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Source:
10 June 2002

UN News Service
Middle East: UN labour agency to launch new jobs plan
for occupied territories

10 June The United Nations International Labour Organization will soon establish an urgent plan for creating jobs in the occupied Arab territories, the head of the UN agency announced today, calling on the two sides to do their part to achieve peace.

"I appeal to Palestinian and Israeli constituents to take the risk of embarking on social dialogue across the present divide," ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in his address to the 90th International Labour Conference, which is meeting in Geneva. "We shall assist and support you in all possible ways," he pledged.

Addressing delegates from the 175 ILO member States, which include representatives of governments as well as worker and employer organizations, the Director-General said the agency's jobs plan for Arab workers and other constituents aimed to address "the humiliation and frustration felt by Palestinians as a result of the combination of closures and military action by Israel."

Pointing out that peace and security remain "the deepest hope of the large majority of Palestinians and Israelis," Mr. Somavia underscored international responsibility for achieving this goal. "The world must help them to get there," he said.

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