Justice for the Palestinian People on Agenda of 29th ESCWA Ministerial Council Skip to main content

Justice for the Palestinian People on Agenda of 29th ESCWA Ministerial Council

Beirut, Lebanon

“Justice for the Palestinian people: fifty years of Israeli occupation” is among the salient issues on the agenda of the ESCWA 29th Ministerial Session, hosted by Qatar on 13-15 December 2016, at the Sheraton Grand, Doha.
The Session tackles the Palestinian issue from three angles:
The question of apartheid; Premises and approach for calculating the cumulative cost of the occupation; and a proposal for a Communication strategy to support the Palestinian people.
ESCWA is preparing a study aimed at examining whether the policies and practices of Israel affecting the Palestinian people amount to apartheid as defined in international human rights law, such that the international community is legally obliged to act to end it. The ESCWA study is being prepared in the context of rising international concern that an apartheid regime is already effectively operating, or being consolidated, through Israel’s pursuit to maintain domination by one religious and racial group of persons over other groups.
In its periodic report on the study, ESCWA tackles the policies and practices of Israel, notably the fragmentation of the Palestinian people into several categories, and the different forms of oppression it exercises over all categories of the Palestinian people, including the Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian refugees living outside Mandate Palestine, viewing these four categories as components of the one Palestinian people.
Participants to the twenty-ninth session of ESCWA are invited to take note of the progress made on the study and provide comments thereon.
The Cumulative Cost of the Occupation
ESCWA aims to develop an innovative methodology to accurately assess the direct and indirect cumulative costs of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This effort is unprecedented in terms of the depth and scope of the analysis. The methodology aims to accurately determine the multilayered cost of occupation across all sectors.
The injustice that the Palestinian people have suffered under Israeli occupation is unparalleled in terms of length and its effects on all aspects of social and economic life. However, it is necessary to consider experiences from other regions to assess the damage resulting from the injustices that various peoples, social groups and countries have been exposed to.
Through this effort, ESCWA seeks to contribute in detailing Israeli practices and policies and their cumulative as well as future effects. This methodology will assist Palestinian institutions in analysing the impact of Israeli measures and policies, thus facilitating the development of policies and plans to limit their overall effects, and will help in holding Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinian rights and of international law. ESCWA will plan preliminary, foundational and consultative activities in this regard.
Communication Strategy for Palestine
ESCWA is putting forward a proposed media and communications strategy to support the Palestinian people and institutions in their efforts to secure their inalienable rights and to achieve justice and peace.
The strategy will be based on making use of ESCWA analytical documents to assist the Palestinian people in ensuring their rights and self-determination, securing justice and holding the Israeli authorities accountable for their violations.
ESCWA will provide Palestinian institutions and entities, and other bodies and organizations that support the Palestinian people, with analytical and statistical documentation prepared by the Commission to be used for raising awareness, advocacy and holding the Israeli authorities to account. ESCWA seeks to disseminate material it produces on the rights of the Palestinian people and on Israeli violations of international law within United Nations entities and foreign diplomatic missions; and to ensure sufficient media coverage of ESCWA material on the rights of the Palestinian people, and on Israeli violations of international law. Key messages in this regard include the following: the Palestinian people are committed to attaining a decent life and justice; Peace cannot be achieved without justice, and justice cannot be secured before Palestinians enjoy their rights in full; and To leave the Palestinian question unresolved and Israeli violations of international law undeterred threatens the international system.
ESCWA in Brief
ESCWA is one of the five UN regional commissions. It provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries; a platform for congress and coordination; a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. It aims at supporting economic and social cooperation between the region’s countries and promoting development process in order to achieve regional integration.
Mauritania became member of ESCWA in September 2015. By this new membership, the number of ESCWA countries rose to 18, including: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 
For more information:
Nabil Abu-Dargham +961-70-99 31 44
Ms. Mirane Abi-Zaki +961-76-04 64 02
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