NGOs Promote "Right of Return" at UNHCR Session

Human Rights Watch and BADIL, a radical Palestinian NGO promoting the claimed "right of return" for Palestinians, helped organize a "side-meeting" at the UNHCR’s Annual Consultation with NGOs, which took place on September 27-29 preceding the UNHCR’s 57th Session of the Executive Committee. The meeting was entitled " Palestinian Vulnerability to Forced Displacement" and discussed "the current situation of Palestinians and the appropriate response to their ongoing displacement." BADIL presented a report headlined " Displaced by the Wall." (BADIL recently received ECOSOC recognition in the UN, despite objections that this NGO was particularly divisive.) Campaigns promoting Palestinian claims regarding a "right of return" are widely viewed as designed to prevent a two-state agreement and a negotiated end to the conflict. See NGO Monitor’s detailed report on this issue.

The " NGO Statement on International Protection", drafted by "a wide range of NGOs" was presented at the Executive Committee in October. The NGO participants in the UNHCR Executive Committee session included Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, CARE International, CARITAS International, Oxfam International, BADIL and World Vision International, among others. The statement called on "all actors to redouble their efforts at addressing this [protection] gap for Palestinian refugees, beginning with their right of return in keeping with UN General Assembly Resolution 194, including the right to restitution and compensation."

The NGO Statement on the General Debate again promoted the "right of return" and "call[ed] upon the international community…to seek protection – particularly the implementation of the right of return, restitution, and compensation – and solutions on behalf of Palestinian IDPs inside Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory."

Back to November 2006 Digest