May 30

Complaint; 11/08/2005

For Communications under :

- Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Date :

I – Information on the complainant:

Name : Yasser M. A. Al-Amoudi Gender: Nationality : Jordanian-temporary

Date of Birth : Place of Birth : Kuwait

Address :

Tel:

Complaint presented on my own behalf

II – Complaint against / Articles violated

Complaint against : UN High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR

The articles from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that have been violated:

Article 2

1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognised in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognised in the present Covenant.

3. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:

(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognised are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;

(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;

(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.

Article 5

1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.

2. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognised or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognise such rights or that it recognises them to a lesser extent.

Article 26

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

III- Complaint :

On the 4th of February 2003 I applied for refugee status to the Commission for Refugees office in Cairo ,explaining in my introductory letter “…” the reasons for seeking asylum. However, my application was denied due to the following reason : “Manifestly unfounded “ .

According to this rejection and the reasons behind it : “any explanation of the article (1-d) from the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees Committee will therefore deny my application”.

Taking into regard the appointment mentioned within the article (1-d ) ( When such protection or assistance has ceased…).From the beginning I gave explanations and evidence proving that my position as a refugee has never been ceased or resolved ;therefore the only logical explanation for rejecting my application is either deniability of the Covenant and/or rejection from the duties appointed by the abiding laws of the convention , or derogating and creating conditional restrictions in processing the rights recognised by the Convention. According to this .

the Commission has committed a violation of article (5) -2 mentioned in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Without any doubt ; my rights as a refugee are not restricted to aid or assistance or restricted within UNRWA rules ( note that the UNRWA was commissioned as an assistance provider only) .

This is confirmed by the related international resolutions and principles ( the related General Assembly resolution no.194) and according to the recommendations issued by this resolution, the “”UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine UNCCP”, was appointed to resolve and protect the refugee situation and rights.

However This commission ceased its’ operations and failed in its’ duties .Whatever reasons caused it to end its’ operations , the continuity of the protection has been halted ,and there has not been any alternative system that maintains this protection to refugees like myself. The Convention has conditionally specified (part 2 of article 1-d ) : “without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefits of this Convention.”

According to the UN related resolution no. 194 ; my status as a refugee has not been resolved and there is no longer an alternative system that ensures my protection as a refugee “that its’ duties have been commissioned to the Conciliation commission” ; therefore my status as a refugee lies under the definition mentioned in section 2 of article 1-d.Therefore removing the exception described in section 7 of the Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees “Provided that the competence of the High Commissioner …. shall not extend to a person:

(c) Who continues to receive from other organs or agencies of the United Nations protection or assistance….”

Please note the occurrence of the word ‘OR’ in section 2 of article 1-d “When such protection or assistance has ceased..” .The section also emphasizes “without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly “

Therefore proving my status as a refugee and the continuance of this status and hence my right to continue benefiting from assistance and International protection since my final status has not been resolved according to UN related resolutions.

In restricting my rights within aid and UNRWA rules only , a major related-resolution has been ignored and hence the Committee is considering Palestinian refugees like myself excluded from protection procedures and guarantees granted to other refugees .

For more emphasis I hereby include the following articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

In restraining my rights to UNRWA laws only (providing food ,clothing and shelter only) and according to those interpretations ;the protection program granted by the international order to Palestinian refugees is naturally lesser than other protection programs granted to other refugees and therefore a clear violation of related-resolutions and principals that were mentioned in the Declaration of Human Rights. And according to those interpretations ,Palestinians in general do not benefit from the rights protections procedure and guarantees within the International law order and they do not have any rights to protection coverage like other refugees , regardless of the fact that the protection system guaranteed by International law for Palestinian refugees has actually appointed two commissions with official duties in regards to Palestinian refugees. UNRAW ,which is concerned with providing aid and the Conciliation Commission which is concerned with providing protection. Article 1-d ensures that in case of failure of any of the two commissions in the continuation of its’ duties prior to any final resolution ; that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees should take over immediately all duties appointed and to fully execute the special refugees convention without any conditions or derogation on the refugee.

By appointing the High Commission for Refugees – in accordance to the refugee convention- the assistance program should grant full protection to refugees that were described in the Refugees convention . This program ensures that all rights acknowledged by international laws are kept maintained. By appointing that Commission ,the UN recommends the representation of those refugees to guarantee the necessary protection they need. And since the High Commission for Refugees is a subsidiary of the UN therefore it should comply to UN resolutions . However the High Commission for Refugees ( and according to the explanations it utilises ) is implementing a selective and discriminating policy against Palestinian refugees.

By derogating and restricting the rights that were mentioned within the context of the convention that specifically describes the conditions on which to be granted ( in accordance to the definition mentioned in the convention), I am no longer equal under the law ( according to the Committee’s explanations) in gaining protection in comparison to protection granted to other non-Palestinian refugees. By this behaviour the committee is clearly adopting a discriminating and selective policy when granting its’ protection to individuals whom are in compliance with protection and assistance rules (in accordance to the definition mentioned in the convention).

As a Palestinian refugee , my rights are being restricted and conditioned ,they have been reduced to a lower level in comparison to the rights granted to other refugees.

According to all reasons mentioned above ,it is clear that article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been violated.

The committee personnel acting on their official representations and responsible for their actions ( or those who have instigated their behaviour ) have granted themselves certain rights and freedoms to directly influence the procedure of handling refugee operations and have illegally violated the articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Violation of article (5 ) -1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Those personnel have also violated the principal duty of the UNHCR ; by transforming the social and humanitarian work into a political work were acceptance of individuals is being controlled and conditioned according to a political agenda.

According to all the violations of articles 26 and 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ,the Commission to which this complaint is lodged, no longer respects the articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is no longer in compliance to International treaties and resolutions since it implements certain measurements and procedures according to its’ own interpretations – of international treaties – which does not guarantee the execution of the acknowledged rights stated in this covenant , therefore it discriminates against a certain group of refugees residing within its’ territories and subject to its’ jurisdiction.This Commission continues its’ discriminating policy.

Violation of article (2) -1-2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In denying my application , conditions have been implemented for granting my rights for protection and assistance , my rights have been reduced to a lower level in comparison to other refugees and General Assembly resolutions have been neglected. By this behaviour ,the UNHCR Commission is no longer in compliance to international related-resolutions . Not only has it discarded and degraded my rights as a refugee but in process it has also discarded related UN resolutions and is deliberately neglecting International Covenants.

The applicant of this complaint has been treated with discrimination and has been rejected with explanations and pretences that violate International Covenants which led to nullifying and impairing the recognition of the rights and fundamental freedoms mentioned in the Convention that eventually resulted in the obstruction of achieving the aforementioned rights.

Therefore I forward my complaint demanding justice and compensation for the harm caused by the violations breached by the commissions to which this complaint is presented against.

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1832

May 30

Reply 18/08/05

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1824

May 30

Reply 25/10/05

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1817

May 30

A/RES/302 – 8 December 1949

A/RES/302 (IV)

8 December 1949
Assistance to Palestine Refugees 1/
The General Assembly
Recalling its resolutions 212 (III) 2/ of 19 November 1948 and 194 (III) 3/ of 11 December 1948, affirming in particular the provisions of paragraph 11 of the latter resolutions,
Having examined with appreciation the first interim report 4/ of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East and the report 5/ of the Secretary-General on assistance to Palestine refugees,
1. Expresses its appreciation to the Governments which have generously responded to the appeal embodied in its resolution 212 (III), and to the appeal of the Secretary-General, to contribute in kind or in funds to the alleviation of the conditions of starvation and distress among the Palestine refugees;
2. Expresses also its gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross, to the League of Red Cross Societies and to the American Friends Service Committee for the contribution they have made to this humanitarian cause by discharging, in the face of great difficulties, the responsibility they voluntarily assumed for the distribution of relief supplies and the general care of the refugees; and welcomes the assurance they have given the Secretary-General that they will continue their co-operation with the United Nations until the end of March 1950 on a mutually acceptable basis;
3. Commends the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for the important contribution which it has made towards the United Nations programme of assistance; and commends those specialized agencies which have rendered assistance in their respective fields, in particular the World Health Organization, the United nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Refugee Organization;
4. Expresses its thanks to the numerous religious, charitable and humanitarian organizations which have materially assisted in bringing relief to Palestine refugees;
5. Recognizes that, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, continued assistance for the relief of the Palestine refugees is necessary to prevent conditions of starvation and distress among them and to further conditions of peace and stability, and that constructive measures should be undertaken at an early date with a view to the termination of international assistance for relief;
6. Considers that, subject to the provisions of paragraph 9(d) of the present resolution, the equivalent of approximately $33,700,000 will be required for direct relief and works programmes for the period 1 January to 31 December 1950 of which the equivalent of $20,200,000 is required for direct relief and $13,500,000 for works programmes; that the equivalent of approximately $21,200,000 will be required for works programmes from 1 January to 30 June 1951, all inclusive of administrative expenses; and that direct relief should be terminated not later than 31 December 1950 unless otherwise determined by the General Assembly at its fifth regular session;
7. Establishes the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
(a) To carry out in collaboration with local governments the direct relief and works programmes as recommended by the Economic Survey Mission;
(b) To consult with the interested Near Eastern Governments concerning measures to be taken by them preparatory to the time when international assistance for relief and works projects is no longer available;
8. Establishes an Advisory Commission consisting of representatives of France, Turkey, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, with power to add not more than three additional members from contributing Governments, to advise and assist the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in the execution of the programme; the Director and the Advisory Commission shall consult with each near Eastern Government concerned in the selection, planning and execution of projects;
9. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in consultation with the Governments represented on the Advisory Commission;
(a) The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East responsible to the General Assembly for the operation of the programme;
(b) The Director shall select and appoint his staff in accordance with general arrangements made in agreement with the Secretary-General, including such of the staff rules and regulations of the United Nations as the Director and the Secretary-General shall agree are applicable, and to the extent possible utilize the facilities and assistance of the Secretary-General;
(c) The Director shall, in consultation with the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, establish financial regulations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;
(d) Subject to the financial regulations established pursuant to clause (c) of the present paragraph, the Director, in consultation with the Advisory Commission, shall apportion available funds between direct relief and works projects in their discretion, in the event that the estimates in paragraph 6 require revision;
10. Requests the Director to convene the Advisory Commission at the earliest practicable date for the purpose of developing plans for the organization and administration of the programme, and of adopting rules of procedure;
11. Continues the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees as established under General Assembly resolution 212 (III) until 1 April 1950, or until such date thereafter as the transfer referred to in paragraph 12 is affected, and requests the Secretary-General in consultation with the operating agencies to continue the endeavour to reduce the numbers of rations by progressive stages in the light of the findings and recommendations of the Economic Survey Mission;
12. Instructs the Secretary-General to transfer to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East the assets and liabilities of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees by 1 April 1950, or at such date as may be agreed by him and the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;
13. Urges all Members of the United Nations and non-members to make voluntary contributions in funds or in kind to ensure that the amount of supplies and funds required is obtained for each period of the programme as set out in paragraph 6; contributions in funds may be made in currencies other than the United States dollar in so far as the programme can be carried out in such currencies;
14. Authorizes the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to advance funds deemed to be available for this purpose and not exceeding $5,000,000 from the Working Capital Fund to finance operations pursuant to the present resolution, such sum to be repaid not later than 31 December 1950 from the voluntary governmental contributions requested under paragraph 13 above;
15. Authorizes the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to negotiate with the International Refugee Organization for an interest-free loan in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of $2,800,000 to finance the programme subject to mutually satisfactory conditions for repayment;
16. Authorizes the Secretary-General to continue the Special Fund established under General Assembly resolution 212 (III) and to make withdrawals therefrom for the operation of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, uponن the request of the Director, for the operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;
17. Calls upon the Governments concerned to accord to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East the privileges, immunities, exemptions and facilities which have been granted to the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, together with all other privileges, immunities, exemptions and facilities necessary for the fulfilment of its functions;
18. Urges the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the International Refugee Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and other appropriate agencies and private groups and organizations, in consultation with the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to furnish assistance within the framework of the programme;
19. Requests the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
(a) To appoint a representative to attend the meeting of the Technical Assistance Board as observer so that the technical assistance activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East may be co-ordinated with the technical assistance programmes of the United Nations and specialized agencies referred to in Economic and Social Council resolution 222 (IX) A 6/ of 15 August 1949;
(b) To place at the disposal of the Technical Assistance Board full information concerning any technical assistance work which may be done by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, in order that it may be included in the reports submitted by the Technical Assistance Board to the Technical Assistance committee of the Economic and Social Council;
20. Directs the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to consult with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in the best interests of their respective tasks, with particular reference to paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;
21. Requests the Director to submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations an annual report on the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, including an audit of funds, and invites him to submit to the Secretary-General such other reports as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East may wish to bring to the attention of Members of the United Nations, or its appropriate organs;
22. Instructs the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to transmit the final report of the Economic Survey Mission, with such comments as it may wish to make, to the Secretary-General for transmission to the Members of the United Nations and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
1/ See Official Records of the third session of the General Assembly, Part II, Resolutions, p. 19.
2/ Ibid., Part I, Resolutions, p. 66.
3/ Ibid., p. 21.
4/ See Official Records of the fourth session of the General Assembly, Annex to the Ad Hoc Political Committee, document A/1106.
5/ Ibid., documents A/1060 and A/1060/Add.1.
6/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Fourth Year, Ninth Session, Resolutions, p. 4.

