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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · Geneva


GA/PAL/804
10 June 1999

UN INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON CONVENING OF CONFERENCE
ON MEASURES TO ENFORCE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION
IN OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY


Background Release
Cairo, 14-15 June

The United Nations International Meeting on the Convening of the Conference on Measures to Enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, will be held in Cairo on 14 and 15 June under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The meeting is being held in response to a General Assembly recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention convene a conference on measures to enforce the Convention in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to ensure respect for the Convention. The Assembly made that recommendation during its tenth emergency special session, when it adopted resolution ES-10/6 on 9 February. The Assembly recommended further that the conference be held in Geneva on 15 July.

The Palestinian Rights Committee is convening the Cairo Meeting to allow governments, intergovernmental organizations and international experts to discuss the various aspects of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its enforcement, as well as the possible outcome of the upcoming Geneva Conference.

The meeting, which will be convened at the El-Ghezirah Sheraton Hotel in Cairo, was organized in accordance with General Assembly resolution 53/39 and 53/40 of 2 December 1998.

The opening session will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, 14 June, in the "Versailles" conference room of the El-Ghezirah Sheraton Hotel. Scheduled to speak are Sayd El-Masri, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Egypt, representative of the host country; Chinmaya R. Gharekhan, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, representing the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; Ibra Deguène Ka, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; and Nabil Shaath, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, representative of Palestine.

In the afternoon of 14 June, at 3 p.m., experts and scholars will present papers in Plenary I, entitled "Violations by Israel, the occupying Power, of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem". Speakers in this plenary include Farouk Abu Eissa, Secretary-General of the Arab Lawyers Union; Avigdor Feldman, a Tel Aviv-based Attorney; Jordan Paust, Professor of Law at the University of Houston; and Mazin Qupty, a Jerusalem-based Attorney.

Plenary II, entitled "Enforcement of the Fourth Geneva Convention", is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 15 June, at 10 a.m. Panellists will present papers and discuss the various aspects of enforcing the Convention. Speakers in this plenary include Hussein A. Hassouna, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations; Ali Ibrahim, Professor of International Law at the Ein-Shams University, Cairo; Khader Shkirat, Director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment; Paul Tavergnier, Professor at the University of International Law (Paris XI); and Farouk Garfe Jarufe, Lawyer, Professor of International Law at the Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile.

At Plenary III on Tuesday afternoon, panellists will present papers and discuss "The upcoming Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on Measures to Enforce the Convention; Geneva, 15 July 1999 - Possible outcomes". Speakers will include Ahmed Hassan Al-Rashedi, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Economic and Political Science, Ein-Shams University, Cairo; Miranda Joubert, Advocate, Legal Affairs Division, Department of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, Pretoria; Hilaire McCoubrey, Director of Post-graduate Affairs of the Hull University Law School; and William A. Schabas, a Senior Fellow at the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace.

At the closing session, following Plenary III, the speakers will be: Ibra Deguène Ka, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations. The Chairman will summarize the main points of the deliberations.

A report on the proceedings of the meeting will be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat.

Invitations to attend the Meeting have been sent to all Member and Observer States, United Nations agencies, bodies and programmes, as well as interested intergovernmental organizations. All non-governmental organizations in the region accredited to the Palestinian Rights Committee, and a number of other non-governmental organizations interested in the subject have been invited to attend the Meeting as well. The working languages of the Meeting will be Arabic, English and French.

Registration for participants will take place on Wednesday, 9 June, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 June, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 13 June, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All participants, observers and media representatives are requested to register during these hours to receive the necessary badges to enter the premises.

The United Nations Secretariat office is in El-Ghezirah Sheraton, Room 111, Tel. (20-2) 339-8643, fax: (20-2) 339-8642.


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