Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

12 June 2000
13 June 2000

Press Release



NEW YORK, 12 June (Division for Palestinian Rights) -- The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has convened the United Nations Seminar on Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development and the Middle East Peace Process, to be held on 20 and 21 June at El Gezirah Sheraton, Cairo, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 54/39 and 54/40 of 1 December 1999.

The Committee is of the view that the efforts to achieve a political settlement will succeed only if they are accompanied by policies designed to promote the living conditions of the Palestinian people, as well as economic cooperation and development.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the current state of the Palestinian economy, the factors that affect it and its future prospects, with a view to mobilizing greater support from governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations for the attainment of the legitimate economic rights of the Palestinian people, thus, contributing to the broader peace-building efforts.

The opening session of the meeting will take place on Tuesday, 20 June, at 10 a.m., in the conference room "Versailles" of El Gezirah Sheraton, Cairo. The session is expected to be addressed by senior officials from the Egyptian Government, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, as well as by representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies.

Panel I, entitled "Palestinian institution-building and economic performance during the interim period: achievements, shortcomings and future tasks", will begin just after the opening session, at noon on Tuesday, 20 June. The keynote address will be made by a senior official of the Palestinian Authority (name to be announced) and will be followed by presentations to be made by Omar Daoudi, Senior Adviser to the United Nations Development Programme's Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP), and Salem Ajluni, Head of the Economic and Social Monitoring Unit at the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories.
Panel II, on "Palestinian development objectives and strategies", will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday, 20 June. Speakers include Mohammed Shtayyeh, Director-General of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, an institution of the Palestinian Authority; Omar Abdel-Razeq of

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the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Jerusalem; and Raja Khalidi, Coordinator of Assistance to the Palestinian People at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
On Wednesday morning, 21 June, Panel III will be devoted to Israeli- Palestinian economic relations. Presentations will focus on Israeli-Palestinian economic relations during the interim period, distinguishing between expectations and reality; on the current state of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on economic issues; and on the future of Israeli-Palestinian economic relations, encompassing issues such as trade, labour flows, money, finance and investment. Speakers include Samir Huleileh of Nassir Investments Co. in Bethlehem; Samir Abdullah, Head of Paltrade; Nadav Halevi, Professor at the Department of Economics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Edward Haley, Professor of International Relations at Claremont McKenna College, California; and Gil Feiler, Managing Director of Info-Prod Research in Ramat-Gan.
Panel IV, on Wednesday afternoon, 21 June, is entitled "Impact of non- economic issues on sustained Palestinian economic and social development". It will focus on issues such as Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, Palestine refugees, water and natural resources. Speakers include Shibley Telhami, Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; Yossi Katz, Member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset); Sharif S. Elmusa, Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo; David Newman, Head of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba; and Akrum Jalal Tamimi, Vice-President for Planning and Development, Hebron University, Hebron.
The closing session of the Seminar will take place on Wednesday, 21 June, at 5:30 p.m. A summary report of the proceedings of the Seminar will be presented to the forthcoming sessions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly. The report will also be issued as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat.
Invitations to attend the Seminar have been sent to all United Nations Member and observer States, United Nations agencies, bodies and programmes, as well as interested intergovernmental organizations. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accredited to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and a number of other NGOs interested in the subject, have been invited to attend the Seminar, as well.
The working languages of the Seminar will be Arabic, English and French.
Registration will be held on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 17 to 19 June, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the hotel El Gezirah Sheraton, El Orman, Giza, Cairo. The Seminar secretariat, located on the first floor of the hotel, will issue badges necessary to enter the premises. Registration is also possible on Tuesday, 20 June, starting at 8:30 a.m.
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