The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People hosted and organized the United Nations Forum on the Question of Palestine from 16-19 May, in New York City, New York.
The Forum entailed a closed consultation with civil society on 16 May and two days of open panel discussions from 17-18 May. Dozens of Palestinian and international non-government organizations, as well as a number of Palestinian political and diplomatic officials were in attendance.
BADIL took the opportunity to highlight the obligations of the international community, especially this particularly committee given its title, not only to respect the rights of the Palestinian people but to take measures to fulfill those rights.
BADIL noted the international community’s 70 year approach to “manage” the Question of Palestine, rather than to solve it, particularly in regards to Palestinian refugees and the internally displaced. This has led to a situation woefully lacking in accountability for Israel which fuels increased gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.
BADIL emphasized the ineffectuality of the exercise of the right to self-determination without incorporating the right to reparations (voluntary repatriation, property restitution, compensation and satisfaction) for the 66 percent of the Palestinian people that have experienced (and continue to experience) displacement and transfer. International protection measures through international interventions are obligatory in response to Israel’s unwillingness to provide and ensure protection. First and foremost, the international community must take measures to prevent and halt ongoing displacement and transfer of the Palestinian people.
In addition, BADIL called for the committee to recognize and support the need to explore, research and ascertain effective remedies and just reparations mechanisms tailored to the Palestinian case. This is essential, especially in light of the current situation, where the continued denial by Israel is challenged by the continued demand for the Palestinian right of return.
BADIL’s intervention in the UN Forum may be found here.