5 July 2012
General Assembly
GA/PAL/1239

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Background Release


United Nations Asian and Pacific Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian

 

Peace to Be Held in Bangkok, 10-11 July

 


Focus on International Efforts to Address Obstacles to Two-State

Solution — Role of Asian and Pacific Governmental, Non-Governmental Actors


The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Asian and Pacific Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace on 10 and 11 July at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in Bangkok.  The theme of the Meeting will be “International efforts at addressing the obstacles to the two-State solution — the role of Asian and Pacific governmental and non-governmental actors”.


The objective of the Meeting is to encourage broad international action, including by Asian and Pacific States, intergovernmental organizations and civil society, for achieving a peaceful solution to the conflict, based on a shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.  The Meeting, among other things, will look at obstacles and opportunities on the road to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians.  It will consider ways in which Governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society can be instrumental in helping the parties resume and strengthen the political dialogue and in promoting and applying the principles of international law to efforts aimed at resolving the conflict.  From the regional perspective, the event will consider how Asian and Pacific States can effectively contribute to resolving the conflict through their action in national and intergovernmental mechanisms.


The Meeting is being organized in keeping with General Assembly resolutions 66/14 and 66/15 of 30 November 2011.  Invited to the Meeting are representatives of all United Nations Members and Observers, other intergovernmental organizations, United Nations system entities, members of the academic community, representatives of civil society organizations, as well as the media.


The opening session will take place on Tuesday, 10 July, at 10 a.m. in Conference Room 2 of the United Nations Conference Centre.  Statements are expected to be made by Shun-ichi Murata, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General; Pichet Wangtepanukhor, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand; Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee; and Riad Malki, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority as the representative of Palestine.  Minister Malki is also expected to deliver the keynote presentation later in the morning session.  The opening session will be followed by plenary sessions, during which experts will make presentations on specific issues.  Each plenary will have a discussion period.  The official language of the Meeting will be English.  Documentation will be available in the meeting room as well as on the website www.unispal.org.


Plenary I, entitled “Illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land: the reality on the ground” will begin in the afternoon of Tuesday, 10 July, at 3 p.m.  The session will provide insight into the expansion of Israeli settlements since the Oslo Accords to the present day; the adverse consequences of the construction of the separation wall on occupied land; and the impact of settlement building on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.


Speakers include Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; Gideon Levy, Columnist at Ha’aretz; Ray Dolphin, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Barrier Specialist at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; Diana Buttu, Joint Fellow with the Middle East Initiative and Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Programme and former Legal Adviser at the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiations Affairs Department; and Kamal Hossain, jurist, former member of the Inquiry Commission of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.


Plenary II, entitled “Settlement building as the main obstacle to the two-State solution”, will start on Wednesday, 11 July, at 10 a.m.  During the session, experts and participants will discuss the illegality of settlements in international law, as repeatedly affirmed by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice; how to ensure the future viability of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital; and political efforts at breaking the status quo. 


Speakers include Iain Scobbie, Sir Joseph Hotung Research Professor in Law, Human Rights and Peacebuilding in the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London; Hind Khoury, former General Delegate of Palestine to France and former Minister for Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian Authority; Li Guofu, Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing; Taro Kono, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan; Nidal Foqaha Director-General of the Palestinian Peace Coalition — Geneva Initiative, from Ramallah; and Gadi Baltiansky, Director-General of the Geneva Initiative in Israel, from Tel Aviv.  


At 1:30 p.m. the documentary “This is My Land…Hebron” will be shown in Conference Room 2.  It is a film by Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson.


Plenary III, on Wednesday, 11 July, at 3 p.m., entitled “Support by Asia and the Pacific for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine”, will look at diplomatic recognition of Palestinian statehood by Governments of the region, as well as the action by Asian and Pacific States within the United Nations and other intergovernmental mechanisms to uphold international law.  Finally, the role of civil society and parliamentarians in raising awareness and promoting the two-State solution will be discussed.


Speakers include Walden Bello, Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines; Abdelaziz Aboughosh, Ambassador of Palestine to Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam; Hasan Kleib, Director-General for Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia; and Nick Ferriman, Vice-Chairperson of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Thailand in Bangkok.


The closing session of the Meeting will take place on Wednesday, 11 July, at 5:30 p.m.  A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, 10 July at 12:30 p.m. in the Theatre room of the United Nations Conference Centre.  Registered media representatives will also have the opportunity to arrange individual interviews with members of the Committee delegation and participating speakers.


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For information media • not an official record