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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
22 January 2013


updated May 2013


Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

The Committee considers that its programme of international meetings and conferences implemented by the Division for Palestinian Rights contributes to focusing the attention of Governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations and the public on the urgency of bringing about the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and mobilizing assistance to the Palestinian people. Through its international meetings programme, the Committee intends to further generate wide support for a peaceful solution of the conflict, based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.

For meetings calendar, visit www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal/calendar
For meetings’ reports, visit http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/mtgreps

Following are the most recent meetings held under the auspices of the Committee:


UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
“Assistance to the Palestinians – challenges and opportunities in the new reality of a State under occupation”
Rome, 27 and 28 February 2013

Following the admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a non-Member observer State on 29 November 2012, the Seminar looked into the economic and financial challenges of the new State in view of building a viable and sustainable economy. The heavy territorial restrictions, Palestine’s lack of control of its points of access and its natural resources, the ongoing protection crisis, unemployment, the siege of Gaza, water shortage and its financial dependence, made the economy of Palestine captive to the occupation. Developing its private and agricultural sectors, tapping into the potential of the 80 per cent unemployed highly educated women and fostering economic growth through good governance, the rule of law and e-governance were identified as some of the crucial tasks of the State of Palestine.

United Nations Asian and Pacific Meeting in support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace
“International efforts at addressing the obstacles to the two-State solution – the role of Asian and Pacific governmental and
non-governmental actors”
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 10 and 11 July 2012

The Meeting looked at obstacles and opportunities on the road to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians, encouraging broad international action in this respect. It considered ways in which Governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society can be instrumental in helping the parties resume and strengthen the political dialogue and in promoting and applying the principles of international law to efforts aimed at resolving the conflict. From the regional perspective, the Meeting discussed how Asian and Pacific States can make an effective contribution through their action in national and intergovernmental mechanisms.

UNITED NATIONS MEETING OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN SUPPORT OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE
"Civil society action towards ending the occupation: Harnessing the power of youth and women"
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 1 June 2012

The Meeting looked into ways in which civil society organisations serve as a platform for empowering youths and women. Through discussions in break-out groups, the Meeting examined the various areas of civil society action and explored the power of social media in mobilizing the wider public.

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
"The role of youth and women in the peaceful resolution of the question of Palestine"
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 30 and 31 May 2012


The Meeting aimed at mobilizing the international community in support of youth and women’s initiatives on the ground and further raise awareness of the ways in which the energy and resourcefulness of youth and women could be harnessed to achieve a peaceful end to the Israeli occupation. It focused on how to empower women and youth through education, training and economic opportunities, and how to include them more in the political process. The Meeting also looked at social media networks and their impact on the building of an open Palestinian society, and considered the role of the international community, in particular, how Governments, UN entities and international civil society organizations can better coordinate their efforts with Palestinian and Israeli youths and women organizations to achieve a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine.

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
"The question of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities: legal and political implications"
Geneva, 3 and 4 April 2012

The Meeting reviewed legal and humanitarian aspects of the arrests and detentions of Palestinians by Israel, the occupying Power; considered the status of Palestinian prisoners in international law; looked at the issue of Palestinian political prisoners in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian political process; and discussed ways of strengthening the role of non-governmental actors in raising awareness and promoting a solution to this issue. Thoroughly debated were the possible application of Prisoner of War (POW) status according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as available legal mechanisms to ensure compliance by the occupying Power with international humanitarian and human rights laws. Recommendations for action aimed at engaging further the United Nations, including the establishment of an international fact-finding mission, the adoption of a respective resolution by the General Assembly, and the possible request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice.

UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
“The economic cost of continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory; local, regional and international efforts towards mitigating it”
Cairo, 6 and 7 February 2012

The Seminar reviewed the impact of Israeli policies and practices on the socio-economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza; looked at the cost of the Israeli occupation incurred by the Palestinians in various sectors of the economy; and examined the ways of sustaining the recent economic achievements following the implementation of the Palestinian State-building programme. The meeting estimated the cost of the occupation at around US $7 billion in 2010, an amount close to the Palestinian annual gross domestic product. The participants also looked at ways of mitigating the cost of occupation and ensuring socio-economic viability of the future State of Palestine.

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
“The role of Europe in advancing Palestinian statehood and achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians”
Brussels, 28 and 29 June 2011

The Meeting focused on the viability of the two-State solution, took stock of 20 years of European efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, noted the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative, and assessed the effectiveness of the Quartet’s Road Map in bringing about a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict. It also considered the latest European political initiatives, including the parameters for a negotiated settlement, endorsed by the European Union in April 2011. The role of parliamentarians and civil society in promoting peace was the topic of several interventions. Finally, discussions centred around Palestine’s readiness for statehood and recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations during the 66th session of the General Assembly.

UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
“Mobilizing international efforts in support of the Palestinian Government’s State-building programme”
Helsinki, 28 and 29 April 2011

The Seminar reviewed the progress of the Programme of the Palestinian Authority “Palestine: Ending the occupation, establishing the State”. The Seminar also assessed the socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; discussed the urgency of bringing relief to and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip; and considered approaches to advancing the Palestinian State-building programme, including ways of addressing political challenges. The meeting welcomed the progress achieved in the implementation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan while, at the same time, stressed the enormity of the tasks that lay ahead.

UNITED NATIONS LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN MEETING IN SUPPORT OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE
“The urgency of realizing a two-State solution”
Montevideo, 29 and 30 March 2011

The objective of the Meeting, at this time of continued efforts at restarting the Israeli-Palestinian political process, was to encourage broad international action, including by Latin American and Caribbean States, in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace and for achieving a solution to the conflict based on a shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Meeting, among other things, looked at obstacles and opportunities on the road to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It examined support by Latin American and Caribbean countries for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The Meeting also discussed the role of non-governmental actors in Latin America and the Caribbean in promoting a permanent settlement of the conflict.


Additional information about the Committee and the Division can be obtained from:

United Nations Secretariat
Division for Palestinian Rights
Room TB-08006
New York, New York 10017
Tel: +1-212-963-5159; Fax: +1-212-963-4199
Website: http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UN.palestinianrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNISPAL
March 2013

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