International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, 27-28 June 2019, United Nations Office at Geneva

Mr. Philippe Baudin-Auliac, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Ambassador Cheikh Niang, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

ASG Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary General for Palestine and Al-Quds

Ms. Carla Khijoyan, Programme Executive for the Middle East, World Council of Churches

Minister Ahmad Majdalani, Minister of Social Affairs of the State of Palestine

Ms. Manal Hazzan, Kairos Palestine

Mr. Khaldun Bshara, RIWAQ

Overview

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), with support from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),  convened the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem “Preserving the cultural and religious character of Jerusalem” on 27-28 June 2019 at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

The Conference addressed the issue of Israel’s policies and measures aimed at changing the character of Jerusalem, which have significant political, legal and socio-economic ramifications, including the threat of derailing prospects for a peaceful solution to the Question of Palestine. The Conference sought to formulate concrete actionable recommendations and ways forward among the relevant stakeholders for the preservation of a City, considered sacred by three religions.

The Conference brought together Palestinian, Israeli and international experts, representatives of the diplomatic community and civil society to discuss viable and practical strategies to (1) stem efforts to alter the demography and character of the City, (2) provide viable alternatives that preserve the religious and cultural character of the City, and (3) ensure that all its Palestinian inhabitants enjoy their inalienable rights.

OPENING SESSION

Mr. Philippe Baudin-Auliac, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Amb. Cheikh Niang, Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (English, French)
ASG Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and Al-Quds Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Ms. Carla Khijoyan, Programme Executive for the Middle East, WCC
Min. Ahmad Majdalani, Minister of Social Affairs of the State of Palestine

PLENARY I

The legal status of Jerusalem under International Law and in the context of a final peace settlement
Min. Ahmad Majdalani, Minister of Social Affairs of the State of Palestine
Ms. Yael Berda, Assistant Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mr. Mohannad Gbara, Palestinian lawyer based in Jerusalem

PLENARY II

Challenges to safeguarding the cultural heritage of Jerusalem
Mr. Nazmi Al Jubeh, Associate Professor of History and Archaeology, Birzeit University
Ms. Yudith Oppenheimer, Executive Director, Ir Amim
Mr. Wasfi Kailani, Director of the Royal Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa
Ms. Shadia Touqan, Director of the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage

PLENARY III

Jerusalem: Holy to the three monotheistic religions
Mr. Bernard Sabella,  Former member of the PLC, sociologist and Executive Secretary of the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees
Mr. Mustafa Abu Sway, Professor of Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University and Member of the Islamic Waqf Council in Jerusalem
Ms. Leah Shakdiel, Representative of Oz V’Shalom and Rabbis for Human Rights
Mr. David Wildman, Executive Secretary for Human Rights & Racial Justice, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church

PLENARY IV

Ways forward to preserve the character of the Sacred City
Mr. Ammar Hijazi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs, State of Palestine
Mr. Khaldun Bshara, Director, RIWAQ – Center for Architectural Conservation
Mr. Yonathan Mizrahi , Founder and Director of Emek Shaveh
Mr. Geoffrey Aronson, Fellow, Middle East Institute

Resources