Windhoek – Namibia and South Africa have called on the United Nations to enforce the principles of self-determination, non-discrimination and justice for the Palestinian people.
Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and International Relations Minister Nandi- Ndaitwah, and her South African counterpart Naledi Pandor made the remarks during a virtual UN engagement on the Israel-Palestine conflict this week.
The two welcomed the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to investigate crimes within its material scope that might have been committed on Palestinian territory by Israel. They urged the ICC to include possible crimes against humanity in its investigations.
“Having gone through an experience similar to that of Palestine, Namibia knows that for as long as the people are denied their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, tension, frustration, anger and even hatred will continue to occur. An oppressed people, denied their right to self-determination and freedom will never be silenced,” Deputy PM Nandi- Ndaitwah said.
She said the continued violation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by Israel remained cause for concern and undermined the process of reaching a mutually acceptable, just and lasting solution.
“We should remain on the side of respecting and upholding international law and call for justice and non-discrimination of the people of Palestine. The year 2021 should be a time of historic consequence, with much riding on how our governments answer the urgent call to revitalise global co-operation and ensure that no one is left behind including the people of Palestine,” she said
The Deputy PM added that, “We have always heard of similar arguments about the occupying power’s right to defence and the world had just witnessed the heart-breaking images of pain, fear and desperation on the faces of defenceless children, women and all victims of this long conflict; we reiterate our call for the peace, safety and security of these young children and victims of such attacks.”
Namibia’s top diplomat called on all parties to observe a ceasefire, and continued: “The International community should denounce the apartheid practices that are being employed by Israel to oppress and maintain its dominance over the Palestinian People. We resolutely believe and support the UN Secretary-General and the overwhelming majority of the UN member states in the conviction that there is no alternative to the two-State solution.
“Therefore, a political dialogue that addresses the historic injustice of occupation, based on the pre-1967 borders and in accordance with international law, and relevant UN resolutions, is the only way to ensure peaceful relations between Israel and Palestine. No peace is achievable without renewed political process and engagement to stabilise and to heal.”
Minister Pandor said strong political will was required from all stakeholders to achieve peace in the volatile region.
“The Security Council and in particular the five permanent members, must play its role in speaking with a united voice and to mobilise the international community to intensify their collective efforts. By working more diligently to implement the relevant UN resolutions we collectively display a clear commitment to upholding and respecting international law and human rights.
“Only with greater determination can we attain our goal of bringing the conflict to an end and achieve just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This is imperative for the realisation of two states, ensuring the right to the self-determination of Palestinians in their sovereign and independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Minister Pandor said.