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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Announcement: Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Files Applications to Join International Treaties

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Files Applications to Join International
Treaties
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24782

RAMALLAH, April, 2, 2014 (WAFA) – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of
President Mahmoud Abbas, have officially filed letters of accession to 15
multilateral treaties and convention before the relevant international
parties.

The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday: “On Tuesday 1st April,
following a unanimous decision by the Palestinian leadership, including the
PLO Executive Committee, President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters of accession
to 15 multilateral treaties and conventions, an ability which Palestine
gained following its upgrade to Observer State status by the UN General
Assembly in November 2012.”

The statement said the step came as Israeli declined to release the fourth
group of pre-Oslo prisoners on four phases, previously agreed on by the
Israeli and Palestinian sides in return for the Palestinians to postpone
joining international treaties.

“In July 2013, the PLO took the difficult decision to postpone accession to
multilateral treaties and conventions in exchange for the release of 104
pre-Oslo prisoners in four stages,” the statement said.

“Since Israel failed to release the last group of prisoners, the State of
Palestine is no longer obliged to postpone its rights to accede to
multilateral treaties and conventions.”

“The fourth and final release of 30 prisoners was set to take place on March
29th 2014. As Israeli officials indicated that Israel would not go through
with the release, the PLO requested that the US administration ensure that
Israel fulfill its commitment.”

The ministry said the latest step does not mean that negotiations process is
over.

“The PLO remains committed to this nine-month process, which ends on April
29.” “Despite the escalation of oppressive Israeli policies such as the
killing of Palestinian civilians, settlement construction, raids on
vulnerable communities, arbitrary arrests and detentions, home demolitions
and the removal of residency rights, we remained committed to the
negotiations process and supported US efforts.”

President Abbas signed letters of accession to the following 15 multilateral
treaties and conventions:
1.The Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional
Protocol
2.The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
3.The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
4.The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in
armed conflict
5.The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women
6.The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land
and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
7.The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
8.The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
9.The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination
10.The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
11.The United Nations Convention against Corruption
12.The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
13.The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the
Crime of Apartheid
14.The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
15.The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“These treaties and conventions will help to protect and promote basic
rights of the Palestinian people and will enable the State of Palestine to
be a responsible actor on the international stage.”

The ministry further said Palestine is entitled to join a total of 63
treaties, conventions and agencies and “will do so in the best interests of
its people, as and when it sees fit.” “This is a right that all UN member
and Observer states have.”

“This is the fulfillment of Palestine’s right and has nothing to do with
negotiations or the reaching of an agreement. As President Abbas expressed
during the announcement, the Palestinian position remains unchanged.”

“The PLO seeks to achieve an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on
the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital with a just solution to
the refugee issue based on UN General Assembly resolution 194. It will use
all legal means to achieve this, including negotiations and peaceful popular
resistance.”

Furthermore, the ministry said the step does not undermine the U.S. peace
efforts. It said: “Palestine is not seeking to clash with anyone. The tools
it uses are legitimate and non-violent. The PLO bases its action on
international law and the fulfillment of the long overdue and inalienable
rights of its people.”

“The Israeli government needs understand that negotiations are a non-violent
tool to achieve peace rather than a smoke screen behind which it can
continue its violations of human rights, further its settlement enterprise,
and make the two-state solution increasingly impossible.”

M.N./T.R.

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