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May 30

A/RES/194 (III) – 11 December 1948

A/RES/194 (III)

11 December 1948

Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator

and the Right of Refugees to Return to their Homes and Receive Compensation

The General Assembly,

Having considered further the situation in Palestine,

1. Expresses its deep appreciation of the progress achieved through the good offices of the late United Nations Mediator in promoting a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine, for which cause he sacrificed his life; and

Extends its thanks to the Acting Mediator and his staff for their continued efforts and devotion to duty in Palestine;

2. Establishes a Conciliation Commission consisting of three States members of the United Nations which shall have the following functions:

(a) To assume, in so far as it considers necessary in existing circumstances, the functions given to the United Nations Mediator on Palestine by resolution 186 (S-2) of the General Assembly of 14 May 1948;

(b) To carry out the specific functions and directives given to it by the present resolution and such additional functions and directives as may be given to it by the General Assembly or by the Security Council;

(c) To undertake, upon the request of the Security Council, any of the functions now assigned to the United Nations Mediator on Palestine or to the United Nations Truce Commission by resolutions of the Security Council; upon such request to the Conciliation Commission by the Security Council with respect to all the remaining functions of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine under Security Council resolutions, the office of the Mediator shall be terminated;

3. Decides that a Committee of the Assembly, consisting of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, shall present, before the end of the first part of the present session of the General Assembly, for the approval of the Assembly, a proposal concerning the names of the three States which will constitute the Conciliation Commission;

4. Requests the Commission to begin its functions at once, with a view to the establishment of contact between the parties themselves and the Commission at the earliest possible date;

5. Calls upon the Governments and authorities concerned to extend the scope of the negotiations provided for in the Security Council’s resolution of 16 November 1948 1/ and to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the Conciliation Commission or directly, with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them;

6. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them;

7. Resolves that the Holy Places – including Nazareth – religious buildings and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice; that arrangements to this end should be under effective United Nations supervision; that the United Nations Conciliation Commission, in presenting to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly its detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the territory of Jerusalem, should include recommendations concerning the Holy Places in that territory; that with regard to the Holy Places in the rest of Palestine the Commission should call upon the political authorities of the areas concerned to give appropriate formal guarantees as to the protection of the Holy Places and access to them; and that these undertakings should be presented to the General Assembly for approval;

8. Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area, including the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu’fat, should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control;

Requests the Security Council to take further steps to ensure the demilitarization of Jerusalem at the earliest possible date;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to present to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the Jerusalem area which will provide for the maximum local autonomy for distinctive groups consistent with the special international status of the Jerusalem area;

The Conciliation Commission is authorized to appoint a United Nations representative, who shall co-operate with the local authorities with respect to the interim administration of the Jerusalem area;

9. Resolves that, pending agreement on more detailed arrangements among the Governments and authorities concerned, the freest possible access to Jerusalem by road, rail or air should be accorded to all inhabitants of Palestine;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to report immediately to the Security Council, for appropriate action by that organ, any attempt by any party to impede such access;

10. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to seek arrangements among the Governments and authorities concerned which will facilitate the economic development of the area, including arrangements for access to ports and airfields and the use of transportation and communication facilities;

11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;

12. Authorizes the Conciliation Commission to appoint such subsidiary bodies and to employ such technical experts, acting under its authority, as it may find necessary for the effective discharge of its functions and responsibilities under the present resolution;

The Conciliation Commission will have its official headquarters at Jerusalem. The authorities responsible for maintaining order in Jerusalem will be responsible for taking all measures necessary to ensure the security of the Commission. The Secretary-General will provide a limited number of guards to the protection of the staff and premises of the Commission;

13. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to render progress reports periodically to the Secretary-General for transmission to the Security Council and to the Members of the United Nations;

14. Calls upon all Governments and authorities concerned to co-operate with the Conciliation Commission and to take all possible steps to assist in the implementation of the present resolution;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary staff and facilities and to make appropriate arrangements to provide the necessary funds required in carrying out the terms of the present resolution.

1/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Third Year, No. 126.

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May 30

UN General Assembly Resolution 181

UN  General Assembly Resolution 181

(Partition  Plan)

November  29, 1947

United  Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the partition of  the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab  state. It was approved on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor,  13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent (see list at end of  document).

The  resolution was accepted by the Jews in Palestine, yet rejected by the  Arabs in Palestine and the Arab states.

Text:

The  General Assembly,

Having  met in special session at the request of the mandatory Power to  constitute and instruct a Special

Committee  to prepare for the consideration of the question of the future  Government of Palestine at the

second  regular session;

Having  constituted a Special Committee and instructed it to investigate all  questions and issues relevant to

the  problem of Palestine, and to prepare proposals for the solution of  the problem, and

Having  received and examined the report of the Special Committee (document  A/364)(1) including a

number  of unanimous recommendations and a plan of partition with economic  union approved by the

majority  of the Special Committee,

Considers  that the present situation in Palestine is one which is likely to  impair the general welfare and

friendly  relations among nations;

Takes  note of the declaration by the mandatory Power that it plans to  complete its evacuation of Palestine

by  l August 1948;

Recommends  to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to  all other Members of

the  United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the  future Government of Palestine, of

the  Plan of Partition with Economic Union set out below;

Requests  that

a. The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in  the plan for its implementation;

b. The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the  transitional period require such consideration,

whether  the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it  decides that such a threat exists, and

in  order to maintain international peace and security, the Security  Council should supplement the

authorization  of the General Assembly by taking measures, under Articles 39 and 41  of the Charter, to

empower  the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to  exercise in Palestine the

functions  which are assigned to it by this resolution;

c. The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of  the peace or act of aggression, in

accordance  with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the  settlement envisaged by this

resolution;

d. The Trusteeship Council be informed of the responsibilities envisaged  for it in this plan;

Calls  upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be  necessary on their part to put this plan

into  effect;

Appeals  to all Governments and all peoples to refrain from taking any action  which might hamper or delay

the  carrying out of these recommendations, and

Authorizes  the Secretary-General to reimburse travel and subsistence expenses of  the members of the

Commission  referred to in Part 1, Section B, Paragraph I below, on such basis  and in such form as he may

determine  most appropriate in the circumstances, and to provide the Commission  with the necessary staff to

assist  in carrying out the functions assigned to the Commission by the  General Assembly.*

The  General Assembly,

Authorizes  the Secretary-General to draw from the Working Capital Fund a sum not  to exceed 2,000,000

dollars  for the purposes set forth in the last paragraph of the resolution on  the future government of

Palestine.

PLAN  OF PARTITION WITH ECONOMIC UNION

Part  I. – Future Constitution and Government of Palestine

A.  TERMINATION OF MANDATE, PARTITION AND INDEPENDENCE

The  Mandate for Palestine shall terminate as soon as possible but in any  case not later than 1 August 1948.

The  armed forces of the mandatory Power shall be progressively withdrawn  from Palestine, the withdrawal

to  be completed as soon as possible but in any case not later than 1  August 1948.

The  mandatory Power shall advise the Commission, as far in advance as  possible, of its intention to

terminate  the mandate and to evacuate each area. The mandatory Power shall use  its best endeavours to

ensure  that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including  a seaport and hinterland adequate

to  provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated  at the earliest possible date and in any

event  not later than 1 February 1948.

Independent  Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the  City of Jerusalem, set

forth  in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two  months after the evacuation of the

armed  forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not  later than 1 October 1948.

The  boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of  Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts

II  and III below.

The  period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its  recommendation on the question of

Palestine  and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish  States shall be a transitional

period.

B.  STEPS PREPARATORY TO INDEPENDENCE

A  Commission shall be set up consisting of one representative of each  of five Member States. The

Members  represented on the Commission shall be elected by the General  Assembly on as broad a basis,

geographically  and otherwise, as possible.

The  administration of Palestine shall, as the mandatory Power withdraws  its armed forces, be progressively

turned  over to the Commission, which shall act in conformity with the  recommendations of the General

Assembly,  under the guidance of the Security Council. The mandatory Power shall  to the fullest possible

extent  coordinate its plans for withdrawal with the plans of the Commission  to take over and administer

areas  which have been evacuated.

In  the discharge of this administrative responsibility the Commission  shall have authority to issue necessary

regulations  and take other measures as required.

The  mandatory Power shall not take any action to prevent, obstruct or  delay the implementation by the

Commission  of the measures recommended by the General Assembly.

On  its arrival in Palestine the Commission shall proceed to carry out  measures for the establishment of the

frontiers  of the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem in accordance  with the general lines of the

recommendations  of the General Assembly on the partition of Palestine. Nevertheless,  the boundaries as

described  in Part II of this Plan are to be modified in such a way that village  areas as a rule will not be

divided  by state boundaries unless pressing reasons make that necessary.

The  Commission, after consultation with the democratic parties and other  public organizations of the Arab

and  Jewish States, shall select and establish in each State as rapidly as  possible a Provisional Council of

Government.  The activities of both the Arab and Jewish Provisional Councils of  Government shall be

carried  out under the general direction of the Commission.

If  by 1 April 1948 a Provisional Council of Government cannot be  selected for either of the States, or, if

selected,  cannot carry out its functions, the Commission shall communicate that  fact to the Security Council

for  such action with respect to that State as the Security Council may  deem proper, and to the Secretary-

General  for communication to the Members of the United Nations.

Subject  to the provisions of these recommendations, during the transitional  period the Provisional Councils

of  Government, acting under the Commission, shall have full authority in  the areas under their control

including  authority over matters of immigration and land regulation.

The  Provisional Council of Government of each State, acting under the  Commission, shall progressively

receive  from the Commission full responsibility for the administration of  that State in the period between

the  termination of the Mandate and the establishment of the State’s  independence.

The  Commission shall instruct the Provisional Councils of Government of  both the Arab and Jewish States,

after  their formation, to proceed to the establishment of administrative  organs of government, central and

local.

The  Provisional Council of Government of each State shall, within the  shortest time possible, recruit an

armed  militia from the residents of that State, sufficient in number to  maintain internal order and to prevent

frontier  clashes.

This  armed militia in each State shall, for operational purposes, be under  the command of Jewish or Arab

officers  resident in that State, but general political and military control,  including the choice of the militia’s

High  Command, shall be exercised by the Commission.

The  Provisional Council of Government of each State shall, not later than  two months after the withdrawal

of  the armed forces of the mandatory Power, hold elections to the  Constituent Assembly which shall be

conducted  on democratic lines.

The  election regulations in each State shall be drawn up by the  Provisional Council of Government and

approved  by the Commission. Qualified voters for each State for this election  shall be persons over

eighteen  years of age who are (a) Palestinian citizens residing in that State;  and (b) Arabs and Jews residing

in  the State, although not Palestinian citizens, who, before voting,  have signed a notice of intention to

become  citizens of such State.

Arabs  and Jews residing in the City of Jerusalem who have signed a notice  of intention to become citizens,

the  Arabs of the Arab State and the Jews of the Jewish State, shall be  entitled to vote in the Arab and

Jewish  States respectively.

Women  may vote and be elected to the Constituent Assemblies.

During  the transitional period no Jew shall be permitted to establish  residence in the area of the proposed

Arab  State, and no Arab shall be permitted to establish residence in the  area of the proposed Jewish State,

except  by special leave of the Commission.

The  Constituent Assembly of each State shall draft a democratic  constitution for its State and choose a

provisional  government to succeed the Provisional Council of Government appointed  by the Commission.

The  Constitutions of the States shall embody Chapters 1 and 2 of the  Declaration provided for in section C

below  and include, inter alia, provisions for:

1. Establishing in each State a legislative body elected by  universal suffrage and by secret ballot on

the  basis of proportional representation, and an executive body  responsible to the legislature;

2. Settling all international disputes in which the State may be  involved by peaceful means in such a

manner  that international peace and security, and justice, are not  endangered;

3. Accepting the obligation of the State to refrain in its  international relations from the threat or use

of  force against the territorial integrity or political independence of  any State, or in any other

manner  inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations;

4. Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory  rights in civil, political, economic and

religious  matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,  including

freedom  of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly  and association;

5. Preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and  citizens of the other State in Palestine

and  the City of Jerusalem, subject to considerations of national  security, provided that each State

shall  control residence within its borders.

