, living alongside Israel in peace and security.
5) Whereas ADC is committed to the independence and territorial integrity of Iraq; and whereas ADC believes that it is vital that the Iraqi people are allowed to reclaim control of their own destiny; be it resolved that ADC will advocate an end to the occupation of Iraq, the complete restoration of Iraqi independence and the free election of a democratic government for the Iraqi people.
6) Whereas ADC condemns terrorism and all forms of violence against innocent civilians regardless of the source and who the victims or perpetrators may be; and whereas it strongly believes that injustice breeds insecurity and that effective fighting of terrorism requires dealing with the underlying causes of injustice; be it resolved that ADC will urge the our government to take a more comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism, which would include eliminating the causes of injustice which might create sympathy for reprehensible acts.
7) Whereas ADC believes that our country should assume its leadership role in the world through the promotion of the values that are reflected in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights; and whereas ADC would like our great nation to be perceived in the world as the carrier of the torch of freedom, equality and justice for all people; be it resolved that ADC calls on our government to adhere to the international rule of law within the framework of the United Nations in its relations with other states and seek objectivity and even handedness as a general principle, especially in regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
8) Whereas ADC is strongly committed to democratic rule and its underlying values for all people; whereas all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation and gender, should enjoy fundamental rights with equal protection of the law; whereas ADC strongly supports the establishment of adequate safeguards for the protection of civil and human rights and democratic forms of government in all Arab countries; and whereas ADC would like to see governments prevailing in the Arab world which are accountable to, and which reflect the interests and aspirations of, their people; be it resolved that ADC urges Arab governments and organizations of civil society to spare no efforts in establishing laws and institutions that would lead to the full exercise of participatory democracy in all Arab states.
9) Whereas the October 11, 1985, terrorist attack on the ADC West Coast Office and assassination of its Regional Director Alex Odeh has yet to see any of the perpetrators arrested; be it resolved that ADC will continue to press this case until the guilty parties are arrested and brought to trial.
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