OIC Statement at the 59th Session of the Commission on Human Rights on Agenda Item 5 – the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and its Application under Colonial or Alien Domination or Foregin Occupation

Madame Chairperson,

According to international law the right to self-determination is an inalienable right that belong to all peoples. Its primacy has been recognized in the UN Charter, several international Conventions and the Final Declarations of major world conferences.

2. This fundamental right was conferred upon the people of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir by the United Nations fifty years ago. The Untied Nations General Assembly Declaration and several important and specific resolutions as well as the resolutions of this Commission have for decades consistently reaffirmed the Palestinian peoples right to self determination.

3. The UN Declaration on the Granting of independence to colonized countries and peoples recognized that realization of the right to self-determination is crucial for the creation of conditions of stability, well being and peaceful and friendly relations among States. The tension and uncertainty that prevails in the Middle East and South Asia today is a direct result of the occupying powers failure to comply with the relevant UN resolutions.

4. UN General Assembly resolution A/C/3/57 reaffirms the importance of the Universal realization of right of people to self-determination for the effective realization and observance of all other human rights. According to International law the right to Self-determination provides the foundation for the realization of all other rights.

5. The history of international relations is witness to the fact that occupying powers have adamantly resisted the liberation of the people under their subjugation. Denigrating popular freedom and resistance movements against domination and foreign occupation as terrorism and their ruthless persecution has been a common feature of the strategy of these powers.

6. Israel’s systematic and massive abuse of human rights has been excessively reported by all sources, the UN Special Rapporteurs, the NGOs, international media and by the victims themselves. The Special Rapporteur in his report document E.CN. 2003/30 to 59th Session of the Commission has reported "Many of the rights contained in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have been violated by IDF in their actions against the Palestinian people. Many of the obligations of international humanitarian law have likewise been violated. Loss of life, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, restrictions on freedom of movement, the arbitrary destruction of property, the denial of the most basic economic, social and educational rights, interference with access to health care, the excessive use of force against civilians and collective punishment are instead justified as self-evident and legitimate anti-terrorism action."

7. "The Special Rapporteur remains convinced that Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory is a major cause of terrorism … and that Israel’s response to terror is so disproportionate, so remote from the interests of security, that it assumes the character of reprisal, punishment and humiliation. "

8. "Curfews imposed on Jenin, Qalquiliya, Bethelehem, Nablus, Tulkarem, Ramallah and Hebron have subjected over 700,000 persons to a regime similar to house arrest which confines them to their homes"….

9. "Many provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been violated by the reoccupation, notably articles 6 (right to life), 7 (freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment), 9 (freedom from arbitrary arrest), 12 (freedom of movement) and 17 and 23 (right to family life)".

10. "Children have probably suffered most from the present conflict".

11. The reconvened Conference of the States parties to the IVth Geneva Convention had upheld the applicability of this Convention to the occupied Palestinian territories. It had called upon Israel to refrain from committing willful killing and torture, respect the right of fair and regular trial, stop unlawful deportation, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. The Conference had also called for the deployment of impartial observers to monitor the implementation of the Geneva Conventions.

12. The resolution of the conflict on occupied Palestinian territory and other situations of occupation hinges on the full implementation of the relevant UN resolutions, all bilateral agreements between the parties and full respect for Humanitarian Law. Failure to implement the UN resolutions on the right to self-determination of all occupied peoples can lead to regional conflicts and constitute a threat to global peace and security.

13. The Palestinians have suffered far too much and far too long. The Commission, as the custodian of fundamental rights has a special responsibility towards the occupied people of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir.

14. Non-cooperation by the occupying powers must be responded by concrete measures such as necessary political and economic sanctions. If the international community could force the elimination of the apparatus of Apartheid it can also ensure the realization of the Palestinian peoples right to self-determination and full compliance by Israel with its decisions. The OIC would encourage the Commission to initiate effective measures to achieve this objective.

I thank you Madam Chairperson.