The  Commission shall appoint a preparatory economic commission of three  members to make whatever

arrangements  are possible for economic co-operation, with a view to establishing,  as soon as practicable,

the  Economic Union and the Joint Economic Board, as provided in section D  below.

During  the period between the adoption of the recommendations on the  question of Palestine by the

General  Assembly and the termination of the Mandate, the mandatory Power in  Palestine shall maintain

full  responsibility for administration in areas from which it has not  withdrawn its armed forces. The

Commission  shall assist the mandatory Power in the carrying out of these  functions. Similarly the

mandatory  Power shall co-operate with the Commission in the execution of its  functions.

With  a view to ensuring that there shall be continuity in the functioning  of administrative services and that,

on  the withdrawal of the armed forces of the mandatory Power, the whole  administration shall be in the

charge  of the Provisional Councils and the Joint Economic Board,  respectively, acting under the

Commission,  there shall be a progressive transfer, from the mandatory Power to  the Commission, of

responsibility  for all the functions of government, including that of maintaining  law and order in the areas

from  which the forces of the mandatory Power have been withdrawn.

The  Commission shall be guided in its activities by the recommendations  of the General Assembly and by

such  instructions as the Security Council may consider necessary to issue.

The  measures taken by the Commission, within the recommendations of the  General Assembly, shall

become  immediately effective unless the Commission has previously received  contrary instructions from

the  Security Council.

The  Commission shall render periodic monthly progress reports, or more  frequently if desirable, to the

Security  Council.

The  Commission shall make its final report to the next regular session of  the General Assembly and to the

Security  Council simultaneously.

C.  DECLARATION

A  declaration shall be made to the United Nations by the Provisional  Government of each proposed State

before  independence. It shall contain, inter alia, the following clauses:

General  Provision

The  stipulations contained in the Declaration are recognized as  fundamental laws of the State and no law,

regulation  or official action shall conflict or interfere with these  stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation

or  official action prevail over them.

Chapter  I: Holy Places, Religious Buildings and Sites

Existing  rights in respect of Holy Places and religious buildings or sites  shall not be denied or impaired.

In  so far as Holy Places are concerned, the liberty of access, visit,  and transit shall be guaranteed, in

conformity  with existing rights, to all residents and citizen of the other State  and of the City of Jerusalem,

as  well as to aliens, without distinction as to nationality, subject to  requirements of national security, public

order  and decorum.

Similarly,  freedom of worship shall be guaranteed in conformity with existing  rights, subject to the

maintenance  of public order and decorum.

Holy  Places and religious buildings or sites shall be preserved. No act  shall be permitted which may in an

way  impair their sacred character. If at any time it appears to the  Government that any particular Holy

Place,  religious, building or site is in need of urgent repair, the  Government may call upon the community

or  communities concerned to carry out such repair. The Government may  carry it out itself at the expense

of  the community or community concerned if no action is taken within a  reasonable time.

No  taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place, religious  building or site which was exempt from

taxation  on the date of the creation of the State.

No  change in the incidence of such taxation shall be made which would  either discriminate between the

owners  or occupiers of Holy Places, religious buildings or sites, or would  place such owners or occupiers in

a  position less favourable in relation to the general incidence of  taxation than existed at the time of the

adoption  of the Assembly’s recommendations.

The  Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall have the right to determine  whether the provisions of the

Constitution  of the State in relation to Holy Places, religious buildings and  sites within the borders of the

State  and the religious rights appertaining thereto, are being properly  applied and respected, and to make

decisions  on the basis of existing rights in cases of disputes which may arise  between the different religious

communities  or the rites of a religious community with respect to such places,  buildings and sites. He shall

receive  full co-operation and such privileges and immunities as are necessary  for the exercise of his

functions  in the State.

Chapter  2: Religious and Minority Rights

Freedom  of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject  only to the maintenance of

public  order and morals, shall be ensured to all.

No  discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on  the ground of race, religion,

language  or sex.

All  persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to  equal protection of the laws.

The  family law and personal status of the various minorities and their  religious interests, including

endowments,  shall be respected.

Except  as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good  government, no measure shall be

taken  to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of religious or  charitable bodies of all faiths or to

discriminate  against any representative or member of these bodies on the ground of  his religion or

nationality.

The  State shall ensure adequate primary and secondary education for the  Arab and Jewish minority,

respectively,  in its own language and its cultural traditions.

The  right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education  of its own members in its own

language,  while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature  as the State may impose,

shall  not be denied or impaired. Foreign educational establishments shall  continue their activity on the basis

of  their existing rights.

No  restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any citizen of the  State of any language in private

intercourse,  in commerce, in religion, in the Press or in publications of any  kind, or at public meetings.(3)

No  expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew  in the Arab State)(4) shall be

allowed  except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full  compensation as fixed by the Supreme

Court  shall be said previous to dispossession.

Chapter  3: Citizenship, International Conventions and Financial Obligations

1.  Citizenship

Palestinian  citizens residing in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem, as well  as Arabs and Jews who, not

holding  Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine outside the City of  Jerusalem shall, upon the recognition

of  independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident  and enjoy full civil and political

rights.  Persons over the age of eighteen years may opt, within one year from  the date of recognition of

independence  of the State in which they reside, for citizenship of the other  State, providing that no Arab

residing  in the area of the proposed Arab State shall have the right to opt  for citizenship in the proposed

Jewish  State and no Jew residing in the proposed Jewish State shall have the  right to opt for citizenship in

the  proposed Arab State. The exercise of this right of option will be  taken to include the wives and children

under  eighteen years of age of persons so opting.

Arabs  residing in the area of the proposed Jewish State and Jews residing  in the area of the proposed Arab

State  who have signed a notice of intention to opt for citizenship of the  other State shall be eligible to vote

in  the elections to the Constituent Assembly of that State, but not in  the elections to the Constituent

Assembly  of the State in which they reside.

2.  International conventions

e. The State shall be bound by all the international agreements and  conventions, both general and special, to

which  Palestine has become a party. Subject to any right of denunciation  provided for therein, such

agreements  and conventions shall be respected by the State throughout the period  for which they were

concluded.

f. Any dispute about the applicability and continued validity of  international conventions or treaties signed

or  adhered to by the mandatory Power on behalf of Palestine shall be  referred to the International Court of

Justice  in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court.

3. Financial obligations

g. The State shall respect and fulfil all financial obligations of  whatever nature assumed on behalf of

Palestine  by the mandatory Power during the exercise of the Mandate and  recognized by the State. This

provision  includes the right of public servants to pensions, compensation or  gratuities.

h. These obligations shall be fulfilled through participation in the  Joint Economic Board in respect of those

obligations  applicable to Palestine as a whole, and individually in respect of  those applicable to, and fairly

apportionable  between, the States.

i. A Court of Claims, affiliated with the Joint Economic Board, and  composed of one member appointed by

the  United Nations, one representative of the United Kingdom and one  representative of the State

concerned,  should be established. Any dispute between the United Kingdom and the  State respecting

claims  not recognized by the latter should be referred to that Court.

j. Commercial concessions granted in respect of any part of Palestine  prior to the adoption of the resolution

by  the General Assembly shall continue to be valid according to their  terms, unless modified by agreement

between  the concession-holders and the State.

Chapter  4: Miscellaneous Provisions

The  provisions of chapters 1 and 2 of the declaration shall be under the  guarantee of the United Nations,

and  no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the  General Assembly of the United

Nations.  Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the  attention of the General

Assembly  any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations,  and the General Assembly may

thereupon  make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.

Any  dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this  declaration shall be referred, at the request

of  either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the  parties agree to another mode of settlement.

D. ECONOMIC UNION AND TRANSIT

The  Provisional Council of Government of each State shall enter into an  undertaking with respect to

Economic  Union and Transit. This undertaking shall be drafted by the  Commission provided for in section

B, paragraph 1, utilizing to the greatest possible extent the advice and  cooperation of representative

organizations  and bodies from each of the proposed States. It shall contain  provisions to establish the

Economic  Union of Palestine and provide for other matters of common interest.  If by 1 April 1948 the

Provisional  Councils of Government have not entered into the undertaking, the  undertaking shall be put

into  force by the Commission.

The  Economic Union of Palestine

The  objectives of the Economic Union of Palestine shall be:

1. A customs union;

2. A joint currency system providing for a single foreign  exchange rate;

3. Operation in the common interest on a non-discriminatory basis  of railways inter-State highways;

postal,  telephone and telegraphic services and ports and airports involved in  international trade and

commerce;

4. Joint economic development, especially in respect of  irrigation, land reclamation and soil

conservation;

5. Access for both States and for the City of Jerusalem on a  non-discriminatory basis to water and

power  facilities.

There  shall be established a Joint Economic Board, which shall consist of  three representatives of each of

the  two States and three foreign members appointed by the Economic and  Social Council of the United

Nations.  The foreign members shall be appointed in the first instance for a  term of three years; they shall

serve  as individuals and not as representatives of States.

The  functions of the Joint Economic Board shall be to implement either  directly or by delegation the

measures  necessary to realize the objectives of the Economic Union. It shall  have all powers of

organization  and administration necessary to fulfil its functions.

The  States shall bind themselves to put into effect the decisions of the  Joint Economic Board. The Board’s

decisions  shall be taken by a majority vote.

In  the event of failure of a State to take the necessary action the  Board may, by a vote of six members,

decide  to withhold an appropriate portion of the part of the customs revenue  to which the State in question

is  entitled under the Economic Union. Should the State persist in its  failure to cooperate, the Board may

decide  by a simple majority vote upon such further sanctions, including  disposition of funds which it has

withheld,  as it may deem appropriate.

In  relation to economic development, the functions of the Board shall be  planning, investigation and

encouragement  of joint development projects, but it shall not undertake such  projects except with the assent

of  both States and the City of Jerusalem, in the event that Jerusalem is  directly involved in the development

project.

In  regard to the joint currency system, the currencies circulating in  the two States and the City of Jerusalem

shall  be issued under the authority of the Joint Economic Board, which  shall be the sole issuing authority

and  which shall determine the reserves to be held against such  currencies.

So  far as is consistent with paragraph 2(b) above, each State may  operate its own central bank, control its

own  fiscal and credit policy, its foreign exchange receipts and  expenditures, the grant of import licences,

and  may conduct international financial operations on its own faith and  credit. During the first two years

after  the termination of the Mandate, the Joint Economic Board shall have  the authority to take such

measures  as may be necessary to ensure that – to the extent that the total  foreign exchange revenues of the

two  States from the export of goods and services permit, and provided  that each State takes appropriate

measures  to conserve its own foreign exchange resources – each State shall  have available, in any twelve

months’  period, foreign exchange sufficient to assure the supply of  quantities of imported goods and

services  for consumption in its territory equivalent to the quantities of such  goods and services consumed in

that  territory in the twelve months’ period ending 31 December 1947.

All  economic authority not specifically vested in the Joint Economic  Board is reserved to each State.

There  shall be a common customs tariff with complete freedom of trade  between the States, and between

the  States and the City of Jerusalem.

The  tariff schedules shall be drawn up by a Tariff Commission, consisting  of representatives of each of the

States  in equal numbers, and shall be submitted to the Joint Economic Board  for approval by a majority

vote.  In case of disagreement in the Tariff Commission, the Joint Economic  Board shall arbitrate the points

of  difference. In the event that the Tariff Commission fails to draw up  any schedule by a date to be fixed,

the  Joint Economic Board shall determine the tariff schedule.

1. The following items shall be a first charge on the customs and  other common revenue of the Joint

Economic  Board:

The  expenses of the customs service and of the operation of the joint  services;

2. The administrative expenses of the Joint Economic Board;

3. The financial obligations of the Administration of Palestine,  consisting of:

11.i  The service of the outstanding public debt;

11.ii  The cost of superannuation benefits, now being paid or falling due in  the future, in accordance with

the  rules and to the extent established by paragraph 3 of chapter 3  above.

After  these obligations have been met in full, the surplus revenue from the  customs and other common

services  shall be divided in the following manner: not less than 5 per cent  and not more than 10 per cent to

the  City of Jerusalem; the residue shall be allocated to each State by  the Joint Economic Board equitably,

with  the objective of maintaining a sufficient and suitable level of  government and social services in each

State,  except that the share of either State shall not exceed the amount of  that State’s contribution to the

revenues  of the Economic Union by more than approximately four million pounds  in any year. The amount

granted  may be adjusted by the Board according to the price level in relation  to the prices prevailing at the

time  of the establishment of the Union. After five years, the principles  of the distribution of the joint

revenue  may be revised by the Joint Economic Board on a basis of equity.

