Statement issued by the Global Palestinian Refugee and IDP Network (GPRN) and BADIL Resource Center
After vigorous mobilization efforts aimed at restoring the consideration of the issue of the Palestinian refugees and placing it at the forefront, after it had been neglected and marginalized in recent years; the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to adopt a resolution that assigns the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat to prepare for commemorating the Palestinian Nakba at the United Nations headquarters in New York. This appreciated decision would not have been possible without the concentrated mobilization and recruitment campaign that was carried out for more than a year by official Palestinian and Arab parties and Palestinian and international human rights and civil society organizations.
Despite the opposition of 37 countries complicit with the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime led by the United States of America and several European countries, the resolution was adopted by a majority of 90 votes in the General Assembly. Although this resolution is limited in scope to commemorating the Nakba in May 2023 only - not an annual event – both the explicit adoption by the United Nations of the term “Palestinian Nakba” and its decision to commemorate the event are important steps to bring the Palestinian cause back to its roots. This event will reaffirm the failure of attempts to marginalize the issue of Palestinian refugees and their rights.
In light of the growing Palestinian discourse calling for considering Israel a colonial-apartheid regime, this UNGA resolution imposes a great responsibility on the official and unofficial Palestinian parties, especially those active among the refugees. Accordingly, the GPRN calls on all concerned institutions and bodies for more coordination to prepare a program of national and international events to confront the 75-year-old ongoing Nakba, through which the refugee issue and their rights will be the primary focus. The rights of refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their original homes, property restitution and compensation are the only assurance to achieving a durable and just peace.