The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) called on its member states to bar all products and goods emanating from Israeli settlements at the end of the fourteenth Ministerial Conference of the Non-Alignment Movement (Mid-Term Review) in Durban, South Africa. The call for measures was issued by the Committee on Palestine of the Non-Alignment Movement. The NAM declaration called for its members to “decline entry to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions against companies and entities involved in the construction of the wall.”
“With regard to member states, the ministers called upon them to undertake measures, including by means of legislation, collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets,” said the declaration. The International Court of Justice, the UN’s highest legal body, ruled last month that parts of the Separation Barrier built on occupied Palestinian territory were illegal and should be torn down.
XIV MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)
DECLARATION ON PALESTINE
1. The Ministers considered the developments regarding the critical issue of the construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, including the Advisory Proceedings of the International Court of Justice, undertaken pursuant to the request for an advisory opinion from the Court made by the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/14 of 8 December 2003. The Ministers welcomed the Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The Ministers received the Advisory Opinion with the highest respect, fully accepted the authoritative findings and conclusions of the Court and considered this strong and comprehensive Opinion to represent an historic opportunity for a necessary return to the rule of international law in all efforts to justly and peacefully address the question of Palestine and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. The Ministers recalled in particular the Court’s conclusion that “the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”. In this regard, the Ministers underscored the Court’s findings regarding the violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, by Israel, the occupying Power, including, inter alia, the finding that the construction of the wall and its associated regime: create a ‘fait accompli’ on the ground which would be tantamount to de facto annexation; severely impede the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and therefore violate that right; have led to the destruction or requisition of properties in contravention of relevant provisions of the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention; and violate the Palestinian people’s freedom of movement and the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living. The Ministers further underscored the Court’s conclusion that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, have been established in breach of international law, and noted the Court’s findings regarding the relationship between the route of the Wall and the illegal measures taken by Israel with regard to East Jerusalem and the settlements.
3. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the conclusions set forth by the Court in the dispositif of the Advisory Opinion. In this regard, the Ministers recalled the Court’s determination: that Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law, to cease the construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto; that Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall; that all States are under an 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 and that all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention have an additional obligation of ensuring compliance by Israel with the Convention; and that the United Nations, especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the Opinion.
4. The Ministers strongly welcomed the adoption of resolution ES-10/15 on 20 July 2004 by the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, in which the Assembly, inter alia, demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations as mentioned in the Advisory Opinion and also calls upon all Member States of the United Nations to comply with their legal obligations as mentioned in the Advisory Opinion. The Ministers regarded the overwhelming adoption of this resolution as a first important step by the United Nations in follow-up of the Opinion. The Ministers seized the opportunity to call for respect of and compliance with the Advisory Opinion by Israel, the occupying Power, and by Member States, and expressed their strong hope and conviction that such respect and compliance would positively influence efforts for achieving a peaceful, political settlement of the conflict based on international law.
5. The Ministers, in the meanwhile, took note of the immediate negative response by Israel to the Advisory Opinion and its defiant declarations to continue constructing the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Ministers thus called for the following specific actions:
a. At the United Nations, the Ministers called for further measures to be taken, in accordance with operative paragraph 5 of resolution ES-10/15, and also called on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities by adopting a clear resolution and undertaking necessary measures in this regard. The Ministers also called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to expedite the work with regard to the request made by the Assembly in resolution ES-10/15 to establish a register of damages caused by the Wall and to ensure that the positions and documents of the Secretariat are fully consistent with the Advisory Opinion.
b. With regard to Member States, the Ministers called upon them to undertake measures, including by means of legislation, collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets consistent with the obligations under International Treaties, to decline entry to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions against companies and entities involved in the construction of the wall and other illegal activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
c. With regard to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Ministers called for them to adhere to Article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions and to undertake measures to ensure compliance by Israel with the Convention. They reaffirmed in this regard the obligations of the High Contracting Parties regarding penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties. The Ministers also called on Switzerland to expedite its consultations, as requested in operative paragraph 7 of resolution ES-10/15, including with regard to reconvening the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
6. The Ministers turned their consideration to the overall plight of the Palestinian people and their prolonged struggle to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination. The Ministers stressed that the main danger to the realization of the national rights of the Palestinian people and the achievement of the two-State solution is the settler colonialism and the construction of the Wall being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They reiterated that the complete cessation of all settlement activities and of the construction of the Wall is essential for the survival of the Road Map. The Ministers reaffirmed the many relevant Security Council resolutions on such illegal Israeli measures, including measures taken by the occupying Power to change the status, character and demographic composition of Jerusalem, which are null and void, and called for the full implementation of those resolutions and as well as full compliance with the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in this regard.
7. The Ministers condemned the confinement of President Yasser Arafat for more than two and half years by the occupying Power and the repeated threats against his life, safety and well-being. They expressed solidarity with the democratically-elected President of the Palestinian Authority and stressed the necessity for ending both the confinement and threats, which are contrary to the right of the Palestinian people to freely choose their own leader and are severely hampering the proper functioning of the Palestinian Authority and potential progress in the peace process. The Ministers determined to undertake another visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by a delegation of the Committee on Palestine in the near future.
8. The Ministers expressed the hope that the international community and the Quartet will exert the necessary efforts to salvage the Road Map and implement its provisions towards its stated aims and goals. They expressed concern at repeated Israeli attempts to evade the Road Map and to substitute it with different steps. In this regard, the Ministers stressed that any Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip should be a full and complete withdrawal, should be accompanied by similar steps in the West Bank, should be part of the Road Map and should be carried out in full cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. They reiterated the importance of preserving the agreed timeline in the Road Map.
9. The Ministers stressed that a vital role should continue to be played by the Movement and entrusted the Chair, assisted by the Committee on Palestine, to lead the efforts of the Movement with regard to the question of Palestine and peace in the region. They stressed the importance of ongoing contact and dialogue at the Ministerial level with the members of the Quartet as well as the permanent members of the Security Council. In this regard, they expressed their appreciation to the members of the NAM Caucus of the Security Council for their efforts in the Council with regard to the question of Palestine. They further reaffirmed the need to undertake the necessary contacts with the relevant parties in the peace process with a view to facilitating the achievement of a just, durable and comprehensive peace.
10. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for early convening of a special meeting of regional and international groupings aimed at building a broad partnership for achieving a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, further mobilizing the international community in support of the two-State solution, based on the pre-1967 borders and on international law, and the right of all states and peoples in the region to live in peace and security free from violence and terrorism. They underlined the importance of the work of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Civil Society Organisations and Peace Groups in the region and encouraged the work of these, in particular on the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
11. The Ministers concluded by reiterating their commitment to a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and by reaffirming their unwavering support for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and to sovereignty in their State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.