By Francis Ameyibor |firstname.lastname@example.org |
Accra, Nov. 29, – Mr Antonio Guterrres, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General has observed that, the decades-long Palestinian struggle for self-determination, independence and a life of dignity faces numerous obstacles.
The obstacles, the UN Secretary-General identified as the continued military occupation of Palestinian territory; ongoing violence and incitement; continued settlement construction and expansion; deep uncertainties about the peace process; and deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, particularly in Gaza.
The UN Secretary-General stated to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Palestinian. In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B).
On November 29, 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II). The resolution requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights.
As part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UN is to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN.
The resolution on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People also encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
Meanwhile, the African Union in observing the day, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission in a statement said “today, the African People celebrate with their brothers and sisters in Palestine the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”.
The statement said, the African Union follows closely the developments in Palestine and the Middle East region and the “Union’s support to the Palestinian cause is intrinsically linked with the Africa-Arab partnership”.
The statement said “more fundamentally, it is premised on the values of freedom, justice and humanitarian principles that Africa defends in international fora alongside all those striving to ensure that Palestine regains its right to exist as a key State in a region considered the cradle of humanity, religions and prophets, a region that the world has the obligation to preserve.
“The African Union has consistently expressed concerns at the consequences of unilateral policies, actions and provocations, including the illegal construction of settlements and the blockade and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Palestinian Territories.
“These practices represent a real threat to international peace and security in the region and undermine the spirit of the 1982 Arab Peace Initiative, for a just and lasting solution to this long-standing conflict”.
The statement said “AU continues to call on the international community to assume its full responsibilities vis-à-vis the question of Palestine and the implementation of the UN resolutions adopted from 1948 to date, to compel Israel to comply with the international law.
“Today more than ever before, there is need for urgent and renewed efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, “based on the existence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and harmony, within the framework of the relevant AU and UN pronouncements”.
The AU statement said the current situation calls for urgent action towards ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land.
It urged the international community, the “Quartet” Committee, the UN Security Council and all regional and international organizations to request Israel to implement decisions and declarations taken thus far to promote peace and stability based on the two-state solution.
According to the statement, the occupied Palestinian territories witnessed Israeli escalation in the political, economic and social spheres, as Israel hastened to announce the start of the implementation of a broader and heightened settlement in the occupied West Bank targeting occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs in particular.
“The Israeli government continues to violate international norms and standards by increasing the pace of illegal settlements. Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied territory is one of the core issues in the conflict.
“Illegal under international law, settlements built on confiscated or stolen Palestinian land are one of the core justifications for the building of the wall and the restriction of Palestinian movement within the West Bank.
“This contributes to forced displacement, severely limits Palestinian access to basic resources, including land and water, and perpetuates a system of segregation and structural inequality between Palestinians and Israelis,” the statement stated.
The AU reiterates its commitment to support all efforts aiming at achieving a final solution for the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict based on the international legitimacy and reject any incomplete and frag mental solutions such as temporary borders or the Jewishness of Israel.
The AU Commission would work tirelessly with the International Community to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, the statement stated.