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      Press Release
  • Right of Return Congress London 17-18 October 2003
An international Palestinian lobby to defend the Right of Return (ROR) under the name ‘Right of Return Congress’ took place in London on the 17th and 18th of October. One hundred Palestinian personalities, hailing from all over the world including Gaza, the West Bank (Occupied Palestinian Territories), Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, the Emirate, South East Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada, discussed over two days means to make their voice heard in Western as well as in Arab and Islamic circles.

The participants included a variety of people, ranging from refugee camps residents, legislators, to activists, businessmen and academics. They all are either politically independent or past politicians acting in their personal capacity. Their ages range from young university students to aged people who witnessed al Nakba.

The Congress convened in order to mobilize Palestinian Civil Society to ascertain that their Right to Return to Palestine is inalienable, sacred and cannot be diminished by the passage of time, any treaty or political agreement and is non-negotiable or open to concessions. ROR is enshrined in international law and has been affirmed by the United Nations over one hundred times.

The ROR Congress has been in planning for a number of years. Its first meeting in London was met by overwhelming approval from Palestinian refugees everywhere and many societies and NGOs have cabled ROR Congress their support. The ROR Congress at its conclusion established a permanent committee to organize and oversee lobbying efforts in all countries where Palestinians currently reside. Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta was elected as the General Coordinator and Official Spokesman of the Right of Return Congress.

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