UN Palestinian Rights Committee hails recent successful elections

Paul Badji, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. (UN Photo)


Officials serving on the United Nations Palestinian Rights Committee have welcomed the last month’s Legislative Council elections, voicing hope that the new body will help contribute to peace in the Middle East.

In a statement released in New York late Tuesday, the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People said the polls “were conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner” and offered its “high praise” to the Central Elections Commission and all of the Palestinian people.

“The Bureau of the Committee expresses its sincere hope that the mandate the newly elected Legislative Council has received from the Palestinian people will lead to positive developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to new steps aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement said.

Officials of the Committee welcomed the statement by President Abbas given after the elections that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority would honour and respect all obligations and commitments previously entered into, including the commitment to the Road Map, an outline peace plan.

“By the successful holding of the elections, the Palestinian side has taken another crucial step required by the Road Map aimed at the emergence of an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours,” the statement said.

“The opportunity brought about by the democratic elections must be built on and seized by the parties to try to revitalize peace negotiations based on the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The Bureau called on Israel to immediately “stop all settlement activity and the illegal construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank and in and around East Jerusalem” and said both parties “must reinforce their commitment to cease all acts of violence.”

STATEMENT ON PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS BY BUREAU OF COMMITTEE ON PALESTINIAN RIGHTS

The following statement was issued today by the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on the holding of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections:

“The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People would like to send its congratulations to the Palestinian people and to the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, on the successful holding of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on 25 January 2006. These democratic elections for the legislature, the first ones in 10 years and the second ever in Palestinian history, were conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner, for which the Central Elections Commission, and all of the Palestinian people deserve high praise.

“The Bureau of the Committee expresses its sincere hope that the mandate the newly elected Legislative Council has received from the Palestinian people will lead to positive developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to new steps aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this regard, it welcomes the statement by President Abbas given after the elections that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority would honour and respect all obligations and commitments previously entered into, including the commitment to the Road Map.

“By the successful holding of the elections, the Palestinian side has taken another crucial step required by the Road Map aimed at the emergence of an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours. The opportunity brought about by the democratic elections must be built on and seized by the parties to try to revitalize peace negotiations based on the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

“The Bureau of the Committee supports a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine through an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. For these objectives to be accomplished, the parties must show their commitment to the Road Map and their resolve to move along the path of peace. Israel should immediately stop all settlement activity and the illegal construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank and in and around East Jerusalem. Both parties must reinforce their commitment to cease all acts of violence.

“The international community should encourage and support these steps through assistance and cooperation with both sides. In this process, it is vital to engage all political forces willing to work for a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on international legitimacy. At this pivotal point, the Bureau of the Committee appeals to the international donor community to continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in order to alleviate their economic and social hardship.

“The Committee pledges to continue to implement its mandate given by the General Assembly, until the Palestinian people realize their inalienable rights and a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the conflict is achieved on the basis of all relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515.”

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