All  international conventions and treaties affecting customs tariff  rates, and those communications services

under  the jurisdiction of the Joint Economic Board, shall be entered into  by both States. In these matters,

the  two States shall be bound to act in accordance with the majority of  the Joint Economic Board.

The  Joint Economic Board shall endeavour to secure for Palestine’s  exports fair and equal access to world

markets.

All  enterprises operated by the Joint Economic Board shall pay fair wages  on a uniform basis.

Freedom  of Transit and Visit

The  undertaking shall contain provisions preserving freedom of transit  and visit for all residents or citizens

of  both States and of the City of Jerusalem, subject to security  considerations; provided that each State and

the  City shall control residence within its borders.

Termination,  Modification and Interpretation of the Undertaking

The  undertaking and any treaty issuing therefrom shall remain in force  for a period of ten years. It shall

continue  in force until notice of termination, to take effect two years  thereafter, is given by either of the

parties.

During  the initial ten-year period, the undertaking and any treaty issuing  therefrom may not be modified

except  by consent of both parties and with the approval of the General  Assembly.

Any  dispute relating to the application or the interpretation of the  undertaking and any treaty issuing

therefrom  shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the  International Court Of Justice, unless the

parties  agree to another mode of settlement.

E.  ASSETS

The  movable assets of the Administration of Palestine shall be allocated  to the Arab and Jewish States and

the  City of Jerusalem on an equitable basis. Allocations should be made  by the United Nations Commission

referred  to iii section B, paragraph 1, above. Immovable assets shall become  the property of the

government  of the territory in which they are situated.

During  the period between the appointment of the United Nations Commission  and the termination of the

Mandate,  the mandatory Power shall, except in respect of ordinary operations,  consult with the

Commission  on any measure which it may contemplate involving the liquidation,  disposal or encumbering

of  the assets of the Palestine Government, such as the accumulated  treasury surplus, the proceeds of

Government  bond issues, State lands or any other asset.

F.  ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS

When  the independence of either the Arab or the Jewish State as envisaged  in this plan has become

effective  and the declaration and undertaking, as envisaged in this plan, have  been signed by either of them,

sympathetic  consideration should be given to its application for admission to  membership in the United

Nations  in accordance with article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Part  II. – Boundaries

A.  THE ARAB STATE

The  area of the Arab State in Western Galilee is bounded on the west by  the Mediterranean and on the

north  by the frontier of the Lebanon from Ras en Naqura to a point north of  Saliha. From there the

boundary  proceeds southwards, leaving the built-up area of Saliha in the Arab  State, to join the

southernmost  point of this village. There it follows the western boundary line of  the villages of ‘Alma,

Rihaniya  and Teitaba, thence following the northern boundary line of Meirun  village to join the Acre-Safad

Sub-District  boundary line. It follows this line to a point west of Es Sammu’i  village and joins it again at

the  northernmost point of Farradiya. Thence it follows the sub-district  boundary line to the Acre-Safad

main  road. From here it follows the western boundary of Kafr-I’nan village  until it reaches the Tiberias-

Acre  Sub-District boundary line, passing to the west of the junction of  the Acre-Safad and Lubiya-KafrI’nan

roads.  From the south-west corner of Kafr-I’nan village the boundary line  follows the western

boundary  of the Tiberias Sub-District to a point close to the boundary line  between the villages of Maghar

and  ‘Eilabun, thence bulging out to the west to include as much of the  eastern part of the plain of Battuf as

is  necessary for the reservoir proposed by the Jewish Agency for the  irrigation of lands to the south and

east.

The  boundary rejoins the Tiberias Sub-District boundary at a point on the  Nazareth-Tiberias road southeast

of  the built-up area of Tur’an; thence it runs southwards, at first  following the sub-district boundary

and  then passing between the Kadoorie Agricultural School and Mount  Tabor, to a point due south at the

base  of Mount Tabor. From here it runs due west, parallel to the  horizontal grid line 230, to the north-east

corner  of the village lands of Tel Adashim. It then runs to the northwest  corner of these lands, whence it

turns  south and west so as to include in the Arab State the sources of the  Nazareth water supply in Yafa

village.  On reaching Ginneiger it follows the eastern, northern and western  boundaries of the lands of this

village  to their south-west comer, whence it proceeds in a straight line to a  point on the Haifa-Afula railway

on  the boundary between the villages of Sarid and El-Mujeidil. This is  the point of intersection. The southwestern

boundary  of the area of the Arab State in Galilee takes a line from this  point, passing northwards

along  the eastern boundaries of Sarid and Gevat to the north-eastern corner  of Nahalal, proceeding thence

across  the land of Kefar ha Horesh to a central point on the southern  boundary of the village of ‘Ilut, thence

westwards  along that village boundary to the eastern boundary of Beit Lahm,  thence northwards and northeastwards

along  its western boundary to the north-eastern corner of Waldheim and  thence north-westwards

across  the village lands of Shafa ‘Amr to the southeastern corner of Ramat  Yohanan. From here it runs due

north-north-east  to a point on the Shafa ‘Amr-Haifa road, west of its junction with  the road of I’billin. From

there  it proceeds north-east to a point on the southern boundary of  I’billin situated to the west of the I’billin-

Birwa  road. Thence along that boundary to its westernmost point, whence it  turns to the north, follows

across  the village land of Tamra to the north-westernmost corner and along  the western boundary of Julis

until  it reaches the Acre-Safad road. It then runs westwards along the  southern side of the Safad-Acre road

to  the Galilee-Haifa District boundary, from which point it follows that  boundary to the sea.

The  boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the  Jordan River at the Wadi Malih southeast

of  Beisan and runs due west to meet the Beisan-Jericho road and then  follows the western side of that

road  in a north-westerly direction to the junction of the boundaries of  the Sub-Districts of Beisan, Nablus,

and  Jenin. From that point it follows the Nablus-Jenin sub-District  boundary westwards for a distance of

about  three kilometres and then turns north-westwards, passing to the east  of the built-up areas of the

villages  of Jalbun and Faqqu’a, to the boundary of the Sub-Districts of Jenin  and Beisan at a point northeast

of  Nuris. Thence it proceeds first northwestwards to a point due north  of the built-up area of Zie’in and then

westwards  to the Afula-Jenin railway, thence north-westwards along the District  boundary line to the point

of  intersection on the Hejaz railway. From here the boundary runs  southwestwards, including the built-up

area  and some of the land of the village of Kh. Lid in the Arab State to  cross the Haifa-Jenin road at a point

on  the district boundary between Haifa and Samaria west of El- Mansi. It  follows this boundary to the

southernmost  point of the village of El-Buteimat. From here it follows the  northern and eastern boundaries

of  the village of Ar’ara rejoining the Haifa-Samaria district boundary  at Wadi ‘Ara, and thence proceeding

south-south-westwards  in an approximately straight line joining up with the western  boundary of Qaqun to

a  point east of the railway line on the eastern boundary of Qaqun  village. From here it runs along the

railway  line some distance to the east of it to a point just east of the  Tulkarm railway station. Thence the

boundary  follows a line half-way between the railway and the  Tulkarm-Qalqiliya-Jaljuliya and Ras El-Ein

road  to a point just east of Ras El-Ein station, whence it proceeds along  the railway some distance to the

east  of it to the point on the railway line south of the junction of the  Haifa-Lydda and Beit Nabala lines,

whence  it proceeds along the southern border of Lydda airport to its  south-west corner, thence in a southwesterly

direction  to a point just west of the built-up area of Sarafand El ‘Amar,  whence it turns south,

passing  just to the west of the built-up area of Abu El-Fadil to the  north-east corner of the lands of Beer

Ya’aqov.  (The boundary line should be so demarcated as to allow direct access  from the Arab State to the

airport.)  Thence the boundary line follows the western and southern boundaries  of Ramle village, to the

north-east  corner of El Na’ana village, thence in a straight line to the  southernmost point of El Barriya,

along  the eastern boundary of that village and the southern boundary of  ‘Innaba village. Thence it turns

north  to follow the southern side of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road until  El-Qubab, whence it follows the road to

the  boundary of Abu-Shusha. It runs along the eastern boundaries of Abu  Shusha, Seidun, Hulda to the

southernmost  point of Hulda, thence westwards in a straight line to the  north-eastern corner of Umm

Kalkha,  thence following the northern boundaries of Umm Kalkha, Qazaza and  the northern and western

boundaries  of Mukhezin to the Gaza District boundary and thence runs across the  village lands of El-

Mismiya  El-Kabira, and Yasur to the southern point of intersection, which is  midway between the built-up

areas  of Yasur and Batani Sharqi.

From  the southern point of intersection the boundary lines run  north-westwards between the villages of Gan

Yavne  and Barqa to the sea at a point half way between Nabi Yunis and Minat  El-Qila, and southeastwards

to  a point west of Qastina, whence it turns in a south-westerly  direction, passing to the east of the

built-up  areas of Es Sawafir Esh Sharqiya and ‘Ibdis. From the south-east  corner of ‘Ibdis village it runs to a

point  southwest of the built-up area of Beit ‘Affa, crossing the  Hebron-El-Majdal road just to the west of

the  built-up area of ‘Iraq Suweidan. Thence it proceeds southward along  the western village boundary of El-

Faluja  to the Beersheba Sub-District boundary. It then runs across the  tribal lands of ‘Arab El-Jubarat to a

point  on the boundary between the Sub-Districts of Beersheba and Hebron  north of Kh. Khuweilifa,

whence  it proceeds in a south-westerly direction to a point on the  Beersheba-Gaza main road two

kilometres  to the north-west of the town. It then turns south-eastwards to reach  Wadi Sab’ at a point situated

one  kilometer to the west of it. From here it turns north-eastwards and  proceeds along Wadi Sab’ and along

the  Beersheba-Hebron road for a distance of one kilometer, whence it  turns eastwards and runs in a straight

line  to Kh. Kuseifa to join the Beersheba-Hebron Sub-District boundary. It  then follows the Beersheba-

Hebron  boundary eastwards to a point north of Ras Ez-Zuweira, only departing  from it so as to cut across

the  base of the indentation between vertical grid lines 150 and 160.

About  five kilometres north-east of Ras Ez-Zuweira it turns north,  excluding from the Arab State a strip

along  the coast of the Dead Sea not more than seven kilometres in depth, as  far as ‘Ein Geddi, whence it

turns  due east to join the Transjordan frontier in the Dead Sea.

The  northern boundary of the Arab section of the coastal plain runs from  a point between Minat El-Qila

and  Nabi Yunis, passing between the built-up areas of Gan Yavne and Barqa  to the point of intersection.

From  here it turns south-westwards, running across the lands of Batani  Sharqi, along the eastern boundary

of  the lands of Beit Daras and across the lands of Julis, leaving the  built-up areas of Batani Sharqi and Julis

to  the westwards, as far as the north-west corner of the lands of  Beit-Tima. Thence it runs east of El-Jiya

across  the village lands of El-Barbara along the eastern boundaries of the  villages of Beit Jirja, Deir Suneid

and  Dimra. From the south-east corner of Dimra the boundary passes across  the lands of Beit Hanun,

leaving  the Jewish lands of Nir-Am to the eastwards. From the south-east  corner of Beit Hanun the line

runs  south-west to a point south of the parallel grid line 100, then turns  north-west for two kilometres,

turning  again in a southwesterly direction and continuing in an almost  straight line to the north-west corner

of  the village lands of Kirbet Ikhza’a. From there it follows the  boundary line of this village to its

southernmost  point. It then runs in a southerly direction along the vertical grid  line 90 to its junction with

the  horizontal grid line 70. It then turns south-eastwards to Kh.  El-Ruheiba and then proceeds in a southerly

direction  to a point known as El-Baha, beyond which it crosses the Beersheba-EI  ‘Auja main road to the

west  of Kh. El-Mushrifa. From there it joins Wadi El-Zaiyatin just to the  west of El-Subeita. From there it

turns  to the north-east and then to the south-east following this Wadi and  passes to the east of ‘Abda to join

Wadi  Nafkh. It then bulges to the south-west along Wadi Nafkh, Wadi ‘Ajrim  and Wadi Lassan to the point

where  Wadi Lassan crosses the Egyptian frontier.

