Press release – 469(2006)
Halvdan Skard encourages international organisations to utilise the peace-building potential of local government in the Middle East
Strasbourg, 16.08.2006 – Halvdan Skard, President of the Congress of the Council of Europe, welcomed the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Lebanon and the first results on the ground.
He praised the international community’s eminent role but, “aware of the obstacles remaining to be overcome on the way back to stability”, he pointed out that “local government could be highly influential in gradually restoring peace”.
“In phases of crisis and negotiation alike, local authorities are decisive instruments for maintaining contacts between communities, and I encourage the international organisations to utilise the peace-building potential of local government” Skard said.
Moreover, Halvdan Skard commended the European local authorities’ valuable work of assistance. “The Congress for its part is ready to step up its co-operation in order to strengthen local self-government in the stricken region, and to carry on the efforts which it has already undertaken for the furtherance of partnership links with the Union of Local Authorities in Israel and the Palestinian Association of Local Authorities in co-operation with the Israeli-Palestinian Municipal Alliance for Peace in the Middle East (MAP),” he concluded.