The Final Statement of the 9th Palestinians in Europe Conference
The 9th Palestinians in Europe Conference was successfully conducted in the German city of Wuppertal on Saturday, 7th March 2011. The conference was convened under the title, “The Return Generation Knows the Path”.
Thousands of Palestinians participated in the annual event, which was attended by delegations from various European countries. A number of Palestinian politicians, community leaders and other public figures participated in the event. They came from locations either in the occupied Palestinian territories or the Diaspora. European MPs, activists, journalists and representatives of various NGOs also took part in this year’s event.
The conference was organized by the General Secretariat of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), and the Palestinian Assembly in Germany.
The conference reaffirmed the results and declarations of previous conference held in London 2003, Berlin 2004, Vienna 2005, Malmo 2006, Rotterdam 2007, Copenhagen 2008, Milan 2009 and Berlin 2010.
Based on its activities, discussions and workshops and on behalf of all those who have participated, the conference concluded the following:
1- We reaffirm our adherence to the Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees. This right is inalienable and non-negotiable. It can’t be vetoed, circumvented, supplanted or altered. The Right of Return is a collective and individual right that is irrevocable. Our people will continue their struggle until it is achieved.
2- We honour and salute the devotion of successive generations of Palestinians to their Right of Return to Palestine. We encourage the engagement of our youth in Palestinian organizations so that they could best serve the Palestinian cause. These generations should be nurtured and assisted to realise their aspirations.
3- We express our deep concern and anxiety over the Israeli aggressions on Jerusalem and its original Palestinian residents, especially in the light of mass deportation. We warn of systematic racist practises against Jerusalemites by kicking them and besieging their residential areas by settlements and apartheid wall. We also warn of prejudicing Muslim and Christian sites in Holy Jerusalem by the systematic attacks on historical sites.
4- We assert that our people will not accept any compromises at the expense of our principles, our inalienable rights and our legal demands. We call upon all parties to stand by our people in their quest for freedom from occupation, to activate their right of return, and achieve sovereignty over their land.
5- We call for support for the creation a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. This requires genuine independence with an end to the occupation in Palestine. In this respect, we reaffirm that the core of our Palestinian state is the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their offspring to their lands from which they were expelled. We also make it clear that we uphold our right to self-determination and full sovereignty over our land, sea and air in Palestine.
6- We commend that National Palestinian Unity Agreement signed by the various Palestinian factions in Cairo. We view it as an essential building block within the internal Palestinian front. This unity would ultimately help to protect our national rights.
7- We call for the implementation of all measures that would usher in a new era of democratic representation for Palestinians everywhere. We, the Palestinians in Europe, declare our absolute preparedness to engage in this respect and to be part of this Palestinian leadership that would be elected through a democratic and transparent process.
8- We draw the attention of the world to the apartheid nature of Israel’s occupation. That system which is perpetuated with impunity in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and occupied lands of 1948. This apartheid system exists through the Separation Wall, settlements, segregation and an array of racist laws and legislations. Such practises should not be allowed in our civilized world. All aid and privileges afforded to this apartheid system should be subject to strict accountability and sanctions.
9- We salute Arab peoples who engineered their own glorious revolutions and demonstrated their eagerness for freedom and dignity. We view their current renaissance in face of tyranny and their quest for justice as a welcome boost for Palestinian steadfastness in the face of Israeli occupation. These revolutions have restored to role of the Arab nations as key players in the Palestinian cause.
10- We greet all those who exert efforts to support the Palestinian people who are subjected to occupation and blockade. We highly value and appreciate all projects, plans, initiatives and campaigns that support the just Palestinian cause. We urge the maintenance of these noble efforts and their development in the service of the Palestinian people.
11- Finally, we express our pride with the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, as well as their great sacrifices; the martyrs, the injured and prisoners who sacrificed everything in order to protect their lands and holy sites. We salute all those who are defending our dignity, freedom and rights; which ultimately would enable us to return, and achieve self-determination and freedom from Israeli occupation with sovereignty in our lands.