The  area of the Arab enclave of Jaffa consists of that part of the  town-planning area of Jaffa which lies to

the  west of the Jewish quarters lying south of Tel-Aviv, to the west of  the continuation of Herzl street up to

its  junction with the Jaffa-Jerusalem road, to the south-west of the  section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road lying

south-east  of that junction, to the west of Miqve Yisrael lands, to the  northwest of Holon local council area,

to  the north of the line linking up the north-west corner of Holon with  the northeast corner of Bat Yam

local  council area and to the north of Bat Yam local council area. The  question of Karton quarter will be

decided  by the Boundary Commission, bearing in mind among other  considerations the desirability of

including  the smallest possible number of its Arab inhabitants and the largest  possible number of its Jewish

inhabitants  in the Jewish State.

B.  THE JEWISH STATE

The  north-eastern sector of the Jewish State (Eastern Galilee) is bounded  on the north and west by the

Lebanese  frontier and on the east by the frontiers of Syria and Trans-jordan.  It includes the whole of the

Huleh  Basin, Lake Tiberias, the whole of the Beisan Sub-District, the  boundary line being extended to the

crest  of the Gilboa mountains and the Wadi Malih. From there the Jewish  State extends north-west,

following  the boundary described in respect of the Arab State. The Jewish  section of the coastal plain

extends  from a point between Minat El-Qila and Nabi Yunis in the Gaza  Sub-District and includes the

towns  of Haifa and Tel-Aviv, leaving Jaffa as an enclave of the Arab State.  The eastern frontier of the

Jewish  State follows the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.

The  Beersheba area comprises the whole of the Beersheba Sub-District,  including the Negeb and the

eastern  part of the Gaza Sub-District, but excluding the town of Beersheba  and those areas described in

respect  of the Arab State. It includes also a strip of land along the Dead  Sea stretching from the Beersheba-

Hebron  Sub-District boundary line to ‘Ein Geddi, as described in respect of  the Arab State.

C.  THE CITY OF JERUSALEM

The  boundaries of the City of Jerusalem are as defined in the  recommendations on the City of Jerusalem.

(See  Part III, section B, below).

Part  III. – City of Jerusalem(5)

A.  SPECIAL REGIME

The  City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a  special international regime and

shall  be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall  be designated to discharge the

responsibilities  of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.

B.  BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY

The  City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem  plus the surrounding villages and

towns,  the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern,  Bethlehem; the most western, ‘Ein

Karim  (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern  Shu’fat, as indicated on the

attached  sketch-map (annex B).

C.  STATUTE OF THE CITY

The  Trusteeship Council shall, within five months of the approval of the  present plan, elaborate and

approve  a detailed statute of the City which shall contain, inter alia, the  substance of the following

provisions:

Government  machinery; special objectives. The Administering Authority in  discharging its administrative

obligations  shall pursue the following special objectives:

1. To protect and to preserve the unique spiritual and religious  interests located in the city of the

three  great monotheistic faiths throughout the world, Christian, Jewish and  Moslem; to this end to

ensure  that order and peace, and especially religious peace, reign in  Jerusalem;

2. To foster cooperation among all the inhabitants of the city in  their own interests as well as in order

to  encourage and support the peaceful development of the mutual  relations between the two

Palestinian  peoples throughout the Holy Land; to promote the security, well-being  and any

constructive  measures of development of the residents having regard to the special  circumstances

and  customs of the various peoples and communities.

Governor  and Administrative staff. A Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall  be appointed by the

Trusteeship  Council and shall be responsible to it. He shall be selected on the  basis of special qualifications

and  without regard to nationality. He shall not, however, be a citizen of  either State in Palestine.

The  Governor shall represent the United Nations in the City and shall  exercise on their behalf all powers of

administration,  including the conduct of external affairs. He shall be assisted by an  administrative staff

classed  as international officers in the meaning of Article 100 of the  Charter and chosen whenever

practicable  from the residents of the city and of the rest of Palestine on a  non-discriminatory basis. A

detailed  plan for the organization of the administration of the city shall be  submitted by the Governor to the

Trusteeship  Council and duly approved by it.

Local  autonomy

1. The existing local autonomous units in the territory of the  city (villages, townships and

municipalities)  shall enjoy wide powers of local government and administration.

2. The Governor shall study and submit for the consideration and  decision of the Trusteeship Council

a  plan for the establishment of special town units consisting,  respectively, of the Jewish and Arab

sections  of new Jerusalem. The new town units shall continue to form part the  present

municipality  of Jerusalem.

Security  measures

1. The City of Jerusalem shall be demilitarized; neutrality shall  be declared and preserved, and no

para-military  formations, exercises or activities shall be permitted within its  borders.

2. Should the administration of the City of Jerusalem be  seriously obstructed or prevented by the

non-cooperation  or interference of one or more sections of the population the  Governor shall have

authority  to take such measures as may be necessary to restore the effective  functioning of

administration.

3. To assist in the maintenance of internal law and order,  especially for the protection of the Holy

Places  and religious buildings and sites in the city, the Governor shall  organize a special police

force  of adequate strength, the members of which shall be recruited outside  of Palestine. The

Governor  shall be empowered to direct such budgetary provision as may be  necessary for the

maintenance  of this force.

Legislative  Organization.

A  Legislative Council, elected by adult residents of the city  irrespective of nationality on the basis of

universal  and secret suffrage and proportional representation, shall have  powers of legislation and taxation.

No  legislative measures shall, however, conflict or interfere with the  provisions which will be set forth in

the  Statute of the City, nor shall any law, regulation, or official  action prevail over them. The Statute shall

grant  to the Governor a right of vetoing bills inconsistent with the  provisions referred to in the preceding

sentence.  It shall also empower him to promulgate temporary ordinances in case  the Council fails to adopt

in  time a bill deemed essential to the normal functioning of the  administration.

Administration  of Justice

The  Statute shall provide for the establishment of an independent  judiciary system, including a court of

appeal.  All the inhabitants of the city shall be subject to it.

Economic  Union and Economic Regime

The  City of Jerusalem shall be included in the Economic Union of  Palestine and be bound by all

stipulations  of the undertaking and of any treaties issued therefrom, as well as  by the decisions of the Joint

Economic  Board. The headquarters of the Economic Board shall be established in  the territory City. The

Statute  shall provide for the regulation of economic matters not falling  within the regime of the Economic

Union,  on the basis of equal treatment and non-discrimination for all  members of thc United Nations and

their  nationals.

Freedom  of Transit and Visit: Control of residents

Subject  to considerations of security, and of economic welfare as determined  by the Governor under the

directions  of the Trusteeship Council, freedom of entry into, and residence  within the borders of the City

shall  be guaranteed for the residents or citizens of the Arab and Jewish  States. Immigration into, and

residence  within, the borders of the city for nationals of other States shall  be controlled by the Governor

under  the directions of the Trusteeship Council.

Relations  with Arab and Jewish States. Representatives of the Arab and Jewish  States shall be accredited to

the  Governor of the City and charged with the protection of the interests  of their States and nationals in

connection  with the international administration of thc City.

Official  languages

Arabic  and Hebrew shall be the official languages of the city. This will not  preclude the adoption of one or

more  additional working languages, as may be required.

Citizenship

All  the residents shall become ipso facto citizens of the City of  Jerusalem unless they opt for citizenship of

the  State of which they have been citizens or, if Arabs or Jews, have  filed notice of intention to become

citizens  of the Arab or Jewish State respectively, according to Part 1,  section B, paragraph 9, of this Plan.

The  Trusteeship Council shall make arrangements for consular protection  of the citizens of the City outside

its  territory.

Freedoms  of citizens

1. Subject only to the requirements of public order and morals,  the inhabitants of the City shall be

ensured  the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including  freedom of

conscience,  religion and worship, language, education, speech and press, assembly  and

association,  and petition.

2. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the  inhabitants on the grounds of race,

religion,  language or sex.

3. All persons within the City shall be entitled to equal  protection of the laws.

4. The family law and personal status of the various persons and  communities and their religious

interests,  including endowments, shall be respected.

5. Except as may be required for the maintenance of public order  and good government, no measure

shall  be taken to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of religious or  charitable bodies of all

faiths  or to discriminate against any representative or member of these  bodies on the ground of his

religion  or nationality.

6. The City shall ensure adequate primary and secondary education  for the Arab and Jewish

communities  respectively, in their own languages and in accordance with their  cultural traditions.

The  right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education  of its own members in

its  own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a  general nature as the

City  may impose, shall not be denied or impaired. Foreign educational  establishments shall

continue  their activity on the basis of their existing rights.

7. No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any  inhabitant of the City of any language in

private  intercourse, in commerce, in religion, in the Press or in  publications of any kind, or at

public  meetings.

Holy  Places

1. Existing rights in respect of Holy Places and religious  buildings or sites shall not be denied or

impaired.

2. Free access to the Holy Places and religious buildings or  sites and the free exercise of worship

shall  be secured in conformity with existing rights and subject to the  requirements of public order

and  decorum.

3. Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall be  preserved. No act shall be permitted which

may  in any way impair their sacred character. If at any time it appears  to the Governor that any

particular  Holy Place, religious building or site is in need of urgent repair,  the Governor may call

upon  the community or communities concerned to carry out such repair. The  Governor may carry

it  out himself at the expense of the community or communities concerned  if no action is taken

within  a reasonable time.

4. No taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place,  religious building or site which was

exempt  from taxation on the date of the creation of the City. No change in  the incidence of such

taxation  shall be made which would either discriminate between the owners or  occupiers of Holy

Places,  religious buildings or sites or would place such owners or occupiers  in a position less

favourable  in relation to the general incidence of taxation than existed at the  time of the adoption

of  the Assembly’s recommendations.

Special powers of the Governor in respect of the Holy Places,   religious buildings and sites in the City and

in  any part of Palestine.

1. The protection of the Holy Places, religious buildings and  sites located in the City of Jerusalem

shall  be a special concern of the Governor.

2. With relation to such places, buildings and sites in Palestine  outside the city, the Governor shall

determine,  on the ground of powers granted to him by the Constitution of both  States, whether the

provisions  of the Constitution of the Arab and Jewish States in Palestine  dealing therewith and the

religious  rights appertaining thereto are being properly applied and respected.

3. The Governor shall also be empowered to make decisions on the  basis of existing rights in cases

of  disputes which may arise between the different religious communities  or the rites of a religious

community  in respect of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in any  part of Palestine.

In  this task he may be assisted by a consultative council of  representatives of different

denominations  acting in an advisory capacity.

D.  DURATION OF THE SPECIAL REGIME

The  Statute elaborated by the Trusteeship Council the aforementioned  principles shall come into force not

later  than 1 October 1948. It shall remain in force in the first instance  for a period of ten years, unless the

Trusteeship  Council finds it necessary to undertake a re-examination of these  provisions at an earlier date.

After  the expiration of this period the whole scheme shall be subject to  examination by the Trusteeship

Council  in the light of experience acquired with its functioning. The  residents the City shall be then free to

express  by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of  regime of the City.

Part  IV. Capitulations

States  whose nationals have in the past enjoyed in Palestine the privileges  and immunities of foreigners,

including  the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection, as formerly  enjoyed by capitulation or usage

in  the Ottoman Empire, are invited to renounce any right pertaining to  them to the re-establishment of such

privileges  and immunities in the proposed Arab and Jewish States and the City of  Jerusalem.

Adopted  at the 128th plenary meeting:

In  favour: 33

Australia,  Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian S.S.R., Canada, Costa Rica,  Czechoslovakia, Denmark,

Dominican  Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia,  Luxemburg, Netherlands, New

Zealand,  Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland,  Sweden, Ukrainian S.S.R.,

Union  of South Africa, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Uruguay, Venezuela.

Against:  13

Afghanistan,  Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi  Arabia, Syria, Turkey,

Yemen.

Abstained:  10

Argentina,  Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico,  United Kingdom,

Yugoslavia.

(1)  See Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session  Supplement No. 11,Volumes l-lV.

*  At its hundred and twenty-eighth plenary meeting on 29 November 1947  the General Assembly, in

accordance  with the terms of the above resolution, elected the following members  of the United Nations

Commission  on Palestine: Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama, and  Philippines.

(2)  This resolution was adopted without reference to a Committee.

(3)  The following stipulation shall be added to the declaration  concerning the Jewish State: “In the Jewish

State  adequate facilities shall be given to Arabic-speaking citizens for  the use of their language, either

orally  or in writing, in the legislature, before the Courts and in the  administration.”

(4)  In the declaration concerning the Arab State, the words “by an  Arab in the Jewish State” should be

replaced  by the words “by a Jew in the Arab State.”

(5)  On the question of the internationalization of Jerusalem, see also  General Assembly resolutions 185 (S-

2)  of 26 April 1948; 187 (S-2) of 6 May 1948, 303 (lV) of 9 December  1949, and resolutions of the

Trusteeship  Council (Section IV).

