UN declares 2014 'Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People'.


December 31, 2013
Sarah Benton

Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador and Winner of Arab Idol 2013 addresses the meeting. UN photo by Ryan Brown

Media release from UNRIC , UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe
November 2013

Voicing solidarity with Palestinian cause, UN officials stress importance of resumed peace talks

United Nations officials today voiced their solidarity with the people of Palestine in their aspirations for independence and sovereignty, and stressed the importance of ongoing peace talks aimed at a two-State solution which must be given a chance to bear fruit.

“We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message read on his behalf to the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“I ask all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity expressed on this occasion into positive action for peace and justice,” he added.

The special meeting held at UN Headquarters comes ahead of the International Day, observed annually on 29 November. The Day marks the date in 1947 when the General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning then-mandated Palestine into two States, one Jewish and one Arab.

“The goal remains clear – an end to the occupation that started in 1967 and the creation of a sovereign, independent, and viable State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace with a secure State of Israel,” Mr. Ban stated.

“Jerusalem is to emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. An agreed solution must be found for millions of Palestinian refugees around the region.”

Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct negotiations in August, thanks to the efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry, following a three-year hiatus owing to Israel’s refusal to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.

After decades of talks and “far too many” adverse developments on the ground, Mr. Ban urged Palestinian and Israeli leaders to take the decisions that will usher in a political solution to this serious and long-standing conflict.

The Chair of the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Abdou Salam Diallo, called on the international community to seize “what seems to be one of the last opportunities” to promote a negotiated solution.

“Time is running out. The negotiating process is endangered by certain policies and particularly by the ongoing establishment of Jewish settlements,” he told the meeting.

Later today, Mr. Diallo will introduce several draft resolutions related to the question of Palestine to the General Assembly, which will be asked to, among other things, declare 2014 as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

General Assembly President John Ashe welcomed the Committee’s initiative to have 2014 proclaimed as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and called for using it to redouble efforts to create the necessary environment for successful peace talks.

“Ongoing peace negotiations must be given a chance for peace to take root and flourish, but peace cannot be meaningful and durable without taking fully into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which are key to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.”

“I call on the Governments and people of both Israel and Palestine to avoid actions that would undermine the fragile hope created by this renewed round of negotiations, and to cease and desist from any actions that are in contravention to international law and would pose a major impediment to peace in the Middle East and, more importantly, render the two-State solution impossible,” said Mr. Ashe.

Speaking on behalf of the UN agency responsible for assisting five million Palestinian refugees, Filippo Grandi said that solidarity – which transcends political and financial support – is crucial because it makes Palestinians feel that they are not alone.

Mr. Grandi, the outgoing Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said his organization is “sadly familiar” with this loneliness, given how closely it works with refugees whose plight has remained unresolved for over six decades.

As part of the observance of the International Day, the Palestinian Rights Committee will hold a concert later today featuring two Palestinian singers – Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador and Winner of Arab Idol 2013, and Nai Barghouti.

The Committee is also screening the documentary film “State 194,” which focuses on former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s 2009 plan to demonstrate that his people were deserving of statehood, inspiring them to change their destiny and seek UN membership.


UN declares 2014 the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’

By RT (Russia Today)
November 26, 2013

The UN has named 2014 as the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.’ The resolution was adopted by the majority of member-states with 110 voting in favor, 7 opposed and 54 abstaining.

The year-long observance will entail organizing special events in co-operation with “governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.”

The new resolution was passed on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Monday, which is celebrated annually and this year was moved up from November 29 due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

The UN marks that day with a special session, including a meeting on the ‘Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people’ and a concert featuring Palestinian musicians.

On Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced the UN’s solidarity with the Palestinian people, noting the importance of peace talks aimed at a two-state solution.

“We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity,” Ban Ki-moon said in a message read on his behalf. “The goal remains clear – an end to the occupation that started in 1967 and the creation of a sovereign, independent, and viable State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace with a secure State of Israel,” Mr. Ban stated.

Palestinians have made significant strides towards self-determination recently. In November of last year the UN General Assembly granted the Palestinians observer status at the international organization, thus implicitly recognizing a Palestinian state. The Palestinian bid has been upheld with 138 votes in favor, 9 against and 41 abstentions.

The new status could give the Palestinians more weight in peace talks with Israel and gives them a greater chance of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Joining the ICC would also grant the Palestinian delegation a greater legal basis for pursuing possible war-crimes prosecutions against the Israeli military.


2014: year of solidarity with Palestinians

The year 2014 has been proclaimed the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by the UN General Assembl

By UNRIC
November 29, 2013

The UN has named 2014 as the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.’ The resolution was adopted by the majority of member-states with 110 voting in favour, 7 opposed and 54 abstaining.

In a vote, 26 November, the text was adopted by 110 votes in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau and the United States), with 56 abstentions. The resolution requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to organize activities around that observance, in cooperation with Governments, the United Nations system, intergovernmental organisations and civil society.

The General Assembly voted on a number of resolutions on related issues such as the convening of an international conference in Moscow, as well as a resolution stating that all legal and administrative measures taken by Israel to change the legal status of East Jerusalem were null and void. It also called for Israel to withdraw from the Golan heights to 1967 borders.

The representative of Iran, said in the debate that Israel had committed heinous crimes against Palestinians, including construction of illegal settlements and an apartheid wall, and the Gaza blockade. The Israeli regime, as a source of terrorism, continued to perpetrate its crimes with a sense of impunity.

Speaking after the votes, the representative of the United States said that his country remained deeply troubled by the repetitive and disproportionate number of one-sided Assembly resolutions condemning Israel. Only four other resolutions had been critical of other Member States. All parties to the tragic conflict had a responsibility for ending it, and the United States was disappointed that the Assembly continued to single out Israel.

General Assembly, wrapping up annual consideration of question of Palestine, six resolutions

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