The Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL) was established in 1966 — following the Tricontinental Conference held in Havana — to promote “solidarity with the Third World people’s struggles, claims, and most precious desires.” OSPAAAL holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO). It also organized the first “International Conference of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” held in Greece in 1999, and the second Conference, which was held in Mexico in 2002.
Particularly outspoken about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, OSPAAAL characterizes Zionism as racism, and in 2002 portrayed the Palestinians as a “heroic … people that, deprived of its national rights for 54 years and led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole and legitimate representative, fights for its self-determination and for the restoration of its national rights, including that to establish its own independent State on the soil of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.”
In May 2004 a German diplomat at the UNESCO Committee on NGOs rebuked, and threatened sanctions against, OSPAAAL for its “anti-Semitic activities” and its role in the lead-up to the Durban World Conference Against Racism in 2001. This marked the first time that a UN-accredited NGO had been rebuked for anti-Semitic or anti-Israel activity.
This profile is adapted, with permission, from NGO Monitor.