ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe


17 April 2014

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine on 24 and 25 April 2012 at the United Nations Office at Geneva. 

The Roundtable will build on numerous previous events that highlighted the significance of the provisions of international law in efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine.  The last such meeting was held in April 2012 at the United Nations Office at Geneva on “The question of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities: legal and political implications”.  This Roundtable, among other things, will discuss the legal status of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees in international law.  The Meeting will also consider the issue of Palestine’s admission to the United Nations as a non-Member Observer State and the general legal implications stemming from this status.

The Meeting is being organized in keeping with General Assembly resolutions 68/12 and 68/13 of 26 November 2013.  Invited to the Meeting are renowned experts on the issues under consideration, as well as the Committee Members and Observers.

The Opening session will take place on Thursday, 24 April, at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room XXII in the E-Building of the Palais des Nations. Statements will be made by Michael Møller, Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General; Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee; Anders Kompass, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Issa Qaraqe, Palestinian Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs.  Following the opening session, the Roundtable will conduct the plenary sessions in closed meetings of invited experts and the Members and Observers of the Committee. The official languages of the meeting will be Arabic, English and French.

Session I, entitled “The legal status of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees in international law” will begin on Thursday, 24 April, at 11:00 a.m.  The session will provide insight into the status of “prisoners of war” in international law and its application to Palestinian prisoners and detainees; UN procedures and mechanisms to address the issue of political prisoners: the General Assembly, Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies; and the issue of political prisoners in international courts and other mechanisms.

Session II, entitled “Available legal mechanisms to ensure compliance with international law and Third Party responsibility” will start on Thursday, 24 April, at 3:00 p.m.  During the session, experts and participants will discuss the responsibilities of the occupying power under international humanitarian and human rights law; the need to ensure compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws – actions by State Parties to the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions; and the importance of engaging the International Court of Justice.

Session III, entitled “General legal implications stemming from the status of non-Member Observer State” will take place on Friday, 25 April, at 10:00 a.m. It will conduct a legal analysis of General Assembly resolution 67/19; look at the  rights and obligations of non-member Observer States; international conventions and treaties; and membership in UN Specialized Agencies and other global organizations.

Session IV, entitled “The State of Palestine and International Courts”, scheduled to take place on  Friday, 25 April, at 3:00 p.m., will look  into the issue of placing complaints before the relevant international courts, including conditions, procedures, practices as well as drawbacks and challenges.

The Closing session will begin on Friday, 25 April, at 5:30 p.m.

Committee Members and Observers are requested to register with the Secretariat either at its Office or prior to entering the conference room.  The main Secretariat is located in Office 1014/16 on the first floor of Building E.  The telephone numbers of the Secretariat at the Palais des Nations are (41-22) 917-7124, 917-7128; the fax number is 917-0327. The e-mail is:

For use of the information media; not an official record