UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The Vivekananda International Foundation organized an interactive session with the ‘UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People’ on 2 March 2020. Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF delivered his opening remarks following by a brief introduction on India’s policy towards Palestine by Amb. Anil Trigunayat, Distinguished Fellow, VIF. The UN Committee was represented by Amb. Cheikh Niang, Chair and Permanent Representative (PR) of Senegal; Amb. Syed Mohamad Hasrin bin Tengku Hussin, PR of Malaysia; Amb. Mohammad K. Koba, DPR of Indonesia; Amb. Majed Bamya from the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine; Elio Tamburi, Director of the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs(DPPA) and Naoko Kuramochi, Political Affairs Officer, DPPA/DPR. The Palestinian Ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Al Hija and Dr Abdelrazeg Abu Jazer, Counsellor, Embassy of the State of Palestine were also present for the event.

The visiting UN Committee was established in 1975 after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution mandate to support the process of establishing an independent sovereign Palestinian state and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The committee expressed satisfaction with India’s position that aims towards reaching a two-state solution based on dialogue. India is recognised as a leader in the global south with principled positions on multilateralism, democratic ideals and justice. India was also the first non-Arab state to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1974 and recognised the state of Palestine in 1988. India is presently a member of the UN Committee and it would take over its role as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council in 2021 and 2022. The Committee sought to align policy positions with India in the UN. The Committee expressed gratitude to India for its contribution to UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and for providing technical cooperation to Palestinians.

The interaction drew attention to the new peace plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump. Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israel war has sought to limit Palestinian spaces and expand Jewish settlements to maintain territorial claim overall occupied territories. The Trump Plan according to the Committee has disregarded the pre-1967 border and legitimized the Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley. The plan also ascertained that the proposed eastern border of Palestine is with Israel rather than with Jordan. Israel will also be responsible for Palestine’s security diminishing its sovereign status. The plan according to the committee is completely biased towards Israel and it has ignored Palestinian demands such as establishing its capital in East Jerusalem, containment of settlements in West Bank and right to return.

India has successfully de-hyphenated its relations with both Israel and Palestine. The Committee appealed to India that enjoys close ties with Israel to utilize its influence to raise the concerns of Palestinians.

Event Date 
March 2, 2020

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