Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tēnā koe Minister Mahuta,
On behalf of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Aotearoa Section which has been working for peace and social justice since it was established here in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1916, I am writing to urge the government to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state.
Although this, and previous, governments have consistently reaffirmed the 1947 commitment at the United Nations, when New Zealand agreed that ‘independent Arab and Jewish states’ should be created from the partition of Palestine (with Jerusalem to be given a special international status) and reaffirmed the position that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are a violation of international law and imperil the two-state solution, New Zealand is still one of 55 out of 193 UN member states that does not recognise Palestine’s statehood.
It is the view of WILPF Aotearoa that New Zealand should recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. By doing so, it will give meaning to Palestine’s status as a non-member observer state at the UN. It will also give effect to Aotearoa New Zealand’s vote in favour of the historic UNGA resolution recognising the State of Palestine in December 2012. And it will be a step towards, as the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights puts it, the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [which] is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.