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1802

May 28

Note on the Applicability of Article 1D

Download the original attachment  UNHCR-Note-1D-2002 (357)


Revised Note on the Applicability of Article 1D
of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
to Palestinian Refugees 1
Article 1D of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees:

This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or
agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees protection or assistance.
When such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the position of
such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be
entitled to the benefits of this Convention.

A. INTRODUCTION
1. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (“1951 Convention”)
contains certain provisions whereby persons otherwise having the characteristics of
refugees, as defined in Article 1A, are excluded from the benefits of the Convention. One
such provision, paragraph 1 of Article 1D, applies to a special category of refugees for
whom separate arrangements have been made to receive protection or assistance from
organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”). This excludes from the benefits of the 1951
Convention those Palestinians who are refugees as a result of the 1948 or 1967 Arab-
Israeli conflicts, and who are receiving protection or assistance from the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (“UNRWA”).
2. While paragraph 1 of Article 1D is in effect an exclusion clause, this does not mean
that certain groups of Palestinian refugees can never benefit from the protection of the
1951 Convention. Paragraph 2 of Article 1D contains an inclusion clause ensuring the
ipso facto entitlement to the protection of the 1951 Convention of those refugees who,
without having their position definitively settled in accordance with the relevant UN
General Assembly resolutions, have ceased to receive protection or assistance from
UNRWA for any reason. The 1951 Convention hence avoids overlapping competencies
between UNRWA and UNHCR, and, in conjunction with UNHCR’s Statute, ensures the
continuity of protection and assistance to Palestinian refugees as necessary.2

UNHCR Revised Note on Article 1D of the 1951 Convention

B. PALESTINIAN REFUGEES WITHIN THE SCOPE OF ARTICLE 1D OF
THE 1951 CONVENTION
3. Given the wording, historical context and purpose of Article 1D of the 1951
Convention, certain Palestinian refugees fall within the scope of that Article because: (i)
they have the characteristics of refugees as defined in Article 1A of the 1951 Convention;
(ii) their position has not been definitively settled in accordance with relevant resolutions
of the UN General Assembly; and (iii) alternative arrangements have been made for such
refugees to receive assistance or protection from organs or agencies of the United Nations
other than UNHCR.
4. The following groups of Palestinian refugees fall within the scope of Article 1D of
the 1951 Convention:
a) Palestinians who are “Palestine refugees” within the sense of UN General
Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and subsequent UN General
Assembly Resolutions,3 and who, as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, were
displaced from that part of Mandate Palestine which became Israel, and who have
been unable to return there;4

b) Palestinians not falling within paragraph (a) above who are “displaced
persons” within the sense of UN General Assembly Resolution 2252 (ES-V) of 4
July 1967 and subsequent UN General Assembly resolutions,5 and who, as a result
of the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, have been displaced from the Palestinian territory
occupied by Israel since 1967 and have been unable to return there.6

Included within the above groups are not only persons displaced at the time of the 1948
and 1967 hostilities, but also the descendants of such persons.7 On the other hand,
persons falling within Articles 1C, 1E or 1F of the 1951 Convention do not fall within the
scope of Article 1D, even if they remain “Palestine refugees” or “displaced persons”
whose position is yet to be definitively settled in accordance with the relevant UN
General Assembly resolutions.8

5. Palestinians not falling within the scope of Article 1D who, owing to a well-
founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of
a particular social group or political opinion, are outside the Palestinian territory occupied
by Israel since 1967 and are unable or, owing to such fear, are unwilling to return there,
qualify as refugees under Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention.
C. THE APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 1D OF THE 1951 CONVENTION
6. If it is determined that a Palestinian refugee falls within the scope of Article 1D of
the 1951 Convention,9 it needs to be assessed whether he or she falls within paragraph 1
or paragraph 2 of that Article.

UNHCR Revised Note on Article 1D of the 1951 Convention

7. If the person concerned is inside UNRWA’s area of operations,10 he or she should
be considered as “at present receiving from organs or agencies other than [UNHCR]
protection and assistance” within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Article 1D, and hence is
excluded from the benefits of the 1951 Convention.
8. If, however, the person is outside UNRWA’s area of operations, he or she is not “at
present receiving from organs or agencies other than [UNHCR] protection and
assistance” within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Article 1D, and therefore “such
protection or assistance has ceased” within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article 1D.11
The person is “ipso facto entitled to the benefits of the [1951] Convention”, provided of
course that Articles 1C, 1E and 1F of the 1951 Convention do not apply. This would be
the case even if the person has never resided inside UNRWA’s area of operations.12
9. The following should be noted:
a) The term “benefits of the 1951 Convention” refers to the standard of
treatment that States Parties to the 1951 Convention are required to accord to
refugees under Articles 2 to 34 of that Convention;

b) In the case of persons falling within paragraph 2 of Article 1D, no separate
determination of well-founded fear under Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention is
required to establish that such persons are entitled to the benefits of that
Convention.

10. If the person returns to UNRWA’s area of operations, he or she remains entitled to
the benefits of the 1951 Convention until such return takes place. Upon return, he or she
no longer falls within paragraph 2 of Article 1D but falls instead within paragraph 1 of
that Article, meaning that he or she loses his or her entitlement to the benefits of the 1951
Convention even though he or she retains his or her refugee character. However, this is
not the case if a person falling within paragraph 4(b) of this Note returns to the
Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, since in that eventuality he or she
would lose his or her refugee character and would not fall within the scope of Article 1D
at all.
D. CONCLUSION
11. The position of Palestinian refugees under international refugee law is complex and
continues to evolve. This Note clarifies some pertinent aspects of the position of such
refugees and is intended to serve as guidance for use in refugee status determination.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
October 2009
UNHCR Revised Note on Article 1D of the 1951 Convention

Endnotes

1 This Note seeks to clarify various points in UNHCR’s Note on the Applicability of Article 1D of the
1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of October 2002. It replaces that Note.

2 A similar provision to Article 1D of the 1951 Convention is contained in UNHCR’s Statute, paragraph
7(c) of which stipulates that the competence of the High Commissioner shall not extend to a person who
“continues to receive from other organs or agencies of the United Nations protection or assistance”. See
UN General Assembly, Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
A/RES/428(V), 14 December 1950.

3 UNRWA’s mandate for “Palestine refugees” was established pursuant to UN General Assembly
Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and subsequent General Assembly resolutions. The term
“Palestine refugees” has never explicitly been defined by the UN General Assembly. However, for early
work on interpreting the term, see for example the following UNCCP documents: UN Doc. A/AC.25/W.45,
Analysis of paragraph 11 of the General Assembly’s Resolution of 11 December 1948, 15 May 1950, UN
Doc. W/61/Add.1, Addendum to Definition of a “Refugee” Under paragraph 11 of the General Assembly
Resolution of 11 December 1948, 29 May 1951; UN Doc. A/AC.25/W.81/Rev.2, Historical Survey of
Efforts of the United Nations Commission for Palestine to secure the implementation of paragraph 11 of
General Assembly resolution 194 (III). Question of Compensation, 2 October 1961, section III. UNRWA’s
operational definition of the term “Palestine refugees” has evolved over the years but since 1984 has been
“persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948,
and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict”.

4 The UN General Assembly resolved in paragraph 11 of Resolution 194 (III) that “the refugees wishing
to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest
practicable date” and that “compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return
and for loss of or damage to property”. In the same paragraph, the General Assembly instructed the UN
Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) to “facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic
and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation”. The General Assembly has
since noted on an annual basis that UNCCP has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the
implementation of paragraph 11 of Resolution 194 (III). See, most recently, Resolution 63/91 of 5
December 2008, in which the General Assembly notes with regret “that repatriation or compensation of the
refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been
effected, and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave
concern …”; and that UNCCP “has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the
implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III); and reiterates its request to
UNCCP “to continue exerting efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph …”

5 UNRWA’s mandate for “displaced persons” was established pursuant to UN General Assembly
Resolution 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967 and subsequent General Assembly resolutions. Essentially two
groups of Palestinian “displaced persons” have been displaced from the Palestinian territory occupied by
Israel since 1967: (i) Palestinians originating from that territory; and (ii) “Palestine refugees” who had
taken refuge in that territory prior to 1967. The territory concerned comprises the West Bank, including
East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

6 UN General Assembly Resolution 2452 (XXIII) A of 19 December 1968 called for the return of the
“displaced persons”, as reiterated by subsequent UN General Assembly resolutions on an annual basis. The
most recent such resolution is Resolution 63/92 of 5 December 2008, which “[r]eaffirms the rights of all
persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former
places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967”; expresses deep concern that “the
mechanism agreed upon by the parties in Article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-
Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 on the return of displaced persons has not been complied
with”; and stresses the necessity for “an accelerated return of displaced persons”.
UNHCR Revised Note on Article 1D of the 1951 Convention

7 The concern of the UN General Assembly with the descendants both of “Palestine refugees” and of
“displaced persons” was expressed in UN General Assembly Resolution 37/120 I of 16 December 1982,
which requested the UN Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, to
issue identity cards to “all Palestine refugees and their descendants […] as well as to all displaced persons
and to those who have been prevented from returning to their home as a result of the 1967 hostilities, and
their descendants”. In 1983, the UN Secretary-General reported on the steps that he had taken to implement
this resolution, but said that he was “unable, at this stage, to proceed further with the implementation of the
resolution” without significant additional information [becoming] available through further replies from
Governments” (paragraph 9, UN Doc. A/38/382, Special Identification cards for all Palestine refugees.
Report of the Secretary-General, 12 September 1983). From 1983 to 1987 UN General Assembly
resolutions dropped all reference to the issuance of identity cards, and then from 1988 onwards, starting
with Resolution 43/57 of 6 December 1988, the General Assembly has annually urged issuance of identity
cards only to Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since
1967. The most recent such resolution is Resolution 63/93 of 18 December 2008, paragraph 15 of which
requests “the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine
refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

8 For example, a person who is considered by the competent authorities of the country in which he or she
has taken residence as having the rights and obligations attached to the possession of the nationality of that
country, would be excluded from the benefits of the 1951 Convention in accordance with Article 1E.
Moreover, many Palestinians have acquired the nationality of a third country and any claim they make for
recognition as refugees should, therefore, be examined under Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention in
relation to the country of their new nationality. In certain cases, the Palestinian origins of such persons may,
nevertheless, be a relevant factor in the assessment of whether they are outside the country of their new
nationality “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality,
membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.

9 Persons who are “Palestine refugees” are eligible to “be registered in UNRWA’s Registration System
and to receive UNRWA services”, whereas UNRWA “makes its services available to non-registered
persons displaced as a result of the 1967 and subsequent hostilities” (UNRWA, “Consolidated Eligibility
and Registration Instructions”, 2009). Verification that a person is a registered “Palestine refugee”, or is
recorded as receiving UNRWA services, can be sought from UNRWA (www.unrwa.org). However, it
should be noted that while having been registered and/or recorded by UNRWA may help an individual
prove that he or she falls within the scope of Article 1D of the 1951 Convention, it is not conclusive as to
whether he or she falls within that Article’s scope. This is for two reasons. First, as stated in paragraph 4 of
this Note, persons falling within Articles 1C, 1E or 1F of the 1951 Convention do not fall within the scope
of Article 1D, even if they remain “Palestine refugees” or “displaced persons” whose position is yet to be
definitively settled in accordance with the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions. Second, UNRWA
has not registered and does not provide services to all persons who are “Palestine refugees”, nor does it
provide services to all persons who have been “displaced as a result of the 1967 and subsequent hostilities”.

10 UNRWA’s area of operations is currently limited to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza
Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

11 The phrase “for any reason” in paragraph 2 of Article 1D should be interpreted in its context and in line
with the object and purpose of that Article, which is to ensure continuity of protection and assistance to
Palestinian refugees, be this geographical and/or temporal continuity.

12 For example, a descendant of a “Palestine refugee” or of a Palestinian “displaced person” may never
have resided in UNRWA’s area of operations, and also not fall under Articles 1C or 1E of the 1951
Convention.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1774

May 26

BADIL – Information & Discussion Brief February 2000

BADIL – Information & Discussion Brief

Issue No. 1, February 2000

REINTERPRETING PALESTINIAN REFUGEE RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND A FRAMEWORK FOR DURABLE SOLUTIONS

Susan M. Akram, Associate Professor, Boston University School of Law

BADIL-Briefs aim to support the Palestinian-Arab and international debate about strategies for promotion of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, restitution, and compensation in the framework of a just and durable solution of the Palestinian/Arab – Israeli conflict.

