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Minister's Speech at NAM Ministerial Meeting of the Coordination Bureau in Baku
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Minister's Speech at NAM Ministerial Meeting of the Coordination Bureau in Baku


Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,​

We meet today, as traditional friends and allies, united by our common values and principles- and most importantly our common vision for a just world that does not allow for power politics to undermine the universality of human rights. Part of those shared values has always been the commitment to justice and freedom in Palestine because the founding states of this movement all understand that the chronic denial of justice in Palestine undermines the foundations of international law and the credibility of the multilateral system that we, NAM Members, came together to defend.

I speak to you today while the Palestinian people confront an unbridled assault on our very existence, and an escalating campaign that targets our land, our rights, and the lives of our youth and children; all led by the most extreme elements of the racist colonial regime that have adopted a program that openly calls for the decimation of Palestinian lives, rights, and aspirations. At the helm of power today, are self-avowed fascists who want to decisively and finally conclude the Nakba, a convicted terrorist who idolizes fellow terrorists who achieved notoriety by killing Palestinians and spreading their ideology of racism and hate, and a Machiavellian figure ready to scorch the earth and all the Palestinians in it in order to stay in power. 

As the high-level meetings for this summit began, the occupying power launched the most ferocious assault on the Jenin refugee camp, killing and injuring dozens of Palestinians and displacing thousands of refugees once again. Emboldened by international silence that is tantamount to complicity and lackluster reaction from traditionally united advocates of international law and human rights like our group, the occupier feels free to mete out death, destruction, and terror on Palestinian cities, towns, and refugee camps. This deadly pattern is not fate. It can. It must. Be broken. 

Mr. Chair, 

The occupier’s agenda is not a secret. In fact, it is without pretense or any modicum of sugarcoating. The genocidal statements by top Israeli officials against the Palestinian people articulate their agenda and the campaign of terror, death, and destruction translate this agenda with devastating accuracy: Unprecedented colonial expansion, unhinged pogroms of settler militias against Palestinian villages with the active involvement and protection of the occupation army, and relentless campaigns of death and torment that have turned our cities into killing fields and meted heart-wrenching loss on scores of families like the one unfolding against Jenin. 

In short, the occupier is actively, diligently, and persistently annexing the West Bank and pursuing the goal of permanent colonization through the displacement of the Palestinian people and their replacement by illegal settlers by all violent and criminal means at its disposal. It is openly and unashamedly declaring its intent to decimate the Palestinian people and crush the notion of Palestinian statehood. The world must take them at their word and act accordingly. 


In this connection, allow me to briefly touch upon the objectionable and absolutely ridiculous cover that occupation supporter use: the right to self-defense. The occupier has no right to defend itself. It has no right to assault the people it occupies. It has no legitimate claim to steal the occupied people’s land or exploit their resources. These rights do not exist. Pushing this narrative, tolerating it, or giving it any credence is in itself an assault on the law-based international system we have committed to upholding and defending. Such narrative has no place in respectable international circles. 

Mr. Chair,

As the world confronts various emergent and persistent crises as well as realities of increased inequality and deprivation, we have a responsibility to ensure that the international systems of laws and universal standards are protected and preserved and that the integrity and credibility of this international system remain intact. To achieve this global common good, we must compel consistency in international mobilization towards situations of grave injustice and egregious breaches of international law. We must stand united in demanding such consistency and in combating exceptional treatment that entrenches impunity and complacency within our midst that encourages such a dangerous trend. 

This absolutely requires that the NAM act in unison and in line with our foundational principles. 

In this regard, I must reaffirm that we are gravely concerned by the voting patterns of some members on the Question of Palestine and we believe members of NAM share our concern. That is because voting against Palestinian rights does not exclusively betray Palestine. It undermines the rights of all peoples who remain victimized by the balance of power. 

The repeated digression from established principled positions on Palestine and the Palestinian people’s unassailable right to self-determination is a betrayal of our group and its common values. It undermines our standing and ability to make the positive changes needed in the international arena to achieve a better, more just world for all. It allows sinister actors at the international level to exploit such deviations to excuse egregious violations of international law and entrench a destructive pattern of exceptionalism that only serves to further divide the world along the lines of those who have and use brute force and hegemony and those who do not.

Mr. Chair,

In addition to aligning their positions with NAM values and international law, Palestine calls on Member States to actively support efforts aimed at achieving accountability. Namely, we renew our call on all our friends to provide supportive submissions to the International Court of Justice that will soon start its consideration of the question forwarded to it by the UN General Assembly on the legal status of Israel’s prolonged occupation. Furthermore, we urge States Parties of the International Criminal Court to impress upon the Prosecutor that his inexcusable delays and dereliction of the investigation into the situation in Palestine costs innocent lives. We also call on all NAM Members to ensure that they abide by their obligations under international law by not engaging in any economic, political, or military cooperation with Israel, the occupying Power, so long it persists in committing crimes and violating international law with impunity. This is particularly urgent in relation to the illegal settlement regime, whose products and settlers must not be welcomed in any capital. 

Such effective political, legal, and diplomatic action that ensures accountability would create pressure to halt these Israeli violations and crimes against the Palestinian people. Israel must be made to understand that its program of colonization and dispossession has serious and costly consequences.

Mr. Chair, dear friends, 

I want to end with a brief message about the enduring Palestinian spirit of resilience, unity, and solidarity. It is this spirit that has allowed the Palestinian people to endure unspeakable brutality over the decades and remain steadfast in their noble plight for freedom. This spirit is what lifted the over three thousand Palestinian refugees who were forced to flee their homes on Monday night as they were met by an overpouring of solidarity and support from ordinary people who opened their homes and businesses to provide shelter, food, and medicine to their dispossessed brethren. Churches, local councils, wedding halls, and family homes all opened their doors and hearts to those in need. 

This Palestinian spirit cannot be broken. It is the beacon of light and determination that will ensure our people finally arrive at their overdue date with freedom. Even in the darkest hour, when international apathy and disregard cost Palestinian lives, this spirit proves once again that no measure of brutality can possibly defeat a nation. 

In that spirit, I conclude by calling on all our friends and allies in the NAM to preserve their unity and to realize the immense strength inherent in our unity, consistency, and mutual solidarity – a strength that will go a long way in empowering the NAM to confront emerging challenges. As always, the State of Palestine will remain firmly committed to working with all NAM members and other friendly nations to advance our common values and shared objectives, including the inalienable right of all peoples, without exception, to self-determination. 

Thank you

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