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[31 Oct 2011]

THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF UNESCO ADMITS PALESTINE AS A MEMBER STATE

The General Conference of UNESCO voted today in favour of the admission of Palestine as a Member State of the Organization. For the association to tak  effect, Palestine must now sign the ratification of the Constitution of UNESCO.

The entry of Palestine brings to 195 the number of Member States of UNESCO.

The vote showed 107 votes in favour of admission and 14 votes against with 52 abstentions.

Voted in favour of admission European countries as Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg and Finland, almost all Arab and African countries, China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Voted against, inter alia, the United States, Canada and Germany. Portugal, UK and Italy joined the group of countries that abstained.

Admission to UNESCO of states that are not members of the United Nations requires a recommendation of the Executive Council of the Organization and an approval by a two thirds majority in the General Conference of Member States.

The General Conference is composed of representatives of Member States of the Organization. It meets every two years with the participation of Member States and Associate Members, together with observers from non-Member States, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Each Member shall have one vote, regardless of size or value of its contribution to the budget.

The General Conference determines the policies and main lines of action of the Organization. It's its job to establish the programs and budget of UNESCO. It also elects the members of the Executive Board and appoints, every four years, the Director-General.

The mission of UNESCO is to contribute to peace building, poverty eradication, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture, communication and information.

 
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[17 Sep 2011]

SEVENTY PROMINENT MEMBERS OF THE PORTUGUESE SOCIETY SUBSCRIBE APPEAL TO THE RECOGNITION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE AS A FULL MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Responding to an initiative of the MPPM, seventy individuals, representing all sectors of Portuguese society, which include three Pessoa Awardees, signed an appeal in which is recommended to the Portuguese government "the adoption in all international forums, and in particular the Security Council and UN General Assembly, of a position favourable to the recognition of the Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, as a full member of the United Nations." The underwriters include university professors and researchers, members of European and Portuguese Parliament, mayors and city councillors, union leaders, artists, directors and actors, writers and poets and other professionals.

The paper reviews the 64 years that have elapsed since, in 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution number 181 which established the principle of establishing two states, until today, in which only the state of Israel was formally established and accepted as a full member of the United Nations, and concludes: "In this context, the recognition of Palestine, in the pre-1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, as a full member of the United Nations, is a direct and legitimate result of the principles established since 1947 in the relevant UN resolutions. This decision does not preclude or compromise the necessary future bilateral regulation that will determine the internationally recognized borders design of the new state of Palestine. In this context, however, considering the threats to the viability of a resolution to this conflict, in a fair way and in accordance with international law, the full recognition of Palestine within the United Nations reflects a renewed commitment by the international community in implementing the principle of two states and presents itself, therefore, as a useful contribution to the achievement of its implementation. "

 
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[30 Jul 2011]

MPPM DENOUNCES ESCALATION OF THE SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND CALLS FOR AN END TO FOREIGN MILITARY INTERVENTION IN LIBYA

The MPPM expresses its deep concern at the continuing deterioration of the situation in Palestine and the dangers of an escalation of military confrontation widespread in North Africa and the Middle East. The living conditions of the Palestinian people become worse day by day, and Israel persists, with impunity, in the way of deepening colonization of the occupied territories and refusal to recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people. It is unacceptable that the proposed recognition of Palestine as a Member State of the United Nations - a proposal just and legitimate, according to international law and the legitimate aspirations of national liberation of the Palestinian people, which will be taken to the UN in the coming weeks - is the subject of resistance, threats and blackmail by the Israeli authorities and the U.S..

At the same time, the escalation of conflicts and instability caused by international military intervention in Libya objectively favours Israel, does undermine the achievement of the establishment of a viable state of Palestine, free and sovereign, seeks to prevent the development of democratic and progressive triggered uprisings in many countries, and threatens to ignite the fire of armed conflicts throughout the region. Faced with protests occurred in mid-February in Libya, Western countries, especially France, the United Kingdom and the United States, chose to submit to the Security Council of the United Nations a resolution (No. 1973) allowing a military intervention against that sovereign country. Justified by invoking humanitarian reasons, the military attacks on Libya have sown death and suffering among the population, and destroyed services and infrastructure of the country, imposing a profound setback in their level of development. The military intervention in Libya was touted as a measure to protect the civilian population, but this is, after all, its main victim. The contours of the offensive underway reveal that, under the stated objectives, hides, after all, a strategy of domination and exploitation of important natural resources of that country and direct interference in the African continent and the Arab world in revolt. This war, following what happened elsewhere in a more or less recent past, confirms that the violation of the principle of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states, far from resolving or soothing the conflict, deepens tensions and perpetuates the conflicts.

In this international context, the continuation of foreign military intervention in Libya brings increased dangers to peace in the Mediterranean region. Added to the military intervention of Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and the continued repression of the population of that country, as well as the interference and meddling in the affairs of several of the states in the region, like Lebanon or Syria - independent of the particular consideration on the nature each regime and the nature of political processes under way - the military attacks on Libya prevents and undermines the democratic and progressive popular movements started in Tunisia and Egypt and spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The speed with which the Western powers were quick to launch a military operation against a sovereign country, when faced with the complacency - if not express complicity - with which the United States of America and the European powers regard the daily repression exerted on the Palestinian people, show the policy of two weights and two measures that have always guided the policy of these countries. In this context, it is important that the movements of solidarity with the Palestinian cause strengthen the diplomatic initiative scheduled for September leading to the recognition of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations.

In this context, in accordance with the principles that guide its activities and in line with the provisions of Article 7 of the Portuguese Constitution, the MPPM:

1. Expresses its solidarity with all peoples struggling for democracy, freedom, independence and national sovereignty against foreign aggression and interference;

2. Demands the immediate cessation of illegitimate foreign military intervention in the region, including Libya and Bahrain, and repudiates all external intrusions and interference exerted on the internal affairs of each country.

3. Condemns the violent repression of peaceful protests in the Maghreb and the Middle East, while respecting the right of resistance against all forms of oppression;

4. Recommends the use of mediation policy for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region;

5. Condemns the violence used by Israel against the Palestinian people and calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories, the dismantling of settlements and the separation wall illegally built, and the establishment of a Palestinian state free, sovereign and viable, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the situation of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the resolution at 194 United Nations;

6. Affirms its willingness to contribute to the recognition of Palestine as a UN member state, asking from the Portuguese Government - with added responsibilities after its election to the UN Security Council - that in this process it takes a clear position in favour of the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people, and in accordance with the principles of law and international legality.

7. Urges the Government of the Portuguese Republic to determine their positions within the frame of the Portuguese Constitution, particularly with regard to non-interference in internal affairs of states, the use of peaceful solution to international conflicts, the recognition of the right of peoples to self-determination, independence and development, as well as the right to rebel against all forms of oppression.

 
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