Palestinian Observer Mission Assures Skeptics: Statehood Will Not Endanger Refugee Rights


▣ FAQ ▣ Palestine Statehood Bid


PNN – Palestine News Network 09.09.11 – 16:00

PNN – In a memorandum dated September 2011 and prepared by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, Palestinian diplomats claimed that the September bid for statehood would not render the PLO obsoleteor endanger the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Skeptics of the statehood bid, most notably the Oxfordprofessor of public international law Guy Goodwin-Gill, have said the upgradein Palestinian representation would replace the current PLO with a State of Palestine and since the PLO is the “sole representative of the Palestinian people,” including the nearly five million stateless refugees worldwide, if it was to be replaced, its responsibility for their right of return would disappear.

Image“These arguments have no basis in the actual national,regional, and international legislation and understandings that exist,”according to the memorandum, citing the PLO Charter and Palestine’s membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC, in which Palestine was granted membership as the state of all Palestinian people worldwide.
The memorandum also cited the example of the 1998 upgrading of the UN Palestinian delegation to observer status, which occurred “without prejudice toexisting rights and privileges attained by the PLO in previous resolutions.”
The first claim of the memorandum is that the statehood bid refers only to the rights of Palestinians to self-determination and a state governed by Palestinians—namely the state within the 1967 borders that the UNGeneral Assembly will vote on later this month—while the other legitimate grievancesof Palestinians, such as the refugees’ right of return, will be resolved later.
“The right to self-determination and freedom and other humanrights, including the right of refugees to return, are not mutually exclusiveand the achievement of one does not negate the other,” the memorandumexplained. “Accordingly, the current arguments circulating about the potentialdangers and harm that could be caused to the status of the PLO…are distortedarguments, based on faulty assumptions that ignore national, regional, andinternational legislation that exists in this regard.”

“Regardless of the statehood initiative, it is understoodthat the plight of the Palestinian refugees must be politically, definitively,and justly resolved.”

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