Background

The paper presented here is based on a much larger brief produced by two experts in international refugee law, Susan Akram and Guy Goodwin-Gill assisted by a team of law students at Boston University. Both the larger brief and the paper presented here argue for a re-interpretation of the current international refugee law which adequately expresses the principle of heightened protection for Palestinian refugees, a principle which had guided the drafting and consequent approval of international law and UN resolutions.

The author argues that the current lack of legal protection of Palestinian refugees derives from the misinterpretation of the existing refugee regime, especially the 1951 Refugee Convention, with regard to the Palestinian case. She proposes a legal reinterpretation which – if widely adopted – could turn international refugee law into an efficient tool for the protection of Palestinian refugee rights, including international protection in the framework of a durable solution based on the Palestinian right of return. The paper also addresses central strategic questions pertaining to legal representation and law enforcement which must be resolved in this context.

This paper was prepared for the international conference “The Right of Return: Palestinian Refugees and Prospects for a Durable Peace” organized by TARI in Boston on 8 April 2000. BADIL Resource Center thanks the organizers for their kind permission for its dissemination.


Introduction

Palestinian refugees have a status that is unique under international refugee law. Unlike any other group or category of refugees in the world, Palestinians are singled out for exceptional treatment in the major international legal instruments which govern the rights and obligations of states towards refugees: the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention) and its 1967 Protocol (Refugee Protocol); the Statute of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and, specifically with regard to the Palestinians, the Regulations governing the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Almost all states and international entities have interpreted the relevant provisions in these instruments as severely restricting the rights of Palestinian refugees qua refugees in comparison to the rights guaranteed every other refugee group in the world. As a result, Palestinian refugees have been treated as ineligible for the most basic protection rights guaranteed under international law to refugees in general, further eroding the precarious international legal guarantees that international human rights and humanitarian law currently extends to this population.

There are a number of consequences flowing from this unique application of refugee law to the Palestinian refugee situation. First, it affects the question of the type of protection afforded Palestinians under international refugee law, as opposed to the assistance they receive as refugees. Second, it affects the extent to which Palestinian refugees can assert guarantees of international human rights and humanitarian law protections, and whether there are fora available for them to assert such rights. Third, it implicates the issue of what entity or agency has the authority to represent the interests of Palestinian refugees, whether in international bodies such as the United Nations, before other international or domestic legal/political fora, or in negotiations with states such as Israel. Fourth, it raises the complex issue of whether individual human rights recognized under international law can be protected and promoted in the Palestinian refugee case when such rights collide with collective rights under international law—in this case, the right to self-determination.

It is the contention of this author that interpreting refugee law principles and instruments as requiring a special and exceptionally weak international human rights regime for Palestinian refugees is an incorrect interpretation of the law. Palestinian refugees are entitled not to reduced protection, but to a heightened protection regime. These conclusions are based on an exhaustive review of the plain language of the relevant provisions, the intentions of the drafters of the instruments, and the purpose and scope of coverage of the instruments themselves. Reinterpreting the instruments in this way dramatically changes the conclusions one draws on each of the issues listed above. This paper addresses in summary form the four issues listed, examines their application under the reinterpreted instruments, and discusses some of their implications for establishing durable solutions for Palestinian refugees.

International Refugee Law Principles and Instruments Applicable to Palestinian Refugees

The primary international instrument governing the rights of refugees and the obligations of states towards them is the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This Convention and its 1967 Protocol incorporate the most widely accepted and applied definition of refugee, and establish minimum guarantees of protection towards such refugees by state parties. The Refugee Convention and Protocol define a “refugee” as a person who is outside the country of his nationality and is unwilling or unable to obtain the protection of his country due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. However, the Convention has a separate provision that applies solely to Palestinian refugees. Refugee Convention Article 1D states:

This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance.

When such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefits of this Convention.

Although Palestinian refugees are not specifically mentioned in this provision, it is evident both from the drafting history and the interrelationship of Article 1D with three other instruments that Palestinians are the only group to which the Article applies. These other instruments are the Statute of the UNHCR, the Regulations governing UNRWA, and UN Resolution 194 establishing the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP).

Paragraph 7 of the UNHCR Statute provides that “the competence of the High Commissioner…shall not extend to a person: …. who continues to receive from other organs or agencies of the United Nations protection or assistance.” The “other agencies of the United Nations” originally referred both to UNRWA and to the UNCCP. The significance of the language in these provisions lies primarily in the distinction between “protection” and “assistance”, which are dramatically different concepts in refugee law. UNRWA’s mandate is solely one of providing assistance to refugees’ basic daily needs by way of food, clothing and shelter. In contrast, UNHCR’s mandate, in tandem with the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention, establishes a far more comprehensive scheme of protection for refugees qualifying under the Refugee Convention. This regime guarantees to refugees all the rights embodied in international conventions, and mandates the UNHCR to represent refugees, including intervening with states on refugees’ behalf, to ensure such protections to them. Aside from the distinction between the mandates of UNRWA and UNHCR, the refugee definition applicable to Palestinians is different and far narrower under UNRWA Regulations than the Refugee Convention definition. Consistent with its assistance mandate, UNRWA applies a refugee definition that relates solely to persons from Palestine meeting certain criteria that are “in need” of such assistance.

Although UNRWA was not authorized to serve the protection function given to the UNHCR, this was not because the United Nations General Assembly believed that Palestinian refugees were any less deserving of protection. The Palestinian refugee situation was considered of such import that a separate “protection” agency was established for the sole purpose of resolving the Palestinian refugee crisis. This agency was the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP). The General Assembly established the UNCCP by Resolution 194, setting forth its composition and terms of reference. The Resolution provided for the UNCCP to comprise three States Members of the United Nations, who were to continue the efforts of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine and begin conciliation efforts immediately. The UNCCP was further instructed to “take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them”—specifically, according to UNGA Res. 194(III), to ensure repatriation and compensation.

Thus, the UNCCP was entrusted with the protection function normally assigned to the UNHCR, but with a very specific mandate concerning the requirements of a just resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem. Every recommendation to the UN, every UN Resolution concerning the Palestinians drafted when UNCCP, UNHCR and UNRWA were created, affirms that the consensus of the world body was that resolution of the Palestinian problem had to involve realizing the refugees’ right of return to their homes and to appropriate compensation for their losses. The UNCCP struggled to fulfill its mandate. Its efforts were stymied by a complete stalemate: the Arab states and the Palestinians demanded full repatriation, while Israel refused to accept any repatriation of the refugees. Thus, within four years of its formation, the UNCCP devolved from an agency charged with the “protection of the rights, property and interests of the refugees” to little more than a symbol of UN concern for the unresolved aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A Reinterpretation of the Regime Applicable to Palestinian Refugees, and the Impact of Reinterpretation on the Search for Durable Refugee Solutions.

According to the widespread interpretation of these instruments and the mandate of these agencies, Palestinian refugees are entitled to nothing more than assistance for their basic quotidian needs through the offices of UNRWA; they are left outside the mandate of protection of UNHCR and the Refugee Convention; and with UNCCP’s protection mandate emasculated, they are left without any of the protection mechanisms or guarantees to which all other refugees in the world are entitled. Certain consequences flow from this standard interpretation of the Palestinian refugee regime. These include that no agency (since none has a viable protection mandate) has the authority to intervene on behalf of Palestinian refugees to represent their interests in any international fora, or to protect their human rights against infringement by states, or to negotiate on their behalf to demand a just solution to their refugee situation. In addition, since this interpretation assumes Palestinians are left outside the Refugee Convention regime as long as UNRWA continues to provide assistance, they are not eligible for the guarantees of that Convention in the Arab states, including absorption and citizenship. A corollary to this premise is that under the most prevalent interpretations of Article 1D by non-Arab states (mostly European and North America) the majority who apply are also considered ineligible for permanent resettlement as refugees or asylees in third states. A final consequence of this special Palestinian refugee regime is that there is neither a representative for the refugees with authority to take their claims to international fora, nor is there a forum with jurisdiction over their claims of repatriation, compensation or restitution.

There is now substantial evidence that the prevalent interpretation of these instruments and relevant agency mandates is incorrect. As this author has argued exhaustively elsewhere, the history and purpose of Article 1D in the context of the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem indicates that the ipso facto language was intended to provide Palestinian refugees with continuity of protection, albeit under various organizations and instrumentalities. Rather than interpreting Article 1D– along with Paragraph 7 of the UNHCR Statute and the UNRWA Regulations—as an exclusion clause, it is more accurate to interpret it as a contingent inclusion clause. This interpretation is far more consistent with the plain language, drafting history and applicable canons of treaty construction of the relevant provisions referred to above. Such an interpretation is grounded, as well, on two main factors. First, the UN body has recognized through hundreds of resolutions that it bore a large part of the responsibility for creating the refugee situation in the first place by way of General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) of November 1947, recommending partition of Palestine. Second, the Palestinian refugee problem was to be resolved on the basis of a special formula, that of repatriation and compensation–on which there was complete consensus by all states but Israel– rather than the formula commonly accepted for refugees at the time, which was third-state resettlement. The consensus of the world body, as is evident from the drafting history of the Refugee Convention and related instruments, was that the Palestinian refugee situation required special attention because of the unique responsibility of the UN in creating it, and was of such urgency that it should not be subsumed under the existing refugee regime, but required a heightened protection regime. The discussions in the drafting history of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UNHCR Statute, and the Committee and Conference that drafted the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons provides ample evidence for such a conclusion.

Viewing the instruments in this way completely alters the conclusions one draws to the questions raised here at the outset. As to the first question, that of what type of protection Palestinians are guaranteed under international refugee law, as opposed to the assistance they receive as refugees, Article 1D in the context of a regime of heightened protection requires that they receive at a minimum the full panoply of protection rights as all other refugees in the world. Appropriately analyzed, the heightened regime set up two agencies with immediate mandates over the Palestinian refugees: UNRWA, which was to be the assistance agency, and UNCCP, which was to be the protection agency. Article 1D’s function was to ensure that if for some reason either of these agencies failed to exercise its role before a final resolution of the refugee situation, that agency’s function was to be transferred to the UNHCR, and the Refugee Convention would fully and immediately apply without preconditions to the Palestinian refugees. That is what the ‘protection or assistance’ and the ipso facto language of Article 1D requires. The ramifications of this are quite clear: first, if UNCCP has failed to fulfill its protection mandate, that function must be fulfilled by UNHCR. UNHCR has for quite some time expanded its protection mandate over Palestinian refugees in some situations, in de facto if not explicit recognition of this requirement. The protective duties of UNHCR spelled out in its Statute thus applicable to Palestinian refugees include:

(i) Promoting the conclusion and ratification of international conventions for the protection of refugees, supervising their application and proposing amendments thereto…

(ii) Assisting governmental and private efforts to promote voluntary repatriation or assimilation within new national communities;

(iii) Promoting the admission of refugees, not excluding those in the most destitute categories, to territories of States;

(iv) Endeavoring to obtain permission to transfer their assets and especially those necessary for resettlement.

Thus, UNHCR is fully empowered to oversee and implement the appropriate Conventions and Resolutions relating to the rights and enforcement of solutions for the Palestinian refugees. Second, if the UNCCP ceases to function (as it has), triggering the alternative regime under Article 1D, then the Refugee Convention and all its guarantees towards refugees becomes fully applicable to the Palestinian refugees as well. These guarantees include rights to freedom of movement, access to courts, administrative assistance, regarding movable and immovable property, freedom of religion, and housing rights among many others.

The second question flows logically from the first, that is, what is the extent to which Palestinian refugees can assert guarantees of international human rights and humanitarian law protections? The answers to question one begin to answer this question as well: at an absolute minimum, all international human rights and humanitarian protections available to other refugees are equally available to Palestinian refugees. In addition, refugee law principles applicable to other refugee situations are applicable to the Palestinians as well. These principles include the guarantee that the options for permanent solutions available to refugees will be guided by each refugee’s voluntary choice in determining which of the three main durable solutions s/he wishes to exercise for him/herself. In fact, in delineating durable solutions, UNHCR describes them as voluntary repatriation, voluntary host country absorption, or voluntary third-country resettlement. Refugee law principles and precedents also include the right to claim restitution of property, and/or compensation for losses caused by the refugee-producing state. In the last twenty years the principles on refugee return, restitution and compensation have been greatly strengthened through inclusion in numerous negotiated settlements, such as the Comprehensive Plan of Action in the Indochinese refugee situation; the Bosnia-Serbia settlements in the Dayton Peace Accords; and the peace agreements on Guatemala and El Salvador.

