Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee),

Agenda Item 52: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, 68th Session UN General Assembly, 8 November 2013:

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Mr. Chair,

I express the State of Palestine’s deep appreciation to the members of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.  We thank Ambassador Palitha T.B. Kohona of Sri Lanka, Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Hussein Haniff of Malaysia and Ambassador Fode` Seck of Senegal for the report on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Occupied Syrian Golan and the serious recommendations made therein.

The Special Committee’s report, along with the recent reports of the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and other UN bodies and agencies, including UNRWA, UNICEF, OCHA and ESCWA, portray with accuracy the critical human rights situation in Palestine as a result of the illegal, oppressive policies being pursued by Israel, the occupying Power. [Read more…]

Right of Reply – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Right of Reply by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the 4th Committee debate on Item 51: UNRWA, 7 November 2013:

Mr. Chair,

I apologize for taking the floor once again.  However, I am compelled to reply to the assertion by the delegate of Israel that the right of return of the Palestine refugees is a “non-starter” – despite the fact that the Palestine refugee issue is an agreed final status issue to be negotiated between the parties – and the claim that it is “the obstacle to peace”.

I ask the Committee: How is respect for human rights and international law contrary to the requirements for peace? How does the obstruction of rights, the perpetuation of the exile, dispossession and misery of a people serve the cause of peace?  It does not.

The Israeli delegate called for “putting people before politics”.  We agree.  This would require, first and foremost, recognition by Israel of the humanity of the Palestine refugees, of the suffering and loss it has inflicted on them, and of their right to justice.  It requires an end to the denial of their rights based on narrow, cynical and unjustified political interests.

Furthermore, the callous remarks regarding the “number” of Palestine refugee, and who constitutes a Palestine refugee or not, are the height of hypocrisy by a State granting return to any Jewish person from anywhere in the world, yet denying Palestine refugees their right to return. [Read more…]

Press Release 6 November 2013 – بيــان صحفـي

 ألقت السفيرة فداء عبد الهادي ناصر، نائبة المراقب الدائم لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك، كلمة أمام اللجنة السياسية الخاصة وإنهاء الإستعمار (اللجنة الرابعة) التابعة للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة، حول بند وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل لاجئي فلسطين في الشرق الأدنى (الأونروا) شكرت فيها المفوض العام للوكالة، فيليبو غراندي، على تقديم التقرير السنوي للأونروا وإحاطة اللجنة بالتحديات التي تواجهها الوكالة وأوضاع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، وشكرت جميع موظفي الوكالة لتفانيهم في تقديم الخدمات والمساعدات إلى اللاجئين الفلسطينيين على الرغم من الظروف الصعبة التي يعملون فيها والنقص الحاد في التمويل. كما أكدت من جديد إمتنان دولة فلسطين العميق للدعم السياسي والمالي والمعنوي المبدئي للاجئين الفلسطينيين من قبل المجتمع الدولي والبلدان المضيفة- لبنان والأردن وسوريا-، ومن مجتمع المانحين من خلال  دعم وكالة الأونروا لأكثر من ستة عقود. وأضافت أن هذا الإلتزام الدولي يظل حيويا للغاية في إنتظار تحقيق حل عادل لمحنة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين وفقا للقانون الدولي وقرارات الأمم المتحدة ذات الصلة، بما في ذلك قرار الجمعية العامة 194 الذي يؤكد، من جملة أمور، حق اللاجئين الفلسطينيين إلى العودة إلى ديارهم للعيش في سلام مع جيرانهم والحصول على تعويض عادل. [Read more…]

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee),

Agenda Item 51: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), 6 November 2013:

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 Mr. Chair,

On behalf of the delegation of the State of Palestine, I wish to reaffirm our appreciation to you and your country, El Salvador, on chairing this important Committee, and our confidence in your ability and that of the esteemed Bureau Members from the countries of Lesotho, Cyprus, Italy and Slovakia – to successfully steer the Committee’s work this session.

Mr. Chair,

I thank the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Mr. Filippo Grandi, for presenting UNRWA’s annual report and briefing the Committee on the challenges faced by the Agency in the past year and the ongoing plight of the Palestine refugees.

I reaffirm the gratitude of the Palestinian people and the Government of the State of Palestine to UNRWA for all efforts upholding its humanitarian mission in service of the Palestine refugees, despite a most difficult operational environment and severe funding shortfalls that are undermining the Agency’s work. We renew our deep appreciation to Commissioner-General Grandi, Deputy Commissioner-General Margot Ellis, the Directors of Field Operations and the Agency’s entire staff, international and local, for their dedication to providing education, health care, relief, protection and emergency assistance to the Palestine refugees.  We also recognize the courage of the Agency’s staff, who often serve in conditions endangering their safety and yet remain the only UN staff in the area not entitled to hazard pay, an issue which must be rectified. [Read more…]

5 November 2013 Press Release – بيـــان صحفـــي

 ألقت نادية رشيد، المستشار أول بالبعثة المراقبة الدائمة لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك، كلمة أمام اللجنة الثالثة التابعة للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة والمعنية بالمسائل الإجتماعية والثقافية والإنسانية حول بند “حق الشعوب في تقرير المصير”، ذكرت فيها أنه على الرغم من تكريس حق تقرير المصير في المادة 1 من العهد الدولي الخاص بالحقوق المدنية والسياسية والمادة 1 من العهد الدولي الخاص بالحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية جنباً إلى جنب مع القانون الدولي والقانون الإنساني الدولي، فإن إسرائيل، السلطة القائمة بالإحتلال، ولأكثر من أربعة عقود، قد تجاهلت عمداً هذا الحق وحرمت الشعب الفلسطيني من إعماله، وهي مستمرة في سياساتها وتدابيرها غير القانونية لخلق وقائع جديدة على الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما فيها القدس الشرقية، لترسيخ احتلالها غير الشرعي. [Read more…]

Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

Statement by Ms. Nadya Rasheed, First Counsellor, before the Third Committee, Agenda item 68: Right of Peoples to Self-Determination,

68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 5 November 2013

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The right to self-determination is enshrined in Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Article 1 of those two Covenants also obliges States parties, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, to promote the realization of the right to self-determination and to respect it, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Even though, the ICCPR and ICESCR are part of the universally recognized International Bill of Human Rights, these Covenants along with all aspects of international law and humanitarian law, which are all applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, have been deliberately ignored for more than four decades by Israel, the occupying Power. To take it a step further and to be more factual, not only have they been ignored by the occupying Power, but they have been violated, trampled on and violently withheld from the Palestinian people under its occupation. [Read more…]

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Statement by Ms. Nadya Rasheed, First Counsellor, before the Third Committee, 68th session, on Agenda Item 69(c): Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, 30 October 2013:

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 At the outset, allow me on behalf of the Palestinian people to express our sincere appreciation to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Professor Richard Falk, for the outstanding manner in which he has carried out his mandate. The Palestinian people will forever be grateful to Professor Falk for his determination to address the historic injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by an occupying Power who has day in and day out violated nearly every single one of their inherent human rights. We continue to place on record our deep regret that the occupying Power obstructed the efforts of the Special Rapporteur to fulfill his mandate by denying him entry into Occupied Palestine despite the fact that such cooperation is a fundamental legal obligation incident to membership in the organization. In this regard, we also wish to express our sheer disappointment that no real action was taken by the UN to remedy this grievous situation and bring Israel into compliance.  [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question on 22 October 2013

 Mr. President,

At the outset, I congratulate Azerbaijan on its Presidency of the Security Council this month under your able leadership. We also express appreciation for Australia’s skilled leadership of the Council in September.

I thank Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, for his briefing.

Mr. President,

When we addressed the Security Council at the last open debate in July, we appealed to the international community to act upon its political, legal and moral obligations towards the question of Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli peace.  We stressed the need for meaningful steps to support the peace process towards fulfillment of the decades-long promise to assist the Palestinian people to realize their rights and justice, including a just solution for the plight of the Palestine refugees, and to realize their freedom in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, the foundation of peace in the Middle East. [Read more…]

22 October 2013 Press Release – بيــان صحفـي

 ألقى السفير الدكتور رياض منصور، المراقب الدائم لدولة فلسطين لدى الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك، كلمة أمام مجلس الأمن، حول الحالة في الشرق الأوسط، بما في ذلك قضية فلسطين، ذكر فيها أنه عندما خاطب المجلس في المناقشة المفتوحة الأخيرة في شهر يوليه، وجه نداءً إلى المجتمع الدولي للعمل وفقا لإلتزاماته السياسية والقانونية والأخلاقية إزاء قضية فلسطين والسلام بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين. وشدد على ضرورة إتخاذ خطوات ذات مغزى  لدعم عملية السلام نحو الوفاء بالوعد الذي إستمر عقوداً لمساعدة الشعب الفلسطيني على إعمال  حقوقه وتحقيق العدالة، بما في ذلك إيجاد حل عادل لمحنة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، وتحقيق حريته في دولته المستقلة، فلسطين، وعاصمتها القدس الشرقية، تعيش جنباً إلى جنب مع إسرائيل في سلام وأمن على أساس حدود الرابع من يونيو/حزيران 1967 وتحقيق السلام في الشرق الأوسط.  وأضاف أن رسالتنا إلى المجلس ودعواتنا له للعمل من أجل إنقاذ فرص السلام  تظل ملحة اليوم كما كانت قبل إطلاق المفاوضات المباشرة بين الطرفين منذ ما يقرب من ثلاثة أشهر. وإذا إستمرالوضع على ما هو عليه، مميزاً بسلوك إسرائيل المتهور وإفلاتها من العقاب، فإن فرصة أخرى لجعل السلام حقيقة واقعة سوف تضيع. وأكد السفير منصور أن دعم مفاوضات السلام، يتطلب أكثر من الإشادة بقرار استئناف المفاوضات وتشجيع المثابرة عليها، بل إجراءات ذات مغزى لمساعدة الطرفين على التغلب على العقبات المستمرة، بما في ذلك ضمان إحترام محددات الحل، والتي تحظى بالإجماع الدولي من أجل التوصل الفعلي إلى إتفاق سلام نهائي.

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Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children

Statement by Ms. Reem Julia Mansour, Esq., Legal Adviser, before the Third Committee, agenda item 65: Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children,

68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 18 October 2013

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Mr. Chairman,

             In recent years progressive strides have been made in advancing children’s rights and increasing children’s protection through laws, partnerships, programs and the cooperation of the international community of this common goal. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the primary international instrument for the protection and promotion of children’s rights outlining the necessities for the full and harmonious development of children, all while ensuring their safety and well-being. Additionally, international law, and specifically humanitarian law and human rights law, govern the protection and promote the rights of children around the world. These international legal tools apply to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; unfortunately they are being blatantly violated by Israel, the occupying Power. [Read more…]