UN: 2014 to be the year of solidarity with Palestine

Ongoing peace negotiations must be given a chance for peace to take root and flourish, but peace cannot be meaningful and durable without taking fully into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, says UN General Assembly’s John Ashe.

UN: 2014 to be the year of solidarity with Palestine

World Bulletin / News Desk

Voicing solidarity with Palestinians in their aspirations for independent statehood, and stressing the importance of ongoing peace talks aimed at a two-state coexistence for Palestine and Israel, the UN General Assembly observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People with a series speeches and all six proposed resolutions adopted.

The Chair of the General Assembly’s Committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Senegal’s ambassador to the UN Abdou Salam Diallo, on Monday, introduceed several draft resolutions related to the question of Palestine, which will be asked to, among other things, declare 2014 as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

As they addressed the UN General Assembly majority of speakers talked - equal rights for Palestinians – is indeed the key to establishing a just peace between Israel and Palestine.

Peace initiative should be embraced

Mr. Diallo also called on the international community to promote a negotiated solution:

“Time is running out. The negotiating process is endangered by certain policies and particularly by the ongoing establishment of Jewish settlements,” he told the meeting.

The special meeting held at the UN General Assembly came ahead of the International Day, observed annually on November 29. The Day marks the date when the General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1947 partitioning then British mandated Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

General Assembly President John Ashe also welcomed the Committee’s initiative to have 2014 proclaimed as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and called for using it to redouble efforts to create the necessary environment for successful peace talks.

“Ongoing peace negotiations must be given a chance for peace to take root and flourish, but peace cannot be meaningful and durable without taking fully into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which are key to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East,” Ashe said.

Ashe called governments of both Israel and Palestine “to avoid actions that would undermine the fragile hope created by this renewed round of negotiations.”

Thanks to the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct negotiations in August 2013, following a three-year Israel’s refusal to freeze on settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territory.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also sent a message to the observance of the Palestinian International Day of Solidarity: “We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity.”

Ban stressed, an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land that started in 1967 and the creation of a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace with a secure State of Israel remains the clear goal of international community.

UN said this Day of solidarity with Palestinian people –transcends political and financial support – is crucial because it makes Palestinians feel that they are not alone.

A long standing issue

The question of Palestine was first brought before the General Assembly in 1947. General Assembly decided to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem placed under a special international regime. After the 1948 war, the Assembly established the Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) to help the parties reach a final settlement, while reaffirming the rights of Palestine refugees to return and restitution. UNRWA, a Palestine refugee agency, was established by the Assembly the same year.

International media reported millions of Palestinians were driven out of what is now Israel in 1948 and 1967. Israel has prevented the great majority of them from returning to their homeland. More than several million of exiled Palestinians are one of the largest and most-suffering refugee populations in the world.

In 1974, the question of Palestine was re-introduced in the UN General Assembly's agenda when the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property were reaffirmed. In 1975, the Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. On November 29, 2012 the Assembly granted Palestine non-member observer state status in the UN.

UN events of observance

As part of the observance of the International Day, the Palestinian Rights Committee also held a concert on Monday night at the UN Headquarters featuring two Palestinian singers – Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador and Winner of Arab Idol 2013, and Nai Barghouti.

The documentary film “State 194,” which focuses on former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s 2009 plan to demonstrate that his people were deserving of statehood and UN membership was also screened at UN Headquarters.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed each year on November 29, which fell on a Friday this month.

Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2013, 10:17
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