Global call by women leaders against Israeli annexation
A call signed by over 40 women leaders Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Parliamentary leaders, Nobel Peace Laureates, Senior UN officials and Human Rights figures.
As the UN Charter marks its 75th anniversary, the most protracted conflict in the world is taking a most dangerous turn with the announcement of Israel’s plan to annex large and vital parts of Palestinian territory on the basis of the Trump Middle East plan which contradicts the internationally agreed parameters for peace and international law. Such a move would unravel half a century of efforts for peace in the region and the vision of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, based on the pre-1967 borders, with far-reaching consequences.
It is in this context, and on this 20th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, that Israeli and Palestinian women reminded the world why it was so important to hear and heed the voices of women in situations of conflict. We have received urgent appeals against annexation sent by both Palestinian and Israeli women. Their strong appeals, while separate and distinct, have in common a sense of shared humanity, and a common rejection of subjugation and discrimination, oppression and violence.
Both appeals are grounded in international law and in the landmark resolution 1325 which calls for protection of civilians, notably women and girls, the critical importance of women’s voices and meaningful participation in conflict resolution and peace negotiations, in ensuring durable peace and building a just and hopeful future for both peoples based on respect for international law and accountability.
Their voices resonate as they stress that annexation is an existential threat to Palestinians, to Israelis, to regional stability and to an already fragile global order. We must not leave their appeal unanswered as they ask for our “support and engagement in a global partnership to save the prospect for a just, equal, and lasting resolution to the conflict”, for the well-being of present and future generations. They remind us that we have “the power of our collective will to challenge aggression, coercion, and violence and to end impunity and injustice so freedom and peace can prevail”.
Annexation is a breach of international law and the UN Charter, and of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. It contravenes the fundamental international norm banning the acquisition of territory by force and aims at perpetuating the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise, entrenching occupation instead of ending it. It will severely jeopardize the prospect of regional peace, security and stability with grave implications for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, but also for Jordan and the wider region. It will fragment Palestinian land and effectively consecrate Palestinian enclaves under permanent Israeli military control.
The dignity and rights of the Palestinian people, the ability of Israel to be an integral and accepted part of the region, regional peace, security and prosperity and the wider international rules-based order are at stake. Annexation cannot go unchallenged, and strong international engagement is more needed than ever, including through effective measures to deter illegal unilateral actions, and achieve just and lasting peace. We support the Palestinian and Israeli women’s call against unilateral annexation and back their efforts to prevent its disastrous consequences. It was conceived almost entirely by men without any reference to the diverse perspectives of women. We must be guided by the humanity and resolve of courageous women who have suffered greatly from the conflict and yet refuse to be blinded by hate. Their words envision the future the region needs and deserves.
(The statement is signed by former heads of state, parliamentarians, Nobel Peace Laureates and senior UN and human rights officials, including: Micheline Calmy-Rey, the former President of Switzerland; Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland; Roza Otunbayeva, former President of Kyrgyzstan; Mary Robinson, former UN Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. SEE FULL LIST HERE)