Declaration of the Non-Aligned Movement Committee on Palestine, Durban, 27
1. The Committee on Palestine of the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) met at the ministerial level in Durban, South
Africa, on 27 April 2002. The NAM Members of the Security Council (NAM
Caucus) were invited and participated in the meeting. The meeting was
convened to consider the grave and deteriorating situation in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to consider appropriate
action in support of
the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority and in support of all
efforts to solve the Palestinian - Israeli conflict and to establish peace
in the region.
2. The Ministers decided to intensify the efforts of the Committee in
light of these difficult circumstances in co-ordination with the valuable
efforts that have been undertaken by the Chairman of the Movement, H.E.
President Thabo Mbeki. The Ministers took guidance from the positions
adopted by the Durban NAM Summit.
3. The Ministers expressed outrage and condemned the willful killing, vast
destruction and other atrocities committed by the Israeli occupying forces
against the Palestinian people, especially since the start of the Israeli
military assault on Palestinian cities and the Palestinian Authority on
29th March 2002. They expressed, in particular, grave concern about
reports on war crimes and massacre committed in the Jenin refugee camp and
in other Palestinian cities. In this regard, the Ministers rejected what
has become an Israeli culture of acting with impunity and with disregard
for resolutions of the UN Security Council. The Ministers stressed the
need for full accountability and an end to the application of double
4. The Ministers expressed grave concern as well about Israeli military
attacks on Holy Sites, including mosques and churches, in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory and expressed profound concern about the Israeli
military siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
5. The Ministers called for the immediate and full withdrawal of Israeli
occupying forces from Palestinian cities in implementation of Security
Council resolutions 1402 (2002) and 1403 (2002) as a first step for ending
the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land occupied since 1967.
6. The Ministers expressed full solidarity with and support for the
elected President of the Palestinian Authority and the leader of the
Palestinian people, H.E. Mr Yasser Arafat. The Ministers demanded the
immediate end of the Israeli military siege imposed on President Arafat in
Ramallah and called for international efforts and assistance to rebuild
the Palestinian Authority and its capabilities.
7. The Ministers welcomed Security Council resolution 1405 (2002) on the
dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian civilian population and the
fact-finding team dispatched by the Secretary-General. The Ministers
expressed support for the fact-finding team and expressed confidence that
a detailed, substantial report would be presented by the Secretary-General
to the Security Council on the atrocities committed in the Jenin refugee
camp and in other cities.
8. The Ministers called for the implementation of the Declaration
adopted by the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties to the
Fourth Geneva Convention on 5 December 2001 and called for concrete action
on the national, regional and international levels to ensure respect by
the occupying Power of the provisions of the Convention.
9. The Ministers recalled the international liability regarding grave
breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and called for actions against
the perpetrators by the United Nations system, including the Security
Council or alternatively the General Assembly. The Ministers also
reiterated the need to ensure that Israeli credentials to the General
Assembly and international conferences do not cover the territories
occupied by Israel since 1967.
10. The Ministers welcomed the proposals of the Secretary-General of the
United Nations on the establishment of a robust and credible multinational
force under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The
Ministers called on the members of the Security Council to quickly
consider the proposal of the Secretary-General and to take the necessary
measures in this regard. The Ministers agreed that the presence of such a
force could make an important, positive contribution
towards the rapid achievement of a final settlement between the two
11. The Ministers called for an immediate end to the violence, killing and
destruction and the speedy resumption of peace negotiations on a final
settlement, one which would end the Israeli occupation, including the
colonial settlements, and lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State
with Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers took positive note of the
vision affirmed by the Security Council in resolution 1397 (2002).
12. The Ministers stressed the need for a comprehensive approach in
dealing with the situation, with a complete road map, including the final
goal, mechanism and international presence on the ground. The Ministers
called for an increased international role, including that of the Security
Council and the Secretary-General. The Ministers expressed appreciation
for the role played by the members of NAM in the Security Council and
invited them to continue making such a positive contribution.
13. The Ministers agreed to organise, through the Chair of the Movement, a
delegation to visit Palestine and to meet with President Arafat, in
expression of solidarity with the President and people of Palestine.
Released by the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee NAM
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr NC Dlamini Zuma.
For more information please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Ms Basetsana Thokoane
083 443 7740