NAM and Peace in Gaza

The Non – Aligned Movement has always cherished the principles of peaceful co-existence amongst nation states and has made concerted efforts towards the establishment of an international order characterized by peace and respect for the sovereignty of nations. The position of the Non Aligned Movement on the ongoing Israel- Palestine military conflict in the ongoing Gaza region is another instance whereby the Non Aligned Movement has endeavoured to end military aggression of warring states. The Palestinian issue has been and remains a central concern of the Non-Alignment Movement which continues to uphold the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state. In pursuit of the aforementioned objective, NAM has taken effort towards a just and comprehensive settlement of the problems of Palestinians and sought for a peaceful solution with the other conflicting party Israel.
This was manifested in the NAM emergency meeting on Palestine called in Tehran on August 4, 2014 which was attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in addition to the foreign ministers of Palestine, Lebanon, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Sudan, Uganda and Iran. Other countries were represented by their deputy foreign minister. The Palestine Committee was founded in 1983; it includes among its member states Algeria, Egypt, Bangladesh, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Senegal, South Africa, Colombia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Iran chairs the current session of the committee.
In the current Gaza crisis threatening peace in the Middle East, the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of NAM along with G-77 and China has made efforts to end the Gaza crisis. In accordance with NAM principles that condemn all forms of military aggression, a communiqué issued by JCC has been critical of the military aggression that has displaced many civilians. JCC also called for serious efforts to compel full respect for international humanitarian law and ensure protection for the civilian population in the war affected regions
Opposing any form of military aggression, the JCC has demanded compliance with the November 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Palestine. NAM believes that international laws and convention must play a more pro-active role in the amicable solution to the Israel Palestine conflict. This is evident from the successive NAM summit declarations whereby NAM urges all parties to respect the pertinent resolutions on Palestine. NAM also advocates the increasing participation of Palestinian leaders in the peace process. NAM leaders stated in the JCC communiqué” “Israel must be demanded to abide forthwith by all of its obligations under international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention, and by all relevant United Nations resolution”. The fourth Geneva Convention pertains to humanitarian protection of civilians during war-periods. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.”. Within the international community the overwhelming view is that Article 49 is applicable to the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights and this position has also been supported by the Non Aligned Movement along with prominent international organizations such as International Committee of the Red Cross, UN bodies, and the International Court of Justice.
NAM has also urged the UN security council to exert more efforts towards the solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and have called on the Security Council to act immediately to call for and secure a ceasefire, contribute to a de-escalation of the crisis situation on the ground, and salvage the prospects for realizing a just and lasting peace and security in the Middle East. The JCC communiqué said” The Security Council must uphold its Charter duties with an immediate viewing to saving and protecting innocent civilian lives and averting the further destabilization of the situation, which constitutes a threat to regional and international peace and security, and must adopt a resolution to this effect”. With two-third of the 120 Members of the UN comprising of states that are party to the Non Aligned Movement, NAM, along with G-77 can exert more pressure in the UN security council and as such has the power to create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN and other international forums. As such, NAM must make concerted efforts for a just and peaceful solution of the Middle East problem.

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