#PalestineDay: ITUC calls on UN to update list of companies backing illegal settlements

photo: AFP

To mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November, the ITUC has written to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, calling on him to support the resolution to regularly update the UN database of companies operating illegally in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

The ITUC is also calling for a relaunching of the peace process and the recognition of Palestine as a state.

On 12 February 2020, the UN Human Rights Council published the database of 112 companies, but it has not been updated, despite resolution 31/36 requiring this and “that the Human Rights Council establish a group of independent experts, with a time-bound mandate, to report directly to the council for such a purpose”. A group of experts is yet to be appointed.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “Adding and removing companies from the long-awaited database creates a necessary incentive and deterrent against engaging with Israel’s illegal settlement industry.

“It is vital that the UN Secretary-General do all that he can to ensure this update is completed and published, and that, in order to sustain the database, the group of independent experts be appointed without delay. This is not just in the interests of justice for the Palestinian people, but also of the companies on the original database that have since cut ties with illegal Israeli settlement.”

The 194th state

In the letter, the ITUC also calls on the UN to call an international peace conference in 2022 to relaunch the peace process, strongly centred on “the fulfilment of human rights for all”. The State of Palestine must also be recognised as the 194th full member of the United Nations.

“It’s nearly 75 years since Palestine was partitioned to establish the state of Israel. But the people of Palestine are still held hostage by the Israeli occupation.

“The current peace process is at a dead end, with the expansion of illegal settlements, supported by dozens of corporations, reducing the chances of the two-state solution.

“The UN must make 2022 the year that the peace process, grounded in human rights for all, restarts, and Palestine is recognised as a state, giving the Palestinian people the right to self-determination, return and security in the face of ongoing Israeli violations and crimes,” added Sharan Burrow.