November 15, 2019
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi: The universal values enshrined in Palestine's declaration of independence are under threat
Thirty one years ago, the Palestinian National Council announced the PLO's endorsement of the two state formula as a
path forward towards peace. The painful compromise of accepting to establish the Palestinian state over 22% of historic
Palestine, embodied in the declaration of independence, reflected our commitment to the universal values and principles
of international law, our determination to achieve peace, freedom, and dignity for our people and our commitment to
reflect these principles in our system of governance.
This unprecedented gesture of generosity and sacrifice was welcomed by the majority of states around the world, which
recognized the State of Palestine to reaffirm their commitment to international law and to the inalienable and universal
rights of the Palestinian people for justice, freedom, and national independence.
Today, the international rules-based order founded on the principles and values of international law is under real
threat by the rise of unilateralism, isolationism, and racism. This irresponsible trend threatens to disrupt and
undermine stability, trade, and human rights worldwide. Indeed, this agenda of hostility and warmongering is an
existential threat for the Palestinian people.
These dangers must compel the international community to positive and collective action in defence of our shared values.
This includes states that remain negatively passive in relation to Palestine realigning their position with
It is time to proactively and constructively defend international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian
people by standing up for peace and recognizing Palestine.