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Why Bethlehem 2000?
Bethlehem is the source of all Millennium celebrations, the birth of Jesus Christ. In the words of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "For centuries, Bethlehem has embodied hope in the minds of mankind.

Whether we have had the privilege of visiting the city or not, its historic and sacred meaning shines like a lodestar in our consciousness. It reminds us of the bonds created by belief in faith's ability to heal humanity, of the power of prayer."

Bethlehem 2000 as a development Model
The Bethlehem 2000 Project is the biggest and most comprehensive Palestinian development undertaking. It can be a model for other parts of the Palestinian Territory. Over $100 million have been invested by more than a dozen countries, international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other donors, to refurbish ancient buildings and restore archeological sites, to pave streets and plazzas, to rehabilitate water lines and sewage systems, and to develop tourism.

The special issue of UNDP Focus on Bethlehem 2000, reproduced here, captures the spirit of cooperation for the restoration of Bethlehem and the Jubilee celebrations.

Bethlehem 2000 to Foster Palestinian Identity
Bethlehem 2000 celebrations are taking place in the midst of the continuing search for peace. Bethlehem 2000 provides a global vision of peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis.

Bethlehem 2000 Celebrations
Bethlehem 2000 celebrations, which began in December 1999, will continue until Easter 2001. The Bethlehem 2000 Project web site, www.bethlehem2000.org , which is maintained by the Palestinian Authority, provides not only information on Bethlehem and the projects to restore the city, but also a calender of events, list of churches, maps, and tourism information.

(Note: The United Nations is not responsible for the contents of the Bethlehem 2000 Project web site. This information is provided simply for the convenience of those who wish to obtain further information on the commemoration.)

Prepared for Internet by the Palestine and Decolonization Section and the Information Technology Section
Department of Public Information
United Nations 1999