in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, 29-30 March
Meeting of Civil Society to Follow at Same Venue, 31 March
On 31 March, the Committee will convene the United Nations Meeting of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel will be the venue for both events.
The theme of the Latin American and Caribbean Meeting is “The urgency of realizing a two-State solution”. Its objective at this time of continuing efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian political process is to encourage broad international action, including by Latin American and Caribbean States, in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace and a solution to the conflict based on a shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
Among other things, the Meeting will look at obstacles and opportunities on the road to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It will examine support by Latin American and Caribbean countries for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The Meeting will also discuss the role of non-governmental actors in Latin America and the Caribbean in promoting a permanent settlement of the conflict.
The opening session, on 29 March from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is expected to feature Luis Almagro, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay; Oscar Fernández-Taranco, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, representing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; and Saeb Erakat, Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, who will represent Palestine and deliver the keynote address.
Plenary I, entitled “Advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians — Obstacles and opportunities”, will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 29 March. The sub-themes of the session will be: “The impact of settlement expansion on prospects for achieving a two-State solution”; “The question of Jerusalem – A key to Israeli-Palestinian peace”; and “Bridging gaps and building trust: International efforts at resuming direct peace negotiations between the parties”. Expected speakers include: Yariv Oppenheimer, Director General of Peace Now, Tel Aviv; Hind Khoury, former Minister for Jerusalem Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem; Eduardo Matarazzo Suplicy, Member of the Federal Senate of Brazil, Brasilia; Marcelo Díaz, Member of the Chilean Parliament, Valparaiso; and Meir Margalit, Member of the Municipal Council of the City of Jerusalem.
Entitled “Support by Latin American and Caribbean countries for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine”, Plenary II will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 30 March, with the sub-themes: “Diplomatic recognition of Palestinian statehood by Governments of the region”; “The applicability of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States to the creation of the State of Palestine”; and “Action by Latin American and Caribbean States within the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and other intergovernmental mechanisms”. Expected speakers include: Walid Muaqqat, Ambassador, Palestinian Embassy in Argentina, Buenos Aires; John V. Whitbeck, international lawyer, Paris; and Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Managing Consultant, Stagno Ugarte Consultores y Asociados-Inteliaxis, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, San José.
Plenary III, on the role of non-governmental actors in Latin America and the Caribbean in promoting a permanent settlement of the conflict, will run from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on 30 March. The sub-themes will be: “The role of parliamentarians”; “Civil society initiatives and media engagement in the region”; and “The voice of Arab and Jewish communities in Latin America and the Caribbean”. Expected speakers include: Paula Cecilia Merchán, Member of the Argentine Parliament, Buenos Aires; Arlene Elizabeth Clemesha, Professor of Arab Culture, University of São Paulo and Director of International Relations, Institute for Arab Culture, São Paulo; Tilda Rabi, President, Federación de Entidades Argentino-Palestinas, Buenos Aires; and Edy Kaufman, Professor at the International School, University of Haifa.
From 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 30 March, the closing session is expected to feature representatives of the Government of Uruguay, the Palestinian Rights Committee, and Palestine.
The Meeting of Civil Society will begin with opening statements at 10 a.m. on 31 March, followed by Plenary I, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Plenary I, on perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean, will feature the following sub-themes: “The responsibility of the media”; “The impact and educational role of academic institutions and think tanks”; and “The work of political parties, trade unions, foundations and other civil society actors in promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace”. Expected speakers include: Mario Casartelli, Journalist and writer, Asunción; Pedro Brieger, Journalist and sociologist, Buenos Aires; Elisenda Ballesté, Professor and Director of the Bachelor in International Relations Programme at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Puebla, Mexico; Lourdes Cervantes Vásquez, Head of the Political Department of the Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America, Havana; and Pedro Armengol, Executive Director of the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (Unified Workers’ Central), São Paulo.
Entitled “Bringing civil society together to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”, Plenary II will run from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the following sub-themes: “Reaching decision makers and politicians”; “Pursuing common goals and isolating extremists — The importance of appeals for a just peace and participation in international campaigns against violence and human rights violations”; and “The role of communities in the region, including Arab and Jewish”. Expected speakers include: Lina María Eraso Quintero, Project Director with the Centro de Colaboración Cívica, Mexico City; Pablo Lumerman, Director of the Fundación Cambio Democrático, Buenos Aires; Abdallah Abu Rahma, Head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, Ramallah; Salomón Lerner, former President of the Zionist Federation of Peru, Lima; and Ruben Elías, President of the Comisión de Apoyo al Pueblo Palestino-Uruguay, Montevideo.
The Meeting of Civil Society will close by 6 p.m.
All sessions of the Meeting will be open to the media, and the official languages will be English and Spanish.
Updated versions of the programmes, as well as information on previous Meetings, will be available on the website of the Division for Palestinian Rights, United Nations Secretariat: http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/qpal/calendar.htm.
The report on the Meetings will be issued, in due course, as a publication of that Division.