In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The resolution on the observance of this day encourages member states to continue to give support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
The South African government stands in solidarity with the most vulnerable, exploited and alienated people in the world.
The original intent of the Struggle against apartheid was to stand against injustice. The cause of the Palestine people is a standpoint against injustice perpetuated against the indigenous Arab population.
The South African government renews its commitment to further strengthen and co-ordinate efforts to promote the realisation of justice and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self- determination and independence.
This is a call which was made at the recent Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, convened in Baku, Azerbaijan, in October.
We stress the importance and urgency of action in light of the sensitive juncture of their plight and the extreme challenges being faced after more than 52 years of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the passage of more than 71 years since the tragic Nakba (catastrophe) of the Palestinian people in May 1948.
We call for the urgent provision of political, economic and humanitarian support to assist the Palestinian people. Their right to self-determination and freedom is coupled with the demand that East Jerusalem be recognised as their capital on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.
We are for a just solution for Palestinian refugees, based on the UN General Assembly resolution 194 (III), which calls for the achievement of genuine peace, security and peaceful coexistence.
South Africa welcomes the State of Palestine’s chairmanship of the G77 and China for 2019 and reaffirms its support for this undertaking.
Our message on this International Day of Solidarity with the people of Palestine is firmly premised on the rejection of unilateralism and affirmation of multilateralism, including the centrality of the UN as primary and final arbiter on any and all matters of international justice.
The South African government reiterates the urgency of providing support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
We supported the mandate of UNRWA and its renewal by the UN General Assembly a week ago and a substantive mandate by 170 UN member states.
We recognise that UNRWA’s assistance is crucial for the protection, well-being and social resilience of the refugees and for the stability of these communities and their host countries, which is equally essential for preserving the prospects for peace.
South Africa supports the peace proposal presented by the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, to the Security Council on February 20.
* Botes is the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.
This news first appeared on the Independent Media and can be accessed here