Thursday, August 28, 2014

United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process to Be Held in Istanbul, Turkey, 25–26 May

Source: United Nations General Assembly

GA/PAL/1162

Background Release

United Nations Public Forum in Support of Palestinian People, in Istanbul, 27 May

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Sheraton Hotel Istanbul Ataköy, from 25 to 26 May.

The theme of the Meeting is “Ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian State”.

The purpose of the Meeting is to provide a forum for exchanging views on the current state of the peace process and promote a constructive dialogue among stakeholders on how to advance the Palestinian State-building agenda. The Meeting, among other things, will discuss prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, as well as ways of resetting the political dialogue, including through third-party mediation and other peace initiatives. The Meeting will also look at the Palestinian Authority’s programme for ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian State, and explore modalities of moving forward the Palestinian State-building agenda and creating the socio-economic underpinnings for statehood. In addition, the Meeting will consider ways of creating a political climate conducive to advancing the peace process and building an international consensus for establishing a Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders. The various topics under the programme will be addressed by expert speakers, including from the region.

The opening session, on 25 May, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, representing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Zahir Tanin, Head of Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; Ekmeleddin Ä°hsanoÄŸlu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; and Ibrahim Khraishi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Serry will also deliver the keynote address, entitled: “The path to a Palestinian State”.

Plenary I, on the state of the political process and prospects for peace, will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 25 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “Negotiating Israeli-Palestinian peace: Lessons learned from previous negotiations and other conflict situations”; “Resetting the political dialogue: Third-party mediation and other initiatives”; and “The question of Jerusalem — A key to Israeli-Palestinian peace”. Expected speakers include: Michele Dunne, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C.; Jad Isaac, Director General, Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem, Jerusalem; Ghassan Khatib, Director, Government Media Centre, Palestinian Authority, Ramallah; Eti Livni, Former Member of the Knesset, Tel Aviv; and Danny Seidemann, Legal Counsel, Ir Amim, Jerusalem.

Plenary II, on the Palestinian Authority programme of ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian State, will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 26 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “The current situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”; “Advancing the Palestinian State-building agenda — From the status quo to statehood”; and “Creating socio-economic underpinnings for advancing Palestinian State-building”. Expected speakers include: Bassam Al-Salhi, General Secretary, Palestinian People’s Party, Jerusalem; Thomas Neu, Field Director, Carter Center Field Office, Ramallah; Güven Sak, Director, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, Ankara; Ahmad Tibi, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Taibeh; and Jennifer Tonge, Member of the House of Lords, London.

Plenary III, on breaking the deadlock and creating a political climate conducive to the advancement of the peace process, will run from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on 26 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “Building an international consensus for establishing a Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders”; “The role of the United Nations”; and “The role of non-State actors”. Expected speakers include: Mensur Akgün, Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul; Nils Butenschøn, Director, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Oslo; Nabil Fahmy, Ambassador and Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo, Cairo; and Chinmaya Gharekhan, Former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India for West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process, New Delhi.

The closing session, starting at 5 p.m. on 26 May, will feature: Engin Soysal, Deputy Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, New York; and Mr. Tanin, Head of the Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

All sessions of the Meeting will be open to the media. The official languages will be English and Arabic. There will also be simultaneous interpretation from and into Turkish.

Following the International Meeting, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Public Forum in Support of the Palestinian People, in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Istanbul Kültür University, on 27 May from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme will be: ” Jerusalem — The key to Israeli-Palestinian peace”.

The Public Forum will address home demolitions, forced evictions and settlements; the revocation of residency rights and identification; and security concerns, including rising crime rates, in the Holy City. It will also look at approaches to promoting a just and lasting solution to the question of Jerusalem, including through international law and institution-building. It will discuss the role of non-State actors in promoting peace in Jerusalem, including through interfaith dialogue and people-to-people diplomacy.

Opening remarks will be made by: Mensur Akgün, Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul; Mr. Tanin, Head of Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; and Bülent Aras, Director, Strategic Research Centre, Ankara.

The moderators of the discussion will be: Phyllis Bennis, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C.; and Sylvia Tiryaki, Deputy Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul. Expert speakers will include: Daphna Golan-Agnon, Researcher, Minerva Center for Human Rights, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Mousa Qous, Researcher, Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Jerusalem; Nazmi Jubeh, Co-Director, Riwaq: Centre for Architectural Conservation, Ramallah; Fadwa Khader, Director-General, Sunflower Association for Human and Environment Protection, Jerusalem; and Ramzi Zananiri, Executive Director, Near East Council of Churches, Jerusalem.

Closing remarks will be made by representatives of Palestine and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The Public Forum will be conducted in English and open to the media.

Updated versions of the programme, as well as information on previous Meetings, will be available on the website of the Division for Palestinian Rights, United Nations Secretariat, at http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal/calendar.htm.

The report on the Meeting will be issued, in due course, as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conference Photos