Statement of H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas President of the State of Palestine Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization before the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – New York, 16 January 2014

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I wish to convey to you the greetings of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people, coupled with sincere felicitations on the occasion of the New Year. I also take this opportunity to renew our profound gratitude for your solidarity with and support for the Palestinian people, including support for their inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations to achieve their freedom and the independence of the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.  We still have faith that peace can be achieved in our land – the land of peace – so that all peoples of our region can enjoy stability, security and good-neighborly relations.

At this meeting, and on the occasion of the launch of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we reiterate the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is justly resolved in all its aspects.  In this regard, we express our deep gratitude and appreciation for the valuable efforts exerted by H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, by the Members and Observers of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its Chairman, H.E. Mr.Abdou Salam Diallo, and Bureau, as well as by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat of the United Nations, for their firm support of the just cause of Palestine and their tireless efforts to promote the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people and to ensure the achievement of just and lasting peace.  I also wish to commend the Department of Public Information of the United Nations for its implementation of the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine, as well as all the efforts of the relevant United Nations agencies and programmes to raise awareness and support for Palestine and the goals of peace and justice.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 26 November 2013, the General Assembly adopted resolution 68/12, which among other things, proclaimed 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  We recognize and commend this important international stance.  We have formed an official national committee to follow-up and participate in the details of the activities related to the implementation of this resolution, in full coordination and cooperation with your distinguished Committee and with the participation and support of friendly Governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations, in order to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people.

We are hopeful that the year 2014 will be the year of ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with full sovereignty and with East Jerusalem as its capital.  We also hope that the year 2014 will be the year that the State of Palestine acquires full membership in the United Nations, finally taking its rightful place among the international community. These are necessary steps for rectifying the unprecedented historical injustice which the Palestinian people have endured for decades since Al- Nakba of 1948.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The State of Palestine is upholding its commitment to the peace process, despite diminished hopes and the grave situation on the ground due to Israel’s continued illegal actions and violations. The State of Palestine continues to act with the utmost responsibility to serve its people and to fulfill its legal obligations and international commitments and has acted consistently and in good faith in order to achieve peace, affirming repeatedly its adherence to the parameters of the peace process set forth in relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and thus its adherence to the two-State solution of an independent sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 borders .

We seek, through the political process and the resumed negotiations, to reach a comprehensive peace agreement that leads to a complete end to the Israeli occupation and the full independence of the State of Palestine on all the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; a peace agreement that fulfills the inalienable human rights of our people; a peace agreement that ensures security and dignity for our people; and a peace agreement that provides a just and agreed solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194(III).

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I conclude by appealing to the international community to support the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in 2014 as an important contribution towards fostering the necessary momentum and political will to make this year the year in which the long-denied inalienable rights of our people are finally realized and in which Palestinian-Israeli peace becomes a reality.

May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.