But the heightened refugee regime for Palestinians requires the application of an additional body of declaratory principles, that of the numerous UN Resolutions which are to be implemented in any final resolution of the refugee problem. The legal effect of these Resolutions, which include on the refugee issue UNGA Res. 194 and UNGA Res. 181, has been discussed at length elsewhere, but is relevant to the body of rights and principles applicable to the Palestinians as refugees. The Resolutions establish a body of legal authority reflecting the consensus of the world community that in addition to standard refugee law and rights, the Palestinian case is to be resolved in accordance with a particular agreed-upon solution, that of repatriation and compensation. Article 1D’s language, “without the position of such persons being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations…” emphasizes that Palestinian refugees continue to be entitled to Refugee Convention benefits under the special scheme because their situation is not resolved unless the solution is consistent with the UN Resolutions. This also means that if Palestinian refugees obtain residence in host or resettlement states, their right to exercise the choice of repatriation or compensation is not necessarily compromised because their position has not been “definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions”. The fact that UNGA Res. 194 has been reaffirmed over 100 times is strong evidence of its authority as customary international law on the Palestinian refugee question.

As to the third question, that of which entity or agency has the authority to represent the interests of Palestinian refugees, one must first recognize that the special regime requires that a separate agency be empowered with the capacity to stand in the shoes of the Palestinian refugees. With that premise, if the UNCCP is not capable of carrying out such a mandate, the obvious choice—effectuating Article 1D—is the UNHCR. Indeed, UNHCR has a clear mandate to represent refugees in most international fora, in negotiations over durable solutions for refugees, and in bilateral or multilateral committees or task forces. The International Court of Justice has recognized in its Advisory Opinion on Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations that the UN has the capacity to bring an international claim against a state with a view to obtaining reparation for damage caused to its agent or to the “interests of which it is the guardian”. Under the theory of this Advisory Opinion, UNHCR, as a UN subsidiary body, has the right to represent the interests of refugees before that body. Although UNRWA has been present in an observer capacity in the committees established by the multilateral negotiations under the Madrid agreement and the bilateral negotiations begun at Oslo, its presence has been protested by Israel, and it currently does not have capacity to represent the refugees by the terms of its own Regulations. A final possibility for representing the refugees is creating separate bodies directly authorized by the refugees to carry out their wishes. Examples are the various Jewish groups that negotiated for restitution and compensation with the European Nazi states following World War II. Another example is the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, which represents the interests of those individuals in their claims for restitution and compensation against the Arab states.

The issue of representation of the Palestinian refugees is critical and urgent vis-à-vis the final status talks. The PLO, which is conducting the negotiations on behalf of Palestinians, represents the interests of all the stakeholders on the Palestinian side. Thus, the PLO is not the appropriate representative of the refugees’ interests, particularly as in the Palestinian case individual refugee interests may be diametrically opposed to the collective rights of the Palestinians, and to other stakeholders in the process. Under refugee law principles, the interests of refugees should be separately represented in negotiations involving their long-term solutions. Under the heightened protection regime established for the Palestinian refugees, the representation issue must immediately be resolved by way of one of the options suggested here.

As to the last issue, whether individual human rights recognized under international law can be protected and promoted in the Palestinian refugee case when such rights collide with collective rights, the Palestinian case appears unique in this regard. It is unique in that in no other refugee situation has the entire population been deprived of nationality as well as access to the entire territory comprising their former state. The UN Resolutions on the Palestine question follow two different tracks: initially, they focused on individual rights; and then, in the 1970′s, the Resolutions called for a solution focusing on the collective right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. Based on the premise that Palestinian refugees are entitled to benefit from the precedents established in other refugee situations, one can apply the formulae used in similar cases where both individual and collective rights are involved. In each such situation—Bosnia and Kosova are prime examples—the collective rights to an independent entity or statehood were preserved, along with a mechanism for individual refugees to assert their claims to repatriate and obtain restitution and/or compensation. Each of these situations involved the establishment of claims commissions as part of a negotiated settlement, but the right of the individual to assert his/her claim was preserved independently of the outcome of the self-determination issue.


Conclusion

Accurately interpreting Article 1D of the Refugee Convention and the provisions related to it in the UNHCR Statute, UNCCP Resolution and UNRWA Regulations compel the conclusion that a heightened protection regime was intended—and, indeed, established—for Palestinian refugees. Although it is not possible to do more than summarize the bases for the conclusions drawn here, and their consequences for the Palestinian-Israeli Final Status Talks on the issue of refugees, it is critical to assess the overall refugee law framework in which a final resolution of the Palestinian refugee question must be found. There is no evidence that a weakened protection system was ever envisioned for Palestinian refugees by the drafters of the relevant instruments. Moreover, there is no legal justification for denying Palestinian refugees the benefits of the existing refugee regime governing the rights of all other refugees worldwide. To be consistent with international refugee law principles and precedents, certain immediate issues must be addressed. One, an agency or entity fully competent to represent the interests and further the claims of the refugees must be immediately empowered to do so, both in the context of the negotiations themselves and before international and other fora. Two, the alternative scheme of Article 1D must be recognized as affording Palestinian refugees full benefits under the Refugee Convention, including access to the right of asylum and residence in whatever state they find themselves until they can exercise their rights of return, compensation and restitution, in accordance with the relevant UN Resolutions. Three, UNHCR, as the appropriately-mandated agency, must immediately intervene with Israel and with other state signatories to the Refugee Convention in which Palestinian refugees are found to demand the protection of the refugees and prevent further erosion of the refugees’ human rights pending a final resolution of their status. This may include the agency’s utilizing the ICJ’s advisory opinion to make claims before that body until there is a fully sovereign entity empowered to raise such claims on the refugees’ behalf. Four, UNHCR or the agency chosen to represent the refugees should draft its own framework for durable solutions based on the appropriate UN Resolutions on the question, and make clear to all stakeholders that an agreement not based on these Resolutions embodying the consensus of repatriation, restitution and compensation will not be acceptable to the refugees. Five, refugee communities themselves need to become aware of the legal framework available to them in order to accurately assess options and possibilities for raising their own claims within and outside the context of negotiations. Only with such a framework can a just and durable solution to the Palestinian refugee situation be found.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://palref.com/eng/?p=1723

May 25

Human Rights Council – Beginnings and Outcomes

History of the United Nations (Deactivated) Human Rights Committee:

Human Rights Committee is the highest human rights body in the world. It is the leading body in charge of policymaking in the realm of human rights within the United Nations. Established in 1946, it took over investigating human rights violations, checking individual protests implying being victims of anti-human-rights actions, originating new human-rights-related norms through declarations and conventions, and providing support and consultation services to nations that need help in protecting human rights. After establishment, its first task was to formulate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved in 1948, as its greatest achievement and a turning point in the history of human rights.

The Committee first had had 18 member states, a number that increased several times until it reached as many as 53 states. Members are elected for a term of three years based on geographical site. The Human Rights Committee holds one annual six-week meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from mid-March to late April. That meeting is the biggest annual gathering of major and minor countries, governmental and nongovernmental organization, as well as human rights advocates from every continent of the world. Every year, over the 6 week period, about 3,000 participants attend that forum. The Committee addresses the conditions of human rights everywhere in the world, and examines information received from states, nongovernmental organizations, and other resources.

During its periodical session, the Committee makes resolutions and gives a presidential statement inviting concerned governments to take tangible actions, creating work groups to develop a new convention or international treaty, or specifying an official worker to look at certain issue or nation. The network of special officials, experts and representatives, assigned personally by the Committee to voluntarily and part-time help in its work throughout the year by studying some case or nation, all are called special procedures.

Overview on the Main Problems of Human Rights Committee:

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is highly criticized for inadequate performance, lacking credibility, and inability to cope with real challenges faced today by the world in the field of human rights. Criticisms come from every member and nonmember state, nongovernmental organizations, and even the diplomats of the United Nations itself. They are arisen by both developed and less-developed countries. The primary shortcomings of the Committee that caused its current problems can be briefly summarized in the following points:

  • Membership

The Committee includes as its members some of the worst governments all over the world in relation to respecting human rights domestically. Those states worked hard to have permanent membership of the Committee for them to enjoy the right to vote, which guarantees them protection against censure. Thereupon, membership of the Committee has turned from a group representing most of the United Nations member states with the purpose of defending and promoting human rights by utilizing the Committee’s procedures into being a list of governments solely concerned with protecting themselves from any type of supervision over their human rights agendas, hindering any discussion of the most important and serious issues of human rights, and disempowering the Committee to prevent violations from taking place or to effectively stop them after they are committed. It is relevant to mention that the Human Rights Committee has a procedure that is usually called ‘naming and shaming’. Although the Committee’s resolutions are political ones that have no legal obligation and consequently no specific enforcement procedure, the image of a state censured by the Human Rights Committee’s annual meeting is largely affected.

  • Political Prejudice, Selectivity and Inequality

Among the results of the Committee’s membership complication is that political considerations began to prevail most of the Committee’s proceedings and resolutions, leaving little concern for the values of human rights, and giving second priority to protecting victims of severe violations to human rights. Therefore, those states whose practices are under tight check are only the minor states which do not have geopolitical power enough to negotiate with other members into overlooking its actions. It has become usual that the Committee fails for several years to approve or pass resolutions concerning human rights. Also, it is no longer surprising that some states use procedural tricks to stop discussions about the most substantial issues of human rights. Criteria by which a state is supervised or censured differ not by the state’s list of violations, but by its weight and power.

  • Inefficiency:

In addition to the abovementioned problems, the Human Rights Committee suffers from structural problems that reduce its effectiveness in dealing with challenges facing it. One real problem was the limited time it had. Assembling only once a year, the Committee had to discuss in the period of 6 weeks an increasingly huge number of human rights issues scheduled for discussions. As a result, the time available for each of these important issues is never enough to make a serious, extensive discussion about them. Moreover, being absent all through the year except for 6 weeks in March and April, the Committee cannot respond to emergencies that may occur while it is unassembled and need its immediate intervention.

The Committee gathers information and handles claims about violations over the year via independent experts named by the Committee to voluntarily contribute to its efforts beside their basic duties in their states. Financing the experts’ activities and providing academic and human support to them is done by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Commissioner, however, has severe inefficiency of financial resources, which reduces its ability to support the experts. Financial shortfall impairs procedures of keeping track of that the recommendations given by the independent experts are implemented by the states. Reports, meetings and activities which the Human Rights Committee asks the High Commissioner to prepare and finance are also a heavy burden on the (already limited) budget of the High Commissioner, which is less than 2 percent of the United Nations budget, despite the weight given to human rights in the United Nations Charter.

Those chronic problems and increasing criticisms directed to the Committee every year caused a loss of trust, which sabotage the credibility of the Committee. Everyone realized that the situation can no longer go this way. Various parties introduced different proposals to reform and modify the status of the Committee. These efforts resulted in the inactivation of the Human Rights Committee, which was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2006, pursuing resolution A/RES/60/251 approved by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006.

Negative Attitudes Towards Reform

  • Combat Against Protective and Monitoring Functions of the Human Rights Council:

As protecting human rights against violation and implementing vows taken by the world states relating to human rights are becoming of first priority for human rights efforts, after achievements of the second half of the twentieth century in standardizing and formulating human rights as conventions imposing legal obligations on the signing states, there have been naturally several parties which have concerns about such a new trend that moves human rights from moral promises and made-up conventions to protection and securing help. Those groups take the establishment of the recent Council as an act of confirming that concern-arising approach. So they try to give the council the same role as that of the previous Human Rights Committee, to disable the Council’s work, to prevent it from undertaking protective and supervisory functions, and to limit its role to publishing values of human rights, providing technical assistance and making formal deliberations on human rights issues without addressing the reality. Therefore, the important international body would have no power to check for or prevent human rights violations.

  • Attempts to Restrain Participation of Nongovernmental Organizations:

Nongovernmental organizations interested in human rights have a constructive role to play in protecting human rights, discovering violations and enforcing international human rights conventions. They also have a substantial role of enhancing the human rights system in the United Nations and launching the Human Rights Council.

Many parties strive to get rid of the disturbance made by independent human rights organizations, preferring that less-independent entities participate in the Council’s sessions.

In Focus

Criticisms have been directed to the new Council. For some, the beginning was humble. They show concern that political conditions and international relationships may affect negatively the Council and its resolutions. They are anxious that the Council may be turned to a “Wise Council” that holds discussions and produces recommendations with no guarantees for putting them into effect. Also, they maintain, if the current changes are just superficial, insubstantial ones, then chances are that the whole human rights system is truly liable to a relapse. On the other hand, some points of view expect the Council to reinforce its power and to stand for hopes pinned on them.

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Information are derived from several sources on the Web: BBC, SWISS INFO, UN, AMNESTY

 

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